Equinix has announced that it has directly connected data centres in Australia and the US using the Southern Cross Cable Network. The data centres connected are Equinix’s International Business Exchange (IBX®) data centers in Los Angeles (LA1) and Silicon Valley (SV1 and SV8) to its existing data centre in Sydney (SY1). The connection is 100G end to end and uses part of the Southern Cross Cable network.
This connection should help Equinix deliver the low latency required especially for Finance customers looking to create solutions between the West coast US and Australia. SY1 is located near the Sydney Central Business District which houses many of Australia’s largest corporate and finance companies. That they can now offer co-location facilities on both the West coast of the US and Australia will be of interest to many as they look to deliver services from both locations.
While the announcement seems a substantial step for Equinix and an important deal for Southern Cross cable network there is still a lot of capacity left in the trans pacific cables. In June 2014 SCCN upgraded the lit capacity of the network to 3.6 Tbps so there is still room for Equinix to grow. The network consists of 30,500 meters in length and has nine POP’s, two each in continental US and Australia but are also in New Zealand Hawaii and the remaining POP is in Fiji. The cable supports three optical pairs between Sydney and Hawaii and four between Hawaii and the US West Coast.
Client demand at Equinix fuels growth.
The increases in bandwidth according to Equinix are being driven by the demand of customers. This demand is being fueled by video streaming, telepresence, mobile content delivery and social media. Between countries sharing a similar language companies are no longer required to have data stored in each, although data sovereignty issues might change this. This is especially the case where there is a common language, such as US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. Companies looking to share information and data across the pacific can do so with collocation carrier neutral facilities in either Australia or the US from Equinix. This low latency connection allows companies to host applications and data in a single locations despite having workers split across locations.
Jim Poole, vice president, Global Service Providers, Equinix commented: “Equinix is increasingly seeing cable system providers come into our facilities because they house a host of business ecosystems that provide a rich opportunity for businesses looking to move into new markets or with new partners. We remain committed to providing fast, secure and interconnected routes between key markets and the Southern Cross Cable System is a great addition to help strengthen that offering.”
Equinix delivers onward access into cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Office 365, Google Cloud Platform, SoftLayer, and Oracle Cloud. Retaining a single instance ERP solution for example in a multinational spread across the two continents only become viable with low latency connections like the one Equinix has just enabled. The latency that Southern Cross Cable Network can provide is certainly under 100ms, and the legs between Australia and the West Coast total less than 70ms, low enough to run SaaS solutions.
Equinix customers will be pleased and may well take advantage of the interconnection that the new links will provide. It will be interesting to see whether any SaaS vendors also take advantage not just of these connections but the footprint that Equinix has globally. Equinix may now offer SaaS companies not just a hosting option in Australia but the option of delivering SaaS services from a US location until the volume is sufficient to support an operation based in Australia. Equinix do not yet have a data centre in New Zealand but with the Southern Cross network connection in place it will be interesting to see whether they consider locating one there.
For Southern Cross Cable Network this adds another customer to their portfolio and it seems likely that there will be further growth in the market. They are still increasing capacity on a network that is becoming more popular as technology reduces the latency between the two location allowing companies to host data on one side or the other of the Pacific rather than both.
Craige Sloots, director marketing, Southern Cross commented: “Southern Cross has been experiencing increased demand for our connectivity services between North America and Australia. We continue to looks for ways to increase our customer experience, and Equinix provides an ideal environment for customers to interconnect with other businesses between these key content locations.”