Equinix is participating at this year’s Capacity Middle East to demonstrate how interconnection between service providers is powering global digital business over land and undersea. The ongoing and massive surge in global data traffic is a well-documented trend, and it is feeding a boom in new subsea cable construction. The level of global data traffic is expected to reach 3.3 zettabytes by 2021, and almost every byte touches a subsea cable as cloud service providers, network service providers, content providers and enterprises push to move data globally in real time.
“The rapid growth of data—from basic web browsing and e-commerce to streaming video and AI—is helping drive a global surge in new subsea cable construction. Subsea cables are key to the internet and global connectivity, as 99% of intercontinental traffic crosses a subsea cable,” said Jeroen Schlosser, Managing Director at Equinix MENA. He added: “To meet increasing demands for lower-latency connectivity and greater customer access, organizations are changing how they build subsea systems and identifying new markets and regions to deliver a more meshed topology, in contrast to traditional/historic models that have existed for years.”
Subsea cables form the backbone of international data exchange; without it business processes would not be able to flow, and the world’s economies would suffer. As today’s businesses start to monetize this powerful asset the makeup of subsea cable traffic is seeing an evolution — more than two-thirds of the subsea fiber cable bandwidth capacity growth comes from hyperscalers and content providers. These new growth drivers necessitate the need for cutting down latency and adding diversity by adopting a proximity focused landing station models, as opposed to traditional ones that have existed for years.
Equinix has played a large part in developing the next generation of submarine system landing station infrastructures to accommodate this shift by placing cable landing stations in its global data centers. Currently, Equinix International Business Exchange (IBX) data centers have subsea cables connecting to 34 metros around the world, including in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region, across three locations — Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Muscat.
Another example of Equinix’s play in the subsea industry is its expansion to South Korea with International Business Exchange (IBX) data center in Seoul. This market expansion is significant to Equinix as it expands the company’s Asia-Pacific coverage, enabling customers to securely deploy their infrastructure, reach global ecosystem partners and scale their businesses at the digital edge.
“Service providers and enterprises will need to look at distributed IT and network infrastructures that place 5G at the digital edge – close to commerce, population centers and digital ecosystems of network and cloud service providers. Proximity to a variety of 5G network service providers in regional metros gives small-to-medium service providers and enterprises the ability to lease 5G networks as a service,” Jeroen noted.
At Capacity Middle East, Equinix’s Keith Shaw will take part in two panel discussions during the show on day one, 4th March. On the first panel he will discuss how data centers are reshaping the traditional subsea cable termination process and on the second he will be discussing how technologies are breaking the mould of legacy subsea infrastructure. Andrew Oon, Senior Director, Service Providers & Interconnection, Equinix Asia Pacific will discuss measures in telecoms to secure defences without compromising future growth on day two, 5th March.