Equinix announced on 16 May 2017 it is working with Eastern Light for its new international subsea cable route in northern Europe between Sweden and Finland. Eastern Light is a private Stockholm-based company, with the focus to build and sell long-haul dark fiber routes to customers with special requirements for developing and managing their own optical transport infrastructure. The new cable system is unrepeatered, and therefore open by essence. The customers can consequently select and use their own optical transmission equipment of their choice on their own dark fiber pair(s). Along this route the cable will terminate in two Equinix data centers – International Business Exchange (IBX®) HE6 in Helsinki and SK2 in Stockholm – which are key interconnection points for the Nordics and help facilitate the flow of global internet traffic in and out of the region.
This announcement, after the one of 12 September 2016 about the selection of Equinix by the Monet submarine cable investors to provide US facilities and services for the next-generation cable landing station architecture, is a further example of Equinix engagement with submarine cable projects, which illustrate the current evolution in interconnection between subsea cable systems and data centers as already discussed in previous posts (here, here and here).
In a press release issued on 12 September 2016, Equinix listed the current submarine cable projects that Equinix is engaged with and has publicly announced. These projects bring subsea cables into the data centers. The list includes: Southern Cross Cable Network (California – Sydney), Aqua Comms (New York – London), Hibernia Express (New York – London), Cinia C-Lion1 (Germany – Finland), Trident (Australia – Indonesia – Singapore), GlobeNet (Florida – Brazil), Asia Pacific Gateway (China – Hong Kong – Japan – South Korea – Malaysia – Taiwan – Thailand – Vietnam – Singapore), Hawaiki Cable Limited (U.S. – Australia – New Zealand), Gulf Bridge International (Middle East – Europe), FASTER (U.S. West Coast – Japan), Seaborn Networks (New York – Sao Paulo), and Monet (Florida – Brazil).
Terminating Subsea Cables inside Equinix Data Centers
Hosting cable landing equipment into data centers or building direct optical connectivity from cable landing stations directly into data centers represents a new innovative design in subsea cable infrastructure. For the cable owners, deploying cable landing equipment directly into data centers eliminates a separate cable landing station and simplifies network design – speeding up the deployment and reducing the need for dedicated cable station construction. Operation and capacity addition are simplified as well. For cable users, termination at a multi-tenant data center with rich interconnection opportunities brings them directly into the middle of a rich ecosystem and greatly eases onward transport. Equinix is debuting this new “data center model” that brings the cable landing station inside the data center. Beyond the CapEx and OpEx benefits, this model allows more direct connectivity for today’s and tomorrow’s largest web- and cloud-based service providers.
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