Equinix, Inc. is an American multinational company headquartered in Redwood City, California, that specializes in enabling global interconnection between organizations and their employees, customers, partners, data and clouds. The company is the leading global colocation data center provider by market share, and it operates 175+ data centers in 44 major metropolitan areas in 22 countries on five continents.
Equinix was founded in 1998 to provide a neutral place where the networks forming the early internet could exchange data traffic. It expanded to Asia-Pacific in 2002 and Europe in 2007. The company later began operating facilities in Latin America in 2011 and in the Middle East in 2012. Its purchase of TelecityGroup in early 2016 established the company as the largest colocation provider in Europe. In May 2017, Equinix completed the purchase of 29 Verizon data centers in a move to expand its presence across 15 markets in the U.S. and Latin America.
The company offers colocation, interconnection solutions and related services to enterprises, content companies, systems integrators and 1,500+ network service providers worldwide. Equinix data centers host more than 2,750 cloud and IT service providers. Equinix offers several interconnection services, including Equinix Cross Connects, Equinix Performance Hub and Equinix Data Hub. The company operates the Equinix Cloud Exchange and an Internet Exchange. Its Professional Services group offers various consulting and technical support services.
Equinix says its broad geographic reach is a key differentiator that allows its customers to place equipment in proximity to their end users worldwide, which the company claims results in superior connectivity. Its global data center platform, which it calls Platform Equinix, is one of three components of a triple-ringed “moat” the company says it must maintain to continue to outpace its competitors. It says the other two components are the interconnected industry ecosystems that populate its data center platform and its commitment to service excellence.
The name Equinix combines words that describe what the company’s founders saw as its core attributes: Equality, neutrality and internet exchange. The name is pronounced with a soft “e” on the first syllable so that it mimics the pronunciation of “equity.”
Equinix reports 6,200+ employees globally and is listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker symbol EQIX.
Equinix reported 2016 revenues of $3.61 billion.
Equinix was founded in 1998 by Al Avery and Jay Adelson, two facilities managers at Digital Equipment Corporation. The founders believed that existing data centers would not be sufficient to support the rapid growth of the internet and saw the opportunity to deploy data centers on a much larger scale to support this growth. In an interview, Adelson recalled that the early internet was “run by cowboys. … It just wasn’t hardened, it wasn’t commercialized. And for those of us that cared, we knew that a company like Equinix would need to exist. Somebody would have to be the steward of all this infrastructure.”
Equinix promoted its data center platform as a neutral place where competing networks could connect and share data traffic. This peering model extended each carrier’s individual reach, regionally and globally, and its wider adoption enabled the massive peering that led to the explosive growth of the internet, the “network of networks.”
Equinix focused on expanding interconnection from its inception, as it aimed to capitalize on the so-called “network effect,” through which each new customer would broaden the appeal of its platform. Each new carrier, for example, would expand network route options for content providers, who were then increasingly drawn to Equinix and, in turn, increased Equinix’s appeal to advertisers who wanted to do business with those content providers. In an early interview, an Equinix marketing executive said the company’s strategy was to find “people who bring people who have relationships with people.” The company’s first data centers opened in New York City, Silicon Valley, and the Washington D.C. area. Soon after, the company began a continuous and steady expansion that aligned with its internal philosophy to always attempt to increase interconnection opportunities ahead of market demand.