Equinix acquires Switch and Data

29 Apr 2010

Equinix’s acquisition of Switch and Data, which is expected to close on Friday 30 April, will create a colocation services giant that dwarfs its competitors, both in the US and globally. Equinix’s gross floor space will increase from five million to more than six million square feet — approximately three times more than its largest competitor, Telehouse. While Equinix has emerged as by far the largest provider of colocation services, the sector remains highly competitive. In the New York metro area alone, Equinix contends with over 50 competitors.

Equinix has expanded aggressively over the past twelve months, opening data centres in major European communications hub cities, including its fifth site in London and its fourth in Frankfurt. With the addition of Switch and Data, Equinix owns 84 colocation sites in the US, Europe and Asia. ‘This merger greatly increases the number of Equinix colocation sites, and more than doubles the number of sites that Equinix operates in the US,’ says TeleGeography analyst Jon Hjembo. Following the acquisition, Equinix will operate 53 sites in the US and 31 overseas. Each company contributes a comparable number of sites to the merger, but they have starkly different amounts of floor space. Equinix’s sites average over 100,000 square feet of gross space, while Switch and Data’s facilities only average about 30,000 square feet.

Many of Equinix’s newly acquired sites are in key markets where the company did not previously operate. Hjembo points out, ‘For the first time, Equinix will be able to offer services in cities like Atlanta, Miami, Philadelphia, Seattle and Toronto.’ The merger also adds major telco buildings to the Equinix network. Most notably, Switch and Data provides the company with a presence at three prime New York City facilities: 111 8th Avenue, 60 Hudson, and 65 Broadway. In Atlanta, Equinix also attains a valuable piece of real estate at 56 Marietta.

TeleGeography’s Colocation Database profiles nearly 1,800 colocation sites around the world. The database provides a snapshot of site locations, capacity levels and bandwidth providers where available. Accompanying analysis examines colocation providers, their infrastructure, capacity constraints and pricing.

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