Q&A with Equinix’s Chad Arnold: New Technologies to Support Higher Densities Making Waves in Seattle

Nov 30, 2017
by Josh Anderson

SEATTLE, WA — Equinix, a real estate investment trust (REIT), connects various companies directly to their customers and partners inside interconnected data centers. Equinix combines a global footprint of International Business Exchange (IBX) data centers, a range of interconnection solutions, ecosystems and support. At CapRE’s Seattle and Pacific Northwest Data Center Summit November 15, we heard from Chad Arnold, ‎Business Development Executive- Cloud & Content – ‎Equinix for an up-close Q&A. Moderated by Donald Mitchell, Data Center Division Manager at Victaulic, the session focused on Equinix’s Vision and Global Strategy for 2018. Below is one part of this Q&A.

Mitchell: So one of the top themes is security risks. Are there security risks (in a digital interconnection strategy)? If so, what are they?

Arnold: When it comes to what we are doing in the security realm, we talk about how we are cutting the public internet out of that larger conversation for customers. And providing private interconnection. I think that Gardner is predicting that 40% of the enterprises globally will be attacked in the next years. The hackers out there are using the public internet as their easy backdoor into these systems. When you cut the public internet out of that equation, you create a much more secure security posture. And it’s not just the physical security because you’re not just interconnecting between yourself and your partner, or your clouds or your network service providers, but even beyond that with other enterprise customers that you might peer with, or share data with. Look at the healthcare space. Or the financial space. That happens all of the time. And a lot of the time, those connections are being done over VPN. Effectively, security over the internet vs doing it privately across a single fiber cross connect.

Mitchell: You have a significant presence at the Westin. What’s special about that? What makes it unique in peoples’ high power digital strategy?

Arnold: The network density first and foremost is what makes the Westin special. It’s a carrier hotel of the Pacific Northwest. The density of options – many of which are represented in this room today – that provides the backbone of interconnection companies, or more specifically, the ability to peer, to simply consume services at a greatly discounted rate because it ‘s such a competitive marketplace. That’s also why, when you look at public clouds, why it’ such important, valuable real estate to them. They pick up all of the eyeballs. The Microsoft enterprise edge sits right here. The AWS enterprise edge sits right here. Google has their own. Multiple public clouds have a footprint here, specifically because they can get all of the eyeballs that they need to push into their platforms. So it’s incredibly valuable real estate.

Mitchell: That’s a great lead in [to my next question]. You have significant presence in the Westin building. Do you have the capacity to accommodate new customers? What’s changed? Do you need more space?

Arnold: Everyone knows that space is finite. At the end of the day it’s how you leverage that space to be able to deploy and support as much as possible. For Equinix, we built an adjacent facility right next to the Westin – our SE3 facility. To help support the growing needs of our customers, because space is at limited availability. I think that at the end of the day, that expansion will continue.

The networks that are here will only continue to support that grass roots growth outside of the building. But I think that what we’re seeing is new technologies that are beginning to be launched, and some that are not even leveraged yet, to be able to support higher density footprints. We have multiple power grids, multiple ports into the Westin building, that allow our customers to achieve higher densities. But it’s all about power distribution. And as we know, in the data center space, you’ve got to find that balance.

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