Expected to grow in value from US $7.9 billion to US $14 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 12.1%, the global data center interconnect market is reflecting the significant shift in consumption trends and increased demand for network services as enterprises and organizations work to adopt new cloud strategies and focus on building hyper-connected ecosystems.
Chad Kinlay, Director of Marketing and Communications for global connectivity provider, Epsilon Telecommunications, gives us his insight into the current state of interconnection in the context of a cloud-first world and anticipates what the future of the industry might look like.
Capturing global demand for high-performance interconnection
Implementing interconnection that is fast, flexible, and future-proofed has become a priority for businesses, particularly those that are running multiple mission-critical applications and serving customers on a global scale. “For data centers, interconnection has become an indispensable service offering since businesses don’t want to be limited within the confines of the facility,” says Kinlay.
A business’s capabilities expand when they have access to the optimum network services, he explains; “A robust and global interconnect system enables organizations of all kinds to scale-up services in private and public clouds and data centers seamlessly. The delivery of mission-critical workloads and applications is supported by the agile networking that can be delivered on-demand around the world.”
During the current global pandemic, high-performance interconnection has been critical for enterprises and end-users. It has helped to support various business needs and facilitate the surging digital content consumption worldwide, according to Kinlay.
“Being able to efficiently connect to cloud-based business applications is what powers and supports remote working,” Kinlay says. “Businesses around the world are relying on interconnection to run smoothly regardless of the circumstances.”
Demand has been felt worldwide with Asia, Europe, and Africa recording a considerable increase in connectivity usage within Equinix’s Global Interconnect Index, which reports that global private connectivity at the edge is expected to experience a 51% CAGR, exceeding a total bandwidth capacity of more than 13,300 Tbps of data exchanged annually, by 2022. Contributing 29% of this global capacity is the Asia Pacific region, where interconnection bandwidth is expected to grow at a CAGR of 56%, outpacing several other, more developed regions.
On top of this, according to TeleGeography, Africa experienced the fastest international internet bandwidth growth compared to any market in the world between 2015 and 2019, at a CAGR of 45%.
These global requirements for connectivity and internet services have heightened the demand for high-performance interconnection, which is being supported by providers, such as Epsilon, whose colocation facilities serve as major interconnection hubs around the world.
Supporting the adoption of cloud-first strategies and internet-based services
The recent acceleration of digital transformation has changed the way enterprises utilize various applications. As a result, many organizations are looking to the cloud to support their business strategies.
“With more and more people transitioning to a cloud-first strategy, the cloud is rapidly becoming one of the largest segments for interconnection,” Kinlay says. “Within colocation facilities across the globe, we’re seeing a growing focus on interconnection as enterprise customers pivot their multi-cloud and hybrid cloud strategies to expand their reach outside of their own data center footprint.”
“As a colocation provider, Epsilon is seeing strong interest in accessing cloud on-ramps and interconnection between data centers within our network fabric,” he says. In order to serve this growing demand, Epsilon has been deploying more cloud on-ramps, both regionally and on a global scale, while also utilizing its software-defined networking (SDN) platform, Infiny, to automate the procurement process.
Epsilon has been able to deliver its capabilities through Infiny to their partners, like maincubes, who adopted the on-demand connectivity platform to offer interconnection to their customers. Kinlay says that “maincubes were able to white-label the platform to deliver all of Epsilon’s connectivity solutions, including direct cloud connection and remote peering on-demand.”
Another core point of interconnection in the ICT landscape is the Internet Exchange (IX). In order to support the current state in which Kinlay says they have “…never seen more people connected to the internet.” Epsilon has worked to build a dense ecosystem of IX on-ramps, and has recently partnered with NAPAfrica, to deliver on-demand access to key internet hubs in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“This partnership will allow businesses to peer efficiently with local and regional partners,” Kinlay says, with NAPAfrica having reached 1 Tbps of peak traffic in March 2020, which was a growth of 1884 times from its first recorded traffic of 532 Mbps, in 2012.
Preparing for the future of interconnection in hyper-connected ecosystems
With global, high-performance interconnection more important than ever in the minds of industry leaders and operators, their business strategy focus will surely shift to adopting hyper-connected ecosystems.
Kinlay anticipates a huge increase in the popularization of these types of ecosystems, saying “For colocation providers, it’s no longer enough to just rent out racks and space. The adoption of hybrid cloud environments means that their customers are looking to connect beyond the facility itself.”
He suggests, “By bundling networking and connectivity into their offering, data center operators will be better equipped to serve changing customer needs.”
“Ultimately, a hyper-connected ecosystem of cloud services, data centers, Internet Exchanges, and networks will come into play to deliver a comprehensive infrastructure solution beyond just colocation.”
The way in which the state of our connectivity, cloud, and colocation markets are progressing in today’s climate presents new opportunities for these sectors of the industry. With a thriving demand for high-performance interconnection and the widespread adoption of cloud-first strategies and internet-based services, providers around the world are continuously working to enable the best possible solutions for their customers whose connectivity requirements are everchanging.
Contributor: Chad Kinlay – Director, Marketing and Communications, Epsilon Telecommunications
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Chad Kinlay heads up Epsilon’s marketing and communications out of its Singapore HQ, bringing with him over a decade of telecommunications industry experience. He plays an instrumental role in developing Epsilon’s strategic marketing and communication plan with a focus on integrated global strategies for brand development.
Prior to Epsilon, he held various marketing positions across a broad set of industries including Banking, Hospitality, and Pharmaceuticals. Chad received his Bachelor of International Business majoring in Business Management and Marketing from Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia.