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October Round-Up: M&As; Global Cloud & Data Center Expansion; Product Launches & Data Insights

27 October 2020

The month of October has seen a great deal of activity come from the tech and telecom sectors, particularly as global businesses look to enhance, expand, and digitize their services during a time of accelerated transformation and innovation.

With a number of mergers and acquisitions taking place, global cloud services expanding, new products being launched, and new data being analyzed, this month has continued to push the industry to all new heights. Here’s our round-up of the industry news for October.

Mergers & Acquisitions

GTT Communications sells fiber and data center infrastructure

This month, GTT Communications officially signed a definitive agreement to sell their fiber and data center infrastructure division to I Square Capital, a Miami-based private equity firm.

The US$2.15 billion acquisition includes that of GTT’s Pan-European, North American, subsea and trans-Atlantic fiber network and data center infrastructure services, which should reinforce the cloud networking provider’s CapEx light business model and cloud networking focus, according to Ernie Ortega, CRO and interim CEO of GTT Communications.

Equinix acquires 13 Bell data centers in Canada

After announcing plans to acquire 13 Bell data center facilities for US$750 million back in June, Equinix has finally completed the acquisition, solidifying its Canadian presence in the process.

The deal leaves Equinix around 1.2 million gross square feet richer in terms of data center space, of which 400,000 square feet is actual colocation space.

EcoDataCenter acquires two data centers in Stockholm

Earlier in the month, EcoDataCenter acquired two data center hubs in Stockholm, which the Swedish operator hopes will progress their goal of becoming the largest provider in sustainable data centers. The two facilities offer a combined white space of 10,800 square feet, and support 3MW of capacity.

Global Cloud Updates

Nokia moves IT infrastructure to Google Cloud

Nokia and Google Cloud have announced a five-year strategic collaboration, which will see Nokia kickstart its operational shift to a cloud-first strategy by migrating its on-premise IT infrastructure – including data centers, servers, and various software applications – onto Google Cloud infrastructure.

“Given Nokia’s digital ambitions and plans, this is an ideal time for Nokia to be taking this step with Google Cloud to accelerate our efforts; and doing all of this in a secure and scalable way,” says Ravi Parmasad, VP Global IT Infrastructure, Nokia.

U.S. Department of Energy makes agreement with Google Cloud

The month of October has also seen Google Cloud announce a five-year agreement with the Department of Energy (DOE) to provide them with access to a range of Google Cloud’s platform services, including Google Cloud Storage, BigQuery, AutoML, Cloud GPUs and TPUs, Google Kubernetes Engine, and TensorFlow.

According to Google Cloud’s press release, this deal should help to scale research efforts and drive innovation across DOE national labs and field sites.

IBM to spin off Managed Infrastructure Services to focus on cloud

IBM has announced that it will be separating its Managed Infrastructure Services of its Global Technology Services division into a new public company (“NewCo”) in order to accelerate its hybrid cloud growth strategy.

“IBM is laser-focused on the $1 trillion hybrid cloud opportunity,” says Arvkind Krishna, CEO, IBM, which will enable the provision of higher-value cloud software and solutions across the world, particularly as the company capitalizes on their earlier acquisition of software company Red Hat.

Microsoft expands its cloud offerings to new regions (including space!)

This month, Microsoft has announced plans to establish its first cloud region in Austria, and to extend its cloud offering to Brazil through working with the Ministry of Economy to provide a platform for job matching opportunities.

Microsoft has also been busy introducing a new modular data center for customers who need cloud computing capabilities in hybrid or challenging environments, such as in remote areas, as well as launching its Azure Space initiative, which will drive cloud-powered innovation both on and off the planet, according to the site.

Global Data Center Expansion

Telecom Egypt to build country’s largest international data center

Telecom Egypt has announced that their plan to construct Egypt’s largest international data center facility is now underway and is expected to be commissioned in early 2021.

Located in Cairo, the facility will have access to all the global subsea cable systems that land in Egypt, and will be the nation’s first to be awarded the Uptime Institute’s certifications in the Design, Constructed Facility, and Operational Sustainability categories.

QTS announces opening of its second mega data center in Atlanta

This month, QTS Realty Trust announced the official opening of its second mega data center located on its Atlanta metro campus. 

Purpose-built utilizing the company’s innovative Freedom Building design, the facility is expected to be commissioned in less than ten months, and feature 240,000 square feet of data hall space and 72MW of power capacity.

MoU signed to enhance Thailand’s connectivity and data center growth

October has also seen Malaysia-based AIMS Data Center @ Bangkok (an AIMS Data Center Group subsidiary) sign a MoU with Bangkok Neutral Internet eXchange (BKNIX) to “…collaborate in enhancing the efficiency of Thailand’s internet connectivity and to support the future growth of communication traffic exchange in Thailand,” according to Malaysian Wireless.

BKNIX has members comprising both local and global carriers and ISPs, and will be the first neutral IXP in Thailand, which will significantly bolster and expand the ASEAN data center network as it stands.

Product Launches & Data Insights

Cogent launches Global Peer Exchange platform

Cogent Communications recently launched Global Peer Exchange (GPE), a worldwide connectivity platform built to exchange Internet traffic. Available in over 1,300 carrier-neutral data centers across more than 200 markets worldwide, GPE is helping to connect providers with peering partners from everywhere.

“Leonardo” AI supercomputer set to launch next year

It was announced this month that the Italian inter-university consortium and supercomputer center CINECA, will launch the world’s fastest AI supercomputer to help solve scientific challenges across a number of disciplines, next year.

Built with Atos, the “Leonardo” system will utilize NVIDIA’s GPUs and InfiniBand connectivity to deliver an anticipated 10 exaflops of FP16 AI performance to enable advanced AI and HPC converged application use cases, according to NVIDIA’s press release.

The Leonardo supercomputer will be used for drug discovery, space exploration, and weather modelling, while the technology will ultimately work to “…usher in the era of exascale computing,” according to Marc Hamilton, VP of Solutions Architecture and Engineering, NVIDIA.

Goldman Sachs to fund $500 million global data center platform

Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division has announced its commitment of US$500 million in equity capital to forming a global data center infrastructure platform known as Global Compute Infrastructure LP.

Global Compute’s founding management team will be led by former CIO and co-founder of Digital Realty, CEO Scott Peterson, who will drive the company’s acquisition, development, and operation of data centers assets across North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Latin America.

Equinix releases annual Global Interconnection Index (GXI)

This month, Equinix released the fourth volume of its Global Interconnection Index (GXI 4.0), which predicts that global interconnection bandwidth will grow at a CAGR of 45% between 2019 and 2023 to eventually reach 16,300+ Tbps.

GXI 4.0 also sheds light on five major macro trends – including digital business, urbanization, cybersecurity, data columns and compliance, and business ecosystems – which are driving today’s transformation challenges, and require interconnection as a solution.

There’s no doubt that October has been a busy month for the tech industry. Providers around the world are exploring all new avenues to deliver the best, most innovative offering, which is reflected in the breadth of industry news for this month alone.

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