Digital Realty, at the convergence of data centers, subsea and interconnection

Chris Sharp, CTO, Executive Vice President, Design & Service Innovation,
Digital Realty; Advisory Board Member, Cloudscene

InterGlobix Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Jasmine Bedi discusses the latest developments at Digital Realty, the world’s leading data center company, with Chris Sharp, its Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President of Design and Service Innovation. Here, Sharp discusses the strategic value of the Interxion acquisition and Digital Realty’s plan to capitalize on the convergence of subsea with data centers and interconnection. He also sheds some light on the company’s overall Asia-Pac strategy.

Published in Issue 4 | July 31, 2020

Digital Realty recently combined with Interxion in Europe. What are the key geographies and services that this acquisition adds to the company’s portfolio?

Interxion provides great value for our customers in terms of their suite of interconnection products and access to subsea cables. They have built out core markets in Europe that add immediate benefit to PlatformDIGITAL and ultimately our customers. We especially value what Interxion has done in Madrid and Marseille—they are key gateways to accessing the Latin American and Northern African emerging markets. There are 14 subsea cables and 160+ connectivity providers that are on-net in Marseille.

Zürich, with a carrier density of 40+, is another new market, and so is Paris, with 85+ carriers and three Internet Exchanges. Interxion expands our capabilities in Frankfurt, with 13 facilities servicing 700+ carriers, which is a critical market for many of our multinational customers. We also have Düsseldorf, another carrierdense market with 90+ carriers across two locations, and Brussels, with 100+ connectivity providers in two facilities. The expansion in Amsterdam to nine data centers and 210+ connectivity providers is very valuable for us as that market has been a bit constrained. The combination of both of our capabilities enables us to bring additional capacity online in that region.

London has always been a stronghold, so adding capacity there is top of mind for us. Other exciting markets include Dublin (45+ carriers), Copenhagen (50+ networks), Stockholm (70+ carriers), which gives access to Russia and the Baltic states, and Vienna, which is a key point in Central to Eastern Europe with 100+ carriers. These metrics demonstrate the value of the combination with Interxion in bringing in new markets and expanding in existing markets. The underpinning of PlatformDIGITAL™ is a global footprint, which provides foundational access to not only space and power, but also to interconnection services and access to an unparalleled range of service providers who empower our customers’ ambitions.

Interxion developed a strategic data center and subsea convergence campus in Marseille. What is Digital Realty’s strategy for Marseille going forward? Are there any plans to develop similar hubs focused on subsea cable landings in other parts of the world?
At the highest level, we believe that subsea cables are a critical interconnection point for PlatformDIGITAL. Our customers derive a lot of value from access to subsea cables because it provides multinational customers access to critical routes efficiently. Now, with the combination complete, we will evolve our subsea cable strategy to maximize what both companies have to offer. We will continue to allow our customers to derive full value out of the 13+ subsea cables in Marseille and further expand our interconnection capabilities from there. We will also look to replicate best practices from Interxion in other regions. We applaud the work that Interxion has done and will continue to support them, allowing our combined customers to get the full benefit out of Marseille. Similarly, we will evaluate other markets in our combined portfolio around the globe for other similar strategic initiatives.