Equinix and Their Asia Colocation Footprint
Colocation in Asia has been around for a number of years and you can find colo and sponsored access services at most of the mature Asia Bourses (except Hong Kong). The rise of high frequency trading, the increasing popularity of Software as a Service (SaaS) and the need for latency reduction has driven the demand for proximity services globally and in Asia. Among the entrants at the leading edge of this wave is Equinix providing data centers and termed International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) at the company. Of their 35 global IBX centers 5 are located in Asia – Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo.
When asked what kind of demand Equinix was seeing for hosting and colocation services in Asia John Knuff, General Manager of Global Financial Services said: “A lot with multi-nationals asking for connectivity due diligence. They are saying ‘I want these markets. Where should I deploy my assets to maximize access for my Smart Order Router (SOR) or Complex Event Processing (CEP ) engine?'”. He explained that colocation is a small part of the cost when compared to connecting different venues regionally or internationally.
A recent opinion poll ran by AsiaEtrading.com asked whether or not you were considering a colocation service and an overwhelming 71% of respondents said yes.
Colocation by definition demands that servers and networking hardware be located at or near the execution venue in order to minimize latency as much as possible. Exchanges or alternative trading venues are generally located in the city center and as such real estate is always priced at a premium. “Real Estate is tough to come by” explains John. “We are looking for scalable, suitable sites to invest in for years”. But difficult premises procurement isn’t stopping them as Equinix continues to expand its Asia footprint. They have their eye on 6 more cities (Seoul, India and Taiwan to name a few) and are gauging suitability, opportunities, regulations and whether or not their services indeed fit.
A tie up with Shanghai Data Solution (SDS) announced last March hasn’t limited their traction outside of China either. The data center is located in the Pudong area of Shanghai, right in the heart of China’s financial industry. Seeing the volumes coming out of China, the development of sophisticated traders and trading systems should make this partnership highly successful. But that is not all. Equinix continues to look at other cities in China to extend its reach and offer interconnectivity to its local and global customers .
Equinix is not a network provider nor do they provide managed services but are part of a connectivity “ecosystem” where customers can securely exchange critical information all converging at its International Business Exchange data centers. They are network carrier agnostic but depending on your requirements can recommend optimal providers for your business needs. After all they boast that over 575 network providers and ISPs are accessible at Equinix IBX centers around the world.
David Wilkinson, Senior Director of Business Development in Asia put this analogy to me. If you were to put your business closest to two airports would you chose the one who has many airlines that can offer competitive pricing and a high level of service or the other airport with just one carrier whose schedules aren’t flexible and could go bankrupt leaving you high and dry. Where would you put your business? The choice is clear.