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Data Centers: A Subsea Opportunity

March 21, 2017  |  Written by Don Schuett, VP of Commerical Management

Our world is heading for a place of seamless connectivity where our digital technologies will be more capable and powerful than most would have ever thought possible just a few short decades ago. The rise in computing power being produced inside the world’s state-of-the-art data centers is a primary reason these types of technologies are able to be realized so quickly (think augmented reality, streaming HD video, etc.). 

But there is another aspect to this global rise in data traffic that literally lies below the surface. I am referring to subsea cables. Recent spikes in global data traffic are not seen as isolated occurrences, rather are part of a larger trend of growing global partnerships and transfer and flow of information. For data center operators and customers alike, subsea cables present even more opportunities.

So how do subsea cables and data centers combine?

Each end of the subsea cable in question must terminate somewhere. Whether that’s in Japan, Ireland, California, or any other coastal area, the preferred landing spot for many subsea cables is now inside a carrier neutral data center facility. The carrier neutral aspect is important because it allows the cable operators the flexibility to connect to a wide variety of carriers, content providers, and other services. Their customers will demand that. That’s a big part of the reason why there are so many subsea cable projects underway around the world right now. 

When a subsea cable is located in one of our data centers, it gives us the opportunity to provide more access and distribution points for our customers and their content. It allows our enterprise and cloud customers to connect securely and easily to global providers. During a panel at the 2017 Pacific Telecoms Conference, ”New Data Center Dynamics,” Digital Realty CEO Bill Stein was joined by the CEOs of CoreSite, Equinix, and NEXTDC to discuss why it is so important to have traffic coursing through your data center. I encourage you to watch the entire conversation here

Access to the subsea cable capacity is improving, as well. Increasingly, subsea cable providers are employing flexible pricing models where minimum buys are lower than they once were, and scaling up can happen literally at the touch of a button. This provides customers with an experience that is more flexible and capable than ever before. I believe we can expect to see that utility continue to skyrocket, while the figurative space between continents gets smaller and smaller for businesses of medium to large size.

To learn about our partnership with AquaComms and its transatlantic fiber system, AEConnect, please click here.

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