The data centre scene in the UK is flourishing. The UK market is already considered the largest in Europe, and new data centre capacity here is expected to grow by 22 per cent within the next five years, according to a report that Tariff Consultancy Ltd (TCL) released earlier this year.*
It's not surprising then that the London Internet Exchange (LINX) is frequently asked by UK data centres to partner up as a way of providing faster and more reliable connectivity to customers. As the world’s largest and most experienced data centre company, when Digital Realty approached us, we took the opportunity with both hands.
So, we were delighted to officially launch our partnership with Digital Realty at its Chessington data centre. This will be home to our first new Point of Presence (PoP) in six years.
What does the partnership with Digital Realty mean for us?
With Digital Realty, we weren’t just moving into a room in a data centre. Digital Realty rightly says it’s a place to grow your dreams and ideas. By upgrading our network with a new dual LAN PoP at Digital Realty’s Chessington facility, it gives our members a much bigger and more diverse choice of data centres to house their content and transmission equipment. LINX members have access to well over 80 per cent of the global routing table, and by connecting together over our network they benefit from efficient and low latency connectivity.
And not only that - as an organisation we're pretty risk averse. Using Digital Realty's Chessington site brings greater security and quality to our network.
As a member-owned association, we have always favoured neutrality in the carriers and data centres we use. Going back to the early 2000s we had ten PoPs in the UK, working with four different operators. We chose now - six years later - to build another Point of Presence because we're focused on expanding our Internet Exchange in the UK.
Partnering with Digital Realty brings us the sheer scale we need to cope with demand from our members, and it significantly expands the choice of sites that our members can use for co-location purposes. Since Digital Realty are offering Chessington as a hub for a larger set of sites, clients from their London portfolio of eight additional data centre facilities will be able to connect via 'satellite' Virtual Points of Presence. It also gives us a choice of sites for co-location purposes. We have a compelling vision to connect a part of London where we're not currently present.
We've built what I call a 'full fat version' of our network PoP with Digital Realty. Our PoP at Chessington will be 100G capable from day one, on both of the LINX LANs that are connected. Indeed, we already have a 100G port order from a member for Chessington, and confidently expect more.
The great thing about this partnership is it really is mutual.
What’s more, it just confirms how important data centres are in the UK due to their positive effect on our nation’s digital infrastructure.
Blog post by John Souter, CEO, London Internet Exchange