Equinix datacentres selected for Vocus ASC subsea cable

Vocus' Australia-Singapore subsea cable will have points of presence in Equinix's IBX datacentres in Sydney and Melbourne.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

Equinix has announced that its International Business Exchange (IBX) datacentres will be used for Vocus Communications' Australian-Singapore Cable (ASC) submarine cable system in Melbourne and Sydney.

The ASC will join other cable providers already present within Equinix's IBX datacentres in Sydney, and will be the first with a point of presence (PoP) in the ME1 datacentre in Melbourne.

According to Equinix, the ASC will utilise over 150 networks in Sydney and more than 35 in Melbourne to enable high-speed connectivity across the APAC region. It will also improve interconnection due to its coastal and bi-coastal access points, Equinix said, as well as conforming to the ideal of a "global, carrier-neutral" ecosystem.

Vocus CEO Geoff Horth said that by using Equinix datacentres, the ASC would cover all major carriers and cloud providers.

"ASC is an important addition to the list of advanced submarine cables on offer to our customers at Equinix Australia, and presents further connectivity options to businesses looking for alternate connectivity to Southeast Asia," Equinix Australia MD Jeremy Deutsch added.

"This is particularly significant in Melbourne, where ASC will be the first international submarine cable to establish a PoP connecting via the most direct path to Singapore through our facility."

Vocus last month said the ASC would be completed ahead of schedule, with services launching in July 2018 on the 4,600-kilometre cable, which is designed to carry 40Tbps at a minimum across four fibre pairs.

Originally a 50-50 joint-venture deal between Vocus and Nextgen Networks, the ASC will connect Perth with Singapore and Indonesia at a cost of AU$170 million, with Vocus subsequently purchasing Nextgen Networks for AU$700 million in June 2016, paying an additional AU$27 million for the ASC and AU$134 million for the North West Cable System.

The ASC will provide a higher-speed alternative to the SEA-ME-WE3 submarine cable, which is currently experiencing an outage between Perth and Singapore due to a break in the line that won't be repaired until mid October.

Ahead of connecting to the ASC, Equinix is undertaking a $42 million expansion of its SY4 Sydney IBX datacentre to improve capacity, with plans to add 1,500 cabinets for a total of 3,000 by the end of 2017.

Equinix's new datacentre monitoring software, allowing businesses to monitor power, mechanical, and environmental conditions in real time, will also be made available in SY3, SY4, and ME1 by the end of the year.

SY4 currently hosts more than 100 companies, with Deutsch claiming Australia is becoming "an interconnection hotspot".

A recent survey conducted by the company showed that Australia is the largest infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) market in the region due to the presence of big cloud players. Equinix itself hosts Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS), IBM Cloud, and Oracle Cloud, with the company saying it would add add Alibaba Cloud via its Cloud Exchange in June.

It is also investing $41.8 million in the eighth phase of its SG2 IBX datacentre expansion in Singapore to add 1,400 cabinets for a total of 6,300.

Equinix then spent $3.6 billion to buy 29 datacentres from Verizon in May, giving it 600 new customers, which CFO Keith Taylor has said will add $480 million to $500 million in revenue in the first 12 months, but with a cost of $40 million to integrate.

Equinix is similarly involved with the Trident subsea cable between Australia, Indonesia, and Singapore; the Hawaiki cable between the United States West Coast, Hawaii, Australia, and New Zealand; the FASTER cable between Japan and the US West Coast; the Asia-Pacific Gateway between China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, and Singapore; the Southern Cross Cable Network between California and Sydney; the Aqua Comms cable between New York and London; the Hibernia Express cable between New York and London; the Cinia Northern Digital Highway cable between Frankfurt and Helsinki; the Gulf Bridge International cable between the Middle East and Europe; the Globenet cable between Florida and Brazil; the Seaborn Networks cable between New York and Sao Paulo; and the Monet Consortium Florida-to-Brazil cable, which it will host in its MI3 IBX datacentre in Miami.

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