23 May 2018
Interxion is set to open its second Marseille data centre, MRS2. Director of strategy and market development Mike Hollands tell us opportunities this offers the industry
Interxion is to have its opening
ceremony for its second data centre in Marseille (Interxion
MRS2) next week (May 16th). What’s driving demand
for colo services in that market?
Marseille is Europe’s gateway to and from
Africa, the Middle East and Asia. The 13 submarine cable
systems that land in Marseille connect the city to 43 different
countries in these markets. Network Operators, content
providers and cloud platforms therefore find Marseille a very
cost effective and efficient location from which to serve
multiple markets, and this is the key driver of demand.
Can you give some indication of the growth that
Marseille has experienced over the last two or three
Marseille has transformed from a transit location to one
where data is stored and exchanged. Over the last three years
the number of connectivity providers with network
infrastructure in Interxion MRS1 has grown from 50 to over
130. Within that we have seen strongest growth from
international network operators from China, India and
Another indication of he city's growth as an interconnection
hub is the number of networks joining the exchanges present in
Marseille (DE-CIX, France-IX, NL-ix and NetIX). Traffic
flows are switching from more northern European cities to
Marseille as networks exploit the technical advantages of
peering privately and publicly in Marseille.
Do you expect more submarine cable systems to land
Yes, there are a number of subsea projects that are
currently finalising technical evaluations for terminating in
Marseille before the end of 2019. These projects will see
the total potential capacity in Marseille double from
today’s 152Tbps to 320Tbps.
Why does Marseille continue to be so attractive for
submarine cable systems?
Firstly, the community of interest present in
Marseille’s data centres is a ready-made market
place for the subsea operators. The success of projects
such as AAE-1 and SMW-5 illustrates how the commercial
viability of a cable system is enhanced when so many potential
buyers of capacity are in the same data centre as the
Secondly, the local authorities in Marseille have an
integrated vision for transforming the city into a digital
hub. This includes facilitating the landing of submarine
cables in the city, ensuring the permits and infrastructure
needed is in place to accelerate project timescales.
And finally, the large number of backhaul providers (over
30) connecting Marseille to other key European cities ensures
operators of subsea traffic have a wide range of commercial and
technical offers to select from. This is a key ingredient for
making the city a true gateway – serving the needs of
traffic coming to Europe as well as that departing.
Is Interxion’s second data centre in
Marseille simply a case of adding colocation capacity to the
That’s certainly part of the story, as demand
is high from content platforms wishing to take advantage of
Marseille strategic location. However, Interxion MRS2
also provides diversity to our customers. Six backhaul
providers have already deployed their networks into the
facility, offering routes out of Marseille that are independent
of our existing data centre, Interxion MRS1.
How do you see Marseille developing in the
The density of connectivity providers will continue to grow,
but the biggest transformation (already well underway) will see
Marseille become a leading location for the storage and
processing of content. The symbiotic relationship between the
connectivity community already present and digital media and
cloud platforms is clear.