Private Interconnection Bandwidth To Hit 13,300Tbps

Private interconnection bandwidth to hit 13,300Tbps, says Equinix

16 October 2019 | Jason McGee-Abe


Equinix’s latest Global Interconnection Index (GXI) predicts private connectivity at the edge will grow by 51% CAGR and exceed a total bandwidth capacity of more than 13,300Tbps, equivalent to 53ZB of data exchanged annually.

The GXI market study finds interconnection bandwidth – the capacity for direct and private traffic exchange between key business partners – is an essential component to digital business and validates that to compete in the digital economy, companies must address growing data volumes and increasing data exchange velocity across a rising number of clouds and business ecosystems.

Last year’s GXI stated that bandwidth provisioned for private connectivity was forecasted to grow by 2021 to more than 8,200Tbps of capacity which is equal to 33ZB of data exchange per year.

“People, software and machines are creating and consuming data faster and in all the places where we work, play, and live,” said Rick Villars, research vice president of data centre and cloud at IDC.

“The significant increase in data created, aggregated and analysed in these new locations is contributing to a major shift away from deploying IT in traditional corporate data centres. Enterprises need access to robust, modern data centre facilities near the edge locations where businesses want to deploy dedicated infrastructure and interconnect to the increasing number of clouds, customers and partners that are at the core of digital transformation efforts.”

London to account for 34% of European data traffic by 2022

In response to rapidly growing volumes of data, enterprise consumption of interconnection bandwidth will grow at a 64% CAGR globally, outpacing other forms of business data exchange. This is due to be even higher for EMEA, with consumption growing at a 67% CAGR, leading enterprises to account for 60% of total interconnection bandwidth in 2022. And, by 2022, London alone will account for over a third (34%) of European traffic, with leading European cities – Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam and Paris – together accounting for almost 78% of European traffic.

Equinix working on 300-mile subsea cable in the English Channel

A faster connection between London and Paris will support increased business in London – Equinix is working with an Irish cable company to create the first subsea cable across the channel for two decades. The 300-mile connection, described as the data equivalent of the Channel Tunnel, will cut connection times by 14% and help to deal with the explosion of internet traffic anticipated over the coming years.

Undeterred by Brexit uncertainty, UK businesses continue to invest in IT infrastructure

According to a separate independent survey commissioned by Equinix of more than 2,450 global senior IT professionals, almost half (48%) of global IT decision-makers believe interconnection is a key facilitator of digital transformation. Four in 10 IT decision-makers in EMEA feel the same and, in the UK, over a third (33%) of IT decision-makers cite interconnection as being key to the survival of their business.

And companies are continuing to invest in this critical infrastructure, with almost half (49%) of IT decision-makers in the UK stating that any uncertainty around the final Brexit deal has not impacted their company’s decision to invest in IT infrastructure.

“With Brexit looming, businesses in the UK are continuing to forge ahead with plans to invest in IT infrastructure, as new technologies, such as AI, IoT and the soon-to-be launched 5G network, promise a rapid increase in data being created, consumed and shared,” said Russell Poole, UK managing director of Equinix.

“The results of this survey demonstrate almost half (45%) of businesses in the UK are prioritising moving their infrastructure to the digital edge as part of their organisation’s technology strategy, in turn facilitating interconnection between new and existing partners, and customers around the world. Regardless of the potential impact of the UK’s departure from the EU, having a strong digital infrastructure in place, is crucial to the success of a business”.

To manage increasing volumes of data, enterprises are on average deploying in nine locations, with a total of 340 interconnections to networks clouds and business partners. The survey shines more light on this – IT decision-makers in the UK are utilising interconnection to connect to other enterprises (20%), network service providers (23%) and cloud service providers (39%).

The independent survey found that over a third (34%) of IT decision-makers in the UK, believe interconnection can help their business to gain competitive advantage within the marketplace. This assertion was true for almost half (46%) of global IT decision-makers and for 4 out of 10 (39%) IT decision-makers in EMEA.

Distance is the biggest performance killer for digital business

Deploying direct, private connections at the edge propels both application performance and user experience.

Today’s latency-sensitive workloads require response times ranging from <60ms to <20ms, forcing IT infrastructure closer to the points of consumption (the edge).

According to the survey, a quarter (25%) of IT decision-makers in the UK are using interconnection to increase speed of connectivity. This compares to a finding of almost a third (31%) in EMEA and over a third (34%) globally. To add to this, 6 out of 10 (60%) IT decision-makers in the UK are using interconnection to improve security and half (50%) are using it to reduce the cost of connectivity.

Leading businesses are gaining competitive advantage using a combination of key interconnection deployment models. Interconnecting to multiple network providers across multiple edge locations is the most prominent use case for interconnection bandwidth and is expected to grow fourfold by 2022. According to the survey, optimising the performance of networks is a key priority for almost half (46%) of IT decision-makers in the UK. 

Interconnecting to multiple clouds and IT services across multiple edge locations and cloud regions represents the next largest and fastest use of interconnection bandwidth and is predicted to grow 13x by 2022. The move to multi-cloud strategies is cited by respondents to the survey as a priority for over a third (36%) of IT decision-makers in the UK.

Interconnecting to digital business partners for financial services, content and digital media and supply chain integration makes up the remainder of interconnection bandwidth use cases and is forecasted to grow fivefold by 2022.

Sachin Gupta, senior vice president of product management in the enterprise networking business at Cisco, said: “As enterprises embrace the imperative of digital transformation, they increasingly adopt multiple cloud-based applications to meet their objectives. This places pressure on the network to deliver a fast and secure application experience to users located anywhere in the world. With both applications and networks becoming more distributed, enterprises today will continue to require a low-latency, interconnected architecture to securely connect end users with business-critical applications.”