Ethernet exchange protagonist CENX (news) has found itself a datacenter partner in newly public CoreSite (NYSE:COR, news, filings). This is more than a simple transaction for space and power, the two are collaborating on many levels. CoreSite had considered building its own exchange capability, but chose this route instead in order to maintain focus on what it does best while partnering with one of the leaders. They already offer interconnection and peering services alongside colocation, and some sort of foray into the Ethernet exchange marketplace was probably inevitable.
First and foremost, the arrangement supports CENX's expansion into the domestic markets of the Bay Area, Boston, and Washington DC and into additional data centers in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York. In time, CENX will expand its presence into all eleven of CoreSite's facilities nationwide. But, the CENX/CoreSite partnership also puts the three major Ethernet exchange offerings on similar competitive footing. All three now have major physical datacenter providers supporting them either directly or indirectly: tndm has Telx and of course Equinix (NASDAQ:EQIX, news, filings) is both sides of the coin already. It seems as if having an Ethernet exchange on the premises might be becoming a key selling point for major data centers.
Last year saw steady buildouts and territorial moves in the Ethernet exchange business, but in the strategic situation seems likely to solidify as each tries to fine tune the economic model. That's the key right now: the potential is obvious but actually turning that into piles of money is always a bit trickier.