The carrier neutral data center giant Equinix (NASDAQ:EQIX, news, filings) made a move on a completely new part of the world this morning, announcing the purchase of its first data center in the Middle East and an alliance with a regional operator to smooth the way forward.
Equinix has acquired a newly built facility in Dubai which it will turn into an IBX. The new data center will feature 650 cabinets across 44,000 square feet of space, the first phase of which is expected to be open for business by New Years Day. Between the purchase, investment, and future upgrades, they’ll be spending $40M on the new site.
Meanwhile Emirates Integrated Telecommunications company, better known as du, is establishing a carrier neutral transit and content hub at the site under its datamena brand. They announced datamena just last month with the aim of making Dubai more of an international data hub than it has been.
Bringing in Equinix and its ecosystem gives du’s regional customer base access to a much wider range of options, while giving Equinix’s customers an easier way to access the data networks of the UAE and the Arab world more broadly.
That being said, Equinix is taking a step beyond its comfort zone here. There are reasons why there aren’t many carrier neutral data centers in the region, the first and foremost being that there isn’t as much to be carrier neutral about when it comes to infrastructure. But with the GBI cable that came online earlier this year along with a wider choice of submarine cables hooking the region up to both the east and west, perhaps the time has come.
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