Cloud

Equinix launches data center marketplace

Equinix has a lot of bandwidth for running web sites. The web hosting company has more than 99 data centers around the world that form much of the backbone of the internet.

Today, it’s launching the Equinix Marketplace platform so that it can help the company’s more than 4,000 partners, customers and suppliers do business with each other more easily. You could think of it as a federation of housing contractors that all work with each other.

But Redwood City, Calif.-based Equinix isn’t connecting a network of physical goods contractors. It’s hooking up companies that are in the business of buying and selling bandwidth and storage for web sites.

“The network is aimed at transforming the data center into a revenue center,” said Jarrett Appleby, chief marketing officer of Equinix. “You could think of this like a service directory, a Yellow Pages for data centers.”

The platform makes it possible for any company with a presence in an Equinix data center to quickly find and directly connect to others in the network in the name super-fast connectivity and creating new services. For instance, Bloomberg used the Equinix data centers to create regional services in new locations around the world.

This may not be the sexiest market around. But it is a reminder that the internet is a physical place, existing as a series of interconnected data centers. If one service is closely connected to another one, the service level can be higher. Vendors who use the same web-hosting company can also trust each other more easily. And that is what Equinix is trying to make happen.

Equinix created the platform in part because its partners were already connecting to each other. In 2010, interconnections among Equinix customers grew 27 percent.

Equinix is already home to more than 700 software-as-a-service cloud providers, 675 backbone and mobile networks, 450 online media, content and ad sites, and 600 electronic trading and financial market participants. Equinix operates in 38 markets around the world. Rivals include Amazon.com.