Today a new data center is coming online in New Jersey, and it’s not in one of the usual spots. Following last year’s buildout of a meet-me-room in the Tata cable landing station in Wall, New Jersey, NJFX is launching Phase 2 of its project: a Tier 3 data center right next door. It’s an ambitious plan that envisions a new model of interconnection with the world’s subsea cable infrastructure, which they are calling ‘Tier 3 by the Subsea’. With us today to tell us about the project and what happens next is NJFX Founder and Managing Member Gil Santaliz.
TR: Why did you decide to build a data center in Wall, NJ?
GS: When the cables first came across the ocean, they needed a place to land. And when Tyco first built the TGN system, they picked Wall, New Jersey, and they weren't alone. The original TAT-14 cable and Apollo also land in the surrounding area as well. We picked Wall because the subsea providers brought their subsea capacity to the Wall, New Jersey area. We chose to go to them rather than make them come to us to create a place to interconnect with their subsea networks.
TR: Why does a data center next to a cable landing station make sense for today’s infrastructure?
GS: The amount of money you spend putting in a subsea system is in the hundreds of millions of dollars. But then what we often see here in New Jersey is a transition from a hundred million dollar project to a pair of fibers on a single provider going back up north along common roads everyone uses, and we depend on it to work just as well. We know those subsea networks deserve a lot more infrastructure than a pair of fibers on a single backhaul network. What they deserve is a proper Tier 3, purpose-built facility to drop off traffic, and to have multiple backhaul providers come to them. This is the way it should have always been done. It's just when this started as an industry back in the 70s, we had one national provider called AT&T, and AT&T said ‘come meet me in New York’ so that’s what happened. Today in 2016 it no longer makes sense to first bring all that capacity back to an island called Manhattan or even to northern New Jersey. It should be taken from where it lands to where it wants to go, whether that's Ashburn, Dallas, Chicago, or New York, and let’s have direct access to it.
TR: So are more backhaul providers building out diverse routes to your facility now?
GS: It's already happened. As of today, Lightpath, Lightower, and Zayo are in our building, and Sunesys is right outside and planning to come in shortly. And all these providers have augmented their networks and now offer competitive diverse routes to places like Ashburn. When we designed NJFX we purposely sat down with all the backhaul providers about this. They each walked us through how they came to our building, and we made sure they were as diverse as possible from each other.
TR: So with today’s launch, what does your infrastructure look like today?
GS: We have a core and shell complete. We have 2 megawatts of power available on day 1 to service 400 cabinets. We can easily now grow in a modular fashion to 1100 cabinets and a 10 megawatt deployment. We don't foresee getting to that kind of critical load, however. We see a balance of power densities with carriers looking at lower density and larger financials and content folks going for high density.
TR: Where are you seeing demand from, is it the carriers, financial, content, etc?
GS: It’s across the board. The carriers are here because they want to be unique in how they service their customers. So companies like Windstream that are here already are doing a great job today providing backhaul solutions direct from here to Ashburn. In terms of the financial market segment, Zayo and Lightowerreally predominantly manage that here. There are a couple of large financial-related projects now being talked about regarding deployment at NJFX, and we are trying to balance the space and power they need. But backhaul providers like Zayo and Lightower are the ones that are going to be able to really shine and provide dark fiber solutions there. And we have other subsea projects, the Atlantic is vibrant today. When Tata bought the cable landing station, it came with spare bores going to the ocean and all the permits are in place. There's a project being considered from northern Europe coming to New Jersey, and our facility with Tata is a perfect location for the landing station for that. The Seabras cable is scheduled for early 2017, and Sparkle has made a considerable investment and bought half of that system. Sparkle will be at our launch event as a sponsor this year. It promises to be the first cable from the US directly to Brazil.
TR: Is there a local colo market to consider as well?
GS: Yes, and we haven’t forgotten about it. This part of New Jersey -- Ocean County, Monmouth County, Atlantic County -- hasn't had a facility like this before. They can now have local colo available where they can offload some of their critical data applications, and have a rich content environment with lots of carriers and competitive pricing. The only way to have competitive pricing is to have the density of carriers we already have.
TR: What happens next? Do you have enough room in which to expand?
GS: It's a tough situation in that we believe demand will exceed supply. We believe we'll have a 3-year ramp to fill up the facility, and our preference is to make sure we allow room for everyone that's important that needs to be here. It would be a shame if we took down too many large deployments and then the last folks couldn't get in.
TR: Is this kind of project something that would work elsewhere as well?
GS: We have been asked whether we can do this across the ocean, in more places. The answer is yes. We are going to be looking at other parts of the world where this should be the way that subsea cables interconnect with national networks. But it's hard to replicate without the right place in the right environment. You also have to have an area where multiple cables land, which in the US are Long Island, Florida, California, and Oregon. It has to be not a cumbersome project to get multiple backhaul providers to show up. And you have to have the power availability at the site. Those are the three magic ingredients.
TR: What challenges did you have to overcome to make this project happen?
GS: Our project was ambitious. In this part of New Jersey it is not easy to get the infrastructure that you need to build a Tier 3 site like what we have. We got lucky in the sense that Tyco back in '99 did a lot of planning in how to make this work. And our electric utility JCP&L stepped up, ensuring that we would have the power we needed. Our substation with JCP&L sits 25 feet from our building. One challenge in building a facility like this that we did run into is that we were doing construction for 11 months next door to a pretty important piece of national infrastructure, a cable landing station. When you build 12-inch-thick concrete walls, you make a lot of noise, dust and debris. We appreciate Tata's patience in going through the construction process with us. I initially underestimated just how much of a nuisance we would be to the Tata folks, but they've been great in supporting us.
Equinix has a new trick up its sleeve, terminating undersea cables in its datacenters
EQUINIX recently announced that the company’s MI3 data center in Boca Raton, Miami Florida, will serve as the cable landing station for the new Monet undersea cable system, which is scheduled to go live in early 2017. Equinix will become the first data center provider to actually house the line, enabling the termination of undersea cables in its data center..
As subsea system operators rapidly expand subsea networks, more and more are making sure that their users can do more than quickly and securely cross an ocean in milliseconds. They’re also giving them access to direct connections to the right partners in the right industries once they get wherever they’re headed.
It has to be that way in the digital age, when businesses instantly collaborate from opposite ends of the world to deliver products and services to dispersed and mobile customers everywhere. Fast interconnection isn’t enough. It’s got to be as fast or faster than the competition, and direct interconnection is the fastest there is.
You can see a great example of this phenomenon at work in how subsea cable operator Aqua Comms designed its AEConnect subsea cable system between London and New York to cost-effectively give its customers quick, direct links to critical industry ecosystems.
93,000 Miles of Interconnection
Subtel Forum estimates 93,000 miles of subsea cable will be laid in 2016, more than in the last five years combined. A big reason? The growth of global Internet traffic, which Cisco says will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 22% between 2015 and 2020.
Demand for cloud services is driving this data traffic surge, which encompasses the massive expansion of video, social, e-commerce and other consumer traffic. Until recently, telecommunications companies who needed to connect international phone calls were the primary builders and maintainers of subsea systems. But today, subsea cabling’s largest investors are cloud service providers (CSPs), and they’re being joined by content companies who depend on CSPs to deliver content wherever it’s needed, right to users at the edge of corporate networks.
Equinix has been selected by the Monet Submarine Cable investors to provide U.S. facilities and services for the cable landing station architecture to support the Monet submarine cable system.
Monet is a planned submarine cable that is currently designed to deliver over 60 terabits of capacity between the U.S. and Brazil.
Monet is owned by Algar Telecom (a Brazilian telecom company and ISP), Angola Cables (an Angolan telecom company), Antel (the Uruguayan telecom company) and Google (together Monet Investors). In addition to being a Monet Investor Google is also the U.S. landing party for Monet.
Construction of the system is underway and is expected to be completed in 2017, terminating in the U.S. at Equinix’s MI3 International Business Exchange (IBX) data center, which services the greater Miami metropolitan area.
Javier Emicuri, Antel CEO and chairman of Monet executive committee said: “We’re pleased to celebrate this important announcement made by companies strongly committed to connect geographies, people, countries and cultures.”
Tim Stronge, vice president, Research, TeleGeography said: “The decision to locate Monet’s Florida cable landing equipment at Equinix Miami represents a promising new trend in submarine cable communications. For cable owners, the elimination of a separate cable landing station simplifies network design and offers future savings on upgrades.”
Ihab Tarazi, chief technology officer, Equinix added: “We are seeing strong demand from network, cloud and content customers looking to leverage our MI3 data center in Miami for access to the Latin American market. By offering direct connectivity to the Monet cable system and the possibility of a low latency route between São Paulo and Miami we can support the needs of key global customers looking to expand in the region.”
PR: NJFX expands colocation campus with tier 3 by the subsea
21 September 2016
New Jersey Fiber Exchange (NJFX), the first Tier 3 carrier-neutral colocation campus that intersects where subsea cables from the United States meet, announces its Tier 3 by the Subsea phase II launch. The launch marks the expansion of NJFX’s campus with the addition of its brand new 64,800-square foot colocation facility, providing unparalleled connectivity through direct access to key subsea and terrestrial cables.
NJFX offers a unique opportunity, as its campus sits atop the landing points of subsea cables from around the globe. The direct connectivity to Tier 1 Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and fiber providers over these international cable systems redefines proximity, allowing customers to avoid traditional backhaul solutions through the ability to design high-capacity, low latency networks directly to and from the cable head. By facilitating direct interconnection options at the cable-end and eliminating the need for backhaul, NJFX puts control back in the hands of the carrier-neutral operators, carriers, enterprises, federal and state government entities and service providers it serves.
“NJFX is doing something that no company has ever done before,” states Gil Santaliz, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of NJFX. “The unique location of our campus enables unprecedented access to a number of the most sought after subsea and terrestrial assets transporting traffic nationally, as well as internationally. NJFX ensures our customers receive the flexible, reliable and secure connectivity they require to support their growing business needs.”
“Our mission is to develop one of the most robust and diverse ecosystems in the market within the NJFX facility,” adds Doug Corbett, Vice President of Sales and Customer Relations. “The facility’s location and proximity to key subsea cable systems, with divers access to Europe and South America as well as highly sought after terrestrial routes fosters domestic and international strategic partnerships for interconnection.”
NJFX’s new data center features the latest in mission critical infrastructure design and has the capacity for over 1,000 cabinets for carrier neutral colocation and greater capacity to address customers’ high-density power needs up to 20kW/cabinet. With an annual design PUE of 1.35 and a state-of-the-art rooftop cooling system, the facility offers environmentally friendly solutions. NJFX provides all customers with access to its carrier-neutral MMR and Tata Communications’ CLS, enabling connectivity to more than 240 countries and territories, as well as 99.7% of the world’s GDP. Current customers receive 24x7 access to the NJFX customer portal where they are able to access information about NJFX’s services and submit tickets, which are addressed by NJFX dedicated support staff.
For more information about NJFX and its carrier-neutral "Tier 3 by the Subsea" data center, visit www.NJFX.net.
Data Center Connectivity: Dare to Bypass New York?
September 2, 2016
If you want traffic from your data center to reach Europe, you have to get it to one of the submarine cable landing stations along North America’s east coast. There is a couple in Canada, but most of them are in the US, with the highest concentrations in the New York metro and at the southern tip of Florida. Most submarine cable routes to Europe land in the New York metro, while Florida is the primary gateway to Central and South Americas.
Getting your traffic to one of the landing stations in New York or New Jersey isn’t simple. If you’re a bank, for example, it isn’t just a matter of signing a contract with one of the cable operators and getting your technicians to light up a fiber line between your data center and a landing station. You have to go through middlemen, companies that will backhaul your traffic to an access point somewhere in a colocation data center – which can be close to or far from shore – and then to the landing station itself.
If your data center is in Ashburn, Chicago, or Denver, and you want to move traffic to Europe or South America via a landing station in New Jersey, you would normally have to backhaul it first to one of the big carrier hotels in Manhattan – Google-owned 111 8th Avenue, Digital Realty’s 60 Hudson Street, or 32 Avenue of the Americas (which was actually at one time the main AT&T building for transatlantic connectivity) – from where telcos who are members of consortia that operate submarine cables would take it to the New Jersey landing station.
But the company behind a new data center launched recently on the New Jersey coast says your traffic no longer has to take that detour. New Jersey Fiber Exchange has built what its founder, Gil Santaliz, describes as a data center campus around a landing station in Manasquan, a borough in the Garden State’s Monmouth County, where four submarine cables land now and one more is expected to come online next year.
Legacy Carrier Hotels No Longer Only Option
The landing station is owned by Tata Communications, and the NJFX data center provides direct connectivity to submarine cables that land there. It is unique in that it is adjacent to the landing-station facility, which is closed to everyone other than the cable operators, as all cable landing stations usually are, according to Santaliz.
The NJFX founder has been deeply involved in the region’s connectivity market for years. He was a founder of 4Connections, a provider of dark fiber in New Jersey acquired by Cablevision subsidiary Optimum Lightpath in 2008. Prior to that he was general manager for a joint venture between GPU Telecom and Telergy, which leased fiber in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Removing a Choke Point
Although there are carrier hotels in New Jersey — the biggest one being at 165 Halsey Street in Newark, where you can access at least one of the submarine cables that land in Manasquan, called Apollo — according to Santaliz, the bulk of transatlantic traffic travels through the legacy network hubs in New York City.
This model, he says, was devised before September 11 and before Hurricane Sandy. Both disasters took out significant portions of telecommunications infrastructure in Manhattan, and having an alternative route makes New York less of a choke point.
When he was running 4Connections, all banks he talked to wanted direct access to landing stations, but operators wouldn’t let them, he recalls. And that demand is still there today. “They don’t want to depend on backhaul that’s unpredictable.”
The new cable that’s due to go live next year, called Seabras-1, will connect New Jersey to Praia Grande, Brazil. Banking is one sector “that’s extremely interested in that Brazilian piece, as well as European direct access,” Santaliz says.
Content providers are also interested and of course carriers. These are the three big verticals NJFX is catering to. When the company launched a meet-me room at the site, it inherited 11 carriers that were already connecting to the landing station. Three more carriers came on board since.
NJFX charges customers for data center space and for connections to the meet-me room: a 24-count cable to the meet-me room costs $1,500 per month. It does not, however, charge for interconnects that link customers inside the facility to each other.
Previously, the meet-me room had been limited to carriers only, but now that the official data center launch date is near (September 21), it is open to enterprises, such as banks and content providers. Carriers that are already there are making new deals every day, Santaliz says. “The amount of traffic in that facility is staggering.”
Data Center Connectivity: Dare to Bypass Los Angeles?
EdgeConneX is planning to make its San Diego data center a hub for accessing landing stations in Southern California. The connectivity to the stations will be handled by Electric Lightwave, which owns a fiber network that stretches across California and reaches into Oregon and Washington, as well as East, into Nevada and Arizona, and even includes a submarine cable system of its own in Southern California, although not a transoceanic one.
EdgeConneX to Tap into Submarine Cables for Better Data Center Connectivity
October 28, 2016
EdgeConneX’s strategy has revolved around solving lots of data center connectivity problems for customers, and the latest problem area the company is taking on is access to submarine cables.
Moving your network traffic to and from submarine cable landing stations is notoriously difficult and expensive. Incumbent carrier consortia have been jealously guarding their role as gatekeepers to this crucial component of the internet and charging an arm and a leg for access.
In recent years, however, their stranglehold on cross-continental connectivity has been weakening, with major end users getting increasingly involved in submarine cable builds to improve data center connectivity between the world’s regions they operate in. The trend started with the transpacific US-Japan Unity cable – funded in part by Google – which came online in 2010, and accelerated recently, with Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon making major investments in new submarine cable construction projects.
There has also been a push by some data center providers to make it easier for their customers to get access to existing landing stations from locations other than the main hubs they have traditionally accessed them from. On the East Coast, for example, New Jersey Fiber Exchange built a data center campus around a landing station in Manasquan, New Jersey, where companies can take colocation space and link to the landing station directly instead of going first to a big carrier hotel in Manhattan. In Puyallup, Washington, the Centeris Transpacific Hub, being built by Benaroya Company-backed Centeris, will provide access to submarine cable landing stations along the West Coast.
EdgeConneX, which has focused on building data centers in underserved metros where content and cloud companies cache popular content and hand it off to last-mile ISPs for delivery to end users, is planning to make its San Diego data center a hub for accessing landing stations in Southern California, an alternative to carrier hotels in downtown Los Angeles.
EdgeConneX will not be the one providing data center connectivity to the stations. That will be handled by its new partner, Electric Lightwave, which owns a fiber network that stretches across California and reaches into Oregon and Washington, as well as East, into Nevada and Arizona, and even includes a submarine cable system of its own in Southern California, although not a transoceanic one.
Vancouver, Washington-based Electric Lightwave was recently spun out from a company previously called Integra Telecom Holdings. Integra remained as a company focused on small and mid-size businesses.
Traditionally, there has been two ways to get network traffic to Southern California landing stations: by paying for backhaul from one of the LA carrier hotels, such as One Wilshire, or by collocating directly at the stations, Don MacNeil, EdgeConneX CTO, explained in an interview with Data Center Knowledge.
Both options, provided by incumbents like AT&T and Verizon, will cost you, but fees for the second one are astronomical, he said. Fees for the first option have come down somewhat, since projects like the Unity cable have started to pop up. Before Unity, at the peak, backhauling traffic from downtown LA to a landing station in San Luis Obispo could cost as much as it cost to move it from that landing station all the way to Asia, MacNeil said.
The Unity project not only changed the carrier-consortium model, it also eliminated the two-step process of having to make one deal to take traffic from LA to the coast and another one to take it across the ocean. Unity made the process of moving traffic from US to Asia seamless for the customer, and the recent submarine cable construction projects have adopted a similar model, MacNeil said.
EdgeConneX’s arrangement with Electric Lightwave doesn’t necessarily mean there will be a similar seamless option, but it does mean there will be an additional location outside of LA for access to landing stations and there will be a service provider other than incumbent carriers who will make it easier to move traffic to those landing stations from San Diego, MacNeil said.
The data center provider will make money by selling colocation space to companies interested in tapping into Electric Lightwave’s network and by charging them cross-connect fees ($100 per cross-connect per month) to connect to Electric Lightwave’s equipment.
This is the first of several such arrangements EdgeConneX is planning to make in multiple locations, including on the East Coast, in South America, and in Europe. “We have several proposals in flight to enable this similar construct for other cables,” MacNeil said.
Today, the company has data centers in the US and Europe but not yet in South America. However, “we go where our customers need us, so we’re constantly assessing market opportunities,” he said.