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Our Vision & History Equinix through the years
As the company looks forward, we remain dedicated to the advancement of the information-driven world. This means that we will:
- protect, connect and power the digital economy;
- constantly strive to evolve and share our industry insights with our customers;
- continue to make necessary investments to expand and scale to our customer's needs;
- act upon industry trends that will affect our business and the businesses of our customers;
- cultivate a rich interconnected ecosystem of the top networks, carriers, ISPs, and business partners in the world.
Learn more about the story of Equinix—beginning in Palo Alto in 1998.
Chapter One: In the Beginning
1998 - 1999
Equinix was founded in 1998 by Jay Adelson and Al Avery, who were conducting research at Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) where they developed an idea that would later become the PAIX®*, or the Palo Alto Internet Exchange. During this time, the Internet was expanding at an unprecedented rate.
Early on, Adelson and Avery recognized the need to provide physical connection points where networks could interconnect via a neutral party to avoid the competing interests of telecommunication providers. Adelson and Avery called this neutral party a Neutral Internet Exchange (NIX).
Their business idea was simple, yet groundbreaking—create physical places for networks to exchange critical information.
Adelson and Avery sought to unite major networks and interconnect content companies. They built data centers not just for colocation but for exchanging traffic. In April of 1998, several of Silicon Valley’s elite invested in their idea and on June 22, 1998, Equinix was incorporated.
On July 27, 1999, the first-ever International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data center was built in Ashburn, Virginia. The DC1 IBX included the signature architectural elements still found in many of today's IBX data centers including the mantrap, five levels of biometric security and the red silo.
* PAIX is a registered trademark of Switch & Data Facilities Co., Inc.
Chapter Two: Growth and IPO
1999 - 2000
In 1999, the Equinix management team was coming together and its primary goal was to help Equinix attract networks. The company goal was to open IBX data centers in 40 cities in two years.
During this time, the Internet continued to expand at breakneck speed, but it was still inefficient, causing major slowdowns. To better handle the growth of the Internet, seven major networks planned to join forces and interconnect with each other under one data center provider’s roof. They chose Equinix. Once the major networks established a Point of Presence (PoP) in Equinix data centers, content companies began to come to Equinix in droves, looking to reach the eyeballs of the major network customers.
In August 2000, the Equinix IPO raised more than $270 million.
Chapter Three: Survivor
2001 - 2002
As the dot-com bubble burst, the entire industry was sent into a tailspin. Many telecommunications companies left the colocation data center business. Equinix stayed true to its original business and proved to be one of the few survivors.
Having just opened the largest data center in the industry at that time, the company was in a tenuous position. By the second half of 2002, the economy showed signs of recovery. In December 2002, Equinix restructured its business to gain financial stability and acquired Pihana Pacific and i-STT, two network-neutral data center providers serving the Asia-Pacific region. By December of 2002, the company restructured its debt, and Equinix set out on a growth plan.
Chapter Four: Rebirth
2003 - 2004
Experts say Equinix survived the dot-com meltdown for one reason: if it shut down, the digital economy itself would be compromised. The seven major networks that joined forces to choose Equinix data centers to create an interconnection hub, and their customers, helped sustain the company for the long run. Equinix becomes the Home of the internet®.
Equinix began to expand by purchasing the data centers left behind by the telecommunication companies that abandoned the data center business during the dot-com bust. In October 2003, Equinix subleased a data center located in Santa Clara, California. By 2004, Equinix was one of the best-performing stocks on the NASDAQ.
Chapter Five: Global Expansion
2005 - 2007
By 2005, Equinix was aggressively growing. The company leased seven new data centers. But by 2006, the market had settled and customers’ requirements for colocation and interconnection were changing. The company began to build the next generation of IBX centers, better suited to handle new high-power density operations.
Through 2007, Equinix continued to expand in the United States and Asia-Pacific with expansions in key markets such as Tokyo, Singapore, Washington, DC, Chicago, New York, Silicon Valley and Los Angeles.
Then, in September 2007, Equinix expanded into Europe with the acquisition of IXEurope, giving the company a presence in France, Germany, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. This was quickly followed by the acquisition of Virtu to expand our footprint to the Netherlands. These deals strengthened Equinix's position as the world’s leading data center and interconnection provider.
Chapter Six: Dynamic Ecosystems
2008 - 2010
Heading into 2008, Equinix extended its reach beyond networks and content companies and into financial services. Equinix's network-rich data centers offered interconnection options and proximity that were naturally beneficial to the transactionally-heavy requirements of financial service companies. Paired with the robust physical security and reliability of Equinix's IBX data centers, the top trading exchanges and financial services companies chose Equinix as their provider. In doing so, they discovered an "ecoystem" of business partners within their industry to which they could directly interconnect. By being in close proximity to their partners and end-users within the same facility or same metro area, they realized enormous gains and efficiency in exchanging traffic.
Since then, the dynamic nature of the organic "ecosystems" of networks, business partners and end-users available within the data center extended to other vertical industries. Ecosystems for other vertical markets including enterprise, digital media, IT services, cloud and mobility surfaced. In 2010, with the digital economy poised to grow at unprecedented rates, the company purchased Switch & Data, the number two data center provider in North America, re-positioned itself as a business enabler and launched Platform Equinix.
Platform Equinix combines our state-of-the-art IBX data centers, our global footprint and our unique ecosystems to enable the application performance of emerging businesses in the digital economy such as digital media, cloud, social media and gaming companies. They need to scale an architecture to meet their bandwidth-intensive applications and reduce latency to their end user. Equinix has become a key partner in the operating plans of many of the world's top digital businesses across multiple vertical industries.
Chapter Seven: Looking Forward
2011 and beyond
The expansion of Platform Equinix into South America took place in early 2011, by taking a controlling interest in ALOG Data Centers of Brazil. The company also stated its goal of reaching two billion in revenue by the year 2013. Equinix is constantly evolving and seeks to act upon industry trends that will significantly impact the businesses of our customers. At the foundation of this effort is the Equinix Promise, which starts with a common purpose: to protect, connect and power the digital economy inspired by our dream that Equinix will be the interconnection point for the world's leading businesses.
As the company looks forward into 2011 and beyond, we will continue to dedicate ourselves to help power the digital economy. This means that we will:
- constantly strive to evolve, cultivate and share our industry insights with our customers;
- seek opportunities to continue to expand in key markets;
- act upon industry trends that will affect our business and the businesses of our customers.
At Equinix, our vision and expertise are at your service.