Equinix opens doors on new Ashburn, Va. data center

Equinix's two-story DC21 International Business Exchange data center recently opens in Ashburn, Va., marking Equinix's 16th data center in the area. (Equinix)

Equinix has enlarged its footprint in the Washington D.C. area with the opening of its 16th International Business Exchange (IBX) data center, DC21.

Equinix broke ground on DC21 a little over a year ago. With the addition of the DC15 data center, which opened earlier this year, Equinix has invested more $200 million in the Washington D.C. area this year.

Equinex's new Washington D.C. area data centers are part of its data center campus in Ashburn, Va.  As a strategic communications hub for the eastern U.S. as well as a major gateway to Europe, Ashburn is one of the largest peering points in North America and one of the largest in the world. In addition to colocation and data centers, Ashburn, which is located in Loudoun County, is also a key hub for hyperscale cloud providers, such as Amazon Web Services.

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Loudoun County’s “data center alley” is the world’s largest concentration of data centers, with more than 18 million square feet currently in operation and millions more being planned or developed.

Equinix's 16 IBX data centers house more than 200 network service providers, which is more than any other data center provider in the Washington D.C. metro area.

The Citadel, which is owned by Switch, is currently the largest data center campus in the world. It's located in Nevada, and its campus covers an area of 7.2 million square feet. It also has the largest data center building, Tahoe Reno 1, with 1.3 million square feet of space, surpassing the previously held record by Lakeside Technology at 1.1 million square feet.

The $95 million first phase of DC21 will provide more than 41,000 square feet of colocation space, offering an initial capacity of 925 cabinets. Upon completion of the planned future phases, DC21 is expected to provide total capacity of 3,100 cabinet equivalents and colocation space of more than 124,000 square feet.

DC21, which has the headroom to expand to six data halls, is located on 34-acres, which gives Equinix the room to build up to three more IBXs. In an email to FierceTelecom, Equinix said the dates for the remaining phases of expansion in DC21 would be determined based on overall capacity needs.

The $111 million first phase of DC15 opened in the second quarter of this year with an initial capacity of 1,600 cabinet equivalents and colocation space of approximately 23,000 square feet.

The expansion of the Equinix's Ashburn Campus also included a Co-Innovation Facility (CIF), which allows technology vendors to test, demonstrate and evolve their products by working with Equinix.  The Equinix Co-Innovation Facility (CIF) elements are already in use at DC15 and in other IBXs as well.

A few examples of technology innovations being developed at the Equinix CIF include using fuel cell technology, using next generation cooling, deploying software-defined power and testing new sensors that increase sustainability.

RELATED: Equinix takes the wraps off of new bare metal service

The Washington D.C. area is also one of four markets that offer Equinix Metal. Based off of its deal to buy Packet earlier this year, Equinix announced the availability of its Equinix Metal platform early last month.

Equinix blended Packet's bare metal technology with its Equinix Fabric, which was previously known as Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric, to spin up bare-metal servers in under 15 minutes. Equinix Fabric provides access to a software-defined interconnection service spanning 237 data centers deployed near major internet exchanges across 46 geographies.

Equinix Metal provides digital businesses with an automated "as-a-service" model, which gives companies the option to deploy the physical infrastructures of their choice at "software speed" across Equinex's platform. With Equinix Metal, businesses can click-and-configure their services via an API and common libraries, or leverage the tools that they are already using to manage infrastructure-as-code.

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