Recent enhancements at Digg have generated waves of additional web traffic for the popular social content hub, to the point where some measurement sites place it ahead of the New York Times and Slashdot. That kind of popularity can wreak havoc on the back end, as many fast-growing sites find their web infrastructure straining to keep pace.
Not so with Digg, which houses its servers at Equinix, a leading provider of network-neutral data centers and Internet exchange services. As traffic has scaled up, Digg has benefitted from Equinix' peering infrastructure, which offers "immediate access to every major global network for the most efficient delivery of content to end-users." Digg is housed in one of the company's Silicon Valley data centers (Equinix doesn't say which, remember the Fight Club rule).
Digg's choice of Equinix is no shocker, as the companies have a shared lineage. Jay Adelson was the founder and chief technology officer at Equinix as it built its network and reputation. Adelson then joined with Kevin Rose to co-found Digg, which has quickly become one of the web's most popular destinations. Adelson's knowledge of Internet peering and traffic management - he was also a key player in the Palo Alto Internet Exchange (PAIX) before founding Equinix - made it a pretty safe bet that Digg would scale well if things took off. And they have, as Digg currently serves more than 8 million page views a day.
"The Digg community is constantly challenging us to do new things," said Scott Baker, director of operations at Digg. "We need a data center environment that is flexible enough to accommodate our growth, yet is rock-solid reliable. Equinix has been a great partner for us."
Equinix offers Digg immediate access to dozens of leading carriers, ISPs and network service providers within the same facility. By operating within this "Internet ecosystem," Digg can link directly to other networks, rather than having to connect through multiple sites or run physical fiber connections over long distances. This direct connectivity provides improved performance by reducing bottlenecks in the path between content and end-users.
Digg can also implement peering relationships with the abundance of networks at Equinix. Peering is the fundamental process by which all Internet traffic - from email to video - is exchanged between the backbone networks that comprise the Internet. Networks that exchange equivalent amounts of traffic typically don't charge one another for IP transit, offering substantial cost savings.
"The network and content interconnection and peering that Equinix facilitates enables companies such as Digg to conveniently leverage the cost reduction and performance benefits of direct interconnection to an aggregation of business partners in a single location," said Margie Backaus, chief business officer of Equinix. "This peering infrastructure has become a strategic element in the operation of the Internet and it improves the performance for end-users by enabling data to pass from one network to another without intermediary networks or bottlenecks."