CoreSite, CENX Partner on Carrier Ethernet

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The server hall of a data center operated by CoreSite.

As Carrier Ethernet emerges as a key enabler of enterprise network and cloud services, the presence of a Carrier Ethernet Exchange becomes a key differentiator for data centers. Today CoreSite Realty announced a partnership with CENX, which will offer its Carrier Ethernet Exchange  services in each of CoreSite’s 11 data centers.

For CoreSite (COR), the partnership provides a Carrier Ethernet strategy at a time when rivals Equinix and Telx are deploying Ethernet Exchanges in a growing number of their facilities. For CENX, a pioneer in the Carrier Ethernet space, the agreement extends its services into new geographic markets in the San Francisco Bay Area, Boston, Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. -  as well as additional data centers in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York.

Carrier Ethernet as Key Cloud Enabler
Carrier Ethernet is an enhanced standard created to extend data-centric Ethernet networks to exchange data with telecom networks initially designed to carry voice traffic. As such, it’s an important enabler of the convergence between global communications networks – including dedicated connections to support private clouds and interoperability between cloud platforms.

Carrier Ethernet exchanges – which effectively translate between different carrier Ethernet offerings – are seen as an important next phase, making it far easier for networks to connect across geographies.

“This is the next generation of services,” said Chuck Price, the Senior Vice President of Information Technology for CoreSite Realty. “Some of our competitors are building their own (Ethernet exchanges), but we  just thought it best to focus on our core competencies and form a strategic alliance with someone who has best-of-breed technology.”

CENX will own and operate its Carrier Ethernet Exchange services, with CoreSite’s data centers providing national access points. CNEX co-founder and President Nan Chen was the founding president of the Metro Ethernet Forum, which was formed in 2001 to head the development of the Carrier Ethernet standard. He then teamed with Ron Gavillet, a co-founder of Neutral Tandem, to create CENX to implement Carrier Ethernet in exchanges. The company launched the first exchange in late 2009.

Competitors Emerge Quickly
Interconnection and colocation specialists Equinix (April 2010) and Telx (June 2010) soon followed with their own Ethernet Exchange offerings. “For them, this is a way to drive sales of space and power,” said Chen. “This is not their core competence. We think it’s a welcome sign of the acceptance of this offering.”

Chen said the agreement with CoreSite gives CENX a larger presence at key connectivity hubs, especially One Wilshire in Los Angeles. “At data centers like One Wilshire, it provides our customers easy access to our exchange, because many of them colocate there already,” said Chen.

Price said having CENX in CoreSite data centers provides an opportunity for its carrier customers. CoreSite said CENX Exchange members can benefit from extended network reach, route optimization and diversification, and cost savings. At full deployment, CENX Carrier Ethernet Exchange services are expected to be available to all of CoreSite’s 600+ data center customers.

“The agreement with CENX enables our data center customers to benefit immediately from Carrier Ethernet services with the leading provider, augmenting the range of interconnection and peering currently available in our data centers,” said Thomas M. Ray, president and CEO of CoreSite. “We believe that the CENX platform will create additional value to our customers, who currently rely upon CoreSite to facilitate or provide over 9,000 interconnections making Internet and other forms of communication increasingly efficient, responsive and reliable.”

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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