It comes as no surprise that out of 1,200 firms, Equinix led all retail and wholesale colocation providers in fourth quarter 2015 revenue, and finished the year by capturing 8.1 percent of the $27 billion market total, according to a new report from 451 Research.
You can surely expect those numbers to grow this year now that Equinix closed its $3.8 billion acquisition of the European data center services giant TelecityGroup in January, establishing itself as the largest data center provider in Europe for some time to come.
The merger essentially boosted the Redwood City, California-based provider's number of North American data centers by 30 percent or 111 to 145. Equinix also added eight European facilities to claim the top spot in that region. The additions in both areas essentially doubles the capacity for Equinix.
The 451 Research report also revealed that wholesale colocation provider Digital Realty came in second to Equinix in terms of revenue with 5.1 percent of the total market; yet first in total data center space with 132.4 million square feet.
Digital Realty nearly doubled its colocation footprint in July 2015 when it acquired Telx for $1.9 billion. Telx manages over 1.3 million square feet of data center space across 20 facilities, two of which are owned by Telx. The company already leases around a dozen of its facilities from Digital Realty, with six facilities leased by third parties.
With the cloud as the main driver behind the growth of colocation, consolidation has become commonplace in the data center space.
Last year, Digital’s rival QTS acquired Carpathia Hosting, a provider that does a lot of business with US government agencies. In April, CyrusOne, another rival, acquired Cervalis for $400 million, expanding its presence in the New York market as well as its financial services customer base.
With more and more company-owned data centers reaching out to colocation providers in some way, shape or form, it's no wonder that 451 Research projects the market will reach $33 billion worldwide by the end of 2018.
"Colocation is quickly becoming the nexus of both cloud and enterprise IT," said Katie Broderick, research director for 451 Research. "The colocation market is serving as data center arms dealer to both enterprises and the cloud. In this process, colocation is often becoming the strategic connection point between the two."