Equinix sticks a fork into European data center joint venture worth more than $1B

Equinix's continues to expand its global footprint by wrapping up a more than $1 billion joint venture to develop hyper-scale data centers in Europe.

Equinix announced on Wednesday that it had completed the formation of the joint venture with partner GIC, which is Singapore's sovereign wealth fund, to build and operate data centers in Europe. The joint venture was first announced in July.

The initial six data centers, which Equinix is calling xScale data centers, in the joint venture will be located in Amsterdam, London, with two sites, Frankfurt (two sites) and Paris markets, on some of Equinix's existing International Business Exchange IBX data center campuses. As part of the joint venture, Equinix re-branded some of its data centers in those locations, and added capacity in some of the data center campuses.

The xScale data centers were designed to serve the unique core workload deployment needs of a targeted group of hyperscale companies, including the world's largest cloud service providers. Equinix, which is the leading colocation provider, said its xScale data centers will be used by cloud providers such as Alibaba Cloud, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, and Google Cloud.

According to Synergy Research Group, hyperscale operator capex in the second quarter of this year topped the $28 billion mark, up substantially from $26 billion the first quarter but down 2% compared with the record-setting levels of last year. Led by Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook and Microsoft, spending levels last year totaled $120 billion.

Equinix is deepening its relationship with the large hyper-scale cloud providers as enterprises of all sizes move more of their workloads and compute functionalities into the cloud ecosystem.

"The formation of our JV with GIC is a strategic milestone for Equinix as we continue to deepen our relationships with the world's largest cloud and hyperscale companies and help them meet their core workload deployment needs and gain proximity to the thriving business ecosystems available at Equinix," said Equinix President and CEO Charlie Meyers, in a statement. "Similarly, as today's businesses are increasingly moving to implement hybrid multi-cloud strategies for their digital infrastructure, Equinix serves as a unique on- and off-ramp to execute that strategy.

"We look forward to launching similar JVs in other operating regions and believe these efforts will continue to further differentiate Equinix as the trusted center of a cloud-first world."

RELATED: Equinix steps into Mexico with $175M purchase of three data centers

Last week, Equinix announced it paid $175 million to buy three data centers in Mexico from Axtel. In July, Verizon announced the launch of its Software-Defined Interconnect (SDI) solution. SDI works with the Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric (ECX Fabric) by offering organizations with Verizon's MPLS service, which is called Private IP, direct connectivity into the IBX global data centers.