Data Center POST interview with Ivo Ivanov, CEO, DE-CIX International
By Contributing Editor Sarah Chamberlain
Ivo Ivanov is Chief Executive Officer for DE-CIX International, the world’s leading Internet Exchange (IX) operator serving upwards of 1500 carriers, ISPs and content networks from over 100 countries, including all leading international players in markets across Europe, the Middle East, India and North America. Ivanov, bringing over 15 years of experience in the regulatory, legal and commercial internet environment, is responsible for the global business activities of the company. Since joining the DE-CIX team in 2007, he has been instrumental in the establishment of sites in Istanbul, Palermo, Madrid, Marseille, New York, Dallas, Dubai, Mumbai and more.
Data Center POST recently sat down with Ivanov to discuss data center considerations and trends, as well as what’s on the horizon for DE-CIX.
Data Center POST, Sarah Chamberlain (DCP-SC) Question: What trends are you seeing in the data center space?
DE-CIX, Ivo Ivanov (DC-II) Answer: We are in an ongoing consolidation phase. The data center market is still determined by global merger-deals. The colocation market is growing at a rate of 15 to 20 percent per year.
However, the number of hyperscale data centers is expected to double from 2016 to 2021. In 2021, more than 50 percent of all IT servers worldwide are expected to be operated in hyperscale data centers. That means that on the one side, power density per rack will grow. On the other side, energy efficiency also grows due to scale effects and ongoing virtualization technology.
DCP-SC Q: In your opinion, what is the most important consideration buyers should have when choosing a data center partner, and why?
DC-II A: Customers are looking for reliable partners to whom they can entrust their data in times of GDPR. The proximity to the service provider plays an important role, especially for many SMEs. And of course, it is important to choose a data center that offers access to an interconnection ecosystem, i.e. is connected with an internet exchange, such as DE-CIX. DE-CIX provides a variety of interconnection services, such as Cloud connectivity, because connectivity is one of the key differentiators for data centers today.
DCP-SC Q: How does DE-CIX adapt to the changing data center space?
DC-II A: In the U.S. and Asia, the operating sizes of the individual campuses seem to be growing. This should result in significantly higher traffic per campus (instead of distributing smaller traffic to smaller sites). In Europe, the situation looks a bit different. Especially in Germany, except for maybe 1 or 2 exceptions, there are no real hyperscalers.
Carrier and data center neutrality is a basic principle at DE-CIX. All our platforms are distributed platforms, offering access via multiple carriers and multiple data centers. With just one connection, networks get access to hundreds of networks. By having DE-CIX in the house, a data center can extend its service portfolio, which helps in winning more colocation pitches.
Various interconnection components are available via one access to DE-CIX: from peering to cloud exchange, from closed user groups and private network interconnections for enterprises to DDoS –protection and security services, to name but a few. We build our ecosystems for the future, for the worldwide connectivity. Traffic rates and data center campuses grow and our platforms are ready for this growth.
DCP-SC Q: Tell us about a customer win and the solution that DE-CIX is proud to be providing them?
DC-II A: To give one example: In the course of their digitization strategy, one big globally-active German company relies on the services of DE-CIX. For example, our DirectCLOUD service, one part of their interconnection strategy, provides an interface between companies with their own IP blocks or data centers on the one hand and cloud service providers on the other. This enterprise has direct access at DE-CIX and from the port at DE-CIX over VLAN to the cloud service providers. This secure Layer 2 connection via Ethernet bypasses the Internet and is not IP-based, so it protects against DDoS attacks and is robust against outages. Thus, there are low latencies and guaranteed runtimes as well as routes for the data packages.
Organizations are currently redefining their activities and their sectors on the basis of digitalization. They will need a new interconnection service regime for their new services. New and transformative technologies, like IoT, Artificial Intelligence, and 5G, are accelerating the pace of change in markets around the globe.
And it is not only the digital companies that are transforming. The old industry is redefining itself and its products in the digital era. Car manufacturers, for example, are becoming more and more digital companies: a car has a role as “the 5th screen”, where partners from industries like entertainment and consumption can deliver their messages. Autonomous driving is a buzzword we all know, not to mention the basic need to interconnect production plants, logistics and tens of thousands of employees around the world. Today, when a car is launched, nobody is talking about the motor, but rather about the connectivity the car has to offer. It has become more than to get from A to B. So, we see a need for new interconnection services for enterprises paired with cloud connectivity and with global capacity interconnection needs.
For this reason, we are preparing the ground for the “Enterprise-IX”. Enterprise-IX will tailor the benefits of the cutting-edge DE-CIX Apollon connectivity platform to the requirements of digital enterprises, with specialized security services, SLAs, and easy-to-manage connectivity to distributed production facilities and corporate partners. The goal of Enterprise IX will be to generate greater value for verticals through world-class connectivity, allowing them the freedom and flexibility to best profit from the digital revolution.
DCP-SC Q: What new initiatives should our readers be on the lookout for from DE-CIX?
DC-II A: We launched a new product called DirectROUTES in December 2018. With DirectROUTES, a customer can get direct access to high-quality networks with a restrictive peering policy. Even with small bandwidth requirements, we can offer direct access to those networks, just via an additional VLAN. No additional contract negotiations are required, and both bandwidth and cancellation terms are flexible according to customers’ needs.
The first network available via DE-CIX DirectROUTES is Comcast, America’s largest Cable TV and Internet service provider, which serves more residential broadband subscribers than any other U.S. provider. Comcast doesn’t peer at Internet Exchanges, making this an ideal opportunity to get direct access into Comcast’s AS7922 eyeball network.
You can find more information about DirectROUTES from our website: https://www.de-cix.net/
DCP-SC Q: If companies want to work with you, what are the ways to do so?
DC-II A: The fastest way is to go to our website: https://www.de-cix.net/
From there, a company can find all our information and get connected based on where they want to connect and what access size and services they require.
The website is a great source of information, presenting our global locations, the whole service portfolio and technical resources, to name but a few themes.
And finally, we have a dedicated, globally-active sales team: firstname.lastname@example.org
DCP-SC Q: Would you like to share anything else with us?
DC-II A: DE-CIX is ready for the future. We have a nose for trends, no matter if it is about the development of the subsea cable traffic and rising of new digital hubs, or changes in the traditional “value chain” through requirements from various industries such as automotive, entertainment, consumption or remote working.
We also see clearly how physical infrastructure and new technologies like 5G and cloud are shaping the future operating environment – both our customers’ and ours.
We are a scalable, global interconnection platform, where one access to DE-CIX brings our customers services according to their needs and security standards. We believe that interconnected networks are the best way to safeguard our digital future.
We make interconnection easy. Anywhere.
DCP-SC Q: Thanks so much for speaking with us, Ivo. To learn more about DE-CIX, please visit their website at www.de-cix.net.