New interconnection hub will support content traffic growth in MENA region.Equinix, Inc. and Omani teleco company Omantel has opened their new International Business Exchange (IBX) data centre in Barka, near Muscat.
Known as MC1, the facility is the first carrier-neutral hub in Oman where carriers, content providers and cloud providers can colocate critical IT infrastructure.
Strategically located between Asia, Africa and Europe, the new Equinix IBX in Oman will serve as a regional interconnection hub providing ultra-low latency connection points between key global business markets.
The new IBX benefits from direct connectivity to strategic cable landing stations (CLS) and subsea cable systems that terminate directly inside the facility, and is expected to provide customers with increased performance and security, along with significant cost savings.
In July 2018, it was announced that Equinix and Omantel had entered into a joint venture to deliver data centre and interconnection services to customers in the Middle East through the development of the new network-dense data center.
The resulting site, MC1, is operated by Equinix and includes more than 23,600 square feet of colocation space and 725 cabinets. The site has capacity to grow in excess of 2,150 cabinets with future IBX builds.
MC1 is Equinix’s first data center in Oman and its fourth across MENA.
The data centre will provide customers with direct access to the Equinix Internet Exchange, creating a regional peering hub for networks, content providers and large enterprises to exchange internet traffic over the world’s largest peering solution.
Based on demand and requirements, customers across the Gulf States and wider MENA region can also leverage other Equinix data centers in the region for dual access to content providers, allowing carriers, content providers and cloud providers to leverage interconnection and further build resilience into their IT and network infrastructures.
According to the latest edition of the Global Interconnection Index (GXI), enterprise consumption of interconnection bandwidth is expected to grow at a 67% CAGR in EMEA by 2022, outpacing other forms of business data exchange, as businesses respond to rapidly growing volumes of data.
Talal Al Mamari, CEO, Omantel said: “The new IBX in Oman represents a significant step forward for Oman and the Middle Eastern ICT markets. We are delighted that the facility is now open and, together with Equinix, we hope to enable a new era of telecommunications both regionally and globally. Coupled with the majority of the GCC’s international submarine cables landing in Oman, all accessible from the Equinix data center, we believe this partnership will further enhance Oman’s competitiveness in the global digital economy.”
Eugene Bergen Henegouwen, president, EMEA, Equinix said: “Our partnership with Omantel greatly supports our ability to meet this need, particularly as our customers can now leverage Omantel’s significant subsea cable infrastructure. This type of colocation and interconnection services platform creates a magnetic effect that draws in more users that can leverage a global subsea cable fabric connecting cities, countries and continents together. Along with this, our investment in the Middle East market—including the new data center in Oman—reflects our commitment to our customers as they continue their digital transformation journeys.”