TECH PERSPECTIVE / THE DIGITAL EDGE
PUBLISHED 17 DECEMBER 2014
Ever since the beginning of the 21st century, Asia has asserted itself on the world stage. China has propelled itself forward to become the world’s biggest national economy.
India has surged ahead as a leading provider of information and communications technology services for the world. In almost every major economic, social, demographic indicator, Asia and the neighboring emerging markets in the Middle East, is fast becoming the growth engine that is driving global development.
Together these markets form a wide geographical belt that circumnavigates the globe, stretching along the Equator from the Atlantic all the way across the vast Pacific ocean.
This is what Global Cloud Xchange CEO Bill Barney calls the “emerging markets corridor,” which is driving the company’s investment strategy and defining its business focus.
Basically, we want to take New York and California and go the long way around the world. That’s the geographical area we are targeting,” he said. “Middle East and Asian markets such as Hong Kong, India, Kuwait and Egypt are driving the growth in data traffic. Our focus is to capitalize on the requirements from these emerging markets to connect to established markets in Western Europe and North America and create what we called the ‘emerging markets corridor’.
Asia and the neighboring emerging markets in the Middle East, is fast becoming the growth engine that is driving global development.
To put this corridor into perspective, it contains three of the world’s most populated countries – China, India, and Indonesia, is home to 2 billion Internet subscribers today, and is expected to account for over 70% of the world’s smartphone growth and over 80% of the world’s GDP growth over the next 5 years.
By 2018, IP traffic in the Asia Pacific will exceed similar traffic from North America by 17%, and Europe by 145%.
To boost its ability to serve the bandwidth, application, and connectivity appetite of countries located within the “emerging markets corridor,” GCX is making strategic investments into its Cloud X platform and to fill two specific gaps in its global fiber infrastructure.
Cloud X in the Emerging Markets
With the Cloud X platform, GCX aims construct a seamless end-to-end network that connects together a global ecosystem of data centers, applications and service providers and content creators in the cloud.
This will allow content and application resources from developed markets a direct channel into some of the world’s fastest growing Internet markets.
What we are building is an industrialized cloud distribution capability in the markets that are expected to see the biggest growth in Internet usage and content consumption over the next decade,” Barney said. “This will give content companies the ability to host their offerings closer to their users to offer the best possible consumer experience, while allowing them to access the cost efficiencies of our network of emerging market nodes.
As a global platform that features extensive local nodes, Cloud X will also enable emerging market enterprises and service providers to reach out and access cloud-based service from other regions in the world.
This platform will allow enterprise customers to reach out to any service in the cloud according to their cost and performance parameters,” Barney said. “Cloud X will offer unparalleled flexibility for enterprises when selecting their portfolio of cloud-enabled services. With Cloud X, enterprises can host mission critical applications next to their head office to ensure low latency access and optimum responsiveness, while moving their historical archives offshore to less costly sites.
Round the World Fiber Ring
To enhanced connectivity for Cloud X along the “emerging markets corridor,” GCX is investing in two strategic projects that will enable essentially a fiber ring around the world.
First it is building the ICX cable, a state-of-the-art 4-fiber pair system on 100G optical wavelength technology between Singapore and India.
“The new ICX cable infrastructure is part of our strategy to provide a direct subsea route to bridge an important gap in the emerging markets corridor, specifically delivering a direct Mumbai-Singapore route to bypass current outage prone terrestrial routes between Mumbai and Chennai,” Barney said. “With Singapore as a regional hub and gateway for multinational companies doing business across India and emerging markets, ICX will complement our global network infrastructure for direct connectivity to major business centers in Asia, Middle East, North America and Europe.”
The ICX cable will connect to GCX’s Falcon cable in the Middle East, Hawk connecting to Europe, and the FA-1 system across the Atlantic.
In a bolder move, GCX is also planning a new Trans-Pacific cable system that will connect its intra-Asian assets with Silicon Valley on the west coast of the United States.
The completion of these two new cables will give GCX a wholly-owned fiber ring around the world, enabling East-West paths for performance optimisation, route diversity, and multi-layer protection.
Along the way of its network covering this corridor, GCX is putting up an extensive collection of POPs, where its customers can connect into its network and ride it all the way to anywhere on the planet.
“We will dominate the corridor with the most extensive network of POPs on the planet,” Barney said. “Our customers will be able to get on our network from any one of our nodes and land anywhere else on our infrastructure, whether that is a data center in another region for accessing a cloud application, a cloud storage service on another continent, or to connect a branch office in remote India.”