Regularly I get the comment that cross connects are too expensive and that this is a margin product for our industry. Connects are crucial for connecting our customers with our connectivity partners. In this blog I will give my vision on Cross Connects and share some commercial information about this matter.
What does “Cross Connect” mean in Data Centers?
Cross connects are physical cables that allow you to easily make direct connections between two different termination locations within a data center. Typically, a cross connection is used for connecting one or various carriers with your IT environment.
Neutrality is key
As 100% neutral data center (see blog post: CEO Blog: Neutral Data Center) we have the belief that network neutrality is a key element to provide our customers and business partners with an open platform to connect with each other. In my opinion network neutrality in our data centers means that we treat every user equally, without giving priority to specific customers or partners in any way. As our corporate slogan indicates, we offer the Foundation of the Digital Economy and connectivity is a crucial part of that. They encourage mutual connectivity between our customers and partners.
Part of the neutrality is that we, as Datacenter.com, don’t offer any connectivity services such as IP Transit, Cloud Connect, etc by ourselves. We are 100% neutral, which means we are also 100% partner focused, we don’t compete. This creates a healthy eco-system in our facilities. We have the strong belief that it is important to create this strong eco-system between the various partners and customers in our data centers. The benefit for our customers is that they are really free to choose the best service that fits their business. It also offers our partners the same level-playing-field.
Cross Connects too expensive?
The statement: “Cross Connects are too expensive” is not rare, but define ‘too expensive’?
In the context of openness, there are a number of issues that we as an organization have to take into account. We have invested in a premium fiber network, in our case we work closely with Corning. Investing in high-quality fibers is crucial to be able to offer stable, low latency cross-connects.
In addition to the physical cables, we are dealing with hundreds of meters of premium fiber trays, which are 100% separated throughout the building and are only used for the internal fiber network. In addition, we are dealing with the construction, administration and maintenance of the entire environment.
So then my question: “What is too expensive?” We currently charge € 22,50 per month for a Fiber Cross Connect in our facility. This is in high contrast to many other data centers. But it fits in our model to create strong eco-systems in our facilities. Cross Connects are a part that is often “forgotten” in the comparison between various data centers when it comes to the total cost per month, but it can make a huge difference in your total costs.
Connectivity is important
Connectivity is of great importance and as a neutral data center we have a facilitating role towards our customers and partners. Our conviction is that 100% neutrality is the way we have to work, despite the fact that there is a turnaround in the market where data centers will offer more and more services. I understand the motivation of our colleague data center providers, but we are different. Ultimately, it is the customer who determines which decision is the right one.
Based on various questions from customers, partners and interested parties, I, as CEO of Datacenter.com, answer through a number of blog posts. Do you have questions, remarks or do you just want to change your mind? Then contact me please directly.
Blog post by Jochem Steman, CEO of Datacenter.com