Press Release Details

Digital Realty Lays Out Industry Manifesto for Enabling Connected Data Communities

March 03, 2021
- Updates Roadmap for PlatformDIGITAL® adding new Coverage, Capacity, Connectivity and Control and Outlines Cross Industry Journey Map for Collaboration
- Investments in Network Software Development Capabilities accelerate Vision of Implementing Data-Centric Architectures and Enable Native Orchestration with Industry Partners
- Builds Position as Industry's Second Largest Global Interconnection Provider[1]

AUSTIN, Texas, March 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Digital Realty, a leading global provider of colocation, interconnection and data center solutions, today outlined a new manifesto for interconnecting global communities around their increasingly most strategic asset: data. The manifesto represents a vision, a solution approach and a call to action to remove legacy barriers across the interconnection industry, and tackle the challenges of data gravity head on. The initiative outlines a new collaborative roadmap to integrate interconnection platforms with multiple partners and build the industry's largest open fabric of fabrics connecting centers of data.

The transition to the digital economy has rapidly picked up pace in the last year, remaking both public and private companies across all industries, transforming how they create and deliver value. As a result, enterprises are facing the need for a fundamental architectural shift towards operating ubiquitously and on-demand, informed by real-time information. Data gravity is the obstacle to this transformation, and has the potential to inhibit workflow performance, raise security concerns and increase costs, alongside regulatory issues.

Today, Digital Realty is taking specific actions to support the industry's transformation to a data-centric architecture and is evolving its interconnection capabilities with an updated roadmap for PlatformDIGITAL®, adding new coverage, capacity, connectivity and control capabilities. This approach requires local copies of private, shared and public data sets to be integrated as part of decentralized workflows which originate and traverse across multiple internal and external platforms, with policy enforcement controls, real time analytics and interactive cross-platform orchestration. 

Digital Realty today outlined its plans to develop new native orchestration and native fabric connectivity options to further this industry shift. As one of many actions, Digital Realty is integrating the IP and engineering team of Raleigh, NC-based Pureport, adding in-house network software development to support the company's vision of building open, SDN-enabled cross platform orchestration with multiple industry partners. 

The new approach further enhances Digital Realty's global partnership with Megaport on its Service Exchange offering, continuing the companies' long-standing collaboration on open orchestration, and aims to accelerate integration with Interxion's Cloud Connect interconnection product in EMEA. In parallel, Digital Realty also today outlined its vision to create a native direct network path between its global campuses, creating new industrialized multi-path options in collaboration with industry-leading partners.

Since launching its platform strategy at the end of 2019 and the onset of the global pandemic in early 2020, Digital Realty is building its position as both a global platform of multi-tenant datacenter capacity2 and for interconnection solutions that integrate global workflows, communities and hubs around data.

Over the last year, the company has seen the uptake of virtual interconnection increase by 27% for its Service Exchange offering and 46% for its Cloud Connect product3 across Digital Realty's global portfolio of over 290 data centers, as the company expanded coverage from 36 metros in 2019 to now cover 49 metros and increased its presence from 15 countries to now address 24 countries globally.

In March 2020, Digital Realty significantly expanded its global coverage in completing its combination with Interxion. The combined entity added 53 new data centers in EMEA to the company's global portfolio and incorporated key assets such as the submarine landing cable station and Internet hub in Marseille, France. As a result, customers now have access to more than 700 providers on PlatformDIGITAL® in EMEA alone. Globally, participants in Digital Realty's connected data communities more than doubled from 2,000 to over 4,000 in 2020.

As a result of last year's unprecedented shift to digital business, growth in peering traffic volumes on the Digital Realty Internet Exchange (DRIX) also led customers to increasingly migrate to a new baseline for peering connectivity, with adoption of 100G ports growing 70%, and total port capacity on DRIX growing 46% year on year.

Across Digital Realty's global portfolio of more than 290 data centers, the pace of network cross-connect deployments has also accelerated in the last year, growing to a total of over 168,000 by the end of 2020, up 88,000 from the previous year.

The industry has also recognized Digital Realty's rapid progress since the launch of its platform strategy. Cloudscene, a leading market intelligence platform for network services ranked the combined company in first place in EMEA, and second place in North America in Q1 on its Data Center Ecosystem Leaderboard. Most recently Digital Realty advanced to also take second spot in LATAM on the Cloudscene Leaderboard in the second half of 2020.

Industry Perspective

"The accelerating shift to always-on digital business is creating new architectural challenges for both enterprises and service providers - from ever increasing data volumes being created in multiple locations, regulatory and security concerns and a requirement to exchange data with new communities of business partners. Our industry research points to a growing need for this kind of combination of open interconnection and next-generation colocation that will reduce the complexity of digital transformation," said Courtney Munroe, Research Vice President, Worldwide Telecoms Research for IDC.

"Our partnership with Digital Realty is a testament to our shared vision to fundamentally transform the way businesses enable IT services," said Vincent English, CEO of Megaport. "Since the launch of Service Exchange in 2016, Digital Realty and Megaport customers have unlocked the power of on-demand interconnection to support hybrid cloud, multi cloud, and cloud-to-cloud architectures that scale. We're excited to continue innovating with Digital Realty as we make building connections between enterprises, networks and clouds on PlatformDIGITAL® an intuitive, as-a-service experience."

"We are laying out our industry manifesto and a call to action today to remove legacy barriers in the interconnection industry to address data gravity," said Chris Sharp, Chief Technology Officer at Digital Realty. "We look forward to engaging with industry participants as we shape our vision for a fabric of fabrics that will unlock new opportunities and value for all sectors. We will be an industry steward championing this shift and together we can tackle data gravity head-on and build a new era of open, secure and dynamic connected data communities globally."

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About Digital Realty
Digital Realty supports the world's leading enterprises and service providers by delivering the full spectrum of data center, colocation and interconnection solutions. PlatformDIGITAL®, the company's global data center platform, provides customers a trusted foundation and proven Pervasive Datacenter Architecture (PDx™) solution methodology for scaling digital business and efficiently managing data gravity challenges. Digital Realty's global data center footprint gives customers access to the connected communities that matter to them with more than 290 facilities in 49 metros across 24 countries on six continents. To learn more about Digital Realty, please visit or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Media & Industry Analyst Relations
Marc Musgrove
Digital Realty
+1 (415) 508-2812 

Investor Relations
John Stewart / Jim Huseby
Digital Realty
+1 (415) 738-6500 

This press release contains forward-looking statements which are based on current expectations, forecasts and assumptions that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual outcomes and results to differ materially, including statements related to PlatformDIGITAL, including the updated roadmap, our industry manifesto, data gravity, the Data Gravity Index, our partnership with Megaport, Purepoint, and our global position in multi-tenant datacenter capacity and interconnection solutions. For a list and description of such risks and uncertainties, see the reports and other filings by the company with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.  The company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

1 Synergy Research Group; Second largest carrier neutral interconnection globally
2 451 Research, a part of S & P Global Market Intelligence, Market Forecast, Leased Datacenter Global Providers, 2020. Capacity measured in terms of operational square footage.
3 27% MRR growth for Service Exchange in 2020. 46% growth in customer interconnects on Cloud Connect platform in 2020.


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