This article originally appeared in the March issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY magazine.
No man is an island. The same can be said about a network.
Networks are useful only to the extent to which they can enable us to connect successfully, securely and reliably with other networks, people and applications. Telx is in the business of enabling service providers, businesses and other organizations to make these connections.
Telx got its start more than a decade ago when it launched business as a carrier-neutral interconnection provider out of the well-known New York carrier hotel at 60 Hudson.
At that point, there were only a couple carriers that used the Telx service, which provided them with the needed facilities to connect to each other directly. Carrier demand for this kind of thing has grown over time, of course, and Telx has responded, first by buying a building in Atlanta at 56 Marietta St. at which to offer neutral interconnect services, co-location, and power.
CEO Eric Shepcaro (News - Alert) refers to this time in the company’s life, when it was supporting voice and TDM traffic for a heavily global carrier clientele, as Telx 1.0.
By the end of 2006/early 2007 Telx was offering its services in a dozen facilities in key U.S. cities, and it had begun providing more traditional co-location data services. Now under new ownership, the company expanded its customer base beyond just carriers and ISPs to also serve businesses and many entities seeking a higher level of application performance, lower latency connections, and the ability to connect with others within their communities of interest. Today, Telx’s business with service provider customers continues to grow rapidly, but its growth with enterprise, financial services, cloud and content customers is growing even faster, says Shepcaro.
By 2007-08 Telx had 15 data centers, more of its customers’ traffic was IP-oriented, and the industry had experienced a clear shift to data center outsourcing, says Shepcaro. This was the time of Telx 2.0.
Today’s Telx is version 3.0.
Hallmarks of this include new ownership, continued expansion, and positioning to address the rise of cloud computing.
Telx, which ABRY Partners and Berkshire Partners took ownership of in September, now provides service out of 17 locations. It announced very large expansions in Atlanta; Clifton, N.J.; and Santa Clara, Calif., this year. And its facilities are now branded C3 (News - Alert) Cloud Connection Centers.
Everything the company does starts with interconnection, says Shepcaro. That includes providing Direct Connect offerings featuring dedicated physical connectivity leveraging fiber, Ethernet and/or TDM. Telx’s Dynamic Connect solutions allow for virtual, multipoint connectivity and support SDH to SONET, scalable Ethernet, converged services/CoS, and integration with legacy traffic. Customers that need in-region connections can use Telx’s Network Connect solutions, which are available in point to point, wave, Ethernet, and OCR and fiber channel configurations. And Telx’s Internet Connect features dedicated Internet, peering, global IP access, and IP addressing.
With those interconnection offers come space in cabinets, cages, and customized suites; power, which can be fully redundant; tech support services; and various managed and cloud-based services that Telx offers through its wide array of customers/partners.
Placement and Partners
Telx prides itself on having what it says are the most strategically placed data centers for reaching the world’s best networks and cloud providers. (See list of locations, next page.)
“When you look to outsource a portion, or all, of your data center, don’t underestimate the importance of both the network outside the data center and inside the data center,” Shepcaro says.
Indeed, customers at Telx’s 17 facilities put customers one cross-connect away from the world’s top-tier domestic and international telecom providers as well as other service providers, content providers, peering exchanges, ISPs, VoIP providers, Internet exchanges, gaming companies, enterprises, and educational institutions.
The company refers to this community of customers as the Telx Global Marketplace. Through this marketpace, Telx explains, customers at its locations can connect with others at the sites to develop business partnerships that can enable them to reach new customers and tap into new markets. The marketplace also helps Telx customers identify diverse service providers should they want to increase redundancy.
JustinTV is one Telx customer taking advantage of this plum position.
“The Internet is the newest publishing house for content produced worldwide, and consumers expect a high-quality experience every time they interact with online media technologies,” says Michael Siebel, CEO of JustinTV. “As the top live online video community, with engaged users watching streaming video, we must continue to give our customers the most valuable experience possible with minimal viewing disruption. By colocating our servers with Telx, we have the ability to connect directly to the widest number of carriers available in the market today and ensure maximum uptime for our service.”
To allow its customers to quickly and easily make those connections, the company provides CBX Online. This is a dynamic online tool that customers can use to foster new business relationships, self-provision interconnects in real time, as well as to keep track of their on-site inventory, such as cross-connects and the available ports on them.
As part of its efforts to enable customers to connect easily with others, Telx has created communities of interest for those in the carrier, cloud, financial and media categories.
Trading Continuity Services, which provides data protection and disaster recovery/business continuity solutions, is among the members of the Financial Xchange By taking residence in Telx’s data center in downtown Chicago, TCS can more easily offer its services to outfits in the financial vertical.
“We give trading firms a competitive advantage by delivering an end-to-end, fully managed data protection and back-up solution that ensures high availability for the best electronic trading experience possible,” says Jim McDonough, managing partner at TCS. “Telx’s Chicago data center is one of the most important financial services addresses in the country, and as a member of the Financial Xchange, TCS can now offer these customers our 24/7 back-up solutions through a simple cross-connect.”
Info-Tech Research Group’s Vendor Landscape report says Telx’s “sweet spot” is with financial institutions and other organizations located in urban markets and requiring close proximity to networks and communities of interest.
Cloud and Wireless
But Telx is pushing its messaging around wireless and cloud computing (which target all types of customers) pretty hard these days as well.
That’s no surprise given the enormous buzz, growth and potential related to these categories. NPD In-Stat (News - Alert) in January said the installed base of connected devices is expected to go from 256.8 million in 2011 to 1.34 billion in 2016, which will of course continue to drive new cellular network investments. And the global cloud computing market is forecast to see a 30 percent compound annual growth rate, reaching $270 billion in 2020, according to Market Research Media.
Data center businesses increasingly are including cloud IaaS options in their spectrum of services, as noted by Info-Tech Research Group. “Many have been replacing their traditional co-location offerings with cloud alternatives,” according to the firm. “Customers must consider vendors that offer the full spectrum of services that they may need over the course of the engagement so they can evolve in their relationship with the vendor.”
Telx isn’t replacing its colocation offerings, but it is adding to them with various services and capabilities through strategic partnerships, many of which address the move to the cloud.
“The value Telx brings to its customers resides not only within our world class data centers located in the heart of strategic markets, but also within our company’s ability to provide new connectivity innovations – such as our Cloud Xchange – to better serve the changing needs of our customer base,” says Shepcaro.
Appcore is a recent addition to the Telx Cloud Xchange. Through this strategic alliance, Telx can now provide its more than 1,000 colocation customers across its 17 C3 Cloud Connection Centers with direct, dedicated access to Appcore’s turnkey private hosted cloud solution.
Telx this fall was named in the Inc. 5000 as one of the nation’s fastest growing private companies, coming in at 1,711. In an effort to continue its top-line growth, which Shepcaro says has been increasing more than 30 percent year over year, Telx will continue to expand both its footprint and its portfolio.
On the data center side, Telx is looking forward to core expansions of both existing and new facilities in the U.S. and abroad. Significant news on this front is expected as early as the second quarter.
The company, which has more than 37,000 cross-connects installed, also will add to its product portfolio later this year. Expect to see from Telx new network optimization and packet optical system capabilities to allow for traffic prioritization and more efficient self provisioning, says Shepcaro. The company also expects to expand on its EtherConnect portfolio, which it introduced in 2011 and now has more than 75 customers, in the next year or two.
And, Shepcaro tells INTERNET TELEPHONY, Telx continues to look at how it can continue to enable robust services related to the cloud.
Edited by Jennifer Russell