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Colocation provider EdgeConneX is aiming to have at least 30 data centers by the end of 2015, it has announced - all of them aimed at delivering content more quickly to an audience, hence the “EdgeConneX” name.

The size of the provider’s estate has risen from two in 2013, to 20 in 2014, with a further 10 – at least – scheduled to be built this year. The size varies from computer room scale at the low end to facilities occupying up to 40,000 square feet at the high end.

New sites will be concentrated near areas of high user concentration, since EdgeConneX specializes in helping content providers connect with their audience, offering services to both cable companies and content delivery networks (CDNs). Its offer of high grade co-location space is often a cheaper alternative to caching servers of CDNs.

Network SDN
Network SDN – Thinkstock / Alphaspirit

No CDN required?

If the infrastructure is close enough, a CDN is not necessary, according to Clint Heiden, EdgeConnex’s chief commercial officer. “We give a user a view into every data center so they know what’s going on down to the rack and component level,” said Heiden.

The pricing scheme has been described like a wholesale offering with retail detail. Customers pay wholesale prices for a granular service that is geographically dispersed. The two offerings could merge, however, and one CDN provider, Akamai, has become a customer and invested in the company.

The data center operator will be unpredictable in its site selection, Heiden said, and it won’t necessarily follow the trend of other operators.

Having found a site, it will build in roughly 2 megawatts increments and aims to double that capacity. The strategy, according to Heiden, is to bring content ‘closer to the eyeballs’.

Now, he predicts, edge data centers will quickly became a universal need. “Two years ago the edge was a conversation, it made sense. I think you can definitively say in 2015 that the edge has become a fact,” said Heiden.