On July 26, 1874, Alexander Graham Bell shared an idea for the telephone with his father in Brantford, Ontario. Who could have known that discovery almost 150 years ago would launch Canada on its journey to becoming a digital infrastructure leader?
Starting with Mr. Bell’s time, and moving from analog to digital, the Canadian population and economy have embraced, transmitted, and consumed data at a feverish pace. How does this data move across this beautiful country today? Let’s explore!
The Canadian digital economy rests on the backs of carriers, ISP’s and more recently, cloud providers. To be the most efficient, data transmission follows the old saying, “the fastest distance between two points is a straight line” and the new normal of always up and lightning-fast delivery relies, for the most part, on underlying networks and data centre facilities to make this connection happen.
For efficient data sharing, Canadian carriers typically locate within discrete brick & mortar facilities known as carrier hotels. These buildings allow for the convergence of networks within one strategic location and are exactly why Cologix Canada’s primary locations in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver reside within these carrier hotels. By doing so, Cologix provides customers the shortest distance possible between two points and access to the richest ecosystem of interconnection available.
Cologix continues to build and strengthen this interconnection community and over the past three years, has invested CAD $500 million into Canada. Part of that investment has been to grow annexed data centre facilities within key Canadian markets that enable further interconnection points tied directly and diversely back to the primary carrier hotel. This strategy has allowed for the recent emergence of hyperscale edge to reach this tight concentration of networks with cloud onramps strategically located within these sites. To date, over three-quarters of all public cloud direct connect onramps reside within a Cologix data centre in Canada. These public cloud providers have made this strategic choice to enhance their speed, cost-effectiveness, and to deliver content and data at the digital edge.
The Canadian digital economy has rapidly accelerated, partly due to mainstream adoption of cloud computing technologies and partly due to the global pandemic. Public and private cloud are now being consumed and adopted at exponential rates and the need for those cloud platforms to be located on top of distributed networks is an absolute must!
What’s next, and how will Cologix continue to ensure our Canadian carriers, exchanges, and cloud providers have the straightest line possible to serve their clients? Highly connected, scalable facilities that embrace and promote a rich ecosystem will remain of utmost importance. As Canada evolves to be less dependent on network routes that have typically transitioned over or into the US as they travel east and west across Canada, geo-diverse facilities aligned with data sovereign routes, are increasingly becoming the new standard in design.
To align with this trend, part of the Cologix investment into Canada includes acquisitions such as Metro Optic, the premier dark fiber provider in the Montreal market, as well as the addition of our latest West Coast facility in downtown Vancouver – with high capacity long haul fiber network cables terminating in that location. Additionally, multiple points of presence in Canada’s major markets, connected either physically or through software-defined interconnection platforms, are in high demand. Cologix’s virtual interconnection solution, Access Marketplace, allows our clients swift provisioning to carriers and clouds within minutes, enabling agile, cost-effective interconnection to Canadian carriers, exchanges and multiple clouds.
The unstoppable demand for highly connected data centres to serve the Canadian digital economy will continue to build. Mr. Bell may have launched the world into the early days of telecommunications, but data centre infrastructure providers like Cologix will continue the innovation required to build out network delivery ecosystems. Cologix is committed to remaining one step ahead of our clients’ expectations and staying at the forefront of Canada’s digital growth progression.
by Sean Maskell, President & GM Canada