Equinix marketplace allows clients to trade data center services

Equinix builds online marketplace where customers can buy and sell services from each other

Equinix has launched an online marketplace for its data center customers, to make it easier for them to buy and sell network, managed hosting, and other services among themselves.

It's a new model for Equinix, one that should make it easier for its customers to find out who's selling what services in the data centers where they operate.

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"They're looking for folks who are already in their data center, in close proximity to them, so they can easily connect to a partner and speed up service delivery times," said Jarrett Appleby, Equinix's chief marketing officer.

The company operates 99 data centers, about half of them in North America, and says it has more than 4,000 customers. Its clients have already been buying services from each other, mostly network services, but they couldn't easily see all the options available to them.

"We've allowed our customers to set up a digital storefront and say, 'Here's what I can offer you, and in which data center,'" Appleby said.

Equinix also stands to benefit, because its clients might put more of their services in its data centers if they think they can sell them there easily. Equinix also collects network connection fees from its customers, so it makes more money if they do more business with each other.

It's not the first company to build such a marketplace. Telx also runs a Web portal to help its clients connect with each other and buy and sell services.

The Equinix Marketplace is due to go live Monday. It lists services by type and by geography, or clients can also plug in their preferred providers, such as Verizon or British Telecom, and see where they operate. Along with network and managed hosting services, the marketplace lists cloud services such as video streaming and on-demand computing.

James Niccolai covers data centers and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow James on Twitter at @jniccolai. James's email address is james_niccolai@idg.com.

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