Capacity - - Sponsored Q&a -

NTT Com­mu­ni­ca­tions re­cently moved to boost its pres­ence in Frank­furt and Ber­lin. Michael Wheeler, ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of the global IP net­work busi­ness unit, ex­plains how this helps fur­ther strengthen the com­pany’s po­si­tion in Europe, and talks ex­pan­sion prospects, 100G tech­nol­ogy and net­work se­cu­rity.

What was the think­ing be­hind adding new Pops in Frank­furt and Ber­lin to your ex­ist­ing sites in Ger­many?

We have more than one fa­cil­ity in sev­eral mar­kets world­wide, and it re­ally comes down to where our tar­get cus­tomers are lo­cated. Frank­furt’s been a big mar­ket for us in Europe for quite a long time, so adding new phys­i­cal build­ings makes sense when data cen­tres fill up.

These Ger­man sites also tie back to our ac­qui­si­tion last year of data-cen­tre provider e-shel­ter, which al­ready had a good-sized fa­cil­ity in Ber­lin – so adding a point of pres­ence (POP) there was a fairly mod­est cost for us.

Our core ap­proach is that if we have enough cus­tomers or prospec­tive ones in a given build­ing in a mar­ket we’re al­ready in, it’s a pretty low bar for us to have to climb to add a POP. We also, of course, build out into whole new cities too, but do­ing that is al­ways much more ex­pen­sive.

How has the ex­pan­sion into Europe gone over the past few years?

It’s grown an aw­ful lot in a rel­a­tively short pe­riod of time. We started mak­ing a con­certed ef­fort to ex­pand the net­work in Europe about five years ago. We now have a much big­ger foot­print and our cus­tomer base has grown sig­nif­i­cantly along­side that. In terms of cus­tomers and traf­fic, our Euro­pean net­work re­ally ri­vals our Asian net­work at this point.

Which mar­kets might be next for ex­pan­sion?

We as­sess this on an on­go­ing ba­sis. The place where we see prob­a­bly the most near-term op­por­tu­nity is Latin Amer­ica, al­though there are some ma­jor eco­nomic and po­lit­i­cal chal­lenges in coun­tries such as Brazil. How­ever, our Sao Paulo POP has grown sig­nif­i­cantly since we launched there five years ago and costs have come down, mak­ing it more at­trac­tive.

We are also look­ing reg­u­larly at Ar­gentina, Colom­bia and Chile – but we al­ways want to make sure the busi­ness case is sound be­fore mov­ing in.

How are 100G de­ploy­ments go­ing?

Most of the back­bone ar­chi­tec­ture we needed to do to ac­com­mo­date 100G up­grades has been in place for a while. But this year we’ve seen adop­tion of ports re­ally pick up and start to grow ex­po­nen­tially as cus­tomers up­grade from 10G. All in­di­ca­tions are that we’re go­ing to con­tinue see­ing the same trend for the next cou­ple of years.

The chal­lenges that 100G faced in its early days have all been worked through from an engi­neer­ing point of view, and costs have come down as more peo­ple head along that road.

A fur­ther fac­tor is cross-con­nec­tion be­tween data cen­tres. Sim­ple maths tells you that if you have 30 10G ports with us to­day in Frank­furt, re­plac­ing those with just four 100G ports will both give you more ca­pac­ity and mean you pay a frac­tion of the amount in cross-con­nect fees. So I think that’s some­thing else that’s caus­ing peo­ple to push ahead with 100G.

How does NTT Com view net­work se­cu­rity at present and how is the com­pany ad­dress­ing this?

The re­cent Krebs distributed de­nial of ser­vice (DDOS) at­tack was the first time we’ve seen such an at­tack on In­ter­net of Things de­vices, and it was pretty large-scale. We have tools to deal with these types of event, such as our DDOS Pro­tec­tion Ser­vice (DPS) that can scrub and pass clean traf­fic to our cus­tomers, and we’ll shortly be an­nounc­ing some en­hance­ments to that prod­uct line.

We be­lieve, how­ever, that se­cu­rity is an area where our cus­tomers have to lever­age mul­ti­ple types of de­fence de­pend­ing on the na­ture of the at­tack, so this of­fer­ing is just one piece of that puz­zle.

The sheer breadth of our net­work also plays a big part as a first line of de­fence, giv­ing us more of an over­view into how to shut down or deal with threats. For more in­for­ma­tion, please visit

Michael Wheeler: In terms of cus­tomers and traf­fic, our Euro­pean net­work re­ally ri­vals our Asian net­work at this point

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