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Cisco, Microsoft Fund New Company To Create First Internet Business Exchange™

Maureen O’Brien
Stirling & Karbo, Inc.

Julie A. Karbo
Stirling & Karbo, Inc.


Equinix Founded to Build and Operate the Communications Nexus of the Internet

Redwood City, California—May 26, 1999—Equinix today announced that it has received significant funding from Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), and Benchmark Capital to create and operate the first Internet Business Exchanges™ (IBXs™). Equinix IBXs™ will, for the first time, allow Internet Service Providers (ISPs), content providers and Component Service Providers (CSPs)to interconnect with the widest choice of partners and customers at strategic locations worldwide. These neutral exchanges eliminate the roadblocks that have restricted the Internet’s ability to scale and keep up with the growth fueled by explosive corporate and personal Internet use. Equinix will allow IBX™ participants to grow their businesses and realize substantial cost savings by providing an unhindered environment in which the Internet can expand.

"The Internet, and other new, competitive advanced public network services, will depend on the interconnection of a myriad of providers to supply truly universal and global scope," said Tom Nolle, president of CIMI Corporation. "Most of the approaches to date have relied on agreements among the providers, and this usually leads to suspicion that the arrangement favors one or the other party. Equinix has a strategy to provide that interconnection and the hosting of related applications in a way that is credible because it's not affiliated with any one provider. In them, we may be looking at the future of public network interconnect."

At Equinix IBXs™, key providers of the Internet infrastructure and Web content come together to create the nexus of communication and exchange. Equinix IBXs™ will serve as the core of the Internet, giving content providers unprecedented network reliability and network service providers unmatched opportunity to diversify their service offerings. The exchanges are designed from the ground up to provide premier ISPs, content providers and CSPs (e.g., carriers, e-mail, usenet, backbone and data CLEC access outsourcing providers) with financial grade security, unlimited availability of bandwidth from a variety of suppliers, unsurpassed service delivery and scalable interconnection to the widest variety of sources for business expansion.

"Cisco Systems supports a network neutral, scaleable exchange environment which is the basis of the Equinix model," said Charlie Giancarlo, senior vice president, Global Alliances, Cisco Systems. "The Equinix team and approach provides an ideal platform for our customers to enhance their revenues and frees them to focus their time and capital on delivering their core business value."

The venture unites leading Internet industry players, Cisco, Microsoft and Benchmark with Al Avery and Jay Adelson, the primary driving forces behind the Palo Alto Internet Exchange (PAIX), the first-generation neutral and peering facility for global and regional ISPs. Avery and Adelson will lead Equinix’s executive team as CEO and CTO respectively. The company plans to roll out a total of fifteen national sites and additional international sites within eighteen months. The first IBX™ will open in July in the Washington, D.C. area.

Prior to Equinix network-neutral IBXs™, the only options for providers seeking interconnection and access to multiple ISPs, content providers and CSPs, were either private carrier circuits, traditional data centers, or outdated colocation models which require customers to connect to each other via a proprietary network. Dependence on one network (as in the legacy colocation model) or a single carrier, (as in the case of traditional Network Access Points-NAPs) limits customer choice of ISPs, content providers and CSPs and restricts the extent to which Internet businesses can react to change and grow. This is limiting the growth of the Internet itself.

"CSPs, ISPs and content providers are spending a great deal of money to build state-of-the-art networks that take advantage of the Internet economy," said Al Avery, president and CEO of Equinix. "They’re banking on these interconnections to stay alive and thrive, but they can’t reap the full benefits if they can’t get access to the right customers or buy the services they need to adjust to changes in demand. If the providers that make up the Internet can’t scale, then the Internet can’t achieve its potential."

Highest Quality Interconnection and Service
Because Equinix IBXs™ are completely neutral, Equinix customers can choose from the largest number of product and service providers. ISPs will be able to select from a virtually unlimited selection of suppliers, access high speed interconnections, eliminate costly colocation capital investments, save on training and staffing operations, take advantage of faster, more economical circuit provisioning and interconnections, and realize easier and faster response to event-driven and sustained customer bandwidth demands. Carriers and other component suppliers will be able to service a larger customer base, maximizing revenue per square foot, save on training and staffing operations, and easily provide provisioning to customers. Content providers will be able to deliver content dramatically faster, access multiple networks, eliminate local loop charges, increase transaction-based revenues and increase customer satisfaction.

Equinix provides private cages and cabinets in which customers can locate their mission-critical hardware. The company also provides the first OC-48c central switching fabric at an exchange for providers who want to aggregate interconnections, tariff-free direct cross connects and basic Internet services such as Route Servers, shadow root nameserver and clock sources. In addition, Equinix is the only provider to offer trained Internet/telco-savvy staff available on site twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

First IBX™ to Provide Production-Level Research and Development
Equinix IBXs™ feature the first R&D environment targeted for testing new products and technology in a production setting. Approximately 30 percent of Equinix’s headquarters staff is dedicated to R&D conducted in close cooperation with Equinix customers, non-profit organizations and working groups to test, prove and ultimately select the best technologies and solutions for the next-generation requirements of Internet businesses. Projects include monitoring and caching technologies, multicast networks and systems, new protocols and various switching products. Products and technologies evaluated in Equinix IBXs™ are tested with simulated production-level traffic, resulting in reduced deployment risk and faster time to market.

Only Financial Institution-Grade Exchanges
Only Equinix IBXs™ offer financial-grade security, designed by the company that engineered security for the Federal Reserve Bank. Security features include armed guards, biometric palm scanners on all doors and cages, bomb and terrorist protection and tightly controlled customer access.

Equinix Worldwide
Equinix will open its first IBX™ in July, 1999, in the Washington, D.C. area. Two additional IBXs™ located in New Jersey and Silicon Valley will open by year-end, 1999. One Equinix IBX™ will open each month over the next year throughout the U.S. The first phase of international expansion will begin in 2000.

About Equinix
Equinix, funded by Cisco, Microsoft, and Benchmark Capital, was created to build the first nationwide and global network-neutral Internet Business Exchanges™ (IBXs™). The IBXs™ will serve as the core of a scalable Internet IP network for the 21st century. Equinix IBXs™ are designed from the ground up to offer premier ISPs, content providers and Component Service Providers (CSPs) access to the services and customers they require to build and expand their own businesses including financial-grade security, unsurpassed Quality of Service, and virtually limitless interconnection scalability. These IBXs™ will ensure Equinix customers of maximum network and content availability today and tomorrow, while optimizing revenues and reducing operating costs.

About Cisco Systems
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About Microsoft Corporation
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About Benchmark Capital
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