Computing Era

The mass market computing era took off in the ’80s, sparking unprecedented productivity gains. IBM made mainframes a must-have for corporations, and “Wintel” democratized computing. But when it came to connectivity, there were still significant limits. Prior to the computing era of the 80s, the automated capturing, processing and distributing of data only happened on a proprietary computer-by-computer basis. As a result, information still needed to be manually moved from system-to-system via tape or disk.

1982
Time Magazine
declares computer the
“machine of the year”

Complex proprietary networks
like SNA or X.25, which provide
emulation or limited data transfer
options, create “islands of
networks”

1984
Apple launches
Macintosh and the term
“cyberspace” is coined

The tongue-in-cheek term
“sneakernet” acknowledges
that connectivity still basically
amounts to someone wearing
sneakers carrying data from one
computer to another

Networked Era

Businesses needed a new breed of connectivity to succeed. Data networks grew with the mass market adoption of PCs, transforming computers from standalone boxes to connected systems. File servers and local area networks (LANs) made it faster and easier to share information. Telecommunications companies laid new network lines that circled the globe many times over. As more people, companies and information became connected via networks, the groundwork was laid for the biggest transformation of all: the Internet.

1990
The World Wide Web is born
when Tim Berners-Lee, a
researcher at CERN, the
high-energy physics laboratory in
Geneva, develops HyperText
Markup Language (HTML)

1993
Mosaic web
browser released

1994
Netscape and
Yahoo
founded

1995
First item
sold on eBay

3Com, Cisco, Ciena and
Juniper pioneer new
switching and routing
technologies

Connected Era

In the connected era, networks at last evolved into open thoroughfares for transmitting information around the world. People could access data beyond their own PC, LAN or WAN, quickly shrinking the distance between businesses. Founded in 1998 as a vendor-neutral environment where providers could come together and “peer” to exchange information, Equinix helped scale the Internet by enabling companies around the world to connect and collaborate. The networked era ultimately morphed into a time of constant “anytime, anywhere” connectivity, made possible by new mobile, cloud and social media technologies.

1997
Amazon
goes public

According to the U.S.
Department of Labor, in
1995 there were only
22 million Internet users
in the United States. By
1998, the figure had
quadrupled to 88 million.

1998
Equinix founded
to help scale the
Internet

2002
Friendster
introduced as first
social network

2003
LinkedIn
formally
launches

2005
Reddit
founded

2010
Instagram
launches

Interconnected Era

A new era is dawning in our digital economy: the interconnected era. In a world where cloud dominates and enterprise business models are interdependent, the demands placed on connectivity have reached a new high. That’s because companies now forge advantage by collaborating in communities with other enterprises via secure, reliable and internetworked connections among many participants. To compete and succeed – today's businesses need interconnection, a form of connectivity that’s instant, direct, massively scalable and increasingly more flexible, secure and reliable than its predecessors.

Mobile applications empower people to interact
and work from anywhere. More emails are now
opened on mobile devices than on computers

Cisco
launches
InterCloud

Global e-commerce
revenues grow from $286
billion in 2000 to nearly
$1.5 trillion in 2014

Gartner predicts 4.9 billion connected
"things" in use by the end of 2015,
growing to 26 billion by 2020.

Intel unveils
platform for
Internet of
Things

IDC estimates the
Internet of Things
sector will hit
$7.1 trillion by 2020

New connectivity-driven capabilities
such as GPS-guided maps and
near-field communication have
spawned indispensable modern
conveniences such as Uber
and Apple Pay

Equinix makes Microsoft
Azure ExpressRoute
available
through data centers in
16 markets globally

From marquee enterprise customers to technology
innovators like Amazon and Microsoft, thousands
of enterprises and service providers worldwide
make their way to Equinix data centers
to interconnect