May. 11, 2021

Ignacio Velilla Rincon


Ignacio Velilla Rincon

Managing Director, Equinix España

“The goal of the company is to develop the digital infrastructure of the world.”


Ignacio Velilla, Managing Director of Equinix Spain, is responsible for leading the data center and interconnection business in this market through Equinix's global solutions platform. Before being appointed Managing Director, Ignacio was part of the Delivery, Sales and Operations divisions of Equinix's Spanish business where he held the positions of Director of Cloudmas Equinix and CTO of Equinix Itconic, ultimately leading the integration and deployment of Equinix in Spain in 2017 to become a key market for the company globally. He has been part of Equinix Spain (previously Itconic) since 2001 during which time he specialized in business management, data center services, cloud computing and Managed Services projects in Europe, North America, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.

Equinix is a group with more than 220 data centers in 63 markets and 26 countries. What is Equinix's mission?

The goal of the company is to develop the digital infrastructure of the world. What moves us is the goal of providing digital infrastructure for every company to be connected. Interconnection is the key in all the services we provide; it is essential today to ensure companies can operate. Today, a data center can be located anywhere, so the value is the ecosystems that it generates around itself and its capacity to be connected to other players. We are talking about digital ecosystems for tourism or finance companies, among others. In other words, the value of the data center is enabling these ecosystems and allowing businesses to access them. We want to be a company that leaves its mark on the world's digital transformation.

A report by IDC Research Spain and Equinix indicates that, in 2022, 40% of investment in basic technology will be related to the cloud, increasing to 80% in 2028. What makes Equinix the partner of choice compared to other infrastructure and connection providers?

We are the entry gate to the cloud; we are the closest edge to the public cloud. We host most of the cloud services providers. In addition, we have a solution called Equinix Fabric, in which all the public clouds that we host are connected. It is a platform in which every user is connected with equal opportunities, and each user can connect to the cloud that they need. Once a user is in an international business exchange (IBX), a data center of Equinix, they have access to the entire range of cloud, service, and cyber security providers hosted in our data centers.

Equinix Metal is now available in 18 markets, including Madrid. What advantages does it offer?

Our focus is on boosting businesses' capacities on the edge. It started with the product Network Edge, which was a virtual network distributed infrastructure. It provides virtual network services that run on a modular infrastructure platform. Now, what we have included the services of Equinix Metal. It expands on the services that customers can get. It has many APIs to connect it to the many tools that software developers use. It allows customers to provide their services. In a nutshell, Metal is the fastest digital process to enter Equinix data centers.

How was 2020 for the company?

The main concern was to protect the health of our employees, while maintaining our business. Also, we were concerned on how we could mitigate the potential impact on our customers. Fortunately, we already had contingency plans that we had never expected to use. We sent all our office employees to work from home, while we implemented a system for our employees in our data centers. There were some limitations to the services that we provided to our clients, though they all understood the situation, and we faced no problems. As for our performance in 2020, it was an excellent year. We recorded again a historic annual growth for the 18th year in a row. Equinix is the capstone that interconnects all the digital ecosystem, and we have witnessed an increase in requests from clients to work with us. We also received new clients who wanted to work with us.

Equinix has a long-term goal of using 100% renewable energy. What is its current commitment to the environment and sustainability?

Reaching net-zero carbon dioxide emissions is one of our goals as well. We want all the energy that we use in our data centers to come from clean sources. That is the case of our data centers in Spain, which are fully sourced from renewable sources. We are present in more than 25 countries, so it varies. There are some countries where achieving that is more difficult, but we are on track to achieve that.

Spain is the southern European country with the fastest growth in data centers. What potential do you see for this industry in Spain?

I started in this business 20 years ago. Back then, the sector experienced rapid growth, and right now, I see a similar situation. There were traditionally four markets in Europe: Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam, and Paris. However, these markets are heavily saturated, and companies need to seek new locations to roll out data centers within Europe. The submarine cable routes between northern Europe and North America are starting to be extremely saturated. Spain is the bridge between Africa and Europe, and we are the closest country to the Americas, both north and south. I expect Spain to become an important location where a large amount of traffic from many places will gather. It will become a bridge. The same is true for Marseille, which is developing many submarine cables. We recently opened operations in Genoa and Barcelona, which are seeking to become alternative locations to connect submarine cables. Madrid should become a relevant location of interconnectivity within Europe.

What opportunities do you see to develop data centers in Madrid?

There is a great deal of land available in the region of Madrid; the issue is finding a location where all the routes of fiber optics meet. Also, we need to take into account the electricity infrastructure. That is a big challenge, because when choosing a location, it needs to be connected to the fiber-optic network and the energy grid. The best infrastructure to acquire land is along the highways that go from Madrid to northern Spain and from Madrid to Barcelona.

What are your main goals for the year ahead?

Our main goal is to continue to help Spanish companies in their internationalization, while also becoming a partner for all the businesses that have data centers' needs. We want to continue growing and being the digital infrastructure of the world. In the last few years, we have maximized the capacities of our data centers. We have expanded our physical locations to include more data centers. The next steps are yet to be defined, though we expect to continue growing accordingly to market needs. Right now, all the data center companies in Spain are thinking of establishing an association to defend the interests of the industry.