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When it comes to layers, neutral colocation provider Switch and Data is more the parfait variety than the onion as Shrek’s Donkey would say. It’s most recent acquisition of LayerOne sweetens the company’s existing offers with additional infrastructure, points of presence and people skills.

In early January, Switch and Data completed the acquisition of Dallas-based LayerOne, a privately held company, increasing the company’s presence to include 35 sites in 23 North American markets and more than 800 customers. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

LayerOne operates three data centers in Chicago, Dallas and Miami and with network interconnection hubs at 1 Wilshire in Los Angeles and 60 Hudson in New York. Switch and Data already has a presence in the same buildings in all but Dallas, where Layer One is based. Where they are colocated, LayerOne adds density, says Ernie Sempera, senior vice president of marketing for Switch and Data, referring to the addition of different interconnected carrier partners. He declined to provide the number of additional carriers that would be represented.

LayerOne also offers accretive technical people skills and managed infrastructure (power, security, temperature controls, etc.) that form the core of the Switch and Data offer, Sempera adds.

The acquisition also enables Switch and Data to bolster its VoIP peering service. The company announced in fall 2003 an agreement with PointOne Inc. to establish VoIP peering points in all of Switch and Data’s 26 sites. These VoIP peering points will enable interconnection between PointOne’s worldwide VoIP network, products and applications to all other Switch and Data customers.

LayerOne also launched its VoIP peering platform in 2004, creating a distributed private IP Ethernet community that enables direct, native IP peer-to-peer connectivity. The service requires only one port to provide one-to-many connections. Participants connect to the peering fabric via a Fast Ethernet port.

The companies also have in common the pursuit of virtual peering. Such a service using metro Ethernet switching was advanced in fall 2003 by Switch and Data to speed carrier-to-carrier connectivity within a given metro. Switch and Data’s service, called the MetroPAIX Layer 2 public peering fabric, is available from Switch and Data and its partners in the San Francisco Bay area. Switch and Data says it is looking at other markets for the model, with New York being a potential first target. Sempera says he expects New York to go live in first quarter 2005 with likely locations at 60 Hudson and 111 Eighth Ave.

In contrast, LayerOne’s virtual peering is metro-to-metro between Los Angeles and Dallas, Dallas and New York, and Dallas and Miami. Sempera says Switch and Data is evaluating its plans with respect to expanding the metro-to-metro virtual peering model.

LayerOne also brings one new service to Switch and Data customers  the addition of point-to-point private line services.

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