Equinix Statement to Customers and Partners Regarding Coronavirus
Updated: June 19, 2020
Due to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), Equinix continues to maintain procedures that reflect our company’s focus on:
- The health and safety of our customers, partners and employees
- The continuity of our business services, especially infrastructure supporting the health, financial, government, and technology sectors critical to maintaining public health and stabilizing the economy
- Compliance with governmental regulations and local public health guidance and ordinances
Equinix has extended business continuity and pandemic plans with the intent to provide seamless business operations for customers and partners throughout this situation, including our goal that all data centers remain fully operational and equipped with the necessary equipment and supplies. In addition, Equinix is closely following the recommendations of government and public health authorities and will update its policies and procedures as appropriate and necessary. This is a fluid and evolving situation and there is no guarantee the current response as outlined below will not be changed or effected as the situation unfolds.
We greatly appreciate your understanding and cooperation throughout this global pandemic. Please check this site often and refresh the page by clicking the button on your browser to load the most recent content. If you have additional questions regarding our response to the coronavirus, please contact your Customer Success Manager.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are customers able to access IBX locations during COVID-19? *Updated 6/11/20
All Equinix IBX locations worldwide are operational at this time. Asia Pacific IBX locations continue to allow normal access. However, for sites in the Americas and EMEA, we will maintain our restricted or enhanced access protcols as defined below through at least August 31, 2020.
Please reference the IBX Access Status grid for information by data center location. Policies and procedures apply to all visitors, customers, customer contractors and non-critical Equinix employees, contractors and vendors to the IBX facility.
Restricted Access: Restricted access policies remain in place for IBXs in the U.K. Customers with government-designated critical infrastructure status and special permissions are permitted into Equinix sites by scheduling a Work Visit via the Equinix Customer Portal. Customers who do not have access to the Equinix Customer Portal may contact the Global Service Desk.
Equinix will ease access restrictions to data centers in France, Germany, Italy and Spain to accept requests for Work Visit appointments via the Equinix Customer Portal effective 8am local time, June 15, 2020.
Appointment Only: Customers in the Americas and EMEA, except the U.K., which remains under restricted access, may request appointments for Work Visits via the Equinix Customer Portal. Customers who do not have access to the Equinix Customer Portal may contact the Global Service Desk.. Please be aware that requests for appointments for critical work will be prioritized, and that non-critical requests will be approved as schedules and parameters for health and safety allow. Data centers in France, Germany, Italy and Spain will accept requests for Work Visit appointments via the Equinix Customer Portal beginning 8am local time, June 15, 2020.
Despite easing appointment criteria, we continue to encourage customers to limit the number of visits, visitors and the duration of visits to our sites whenever possible and to support virtual tours and Smart Hands services as an alternative to sending representatives to our IBXs. To open a Smart Hands ticket, please visit the Equinix Customer Portal.
With broader access available, effective July 1, Smart Hands fees will be waived only for tickets fulfilled within IBXs in the U.K., where access remains restricted, and for tickets to deliver shipments to customer cages or transitional space in sites where appointments are required.
- Enhanced Policies: Implemented to maintain the integrity of our facilities and further protect the health and safety of our customers and employees:
- We encourage customers to limit the number of visits, visitors and the duration of visits to our sites whenever possible
- Face masks or face coverings will be required to enter all Equinix data centers globally and must be worn by all visitors, customers, customer contractors, Equinix employees, contractors and vendors while at the facility
- Our on-site IBX staff continue to serve all customers through the execution of tickets of Smart Hands, Trouble, Cross Connects, and Inbound/Outbound Shipments
- Effective July 1, Smart Hands fees will be waived only for tickets fulfilled within IBXs in the U.K., where access remains restricted, and for tickets to deliver shipments to customer cages or transitional space in sites where appointments are required.
- To open a Smart Hands ticket, please visit the Equinix Customer Portal. Our objective is to complete all incoming orders, but standard delivery intervals will be suspended, and all customer-submitted tickets will be scheduled for completion on an individual case basis
- IBX warehouse facilities globally are closed for all customer access, including package pickup, however Equinix will continue to accept shipments at all IBXs and will waive fees to deliver the shipments to customer cages or transitional space within the facility. Cage delivery timing and access will be coordinated with the customer. Secure cabinet customers will also be able to continue to receive shipments at the IBX
For additional questions related to the new restricted access, appointment-only protocol and enhanced policies, please contact your Customer Success Manager.
2. What does restricted access mean? *Updated 6/11/20
Restricted access limits who is allowed inside an Equinix IBX in response to guidance around public health and social distancing. Restricted access policies remain in place for IBXs in the U.K. Visitors, customers, customer contractors and non-critical Equinix employees, contractors and vendors will not be permitted inside restricted access IBX locations unless deemed critical to protecting the public health or the global economy and with special permissions, including presentation of government-designated critical infrastructure status.
Regardless of access restrictions or limitations, all Equinix data centers are fully operational. Customers and partners are encouraged to leverage our IBX technicians via Smart Hands whenever possible and to always refer to IBX advisories issued and the Equinix IBX Access Status Grid for latest information or changes to access protocols.
We are monitoring developments in each market and appreciate your partnership and understanding.
3. What does appointment-only mean and how do customers schedule appointments? *Updated 5/20/20
The decision to implement an appointment-only policy was made in accordance with our business continuity plans.
The policy permits customers to continue to access the IBX while enabling Equinix to reduce and monitor traffic so that we can uphold the social distancing standards required to protect the health and safety of our customers, partners, vendors and employees while maintaining the continuity of our services.
Operating under this policy, customers, including those who previously have had permanent access to an IBX, will be required to schedule an appointment using the Equinix Customer Portal (ECP). Customers who do not have access to the portal should contact the Global Service Desk.
Upon arrival at the IBX, customers and visitors should proceed to their cage/cabinet, conduct their work and then exit the facility as quickly and efficiently as possible. If Equinix employees or security are escorting a customer representative to their cage or cabinet, they will do so while maintaining a safe distance. We are also requesting that no more than five people per customer come to an IBX in a single visit.
Our on-site IBX staff will continue to serve all customers through the execution of tickets of Smart Hands, Trouble, Cross Connects, and Inbound/Outbound Shipments. However, we ask that customers limit their requests to critical work only. Effective June 1, 2020, we will begin to evaluate requests for appointments for non-critial work visits and approve as schedules and parameters for health and safety allow.
4. What processes will Equinix follow to decide when to start lifting IBX access restrictions? *Updated 6/11/20
Equinix will ease access restrictions to data centers in France, Germany, Italy and Spain to accept requests for work visit appointments via the Equinix Customer Portal. effective 8am local time, June 15, 2020.
Restricted access policies remain in place for IBXs in the U.K, as do appointment-only protocols for all other IBXs in the Americas and EMEA; Asia Pacific IBX locations continue to allow normal access.
Despite our plan to ease appointment criteria, we encourage customers to limit the number of visits, visitors and the duration of visits to our sites whenever possible. Virtual tours and Smart Hands services are available as an alternative to sending representatives to our IBXs. To open a Smart Hands ticket, please visit the Equinix Customer Portal.
Customers should be aware that Equinix’s policies may exceed health and safety requirements set by local government mandates. Please continue to check the IBX Access Status grid for real-time updates.
5. How do Flex/Office space customers request work visits and what are they allowed to do on site? *Added 6/19/20
Flex/Office Space customers are pre-approved to schedule a multi-visit ticket, via ECP, for both restricted and appointment-only sites. This work visit allows them to use their flex/office space and only access the colocation floor to address issues/alarms upon notifying IBX security. Flex/office space customers may have a maximum of 5 people within that space, but they must be 6 feet/2 meters apart.
6. Are there any changes for BCTR (Business Continuity Trading Room) customers?
We understand that these services were designed to be available during difficult times, however we strongly encourage customers to reduce the amount of traffic and duration of visits. While on site, please follow all posted health and safety guidelines including maintaining a safe distance of not less than two meters (six feet) from others while on site.
7. How do customers receive shipments to IBX facilities under these new restricted and appointment-only policies?
Equinix will continue to accept shipments at all IBXs and will waive fees to deliver the shipments to customer cages or transitional space within the facility. Cage delivery timing and access will be coordinated with the customer. Secure cabinet customers will also be able to continue to receive shipments at the IBX. See Shipments below.
8. What changes have been made to IBX shipment policies?
IIn accordance with the recommendations from local government and health organizations regarding social distancing and limited interaction, Equinix is changing our shipment policies as follows:
- IBX warehouse facilities globally will be closed for all customer access. We will continue to accept shipments from carriers
- Equinix will waive fees to deliver shipments to the customer’s space (Private Cage or Cabinet) or to a transitional space within the IBX facility
- During this time, we will make all reasonable efforts to honor existing space (Cage/Cab) access restrictions
- In certain local markets, we will work with customers regarding specific hourly restrictions
- Smart Hands services remain available for unboxing and installation within your space (if desired)
- If a package is required during a pre-scheduled visit to the facility, please inform the security officer at time of check-in
- All outbound shipments will be collected from the customer’s space or transitional space to be handed to the carrier
We strongly recommend our customers open Inbound Shipments for all expected deliveries to the IBX. This will ensure accurate tracking and storing of shipments received.
9. Will Equinix continue to allow access to conference rooms and break rooms in IBXs?
To minimize the risk of transmission in areas where multiple people congregate and to adhere to social distancing guidelines, Equinix is temporarily suspending the ability for customers to book conference rooms and limiting access to break rooms in our IBXs and we continue to ask our customers to only send people to the IBX for critical work.
10. What procedures has Equinix implemented across its IBXs globally? *Updated 6/11/20
Equinix data centers globally are operational at this time, including sites with limited or restricted access. We have implemented restricted and enhanced access protocols across sites as described in the IBX Access section. Procedures are in place to protect the health and safety of our customers, partners and employees, maintain the continuity of our services and align with governmental regulations and public health guidance.
- When you visit, be prepared to answer questions about your recent travel and general health. Anyone experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms, including fever, or having knowledge that they have been exposed to someone who has a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days, will not be allowed to enter the facility for 14 days.
- All employees and visitors to the IBX are required to have their temperature checked by the security staff using no-contact infrared thermometers. Visitors must have a temperature less than 38° C / 100.4° F be admitted to the IBX. Those with a body temperature 38° C / 100.4° F or higher will not be allowed to enter the facility for 14 days. Please note that some IBX locations may have lower temperature thresholds based on local regulations and requirements.
- All employees and visitors at all our IBXs are to practice elevated levels of personal hygiene prior to entering, and while in, the data center:
- Face coverings are required to enter all Equinix data centers globally and must be worn while visiting
- Hand sanitizers have been placed at the security counter of all data centers
- Handwashing facilities are available
- Follow all social distancing protocols and related directions from Equinix security
- Conference rooms, and customer care area breakrooms remain closed
- Given the risk of transmission, we are not able to continue to loan out tools or equipment
11. How is Equinix managing its on-site IBX employees to minimize risk and protect the health and safety of customers and employees?
Our precautions also include the below preparations within our data centers:
- IBX employees have been divided into teams and assigned to a designated IBX without changing workplace to provide services around-the-clock
- Only business critical IBX personnel are allowed on site
- Equinix has engaged business-critical vendors and partners to ensure necessary supplies and services will continue to be provided or are on standby in the case of a long-term event
12. How is Equinix handling the various government regulations and public health guidance globally including recent lockdown ordinances in several cities and countries? *Updated 6/11/20
Currently our IBXs are open for business globally. As the situation changes in markets where we operate, we are adapting our processes if necessary and notifying customers via an IBX Advisory in a timely manner. We continue to ask our customers to only send people to the IBX for critical work.
As governments globally begin easing or lifting COVID-19-related restrictions, please be advised that Equinix expects our current IBX access policies to remain in place through at least August 31, 2020, but that effective June 1 we evaluate requests for appointments for non-critical work visits and approve as schedules and health and safety parameters allow.
13. If an IBX becomes inaccessible due to a government curfew what steps would Equinix take and what products/services could be materially impacted?
Currently our IBXs are open for business globally. In the event a complete lockdown is required, Equinix is prepared to maintain the necessary on-site staffing levels required to support continuous operations.
14. Will Equinix consider temporarily suspending physical access to the IBX for customers?
Yes, Equinix has restricted physical access to our IBXs in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the U.K. Equinix is doing everything within our power to keep our customers, employees and environment safe and clean and our data centers operational.
If there is a confirmed case of coronavirus within an IBX, Equinix may temporarily suspend access to the IBX in order to proceed with deep cleaning the facility with the goal to return the IBX to a safe standard. An IBX Advisory will be issued to customers of the impacted IBX for any confirmed exposure.
In addition, Equinix continues to follow all local government regulations and public health guidance and, if required, will suspend access to the site(s). If this occurs, Equinix is prepared to keep staff on site to support continuous operations.
15. Can Equinix disable the biometric (hand/finger)readers due to health concerns? *Updated 5/20/20
Equinix will maintain its two-factor authentication to ensure the security posture of the IBX is not diminished, unless mandated otherwise by local authorities. We have introduced other mitigation measures to ensure elevated levels of personal hygiene including additional hand sanitizers, alcohol based wipes and increased frequency of cleaning to high touch areas like biometric readers.
16. Under the current conditions, is Equinix planning to reduce/interrupt any products/services?
At this time, Equinix IBX employees are continuing to support all services with the exception of conference room booking, IBX tours and on-site audits since those are not deemed critical work. Please note restricted access and/or appointment only protocols are in effect in IBX locations except Asia-Pacific. We continue to request that customers leverage our Smart Hands services as much as possible and avoid sending people to the IBX unless there is critical work to be completed. If we are no longer able to support our on-site services in a particular IBX, we will notify customers via an IBX Advisory with as much advance notice as possible.
17. Will Equinix continue to support on-site audits? *Updated 5/20/20
Due to the need to reduce on-site visits, Equinix is pausing support for on-site audits. We will continue to support completion of audit questionnaires when no on-site visit is required to obtain the information.
18. What measures has Equinix implemented to protect its non-IBX employees?
The company has implemented travel restrictions for all our employees as well as remote work for all employees including non-critical IBX staff.
19. How can I ensure I receive future notifications about any changes that take place regarding an IBX?
We encourage all customers to opt in to receive notifications and IBX Advisories. Follow these steps within the Equinix Customer Portal:
- Login to CustomerPortal.Equinix.com
- In the upper right-hand corner, click the down arrow next to your name and select “My Profile”
- Select the “Notification Preferences” Tab
- Select “IBX Notification Preferences”
- In the “IBX Advisory” section, ensure the “Email” box is checked
- Click Submit
1. What measures will Equinix take if a COVID-19 case is confirmed at an IBX facility?
In the event of a confirmed case of the coronavirus of an employee or visitor at any of our facilities, we would thoroughly clean and, if necessary, activate remote management of the IBX. Our goal is to continue to operate our business seamlessly. Once the IBX is cleaned, it will be staffed by personnel who were not on site during that period and had no meaningful exposure.
2. In the event of a confirmed case of COVID-19 found inside an IBX facility, how quickly will Equinix communicate with customers?
Equinix will communicate with customers as soon as possible based on the specific situation and as informed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control guidelines.
3. In the event of a confirmed case of COVID-19 found inside an IBX facility, what is the evacuation procedure in an Equinix IBX?
Customers, partners, vendors and employees on site at the affected IBX will be notified of any required evacuation through the public address system and the evacuation will be conducted in a controlled manner with clear instructions.
Security staff would be required to seal off entry points to the IBX once everyone is evacuated.
4. Can a customer activate the Business Continuity Trading Room (BCTR) in order to prevent/mitigate the spread of the coronavirus?
Yes, however if the BCTR is located at an IBX where there has been a confirmed case of COVID-19 then an evacuation will need to be adhered to. In addition, any restrictions regarding entry to our IBX sites as indicated in this FAQ will be also apply to BCTR areas. We also request you to minimize the use of this space particularly for high volumes of people, considering the risk to your own employees and to other people on site.
5. Does Equinix have a CEAS (Corporate Emergency Access System) membership?
Equinix is working closely with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other local governments to ensure our employees are allowed to travel to and access our IBX facilities during this time. We are either already designated critical infrastructure or are in correspondence with the local governing body to ensure that we are considered part of the critical infrastructure. DHS outlines industries which are defined as critical infrastructure industries (Communications and Information Technology & Energy) and we are advised to conduct the appropriate movement of critical infrastructure workers within and between jurisdictions. Membership with various agencies such as CEAS are in place providing our IBX staff identification cards to carry with them while traveling to and from shifts.
Equinix has contracts with national and local fuel suppliers which are contracted for a four hour SLA. Fuel deliveries are taking place and have been unaffected by mandates from local government agencies as energy providers are also considered critical infrastructure industries.
1. In the event an employee, customer, partner or vendor becomes aware that they have had close contact with someone having a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 and they had subsequently spent time in an IBX, does Equinix plan to close for cleaning? What will be communicated to customers?
If it is reported to Equinix that an employee, customer, partner or vendor has been exposed to and had close contact with an individual with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, they will not be permitted to enter the IBX for 14 days. If they become ill, they would not be allowed access until they recover and are released by a doctor.
The Equinix Crisis Management team will review and evaluate the situation to determine if there is a material risk of meaningful exposure to a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19. After identifying the extent of the exposed individual’s time on site and the areas visited, and bearing in mind the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s guidelines around close contact (at least 10 minutes and within 6 feet), Equinix will follow one of three courses of action:
- If there is a confirmed case, all customers of that location will be notified via IBX Advisory. Relevant dates and cleaning information will be included.
- If there is a suspected case, customers of that IBX who were potentially exposed will be notified via IBX Advisory. Relevant dates and cleaning information will be included. If we close the IBX for cleaning, an advisory will be sent to all site customers to advise of the closure; those who may have come in close contact with the confirmed case will be alerted via the same incident notification.
- If the material risk of meaningful exposure is deemed low, no additional cleaning and/or notification will occur.
2.In the event of a confirmed case of the COVID-19 inside an IBX facility, will Equinix close the IBX for cleaning and disinfecting and for how long? *Updated 4/27/20
The duration of the cleaning activities may vary depending upon the areas exposed. These areas may include the security check-in area, man traps, corridors, toilets and specific data halls or flex space. Equinix will only clean customer cages, cabinets and FlexSpace if specifically requested by the customer. Timing to access will be coordinated with the customer.
The cleaning would be carried out by the contracted vendor for that site or a specialty vendor, subject to government directives or other relevant regulators. The cleaning crew would be escorted by security staff and will only access customer spaces if the area has been exposed to a confirmed case subject and with prior customer permissions. All efforts would be made to ensure a thorough and speedy cleaning process.
3. In the event of a confirmed case of COVID-19 inside an IBX facility, what level of cleaning/disinfection will be done? *Updated 4/27/20
The cleaning would be carried out by the contracted vendor for the site or a specialty vendor; subject to government directives or other relevant regulations. Cleaning staff would be required to wear appropriate Personal Protection Equipment (PPE). The cleaning would include all common areas and corridors. Equinix will only clean customer cages, cabinets and FlexSpace if specifically requested by the customer. The cleaning vendor must use commercial grade bleach disinfectant on all potentially contaminated surfaces. Cleaning products must contain sodium hypochlorite and all cleaning tools must be disposed of after the clean and not stored for re-use.
4. Will Equinix provide cleaning and disinfection service (chargeable) for our Equinix owned space including BCTR, Flex space or colocation if requested? *Updated 4/27/20
Yes, upon request Equinix can provide this as part of our Smart Hands offering. Equinix will typically not enter a customer cage space for cleaning and disinfection but will clean all the exterior surfaces, biometric devices and the like that would be accessed while outside of the cage. We will, however, clean/disinfect BCTR or Flex Space if requested by the customer. Equinix will likely leverage our own vendors in completion of this work, and times to complete the activity will be determined based on the specific request.
5. Does Equinix sanitize your biometric devices such as hand scanners on a regular basis?
Equinix has requested all of our cleaning vendors to increase the frequency and intensity of their cleaning of our facilities and to ensure use of isopropyl alcohol. This includes paying special attention to high touch items (BMR’s, door handles, etc.), community areas (restrooms, breakrooms, etc.), high traffic areas, and hard, flat horizontal surfaces. We are also encouraging the use of hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes after touching these items and those products are generally available for customer use.
6. Will customers be able to enter the IBX facility for urgent matters during the cleaning process?
If the IBX has been closed for cleaning, no. For the health and welfare of our customers, there will be no access to the data center during the cleaning period. If Equinix is conducting a deep cleaning of selected areas of the IBX, the site will remain open, but some areas may have limited or no accessibility.
7. Are Equinix's air filters capable of filtering germs and how often do you change the air filters?
The IBX air filters are not designed for viral filtration. They are changed per our maintenance standards.
1. Would Equinix provide remote hands services in the event of travel bans/access denial?
Yes, upon request Equinix can provide the standard suite of Smart Hands services.
2. If a person is confirmed to be infected while being in an Equinix facility, will Equinix disclose the identity of the person?
Equinix will never disclose personal information unless required to do so by a government body or local regulations.
3. How will Equinix staff an affected IBX to ensure continued operations?
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, Equinix has implemented a new work roster for IBX employees in affected areas to minimize risk and ensure business continuity. As a part of this, all IBX employees have been divided into teams and assigned to a designated IBX without changing workplace to provide services around-the-clock. Once the IBX has been cleaned, Equinix will deploy non-affected staff from another IBX to support the affected IBX and re-open for customer visits.
4. If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in a building where Equinix operates an IBX but Equinix does not own the building, how will Customers learn of the confirmed case and what measures will Equinix take? *Updated 4/22/20
Equinix Site Operations is in close contact with the building management in which Equinix has IBXs where the building is not owned and operated by Equinix. In the event we are informed of a suspected or confirmed case at another company in the same building, Equinix would obtain information from building management and forward that information via an IBX advisory to the customers subscribed for alerts for that location. Equinix customers may also receive notice from the building owner or management but that will not preclude our customer notifications and advisories.
If necessary, Equinix would evacuate customers and employees in a safe and orderly manner from the building, and we would participate in a subsequent cleaning of any areas potentially contaminated if those areas included Equinix operated space. Actual procedures may vary based on the actions and policies of the building management, but Equinix will strive to inform customers throughout the process as the situation warrants.
1. Is it possible that my new deployment or orders may be delayed?
Our objective will be to complete all incoming orders, but standard delivery intervals may be suspended based on location access status, and all customer-submitted tickets will be scheduled for completion on an individual case basis.
2. What is Equinix's plan in the event of a new construction being affected?
Equinix will work closely with our construction partners to minimize delays in the build schedule.
3. What has Equinix done to ensure there are no shortages of materials required to keep the IBX operational and to keep disruptions to a minimum?
Equinix has redundancies built into its supply chain of vendors and intend to keep those in place. To the best of our ability, we also intend to keep stock of critical items on site to ensure repairs can be completed in a timely manner and to complete customer orders.
4. Are face masks required or recommended? Will Equinix provide face masks? *Updated 6/11/20
Face masks or face coverings are required to enter all Equinix data centers globally and must be worn by all visitors, customers, customer contractors, Equinix employees, contractors and vendors while at the facility.
According to the CDC, a cloth face covering can include a scarf, bandana, or cloth that covers the nose and mouth. Cloth face coverings should:
- Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
- Be secured with ties or ear loops
- Allow for breathing without restriction
- Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape
When possible, we will be providing face coverings for visitors who arrive at the IBX without one but due to a limited supply, we encourage visitors to bring their own face covering whenever possible. Those not in compliance will not be permitted entry.
5. Could you share your BCP? If not, what can you share to help me understand your contingency plan?
The full plans are internal documents only. Please see our BCP Program Overview and BCP Program FAQ's on this page for more information.
6. Who can I contact for more information?
Please contact your Customer Success Manager (CSM) if you have further questions or need more information.