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Equinix CEO: How my data center REIT serves clients like Burger King

  • "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer speaks to Steve Smith, the CEO of data center REIT Equinix, about the market-wide shift to the cloud.
  • Smith explains how his company serves unusual clients like fast-food chain Burger King.
  • The CEO also touches on how his massive company is bolstering the Internet of Things.

Companies like Burger King might seem antithetical to data centers, but for Equinix CEO Steve Smith, the fast-food chain represents just one of the many clients his data centers serve.

"Burger King, as you know, has stores and outlets all over the world. So they have customers, their people and their business deployed all over the world. All that information is distributed," Smith told "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer on Friday. "It requires local capability on servers, storage arrays and networking gear everywhere that Burger King has outlets."

Enter Equinix, an real estate investment trust that runs nearly 180 data centers across 44 of the world's largest markets. Burger King is just one of the REIT's 10,000 customers, Smith said.

"They, like any other company, [are] moving more and more of their infrastructure to take advantage of this pay-as-you-go, pay-as-a-service cloud computing capability, whether it's software, hardware or platform, and they do a lot of that with Equinix," he told Cramer.

Watch the full segment here:

In the 18 years since Equinix was founded, the company has spent $17 billion in capital on building out its business and capacity to help companies set up their server infrastructure, store their data, and connect with partners, cloud providers and networks, the CEO said.

Now, Equinix enables clients to work with major cloud providers like Amazon Web Services, Alphabet, Oracle and Microsoft as well as big telecommunications companies to run their businesses without having to purchase data centers of their own.

"Our game is to continue to build more scale and reach to enable the cloud providers, the networks and any enterprise that doesn't want to be in the data center business to move certain workloads, application workloads, to these co-location centers and run their business as cost-effectively and efficiently as they possibly can," Smith said.

Meanwhile, Equinix has also been instrumental in developing the Internet of Things, or the widespread connection of everyday objects to the internet.

"We're ... in the early stages, I should say, of a huge paradigm shift to cloud computing," Smith told Cramer. "We all live in a mobile, cloud-enabled world that has these evolving IoT, Internet of Things, edge points. And these edge control points now are sensors, cameras, cars, buildings, our computers, and all of these things are being connected to the cloud, connected to the internet."

The operation is quite a whopper, according to Smith. And while Equinix does a lot of what its competitors do, the CEO said, "we just do it on a grander scale, wider and deeper than any of our competitors do today."

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