The data center market was plenty hot in Las Vegas in August. Colocation provider Switch said it sold 19 megawatts of power capacity during the month, its highest one-month total ever. The majority of that capacity was for space in SuperNAP 8 , the company’s newest mega-data center in Las Vegas, which opened its doors earlier this year. Switch said the original SuperNAP, a 400,000 square foot facility built in 2009, is nearly filled.
The 19 megawatts of power was sold to 23 customers, reflecting the scale of the new requirements companies are planning for SUPERNAP 8. Most colocation companies deal in customer requirements up to about 500 kilowatts, with larger requirements seeking out “wholesale” turn-key data center suites. Switch is among the colocation providers supporting larger power requirements, enabled by the company’s focus on containment systems to manage high power densities, allowing customers to house more IT capacity in a smaller footprint.
SuperNAP 8 is part of a multi-phase expansion announced by Switch in 2011, which will include at least one more data center on its current Las Vegas campus. The company says the new facility provides capacity for Switch to house up to 20,000 cabinets on its campus, with capacity of up to 200 megawatts of power.
Leveraging the SuperNAPs’ Collective Buying Power
Switch says the strong sales are driven by a combination of location, massive power and big pipes, a recipe that has helped the SuperNAPs address scalability and density challenges for customers. A key asset is a purchasing co-op known as the Telecom Combined Operating Retail Ecosystem (CORE), which harnesses the combined buying power of its community of high-density customers to gain discounted bulk rates from carriers.
The company’s Las Vegas campus has also benefited from a concentration of cloud computing providers, including HP, Joyent, ProfitBricks, CloudSigma, VMware and many others. Switch’s 600 customers in its Las Vegas data centers include more than 80 companies offering either connectivity or cloud services.
“Most of the industry knows that Switch designs and builds the world’s best data centers, but our unmatched differentiators are Switch’s independent co-ops to purchase connectivity, cloud and content for our clients,” said Switch Executive Vice President of Colocation Missy Young. “Once enterprise clients start to work with those purchasing verticals they quickly realize that no other ecosystem in the world can bring about a total technology return on investment like the SUPERNAPS.”
Infrastructure Innovation Continues
Young said Switch has also differentiated itself with continuous innovation in its infrastructure, driven by Switch CEO and Founder Rob Roy. SuperNAP 8 includes a number of refinements to Switch’s custom data center designs, including a double-reinforced roof, an updated rack containment system that incorporates thermal storage, and a refinement to its custom cooling units to add an on-board backup power system.
SuperNAP 8 features Switch SHIELD, a redundant data center roofing system that offers two steel roof decks, each rated to survive winds of up to 200 MPH. The two roof decks are located nine feet apart and are attached to the concrete and steel shell of the facility and contain no roof penetrations.
Switch has also introduced Rotofly, an expanded version of its multi-mode HVAC unit that incorporates a flywheel to provide emergency backup power to keep the cooling system operating during a power loss. A flywheel, also sometimes known as a rotary UPS, is a spinning cylinder that generates power from kinetic energy, continuing to spin when grid power is interrupted. The flywheels are only being used to support the cooling units, while the servers and other mission-critical equipment will continue to be supported by battery UPS units and backup generators.
“It is our mission at Switch to develop smarter systems and think beyond tomorrow for the benefit of our clients,” said Young. “We take pride in providing our clients with a unique ecosystem of scalable solutions and an exponential return on their investment.”