The Ascent CH2 data center in suburban Chicago. (Credit: Tara Wujcik).

The Ascent CH2 data center in suburban Chicago. (Credit: Tara Wujcik).

Wholesale Provider Ascent Opens Colocation Operation In Chicago

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The line between retail colocation and wholesale continues to blur. Developer Ascent, which provides wholesale space in the Chicago suburbs, is opening a colocation operation.

The company is launching a multi-tenant colocation suite in its CH2 data center facility in Northlake, Illinois consisting of 36,000 square feet of space and 2.5 megawatts of critical power.

“Our products and services have been very well received at the enterprise level, and in discussions with users in the market we know there are many small to mid-size companies looking for this same level of quality infrastructure and service but on a smaller scale,” said Phil Horstmann, CEO of Ascent. “The launch of our multi-tenant colocation suite will allow us to provide highly efficient, cost-effective data center solutions to a huge part of the marketplace we haven’t traditionally worked with, and offer an option that is not currently available to these companies.”

Looking Beyond Large Enterprises

Ascent typically deals with large enterprises. It leased its first project in Northlake, a 700,000 square foot data center, to Microsoft. The nearby CH2 building is home to data centers for Comcast Corp. and a major retailer.

But this is a retail colocation play. Ascent isn’t the first wholesale provider to expand into retail colocation. Both Dupont Fabros and Digital Realty have slowly crept closer to offering colocation by selling smaller footprints and deals.

This move reflects growing competition for outsourced data center space, which has led both wholesale players and “retail” colocation providers to expand their service offerings. In colocation, a customer leases a smaller chunk of space within a data center, usually in a caged-off area or within a cabinet or rack. In the wholesale data center model, a tenant leases a dedicated, fully-built data center space.

Variety of Density Options

The new multi-tenant space space has a separate secure entrance and a dedicated shipping and receiving area. The shared suite is built to accommodate a variety of infrastructure and power density requirements. Ascent provides 24/7 onsite operational support, remote management and Smart Hands services.

Acent’s CH2 data center facility is 48-inch raised floor construction and 12 foot clear height from the floor to the ceiling plenum to ensure maximum flexibility and space utilization. The new space is designed for tenants that want to reap the traditional benefits of CH2, including dedicated onsite electrical substation, but don’t want to or need to take down an entire suite.

About the Author

Jason Verge is an Editor/Industry Analyst on the Data Center Knowledge team with a strong background in the data center and Web hosting industries. In the past he’s covered all things Internet Infrastructure, including cloud (IaaS, PaaS and SaaS), mass market hosting, managed hosting, enterprise IT spending trends and M&A. He writes about a range of topics at DCK, with an emphasis on cloud hosting.

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