CenturyLink is planning a big year in terms of growth in its data center network. Ever since its acquisition of Savvis, the telco company has been seeking to build on existing strengths and synergies with Savvis.
The result is several planned expansions and three new data center sites for 2014. The new builds will add more than 180,000 square feet and 20 megawatts of additional space to CenturyLink’s global footprint, supporting its CenturyLink Cloud network of public cloud data centers.
“We’re doing more expansion in 2014 than 2013," said Drew Leonard, vice president, colocation product management for CenturyLink .“We’ve increased our amount of CapEx spending to grow faster."
“IT leaders tell us the road to cloud often starts in an outsourced data center,” said David Meredith, senior vice president and general manager for CenturyLink Technology Solutions. “With this global rollout, we’re on an ambitious course to deliver carrier diversity, interconnectivity and managed hybrid services at pace with the market’s appetite for access to flexible and secure IT infrastructure.”
Focusing on Local Markets
The CenturyLink expansions add capacity in a number of second-tier markets that have an existing CenturyLink presence, but limited options for data center space. “Colocation, regardless of how big an enterprise is, is still relatively a local purchase,” said David Meredith, senior vice president and general manager for CenturyLink Technology Solutions. “These second-tier markets are absolutely ready for Tier III providers like us to come in.”
Two new data center sites in Phoenix: Previously announced in January, Phoenix is a great example of the synergies between CenturyLink and Savvis. “We have 1,700 CenturyLink employees, a strong presence and we’re the local phone company,” said Meredith. “It made total sense to add a data center there." The company partnered with IO in Phoenix, and the addition of data center modules into the CenturyLink portfolio extends the company’s capabilities for deploying space into new markets. “An idea behind that partnership was to diversify our product on the physical layer,” said Meredith. “There are some customers around the world interested in modules. We’re already bidding on some deals that are coming to us.”
A new data center opening in Minneapolis in May 2014: Minnesota is another market where CenturyLink has a strong "feet in the street" presence, creating a data center opportunity. The data center is already Tier III certified from the Uptime Institute. The company says it is already getting a good sales funnel there. The facility was built in partnership with Compass Data Centers. It will initially be built our for 1.2 megawatts of critical capacity with option to expand that area up to 5 megawatts. “It’s another market that is a legacy CenturyLink market,” said Meredith. “We decided to go into that market because the strong existing presence of CenturyLink.”
New data center site in Toronto, opening in May: CenturyLink will add a second facility in Toronto, where it's seen strong demand in its first data center. The new space comes online late in the summer and will deliver two megawatts of critical load, with expansion capacity up to 5 megawatts. "The demand already for that site has been extremely high," said Meredith. "We’ve been working with three pre-sale opportunities. The traction has been really good.” Toronto gives the company yet another opportunity to work with modular technology since the second facility is a slab floor building. The company says this, much like other facilities, will be carrier diverse. The facility is Tier III certified, and will also act as another CenturyLink cloud service installation. The new facility will be in Markham, Ontario, a key tech corridor in the Greater Toronto Area. The company's first facility is in Mississauga.
Expansions in Five More Markets
The new facilities are just part of the story. CenturyLink also plans expansions of existing operations in five key markets:
- Weehawken, N.J. completed in March: The company has a data center campus in Weehawken, with all the data center buildings interconnected. CenturyLink serves a lot of global financial industry companies here, given the campus proximity to trading markets. “We are pleased to see CenturyLink expanding capacity in Weehawken, which serves as an excellent venue for the global financial industry with its proximity to trading markets,” said Curt Schumacher, chief technology officer at CBOE. “We added a point of presence in this key data center, which features a vibrant ecosystem and secure network solutions, to supply subscribing firms with competitive markets data over low-latency trading connections.”
- Reading, England expansion expected in Q3 2014: “This is traditionally a very large managed hosting facility for us,” said Meredith. “We’ve been expanding to increase the overall capacity. We’re adding 800kW total at the end of the day for colo in that facility as well. We continue to see more demand in Slough as well as the Docklands. We’ve essentially been full in Reading. We’re expecting to see some uptick in that market as well.”
- Sterling, Virginia, expected completion in May 2014: Northern Virginia is a key data center market, so the company is adding more capacity there on a legacy Savvis campus inS terling.
- Chicago: CenturyLink will have four facilities in the Chicago market when this expansion is completedin Q3 2014
- Irvine, California: This sub-market of Los Angeles is targeted for an expansion completing in June 2014