Rendering of RagingWire's third 180,000 square foot data center building in Sacramento, California. (Image: RagingWire)

Rendering of RagingWire's third 180,000 square foot data center building in Sacramento, California. (Image: RagingWire)

RagingWire to Build Third Massive Data Center on Sacramento Campus

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RagingWire, operator of what it says is the largest data center campus in California, is making that data center campus even larger.

The company announced it has kicked off construction of a 180,000 square foot building on its property in the state’s capital Sacramento, which will be the third building there. Douglas Adams, RagingWire’s senior vice president and chief revenue officer, said the provider was planning to bring the first 4MW of capacity in CA3 online in November.

The expansion comes earlier than management originally planned, but the recent acquisition of an 80-percent stake in RagingWire by the Japanese telecommunications giant NTT Communications was not the reason for the accelerated construction schedule. Space in CA1 and CA2 is simply going fast, and the company wants to stay ahead of demand, Adams said.

Started and marketed originally as a disaster recovery destination for Silicon Valley companies, the Sacramento campus has over time grown into a popular primary data center location. While it takes a couple of hours to drive to Sacramento from the Bay Area, it is a much more seismically stable zone than San Francisco and Silicon Valley, both of which are located near six faults.

The provider won’t confirm this, but sources have told Data Center Knowledge that one of its biggest customers in Sacramento is Twitter. Another high-profile tenant is StumbleUpon.

RagingWire announced the expansion at this week’s GigaOm Structure conference in San Francisco.

NTT makes expansion easier to fund

While NTT investment was not what enabled the expansion, it certainly didn’t hurt. “It made the financing of it a lot easier,” Adams said.

NTT paid $350 million for its 80 percent ownership stake in the data center firm.

The company launched and grew on founders’ own dime and its own revenue until about five years ago, when it began to dip into outside credit sources. The NTT deal “gives us access to very, very inexpensive capital very quickly and very easily,” Adams said.

Easy access to capital will come in handy. Announcement of the expansion in California comes as the company continues construction on its campus in Ashburn, Virginia, and evaluates other markets around the U.S. for further expansion.

Adams declined to say which metros it was looking at specifically, saying only that the focus was on top-tier markets. Those would be places like New York, Atlanta, Dallas or Chicago.

CA3 close to being half sold

Market dynamics for RagingWire in Sacramento are drastically different than they were when the company started. Before, the company was forced to take risks and build before it could secure customers, which simply doesn’t happen today.

“In the old days, we couldn’t presell for the life of us,” Adams said. Upwards of 50 percent of everything RagingWire has built recently was leased before it was finished.

At this point, CA3 is close to being half sold.

Sticking to what works

RagingWire has invested a lot in engineering its own power backup infrastructure, which it says is a lot more resilient than the norm, and has used that as a way to differentiate.

It is generally sticking to the same power and cooling design for CA3. The company has used the same overall design for about 10 years now, and it has been “issue-free,” Adams said.

Every new build improves slightly on the previous one, however, and CA3 will be able to use more airside economization for cooling than existing facilities do, he added.

About the Author

San Francisco-based business and technology journalist. Editor in chief at Data Center Knowledge, covering the global data center industry.

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