Skybox Outsources Facilities Management to T5
Rendering of the future Skybox data center in Katy, Texas, designed to support high power densities for the energy industry’s HPC requirements. (Image: Skybox)

Skybox Outsources Facilities Management to T5

T5's recently formed subsidiary will manage Skybox's first data center in Houston market and others as they get built.

T5’s newly formed facilities management group (T5FM) will manage wholesale provider Skybox’s data centers. Skybox will build and offer move-in ready wholesale data centers in mid-market locations, where T5 will provide facilities support and management.

Using this wholesale data center business model, Skybox will lease self-contained data center halls to customers, each with its own dedicated mechanical and electrical infrastructure, allowing customers to retain total operational control.

Skybox recently started construction on the first data center, called Skybox Houston One. The 86,960-square-foot facility is expected to be finished in November and will be commissioned in January 2015. The company is a joint venture between Rugen Street Capital and Bandera Ventures.

T5 recently started a facilities management services company, offering its domain specific expertise and protocols to data center operators across North America.  T5FM offers the same comprehensive facilities management used in its own data centers, primarily located in larger markets.

Houston is a competitive market, serving as a historic hub for both CyrusOne and SoftLayer (now IBM). It is home to a total of about 30 data centers. Skybox will benefit from T5’s operational expertise in the competitive Houston market, as well as in any future markets it decides to build.

“This partnership allows us to focus on our core development business while knowing that the T5FM team will keep operations running smoothly,” said Rob Morris, managing partner at Skybox. “It’s a great marriage.”

T5 gains a valuable client for its newly formed division.

“Skybox and T5 have very similar philosophies as to how to best serve data center customers, and through this partnership we can bring T5’s facilities management expertise to new customers in mid-market regions,” said Mike Casey, chief operating officer at T5. “The expertise and protocols that existing T5 customers rely on will adapt quite well to Skybox’s clientele.”

The Skybox Houston One facility will have four independent data halls and will focus on serving the so-called Houston energy corridor. The facility is designed to support the high-power densities required by the industry, with dedicated halls from 1.2 to 2.4 megawatts available.

Skybox’s unique spin on wholesale is that it offers tenants the ability to procure and negotiate their own power contracts directly with the provider of their choice.

T5 operates its own data centers in Atlanta, Colorado, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, North Carolina and Portland. Its facilities management subsidiary launched in July with an executive management team touting more than 100 years combined experience.

Casey called the subsidiary the next logical step for the company, given the complexity of operating data centers versus other types of property. A month after launch, T5FM added John Ducic, former senior facilities manager at CoreSite Realty Corp., as director of its west coast operations.

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