Vantage Data Centers has won a multi-megawatt deal with security-software powerhouse Symantec for its Santa Clara data center campus. This is the company's second lab customer in recent months but its first mixed-use infrastructure deal ever. Symantec will deploy both lab space and critical IT infrastructure at the facility.
Because outsourcing lab infrastructure to a colocation facility doesn't always make sense, as many wholesale facilities are designed uniformly for high redundancy, Symantec will consolidate its lab space into a single location at Vantage's Silicon Valley campus. It also ensures that lab customers won't end up having to pay for redundancy they don’t need.
The Symantec deal with Vantage is a hybrid of lab-style space and traditional 2N space. “It’s the first mixed deal that we’ve done,” said Chris Yetman, chief operating officer at Vantage. “It required significant collaboration.”
There is varying security standards and security zones that are separately caged off, all within the same environment. Part of the space will be 2N, while Symantec’s lab environment will have UPS.
Vantage won its previous lab-style deal in the competitive Santa Clara data center market because it was able to provide flexible space to accommodate 12 kilowatts per rack in a non-redundant (‘N’) power configuration. The latest deal and a few other similar ones in the works are sign of a mini-trend. However, most of Vantage's pipeline includes more traditional wholesale data center leases.
The company's CEO Sureel Choksi recently explained that the reason there was demand for lab space in data centers in Silicon Valley was skyrocketing office-space rent. Companies have traditionally built IT labs in their office buildings.
These types of customers often don’t make sense for wholesale providers with uniform space, and wholesale doesn’t make sense for lab customers who don’t want to pay for redundancy they don’t need or use. Vantage was able to tailor the space and make it a win-win for both parties.
“We need to build in a way that accommodates a 2N, or what could be a lab requirement,” Choksi said. “While we continue to offer traditional 2N space, we have the ability to tailor lab and production environments. The deal we announced late last year I think created a little bit more visibility in the market.”
Choksi believes the company’s ability to tailor wholesale space to specifications contributed to the win.
“Customers are becoming more savvy, particularly when it comes to business requirements and how that drives data center requirements,” he said. “The notion of offering a flexible tailored data center is resonating well and acting as a huge differentiator.”