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Investors Take Over 365 Data Centers, What's Next?

Provider has opportunities in edge data centers, more services

A pair of private investors has acquired 365 Data Centers, a colocation provider with facilities in eight US markets, most of them tier-two locations.

The investors are Dublin, Ireland-based Chirisa Investments and Connecticut-based Lumerity Capital. In the announcement, they’ve indicated that this is just the start, and that more acquisitions are in store.

The market continues to consolidate, and the new owners are likely to be on the look-out for more roll-up opportunities, similar to the ones pursued by another recently emerged consolidator, Digital Bridge, which since last year has acquired DataBank, C7 Data Centers, and Vantage Data Centers, as well as two 365 facilities in Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

Opportunity at the Edge

365’s play has been largely focused on edge colocation services, providing space for servers that cache content in secondary markets so that content providers don’t have to pay for backhauling it from far-away hubs. The edge cuts in the opposite direction too: data collected from end-user devices needs to be stored and analyzed somewhere close to those end users, both to improve performance and to save on backhaul bandwidth. Those devices -- the Internet of Things – can include everything from household appliances today to autonomous vehicles in the future.

At least one analyst told Data Center Knowledge the company’s best bet going forward is to use the access to capital it gained through the acquisition to continue pursuing the edge strategy. Here’s IDC’s research manager Kelly Quinn:

“I think future investments should largely be allocated to making 365 a leader in edge solutions. They’re positioned in key secondary markets, and, if they bring to market the right products and services, could serve as the edge partner for companies looking to leverage the IoT data from the millions of people in those markets.”

The Services Opportunity

There’s also an opportunity for 365 in beefing up its service portfolio beyond colocation, which is something the company mentioned it would do in its announcement.

Here’s Jabez Tan, research director at Structure Research:

“The investor appears likely to make further acquisitions to build out a more compelling data center services proposition. This will likely center around the need to better enable and orchestrate hybrid and multi-cloud IT environments for its existing and potential customers, and to also take advantage of existing relationships with its content and network customers.”

Current 365 data center locations:

  • Buffalo
  • Chicago
  • Detroit
  • Indianapolis
  • Nashville
  • Philadelphia
  • New York
  • Tampa

Key metrics:

  • 126,000 square feet total
  • 9MW of power total
  • 25 carriers
  • 122 network Points of Presence

Market Hooks across the Pond

One of the investors, Chirisa, is headed by Colm Piercy, who is also a chairman of Dataplex, a wholesale data center provider in Dublin. In a statement, Piercy said:

“This investment provides Chirisa with a solid foundation to execute on its strategy to broaden its data center, managed services, and real estate reach into the US market.”

A Turnaround

365’s new CEO is Bob DeSantis, who co-founded Xand, a data center provider acquired in 2014 by TierPoint, one of the most successful secondary-market data center roll-up plays in recent years.

Stefanie Williams, associate analyst at 451 Research, noted that the company under new leadership appears to be changing course, from contraction to expansion:

“While the company had previously appeared to be selling off its assets, it seems the new firm is looking to revive the once growing company and grow the portfolio, both in data centers and additional services.”

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