Lance Smith, CEO of Horizon Data Center Solutions, stands in front of the Power Loft data center in Manassas, Va., where the company will begin its East Coast expansion.
Horizon Data Center Solutions has leased space at the new Power Loft data center in Manassas, Va. as the first step in an ambitious national expansion. The Dallas-based provider will occupy a data center suite backed by 2 megawatts of power, with an option for an additional 10 megawatts of capacity.
The deal is the first step in Horizon's plan to build a national footprint of up to 120 megawatts of space in three key markets - Dallas, northern Virginia and California. Horizon CEO Lance Smith said the company intends to occupy space in another facility in northern Virginia and is in active discussions to lease data center space in Silicon Valley and one other California market.
The expansion follows strong customer growth in Horizon's data centers in Dallas, where it has operates two facilities in buildings owned by Digital Realty Trust (DLR). Smith said Horizon has found a strong niche targeting small- to medium-sized projects, including IT infrastructure hosting for SMBs as well as modest projects for larger corporations. The company leases wholesale data center space, acquires managed service providers (it bought Mareechi last year) and uses its expertise to operate the facility and package the services for its clients.
In December Horizon raised $7.5 million in equity funding from Ballast Point Ventures, and will use the money to open new data centers in Virginia and California.
Network Management Role
Power Loft has just opened a 225,000 square foot data center in Prince William County, Virginia that can support power densities of up to 300 watts per square foot. In addition to leasing space, Horizon will manage connectivity services for the facility. The company operates a national low-latency private fiber network with DWDM (Dense Wave Division Multiplexing) networks in each market it serves.
"We wanted to take an exclusive management role in the facility," said Smith. "We'll provide an an on-demand telco presence." Smith said Horizon considered many data center in northern Virginia. "We needed a facility that could stand the test of time for an expansion," he said. "This one can."
Another factor was Horizon's focus on operating in wholesale data centers that have gained certification under the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) benchmark for energy efficiency in commercial buildings. Power Loft expects to gain Silver LEED status, and recently earned the Northern Virginia Technology Council’s Green Award for their approach to energy efficient data center operation.