Opera Software, the developer of the Opera web browser, has selected a Latisys data center in Ashburn, Virginia to support international expansion and growth in Latin America. Opera is leasing 270kW of critical power in a three-year agreement, but the company forecasts growing to use 1 megawatt or more over that period.
After a long evaluation process that spanned dozens of providers, Opera determined Latisys Ashburn was right for it. “Latysis was the best choice for Opera," said Trygve Jarholt, Director of Hosting, Opera Software ASA. "They were technically very excellent, able to support Opera’s HPC type of requirements, future growth needs, and had a green profile with a low PUE."
Opera is the provider of one of the most popular mobile browsers, Opera Mini, which touts 191 million users worldwide. Opera Mini compresses data before reaching the end user to speed up the mobile browsing experience. This also reduces latency for the end user, and reduces overall bandwidth costs by reducing bandwidth used. For regions where bandwidth usage is of particular consideration. like Latin America, this compression feature is clutch. This might be why the company is growing at significant clip, growing about 100 percent year-over-year, with even more impressive growth in Latin America.
Latisys will support Opera's ongoing expansion and services in Latin America, and it’s a considerably large deal, considering how much of the heavy lifting Opera’s servers handle in the Mobile Mini experience.
Opera looked at different potential providers in US East and Canada. It identified 27 potential providers, from Toronto in the North all the way down to Atlanta in the South. The company soon narrowed its list to 6 potential providers that could comply with its technical requirements. After technical due diligence and commercial discussion, the company determined that Latisys in Ashburn was right for it. In Latisys, the company says, it has found a provider that can expand to fit its growth, both in terms of power and space. Opera was also attracted to Latisys’ low PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness), which is less that 1.4 on an annualized basis.
“Opera is dedicated to providing users with the best possible experience on any phone, device or network,” said Jarholt. “The underlying IT infrastructure is critical, and only Latisys was able to deliver the high-density platform we needed, meeting power requirements of 14KW per cabinet and beyond.”
Latisys was able to provide Opera with a high density, low latency environment, “From a hosting perspective it is important that the latency is shorter from Ashburn to South America than we can have from other places,” said Jarholt.
Another factor that came into the decision is location of content providers. “Opera is always looking for locations where we can peer up with content providers,” said Jarholt. “It’s really important that we can peer up with important peering partners, and by doing so, we can reduce latency and increase the end user experience. Seattle and Ashburn are very good locations for peering today, and we believe this is good location for the future as well.”
Opera already has an agreement in Seattle with Digital Fortress, and the Latisys deal gives it a location in the East to match one in the west. The company said it is currently evaluating another location in North America as well. If needed, that new location will be added at the beginning of 2014.
More on Latisys
Latisys’ data center platform is operated under SOC 2 Type 2 and SOC 3 audited controls. This replaces the SAS 70 guidebook and reaffirms Latisys’ commitment to meet the highest standards for availability and security, while making sure all of the appropriate controls and safeguards are firmly in place.
Earlier this year, Latisys announced that it is adding 72,000 square feet of highly secure, high density, carrier grade IT infrastructure space along with significant power upgrades. After opening DEN2 — Latisys’ newest state-of-the-art data center in Denver — and its 22,000 square foot DC5 expansion in Ashburn, Latisys’ total data center platform now exceeds 343,000 square feet across seven data centers in four major markets.