LinkedIn, the social network for business, continues to expand its data center infrastructure to support its rapid growth. Last month the company signed a $116 million, 11-year lease for a large chunk of data center space, the company says in an SEC filing. Industry sources say the winner of the deal was Digital Realty Trust, which reportedly will provide LinkedIn with space in its Dallas data center campus.
Digital Realty doesn't disclose its tenants, but described the lease in broad terms in its recent earnings call. "We're pleased to announce that on Monday this week, we signed a 7-megawatt lease with a social networking company that had outgrown its existing colocation footprint," Digital Realty CEO Michael Foust told analysts in the company's Oct. 30 conference call.
The need for additional data center space is one reason that LinkedIn recently announced plans to raise $1 billion in a secondary stock offering. LinkedIn has now leased 13 megawatts of data center space this year, placing it among the leading names in the "super wholesale" class of customers. These tenants are hotly pursued by data center developers for their ability to lease large footprints and serve as anchor tenants in new buildings.
Earlier this year LinkedIn secured a new data center in northern Virginia, leasing 6 megawatts of space from Digital Realty. The $109 million, 11-year deal marked LinkedIn’s first use of wholesale data center space, in which it leases a finished “turn-key” data hall from a third-party provider. LinkedIn also rents space in data center facilities operated by Equinix, which offers colocation space, in which servers are housed in dedicated cages within a data hall that may also house other tenants.
While LinkedIn is known as the leading online hub for job seekers and professional networking, the company has also emerged as a leader in using “big data” analytics to unearth trends in salaries and job demand within the labor markets. LinkedIn’s data scientists have access to a rich trove of data shared by its 259 million users. The company has developed extensive software and tools to process and analyze its data (see the LinkedIn Data blog for details).
While neither LinkedIn nor Digital Realty has provided details on the lease, it seems a likely candidate for the Digital Dallas data center park, a 70-acre, $500 million campus in the Telecom Corridor in Richardson spanning 800,000 square feet of space. Tenants at the campus include service providers such as DataBank, Rackspace and Verizon Terremark.