Colo and cloud service provider Latisys is increasing its data center capacity in suburban Chicago on the back of continued strong demand. The company is building out 24,600 square feet of raised floor, adding 3.6 megawatts of critical power in Oak Brook. The new build will create CHI-06, which will open later this year and will be part of Latisys’ CHI1 data center, a 99,000 square foot Tier III facility.
Latisys underwent an expansion in Chicago in May of last year, and the company is already primed for the next phase. “We’re not out of space, but the pace of adoption has been strong enough that we made the decision pretty quickly to continue the momentum and be ready," said Jonathan Sharp, VP of Marketing, Latisys. "It didn’t totally take us by surprise, but we were extremely pleased with the growth.”
What’s driving all of this growth in Chicago? “There are many factors,” said Sharp. “People have rid themselves of the illusion that they have to be downtown. I’d say at least half of our Chicago business is people outsourcing for the first time – Chicago has awoken to the outsourcing bug. In the past 12 to 18 months, it’s as if an outsourcing giant has been awakened.”
Growing Demand for Managed Services
Sharp also notes that Chicago has historically been a stronger market for colocation than managed hosting. That has changed. “We’ve seen an acceleration of our managed business,” said Sharp. “We ended up 65 percent year over year in managed growth, and a significant chunk was Chicago-based business”
Latisys is uniquely positioned in that it offers hybrid IT, spanning high density colocation, managed services, both private and multi-tenant cloud and everything in between.
“A CIO wants a partner that will take complex stuff off of his hands,” said Sharp. “We can really prescribe the ideal scenario. Colocation still remains a very important piece of our portfolio, but our end to end, unified platform is also an important part.”
When it comes to customers, Latisys says it is seeing requests from all ends – some customers ask them to help with a cloud strategy, and some customers come looking for colocation and end up on hosting.
“There’s been several notable wins where it was initially a colocation conversation and it became a managed deal,” said Sharp. He attributes consulting, and truly getting to know a customer’s unique needs to the company’s success in Chicago. Rather than shoehorn a customer into a certain setup, Latisys’ diverse portfolio of offerings means more custom-tailored deals.
Another big driver in the Chicago suburbs, according to Sharp, is disaster recovery. “There’s a tremendous amount of interest (in DR)," he said. "It’s now more cost effective than ever for a company to build a viable, flexible DR plan. People that were priced out previously, now have that viable option.”
Chicago Suburbs On Fire
“This is the latest in a series of Latisys investments both nationally and in the Western suburbs of Chicago,” said Glenn Ford, Senior Analyst with 451 Research. “Latisys has a range of services with the ability to offer hybrid solutions that span datacenter colocation, managed hosting and cloud. The addition of 24,000 square feet of enterprise quality datacenter space reflects both accelerating demand for outsourcing and constrained capacity in and around Chicago.”
“Chicago’s western suburbs have arrived as an attractive alternative for downtown enterprises seeking additional capacity and data center resiliency, making this region a critical hub for our unified data center platform,” said Pete Stevenson, CEO, Latisys.
Latisys’ Oak Brook data center campus serves as the Midwest hub of Latisys’ national platform of high-density data centers – which includes Denver as an ideal Disaster Recovery site and Southern California and Northern Virginia as gateways to Asia Pacific, Europe and South America. More than 800 enterprises and government organizations rely on Latisys.
Oak Brook will offer the full suite of managed services, capacity to meet increasing demand for power and space and is in key proximity to downtown Chicago and CME. The company also recently made investments in a new monitoring platform that gives both them and their customers some deep insight into the infrastructure.
CHI-06 will be tied directly to existing fiber carriers in the buildings and monitored 24x7x365 by on-site NOC personnel and systems. Latisys engages external audit firms to perform annual assessments to support customers’ diverse compliance requirements. These accredited examinations span SOC 2, SOC 3, PCI DSS and HIPAA