ViaWest Opens Huge Denver Data Center

Provider's fifth data center in the active Denver market is its first greenfield build

Jason Verge

June 11, 2014

3 Min Read
ViaWest Opens Huge Denver Data Center
Electrical gear at ViaWest’s Compark data center in Englewood, Colorado. (Photo by Paul Talbot, 23rd Studios)

ViaWest has opened its fifth Denver-area data center. The Compark facility -- the first greenfield construction project the provider has ever undertaken -- is a  210,000 square foot building with 140,000 square feet of raised floor.

The news comes about two months after ViaWest launched a data center in Chaska, Minnesota, to serve the Minneapolis market.

ViaWest announced it was building the latest Denver facility in October of last year, as well as its intentions to go after Uptime Institute certification, which it is in the process of doing. The company was the first colocation provider to achieve Tier IV Design Certification from Uptime for its Lone Mountain facility in Las Vegas.

Compark, located in Englewood, Colorado, was built using the Lone Mountain template, except that it's double in scale. Lone Mountain is a 9 megawatt data center, while Compark has 18 megawatts.

“The biggest differentiator across the entire data center fleet is that it’s our first purpose-built data center," said Todd Gale, vice president of data center architecture and innovation at ViaWest. "It was our first greenfield project. It was an excellent experience and will be our model going forward in the near term. We have two expansions in planning stages in existing markets that will be purpose-built as well.”

The company decided to build the facility from scratch because it could not find a building in the area that would fit its needs.

ViaWest will offer cloud computing, wholesale and retail colocation and managed services in the new facility, which resides just east of Centennial Airport.

Compark construction project facts:

  • Total project investment for ViaWest at full build-out and full capacity will be more than $100 million.

  • ViaWest customer investment in IT equipment (i.e. servers, racks, storage devices, etc.) will represent between $500 million and $1 billion.

  • More than 30 contractors were involved across several disciplines, including design, general construction, electrical and mechanical. This represents a combined workforce of more than 600 people.

  • More than 43,000 cubic yards of earth were moved to prepare the site for the structure.

  • The construction effort alone required more than 15,000 hours of labor.

Colorado data center activity

Colorado, ViaWest's home state, has seen a lot of activity in recent years and is a growing hub for enterprise and technology companies. Its low-risk geography is good for both production and disaster recovery needs. It also offers a talented tech workforce.

The data center provider has experienced a lot of demand in the Denver area, which is why it decided to make such a large investment in capacity there. "We’re at capacity at the other four [local] facilities and we’re seeing strong demand in Colorado," Gale said. There are also many companies from outside of the state that are looking at Denver as a disaster recovery location with low utility rates and small chances of natural disaster.

There's been a slew of activity in Colorado. Other providers in the market include Fortrust, which recently added more capacity in Denver, taking a modular approach to growth using IO.Anywhere modules. There are also CoreSite realty, which operates the Any2 Denver peering exchange, and Latisys, which built a second Denver facility in 2011 in nearby Englewood.

Also in Englewood, OneNeck IT is building a  $20 million greenfield data center to serve the Denver area.

There’s also a lot of action just an hour's drive down I-25 S, in Colorado Springs. Atlanta-based T5 is planning a massive $800 million data center campus situated on 64 acres of land with up to 100 megawatts of available power.

Colorado Springs has been competing in the state through tax incentives, cheap power rates and a friendly business atmosphere. Verizon Wireless, HP, FedEx, T. Rowe Price, Progressive, HP, Intel, Wal-Mart and FedEx have big facilities there.

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