CenturyLink Gets Modular, Enters Phoenix Market With IO

CenturyLink announced a strategic agreement with IO to expand its hosting and colocation footprint to the Phoenix and Scottsdale AZ markets.

Jason Verge

January 30, 2014

4 Min Read
CenturyLink Gets Modular, Enters Phoenix Market With IO
A row of IO Anywhere data center modules at the original IO Phoenix facility (Photo: IO)

A row of IO Anywhere data center modules at the IO Phoenix facility.


A row of IO Anywhere data center modules at the IO Phoenix facility. IO and CenturyLink have announced a strategic partnership in Phoenix and Scottsdale. (Photo: IO)

CenturyLink has announced a strategic agreement with IO to expand its hosting and colocation footprint in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona. The agreement expands the colocation footprint of CenturyLink Technology Solutions’ (the artist formerly known as Savvis) using IO’s Intelligent Technology platform, with initial deployments at IO Phoenix and nearby IO Scottsdale.

CenturyLink enters the Phoenix market as a hosting and colocation provider, making up to 9 megawatts of additional capacity available through IO's modular deployment technology.The partnership extends beyond Phoenix, however, as both CenturyLink and IO stand to gain from the collaboration.

Why is this partnership notable? CenturyLink is the largest tenant for Digital Realty Trust, which has significant capacity in the Phoenix market at its facility in Chandler. CenturyLink said the decision to go with IO was a decision of going for modular over a brick-and-mortar shell data center.

A Deal Unique in the Industry

But there’s far more to it than that. This is a win-win for both CenturyLink and IO, and a unique deal in the industry.

IO has sharpened its focus to selling DCaaS, IaaS and PaaS (what it refers to collectively as IO.Cloud) as well as selling its software-defined data center platform (products which consist of IO.Anywhere and IO.OS). It has become a product-focused company. However, IO continues its commitment to delivering Data Center as a Service (DCaaS) to customers in New Jersey, Ohio, and Singapore.

CenturyLink can now deploy IO.OS and IO.Anywhere modules across its 55 data centers globally.

“From our perspective, there’s a few things the deal does for us,” said David Meredith, senior vice president and general manager, CenturyLink Technology Solutions. "We’ve been hearing from customers more and more: what about these modules?  They say it seems more efficient from a power perspective. It allows rolling out smaller increments. Meanwhile, we’ve been spending a ton of money on the virtual side of things. This allows us to diversify our product mix. We can now deploy modules in 55 of our data centers.”

It means more referrals for colocation. CenturyLink already has a sizeable presence in Phoenix, employing about 1,700 people. It has a solid understanding of the market, so this isn’t jumping into the deep end. The only missing part was the company didn’t have a data center.

“This is a very unique deal; we’re going to be the exclusive sellers for colocation in that market,” continues Meredith. “It’ll be Centurylink branded for any new IO customers in Phoenix. The opportunity is for us is to take over sales and operations services for any new customers.”

Differentiators In Phoenix

“The modules do help us to differentiate,” said Meredith. “It gives us lower PUEs (Power Usage Effectiveness) and better operational efficiency in that market.  But our biggest differentiator is hybrid. Most people need colo, but they also need to figure out a roadmap for cloud. What’s great is to have that flexibility from a provider to do more managed, cloud, colo – whatever the customer needs. We’re very flexible from a contractual standpoint and a solutions standpoint. We have a diverse portfolio, and now we’re adding diversity at the physical layer.”

"The pioneering IO technology enhances our product mix with the latest options for delivering flexible hybrid IT solutions." said Jeff Von Deylen, president of CenturyLink Technology Solutions. "IO’s energy-efficient data center technology platform can be deployed just-in-time, helping us to preserve capital and enabling our clients to reduce costs and operate more efficiently.”

IO Intelligent Control technology platform consists of IO.Anywhere data center modules and the integrated IO.OS data center operating system. IO.OS provides integrated control, data collection and business intelligence across the stack: infrastructure, IT equipment, applications and users. Layered on top of this, is CenturyLink’s broad set of colocation, managed services, cloud and network offerings.

"We believe CenturyLink's substantial commitment to IO technology further validates that our Intelligent Control platform can meet the demands of large-scale, global service providers," said George D. Slessman, IO chief executive officer and product architect.

CenturyLink’s ClientConnect is also available. ClientConnect is an online gateway/ecosystem for businesses to expand their capabilities by locating, connecting and sharing services with other businesses residing across CenturyLink’s global data center footprint.

“Armed with IO’s prefabricated modular technology and proprietary data center operating system, CenturyLink is rounding out its digital infrastructure offering by combining a sophisticated, agile and intuitive data center platform with its deep stack of IT services, optimizing customer scalability and management capabilities,” said Michael Levy, data centers senior analyst at 451 Research.

This strategic agreement with IO follows recent CenturyLink announcements regarding investments in its hosting capabilities, including the acquisitions of Tier 3 and AppFog and data center construction projects in Toronto and Minneapolis. CenturyLink operates more than 50 data centers worldwide, with more than 2.5 million square feet of gross raised floor space throughout North America, Europe and Asia.

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