Home to some of the most important tech hubs in the world, the United States is a data center powerhouse boasting more colocation data centers than any other country across the globe.
Leading both in size and connectivity, the United States has an impressive 2,000+ colocation facilities and 1,600+ cloud service providers. Five US cities were also recently recognized as important global colocation regions, dominating the annual list of Top Ten Colocation Ecosystems released by Cloudscene.
The US data center market is rarely out of the tech headlines, generating a constant stream of news on mergers, acquisitions, expansions, security breaches, policy reform, technology innovation and more. These are the top US news stories that have piqued our interest over the last month:
Facebook to lay 200-mile subterranean cable to New Mexico data center
Facebook plans to build a high-capacity state-of-the-art optical fiber cable for its forthcoming Los Lunas data center in New Mexico, delivering triple path diversity to the new facility. The social networking giant claims the 200-mile cable will provide one of the highest-capacity systems in the United States, with the ability to transmit data 50% farther without additional signal repeaters. The cable construction is expected to generate over 50 jobs, in addition to hundreds of jobs created for the data enter build. Set to go live in late 2018, the data center is estimated to cost $250 million and will be powered by three solar farms at a cost of $45 million.
Florida approves tax incentives for data centers
Florida’s Department of Revenue has announced a generous sales and use tax exemption for new data centers constructed in the state. The tax package was lobbied by a group of data center specialists after similar tax breaks proposed in 2016 failed to gain local government approval. Florida is just one of four states offering incentives that include tax exemptions on equipment and electricity use. To qualify, the facility must (within five years of construction) have a minimum power capacity of 15 megawatts, a minimum capital investment of $150 million and each tenant must have a minimum of 1 megawatt of dedicated power.
OneLogin sounds alarm over US data breach
Security specialist, OneLogin, suffered an embarrassing breach in its US operating region in May. In a company announcement, the provider of authentication and identity services confirmed that customer data was accessed and may have been compromised following unauthorized entry via the AWS API. Access was blocked seven hours after the attack began. The matter was reported to the authorities and customers have been advised to update their passwords, and create new certificates and authentication tokens.
CenturyLink data center portfolio acquired by Cyxtera Technologies
Private equity companies, Medina Capital and BC Partners, have finalized the acquisitions of CenturyLink’s 60-strong data center portfolio in addition to four security and analytics companies. The consolidated assets, valued at approximately $2.8 billion, has given rise to a new company – Cyxtera Technologies. The firm’s primary strategy for differentiation will be cybersecurity which is supported by the acquisitions of Brainspace, Cryptzone, Easy Solutions and Catbird. CenturyLink has retained a 10% stake in the new organization and will continue to provide managed services and colocation to the previously-owned facilities. The $1.86 billion sale is a significant boost for CenturyLink’s cash flow, particularly with the pending $34 billion merger with Level3 expected to close in September 2017.
TierPoint to build fourth data center in Oklahoma
St. Louis-based data center operator, TierPoint, intends to construct a new 5,600 square meter facility in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Construction of the initial phase will finish this year, with a second phase contingent on client demand. Its fourth DC in the state, TierPoint’s General Manager Todd Currie said competitively priced power and land make Oklahoma one of the country’s most attractive locations. TierPoint was also recently ranked #7 in the North American Q1 2017, Data Center Operator Leaderboard.
Apple Park construction nears completion
Drone footage released this month shows the new Apple headquarters in California is nearing completion. More than 2,000 staff in R&D have already moved on-site to “Apple Park” which plans to eventually house over 12,000 employees. The four-story building is affectionately known as the “spaceship” thanks to its sheer size and circular design. The 175-acre site, which previously belonged to Hewlett Packard, will see up to 9,000 trees planted. Powered by 100% renewable energy, the tech giant revealed that Apple Park’s 17 megawatts of rooftop solar make it “one of the largest on-site solar energy installations in the world.” The natural ventilation of the primary building is also impressive, giving way to any need for heating or air conditioning for nine months of the year. Phase two of Apple Park will includes a small data center powered by an onsite solar farm in addition to other renewable energy sources.
Stream Data Centers to construct advanced facility in Minneapolis
Stream Data Centers, a national data center developer and operator, has revealed plans to build a $250 million, 5,000 square meter facility for the US Bank in Minneapolis. To be completed in late 2017, the data center will deliver redundant power from diverse substations and will support 2.4 megawatts of IT load, bringing Stream’s total delivered market capacity to more than 10 megawatts. Driven by the state’s favorable tax incentives, approximately 25 new or refurbished data centers have been constructed in Minnesota over the past five years, representing a capital investment of over $2 billion. The state’s tax program includes rebates on sales tax for software, hardware, cooling and power infrastructure, and energy consumed in the facility.
Switch invests $2.5 billion in Atlanta data center
Las Vegas-based technology company, Switch, will create 65 new jobs and invest $2.5 billion in a Switch PRIME facility in Atlanta, Georgia. Named “The Keep”, the new one million square foot campus will be the highest-rated data center in the Southeast, giving customers the ability to operate from a range of Tier IV Gold environments across the east coast. As the market ecosystem grows, Switch expect that the company will expand to two campus locations spanning several million square feet. Hala Moddelmog, CEO of the Metro Atlanta Chamber, said the large investment is a testament to Atlanta’s strength as a digital hub.