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Issue 19, January 2012



providers never fail to tout how big their newest construction projects are, especially if they are of impressive scale.


In many cases, the marketing thinking seems to be: “If you’ve got it, fl aunt it!” With this in mind, here are some of the biggest builds announced in 2011.


Las Vegas-based operator Switch announced a plan to add more than 600,000 sq ft of data center space at the company’s already massive Sin City campus, which it calls SuperNAP West. The new build will consist of two buildings, SuperNAP NV-8 and SuperNAP NV-9. Switch plans to bring both of them online in 2012.

In January, Switch announced a plan to expand what was then a 407,000 sq ft campus to more than 2m sq ft. At full build-out the campus will have 500 MVA of power capacity, backed up by 567 MVA of generator power. It will have room and resources to support more than 31,000 IT cabinets cooled by more than 200,000 tons of cooling capacity.

In October, the company broke ground on the fi rst phase of this expansion project after having raised enough capital to fi nance it. In its latest fi nancing round, Switch secured US$124m from a group of banks that included Citigroup, Nevada State Bank, Bank of Nevada, City National Bank, and Intel’s venture-capital arm, Intel Capital.

The company’s CEO and founder, Rob Roy, said it had observed “unbelievable” demand for its services in Las Vegas. “Switch is about future- proofi ng the data center needs of our customers,” he said. Prior to publication Switch said it is building an entire new data in the north of Vegas, adding another 300,000 sq ft to its portfolio.


US-based provider of colocation services CyrusOne announced plans for a data center campus that would provide more than 1m sq ft

Cincinnati Bell completed its US$525m acquisition of CyrusOne from its previous owner Abry Partners in June, embarking on expansion of its new subsidiary’s data center footprint almost immediately. In addition to growing its US data center presence, Cincinnati Bell took CyrusOne to the international market by establishing a 10,000 sq ft data center in London, taking wholesale space at a Sentrum facility.

In October, CyrusOne hired Kevin Timmons – who was previously in charge of Microsoft’s data centers – to become its new CTO. He left Microsoft in April.


In Wales, Next Generation Data (NGD) Europe announced construction of seven data halls at its site in Cardiff. The expansion by a total of 420,000 sq ft will take place in three phases, each adding 120,000 sq ft of space.

The company plans to complete all three phases by the end of 2011. Its building in Cardiff measures more than 800,000 sq ft, with 180MVA of power available to the site.

The company launched the data center in 2010, and by June 2011 it had sold all the space that was available there.

Its Wales chairman, Simon Taylor, said in April: “Our initial custom-built halls are now fully occupied on long-term contracts and we have a very strong customer pipeline, both in terms of new customers and repeat business from our existing client base.”

NGD said it would invest £12m into the expansion project. It made the announcement shortly after it secured £5m of debt fi nancing from a group of investors that included Lombard and Finance Wales.


In China, IBM got a contract to participate in the construction of a small city that will consist of data centers, offi ce space and housing for people who work there. The developer, Range Technology, hired IBM to do the initial data center build.

IBM VP of site and facilities services Steve Sams told DatacenterDynamics that the company would start with two 170,000 sq ft data centers on the site allotted for the fi rst group of buildings that measure 6.6m sq ft total.

The future Langfang Range International

Information Hub will be located in China’s Hebei Province. While the entire fi rst set of buildings is expected to be completed some time in 2016, IBM is to bring the fi rst two data centers online before the end of 2012. How much more data center space will be built at the hub and how quickly will depend on the rate of take-up of space at the fi rst two.

Sams said subsequent data centers would be built faster because IBM had created a design for the fi rst two that is replicable.

Once the data centers are online, Range and IBM will run them collaboratively to provide services to private enterprises and Chinese government agencies. n 43

e constantly hear that it isn’t the size but the power that matters in a data center, but despite this, commercial colocation

THE YEAR DATA CENTERS GOT BIGGER Some of 2011’s projects proved that size still matters when it comes to selling data center space. By Yevgeniy Sverdlik

of data center fl oor, powered by about 110MW. The company is planning to build the data center campus on the Phoenix metro area – a market currently dominated by IO and Digital Realty Trust. In a call with investors, Gary Wojtaszek, CFO of Cincinnati Bell (owner of CyrusOne), said the company would start construction in Phoenix in 2012 to bring the fi rst 40,000 sq ft of data center space online by 2013.

Switch’s massive data center in Las Vegas

By building in Phoenix, CyrusOne is going after customers in the northern and southern California markets.

The company saw demand from European and North American customers.

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