Dan Ephraim is Vice President of Sales at Infomart Data Centers, an industry leader in developing, owning, and operating reliable, efficient, customizable, and high-density data center solutions. Data Center POST recently sat down with Dan to discuss how Infomart’s Ashburn data center is poised to provide critical capacity for an evolving digital landscape.
Data Center POST Kathy Xu (DCP-KX) Question: I understand the building in which you built your Ashburn facility has a rich history; can you tell us about its genesis?
Infomart, Dan Ephraim (IM-DE) Answer: The newly refurbished facility, formerly the Dulles Technology Center, is the origin of what is today called Data Center Alley. Data Center Alley has been called “The Silicon Valley of the East” because of the reliable power grid, robust tax incentives, quality of labor, and proximity to the rich enterprise and public cloud ecosystems, to name a few. It’s inspiring to be a part of that legacy as we look to reinvent the facility to service multi-tenant colocation needs.
DCP-KX Q: What is the current landscape of the Ashburn data center capacity market?
IM-DE A: Northern Virginia is a hyper-competitive market and consistently ranks as the largest single-region data center market in the world. Leasing rates in 2017 were at a record high of 115 MW of data center space, and 2018 will far exceed that figure, making Virginia the absolute leader in market capacity and absorption. Every provider in Ashburn is fortunate to have strong partners like Dominion Energy and Loudoun County’s Department of Economic Development to continue to provide critical components and incentives to enable the continued success of this market. For Infomart, having a location in Northern Virginia is an important locale as our prospects and clients are seeking to capture the value of the world’s largest multi-tenant data center marketplace.
DCP-KX Q: Hyperscaler deals are growing bigger, with real estate being quickly scooped up in Ashburn at higher-than-usual prices. How do you see this impacting Infomart’s Ashburn facility, if at all, and is this your target market for this data center?
IM-DE A: The Infomart Ashburn facility is hardened and fortified and well suited to meet the needs of any firm with above average physical security measures. Despite being constructed in 1997 and completely retrofitted in 2018, Infomart Ashburn’s flexibility is seen in the design of the electrical and mechanical topologies to service the unique space and density needs of hyperscale, enterprise, federal, and IoT buyers.
Given the dynamic nature of our offering, our 10,000-square-foot data halls are designed to support 30kW+ per rack. Also, our customer engagement model allows for clients to leverage our specific kill sets; this resulted in Infomart partnering with LinkedIn to design, install, and manage one of the largest rear-door heat exchanger deployments to date.
DCP-KX Q: Ashburn is among the most competitive data center markets in the world. What would make a customer choose Infomart?
IM-DE A: Aligning our business to that of our clients and prospects is what makes us successful. Whether it be operational or commercial, Infomart’s focus on identifying the core needs of our clients is what allows us to deliver the value expected of a mission-critical partner. As an example, Infomart proactively adjusted our operational processes to meet the high-density needs of a hyperscale client, which helped that client operate more efficiently.
Specific to Infomart Ashburn, physical security is a differentiating factor as the perimeter security far exceeds any market standards. Having a hardened and fortified facility in the middle of Data Center Alley sets our business apart in a hyper-competitive marketplace.
DCP-KX Q: I understand Infomart decided to retrofit in the Ashburn market versus build new. Why?
IM-DE A: The underlying economics of purchasing the facility, versus a greenfield project, were more favorable to purchasing. Firstly, the acquisition price was highly attractive, and secondly, new cost-effective technologies have been introduced to enable the facility to push industry-leading efficiency metrics. Committing to extending the life of the facility has allowed Infomart to be a highly differentiated player in the Northern Virginia marketplace.
DCP-KX Q: With the close proximity to D.C., are government clients potential prospects for your Ashburn facility? If so, what value-adds can you offer this vertical?
IM-DE A: Systems integrators, multiple agencies, and enterprises in highly regulated markets traditionally seek a hardened and fortified facility, and our solution resonates with those relationships. The physical security, combined with proximity to the in-region carrier hotel and large cloud ecosystems, are components that today’s systems integrators seek out. Where the Data Center Optimization Initiative (DCOI) failed to trigger large-scale investments in colocation, recent budget re-alignment at the federal level is driving significant levels of sourcing, and Infomart stands at the ready to service those requirements.