Answer (Avner Papouchado): Server Farm Realty (SFR) provides data center services. Our goal is to simplify the physical layer of IT procurement for companies. We are able to do so by building a flexible platform that lets our customers buy what they need to and then grow into their services without doing a lot of capacity planning or over-committing. We grow with our clients; we understand their business.
Question (IM): How does SFR’s approach differ from other providers?
Answer (AP): SFR has a deep understanding of what our clients have in the space, what they want to do with it, and what they need from us to do that. We are able to give them answers/ solutions to their complex questions/projects.”
Question (IM): What is an example of this?
Answer (AP): We have many products and we have the most flexible solutions for our clients. We are at the ground level; IT is grounded. We provide the data center, which traditionally is just cooling and power, but SFR also provides a network and hardware. We work with trusted partners that provide networks and hardware.
Some people want data space, but they also need storage; we find them the partners to provide the storage space and network, as a service. We have them buy what they need (not what we want them to need) and grow with it.
Question (IM): Tell us about your Chicago data center facility which was recently launched..
Answer (AP): The Chicago facility is the most connected data center that I know of. It is a 450 thousand sq. ft. building with up to 40 MW of power and 20 MW of critical power to support customer servers. The data center features a very dense network environment, meaning that lots of networks are available in the building – giving customers many options when it comes to connectivity and data distribution.
The facility also features optimal power, with 12 feeds from four different redundant substations. SFR owns and operates eight facilities around the country, including Santa Clara, CA; Moses Lake, WA; Chicago, IL; as well as one of our newest facilities in Charlotte, NC.
Question (IM): What are you seeing in the data center industry?
Answer (AP): The data center industry is growing because computing is growing- and that is just the tip of the iceberg. There are also shifts in the marketplace from people feeling like they have to control and build their own data centers. These are the same people that then crunch the numbers and come to realize that it takes a lot of resources to build a data center. It’s unrealistic in this market. More and more people are getting away from building their own data centers and going to a lease model. They are buying more of what they need. It’s a very exciting business- lots of growth and constant change.
Question (IM): How does SFR meet the needs of its customers?
Answer (AP): First, there are many people involved in the data center procurement process. It’s a big decision. There’s the IT department; the client wants to run something and they go through their options, they know what they want to run, they know their servers they need to run it – but they outgrew or will outgrow their space. Now they have to decide if having their own data center is the most cost-effective and secure option. The customers then involve their real estate group, while the CFO also has his or her own input, as well as the people running their own data centers and defending their turf. The key moment typically comes when IT guy understands what he wants to do – and realizes that leasing space is a fraction of the cost of owning a data center.
Question (IM): Why should people pay attention to SFR?
Answer (AP): SFR is the most agile company in the data center business. We have structured it to be able to change with the market, and offer what the customer wants and not what the company thinks they want. Just like we earned the trust of our customers, I think we will earn the respect of the market as well.