By: Daniel Highet, Featured Contributor, Data Center POST
Rick Kurtzbein at 451 Research® has written a comprehensive article assessing Infomart Data Centers’ expansion of its U.S. footprint since Fortune Data Centers and the Dallas Infomart combined assets under a single operating entity and rebranded less than two short years ago. Infomart Data Centers’ strategy includes offering premium wholesale colocation services to IT service and cloud hosting providers, as well as content and media companies — firms that require concurrently maintainable data center services supported by low-latency, dense connectivity services to align with their business objectives.
Since launching operations under its current, unified shingle, Infomart Data Centers completed an expansion in Dallas, kicked off a major expansion in Hillsboro, Oregon, a suburb of Portland, and acquired a data center in Ashburn, Virginia, which it’s currently renovating to enter its fourth multi-tenant data center (MTDC) market in North America. Infomart reports it has inked $240 million in leasing activity with existing and new customers, including Equinix and Nimbix in Dallas, and LinkedIn in Hillsboro, since the merger.
As the 451 Research report attests, Infomart’s market expansion has benefited from sound strategic decision-making and ownership by the ASB Allegiance Real Estate Fund. In Dallas, for example, Infomart reinforced its wholesale data center services offering by investing in a speculative data hall, launching a Meet-Me Room (MMR) and eliminating monthly recurring interconnect charges, all of which played a pivotal role in winning the Nimbix deal. 451 Research, in fact, predicted that Infomart will experience continued success leasing premium wholesale and colocation space supported by dense connectivity services.
Roots of Success
In 2008, Fortune Data Centers launched its first wholesale data center in San Jose, and in 2012 launched a second facility in Hillsboro, Oregon. The company also announced the acquisition of AOL’s Ashburn data center, which added a fourth market and effectively created a national footprint with facilities in Silicon Valley, Portland, Dallas and Ashburn.
Infomart first added wholesale capacity and wholesale services in Dallas, building out a data hall with 3MW of critical load. This was phase one of a multiphase plan to build out 30MW of critical load on the 1.6 million gross-square-foot Dallas landmark property, which is the wholesale supply leased, in part, by Nimbix. Infomart also launched a carrier-neutral meet-me-room (MMR) to facilitate interconnection between customers and 70-plus carriers at the facility. It then disrupted the Dallas interconnection market by waiving monthly cross-connect fees typically charged by carrier hotels. This move has proved to be a market game-changer.
Sustainability Pedigree and Ambitious Expansion
Infomart also leases space for customers to develop into data centers. Equinix, for example, announced a $20 million expansion of its data center complex at Infomart Dallas in the fall of 2015. Four of Equinix’s existing five Dallas data centers are now located within the Infomart building.
Infomart next freed up 7MW of contiguous space available for immediate leasing at its Silicon Valley wholesale facility. On the sustainability front, Infomart now uses ‘gray water’ for 100% of the mechanical infrastructure and irrigation surrounding the facility, increasing its energy efficiency while also reducing costs. This move aligns with the company’s history of implementing energy-efficient and sustainable technologies, which had already led to an award of $500,000 from Energy Trust of Oregon for the efficiency measures it took when building its Portland site.
Infomart Ashburn is located in the largest North American MTDC market. The 180,000 gross-square-foot data center was previously owned by AOL and provides 90,000 square feet of raised floor. The first phase of renovations will add 5.6MW of critical load, and upon completion, the facility will have 11MW of critical load. The building is fed from two separate substations. The Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), generators, cooling towers and centrifugal chillers are all from the AOL data center, and all critical systems are configured to a minimum of N+1 redundancy, and are concurrently maintainable.
Last fall, Infomart announced it will build out a two-phase expansion of its Hillsboro data center with 16MW of critical load. Currently, half of the new capacity is preleased. The first phase will complete the build-out of the original facility in the existing shell with 4MW, which will become available in this month. The second phase involves designing and building out a dedicated 100,000-gross-square-foot data center shell that will attach to the original shell and provide another 12MW of critical load, with 8MW available for new customers. The second phase will be complete in mid-summer of this year.
While Infomart Dallas is considered the crown jewel in terms of connectivity services, Infomart also touts the low-latency connectivity and eco-friendly models of its Silicon Valley and Portland facilities to the Asian market. Now, with its East Coast presence firmly entrenched in the Internet hub of Ashburn, the firm has clearly targeted connectivity as a critical component of its North American strategy.
Readers interested in the complete report authored by 451 Research can view it here.