What does it take to be a data center trailblazer?  Data Center POST recently spoke with ROOT Data Center’s President and CEO, AJ Byers, to get his take

By Joanna Soucy, Editor-in-Chief

To be a trailblazer in any industry, you have to challenge the way it has “always been done”. It’s up to a company’s leadership to drive growth and success by creating a unique business model based on innovation and experience. At ROOT Data Center, this means taking the extra time to develop a targeted approach to data center design and construction that is unlike any other providers in the region.

Instead of focusing on enterprises and end users, ROOT has set its sights on the bigger picture. Major cloud operators such as Google, Amazon and Microsoft need an effective colocation facility to store their customers’ data. We recognize that there is an inherent value to providing the necessary data center space for hyperscalers outside of their core markets and private data center campuses. To meet this need, ROOT developed a hyperscale-first approach from the beginning in order to prepare for these customers’ arrival to the Canadian market.

ROOT is one of Canada’s only colocation providers that is wholly focused on wholesale. This allows us to provide the highest-quality wholesale opportunities for hyperscale customers without having to juggle the responsibilities of managed services such as those offered by many other colocation providers. As a result, we are one of the only providers in the country that is primarily focused on reducing costs and increasing efficiency for many of the largest technology organizations in the world. We take an unorthodox and minimalist approach to colocation solutions, implementing simplified and efficient design that translates into significant cost savings for ROOT customers. We strip away all of the unnecessary frills that many competitors utilize to enhance the appearance and perception of their facilities, and instead focus on the critical components of colocation. This minimalist approach contributes to our ability to deliver 100 percent uptime, backed by industry safety and security best-practices, and combined with one of the most energy-efficient cost profiles in the industry.

Another key differentiator of ROOT is our capacity to deliver accelerated deployment times. For our customers, this means increased efficiency with the ability to scale up on-demand to meet business growth timelines in months, rather than years. We’re able to accelerate this process by utilizing a modular design that allows us to quickly provision infrastructure and resources with efficient manufacturing, creating products that can be ready within eight to twelve weeks.

Having a progressive mindset is only half the battle when it comes to providing customers with an effective wholesale colocation solution. To deliver upon these promises, it’s critical to secure the necessary financial backing to expand operations as needed. ROOT recently secured $90 million in new financing from Goldman Sachs, which will allow our company to expand even further as we work to provide high-quality wholesale colocation solutions to a wider market.

Going against the grain and defying conventional wisdom is what has made ROOT a success in the data center industry. We strive to continue to innovate every day as our customers’ hosting needs evolve. We are proud of what we have built with ROOT, but this is only the beginning as we trailblaze our path toward success.

About AJ Byers

With 20 years of experience in the data center industry, AJ has proven skills in business transformation and growth. Recently, as president of Rogers Data Centers he led the team in the development of one of Canada’s largest data center service companies with 15 centers nationally. As executive VP of Primus, he guided its transition from a legacy telecom provider to a full solution technology services organization. He has also long been a pioneering force in the industry. As COO at Magma Communications, he was instrumental in building one of Canada’s first internet data centers