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January 8, 2016updated 31 Aug 2016 10:36am

Expansion, consolidation & transformation: 10 data centre companies starting 2016 with a big bang

List: From acquisitions to expansions and market exits, the first week of the year has not failed industry predictions.

By Joao Lima

The data centre industry is expected to expand exponentially and consolidate this year and providers have not wasted a minute.

On the first week of 2016, there have been several announcements that will have a significant impact in the market in the months and years to come.

CBR lists the main ten data centre announcements of the week.

1. AWS Asian expansion

Amazon has become the first cloud giant to announce an expansion of its data centre network. The company has launched its fifth cloud region in the APAC area with the opening of two data centres in Seoul, South Korea.

The Seoul Region consists of two Availability Zones at launch. Each Availability Zone includes one or more geographically distinct data centres, each with redundant power, networking, and connectivity.

Each Availability Zone has also been designed to be resilient to any issues in another Availability Zone, enabling customers to operate production applications and databases that are more highly available, fault tolerant, and scalable than would be possible from a single data centre.

With the opening of these two data centres, AWS Cloud has now a presence in 32 Availability Zones across 12 geographic regions worldwide, with another four AWS Regions (and nine Availability Zones) in China, India, Ohio, and the United Kingdom to be available in the coming year.

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2. Verizon looks at data centre mega sale

In November last year, news that Verizon was considering exiting the data centre market surged, with up to $10 billion of assets possibly being sold.

This week, Reuters reported that the telco company is already making the first moves to sell off 48 data centres in the US. The deal could be worth as much as $2.5 billion, according to the news agency.

The deal, which is supposedly confidential, was leaked to Reuters by sources familiar with the matter. These sources have also said that Citigroup is advising Verizon on the sale of its entire data centre and collocation portfolio.

Verizon’s move is understood to be linked to the growing expansion of big cloud players like Microsoft, Google and Apple. The company is going to focus itself on its core business.

3. Apple expands in Reno

Apple has not wasted time and started the year with the launch of Project Huckleberry. The iPhone maker has filled a permit with Washoe County, in Nevada, to build a new infrastructure next to its original Reno Project Mills.

The site, in Reno’s Technoogy Park, will see Apple build a sort of twin-brother to Project Mills, with several small data centres being erected to the east of the park.

Project Mills, whose completion is expected soon, will have 14 data centres topping 412,000 sq ft of hosting space. Once Project Huckleberry is completed, Apple will have in Reno a data centre hub with nearly 30 buildings and a total of over 800,000 sq ft.

4. DuPont Fabros sells off site

Carrier-neutral data centre operator DuPont Fabros Technology has announced that it plans to market its NJ1 data centre facility for sale.

NJ1, located in Piscataway, New Jersey, is an approximately 360,000 sq ft facility that is comprised of two phases. NJ1 Phase I contains approximately 88,000 sq ft of raised floor area, and has 18.2 megawatts of critical load power available for use by customers.

NJ1 Phase II is available for future development. The Company has leased 52% of the available critical load power and 70% of the available raised floor area in NJ1 Phase I.

DFT plans to use any funds generated from the sale of NJ1 to partially fund its expansion into the new markets contemplated by its strategic plan, specifically Toronto, Portland, Oregon or Phoenix, Arizona.

5. CenturyLink looks into wholesale model

Like Verizon, CenturyLink announced in November that it was considering selling off its entire global data centre fleets to focus on a new strategy around network, hosting, and managed services.

The firms CFO Stewart Ewing told investors at the Citi 2016 Global Internet, Media & Telecommunications Conference the firm could still make money from its data centre business after the sale by tapping into a wholesale model. Ewing believes this could be applied to any buying outcome, not depending on who buys the data centres, even if it is a colo operator.

The company owns 59 data centres in North America, Asia and Europe with more than 185 MW of power across 2.6 million sq ft of total raised floor capacity.

In the UK, it has five data centres in London Docklands, Slough and Reading. Together, the facilities boost 538,146 sq ft of commercial space, with 41.5 MW of total power.

6. Zayo’s Stream data centre buyout

Zayo has double its data centre footprint after purchasing Stream Data Centres’ 36,000 sq ft Dallas facility located at 1100 Empire Central Place. The company has now 61,000 sq ft of data centre space in four locations all in the Dallas region.

The acquisition has been made following accelerating demand for data centre and interconnection services in Dallas, fuelled by customers in technology and energy sectors.

The comms infrastructure provider anticipates a 40% or higher return on its capital investment.

The site will provide access to Zayo’s fiber backbone in Dallas, which spans more than 3,500 miles. The new data centre will tether to Zayo’s key points-of-presence (PoPs) in 1950 N. Stemmons Freeway and 2323 Bryan Street via Zayo’s fiber network.

7. GI buys ViaWest Data Centre

San Francisco GI Partners has also stepped up its data centre footprint in Dallas with the acquisition of ViaWest’s data centre and office spaces next to the University of Texas.

The site has 300,000 sq st with the data centre counting to 50,000 sq ft. The company has not disclosed any more details regarding the transaction.

8. CyrusOne divorces completely from data centre business with Cincinnati Bell

With a total of 32 data centres, including one in London with 200,000 sq ft of commercial space, CyrusOne has this week finalised the buyout of the remaining stock owned by parent company Cincinnati Bell (CB).

The process was initiated in 2014, however, only this week CyrusOne bought the last seven million shares owned by the telco.

CyrusOne has been expanding its data centre facility, with the latest commission site to be located in Austin, US, that will add up to 172,000 data centre sq ft and 120,000 sq ft of collocation space at full build.

9. Toyota taps into smart car data centre

Car manufacturer Toyota has gone beyond the IoT hype to announce at CES the construction of a data centre that it will use exclusively to analyse connected-cars’ data.

The Toyota Big Data Centre will receive data from the new Data Communication Modules (DCM), which is going to be installed on the frameworks of all new vehicles.

The DCM are expected to be deployed by 2017 in the US with overseas markets targeted for roll-outs by 2019.

10. Vantage to break ground on 6MW site expansion

Mission critical applications provider Vantage has announced that it has initiated ground-up construction of a new six megawatt building on its Santa Clara campus in response to customer demand.

The six megawatt facility is targeted for completion in Q4 2016, bringing total capacity of the Santa Clara campus to more than 50 megawatts of critical load.

The new two-story building, referred to as V4, will sit adjacent to the existing V1 facility. V4 will feature outside air economisation to deliver ultra-low PUEs and will run a fully redundant 2N electrical system.

This new building will add 43,000 sq ft, including 30,000 sq ft of white space, to the Vantage Santa Clara campus.

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