In this installment of the series, we highlight some of the newer players making a splash in the DFW market. We want to thank David Liggitt and the datacenterHawk team (www.datacenterhawk.com) for their significant contributions to this article and series.
Wholesale Rates with Retail Service
Dallas based Carrier-1 is a great example of the hyper competitive nature of the current DFW marketplace. They have recently launched a 106,000 square foot site located a few miles east of downtown Dallas capable of providing 60,000 square feet of white floor and 30,000 square feet of office space for customer use. The site also offers a direct connectivity service to Equinix at the Dallas Infomart to use their internet hub and peering exchange.
While this is a site that provides redundancy and solid uptime features the main differentiator is that Carrier-1 is positioning itself as a hands on retail service provider that offers “wholesale rates”. On their website they compare themselves directly to Digital Realty Trust who has traditionally been the standard bearer in the wholesale space.
New data center providers positioning themselves this way with inventory of any quality indeed put pressure on incumbent providers not just for new business but also for their existing book of business. Lower price points and efficient metered solutions typically reserved in the past for 250+kW customers do change the game.
A National Player Makes a Texas Sized Splash
Well-established Atlanta based provider QTS (Quality Technology Services) threw its hat into the Texas market with its 2014 launch of a 700,000 square foot retrofitted semiconductor plant it purchased in 2013. This site located in the central metro area city of Irving is designed to meet the modern power and uptime requirements of enterprise data center users. QTS is also providing a suite of cloud and managed services directly to its customers. QTS with other large, successful developments throughout the United States is an immediate, serious competitor in the DFW market.
Enterprise Wholesale Data Centers – Skybox Data Centers
Dallas based Skybox Data Centers based company which focuses solely on the ownership, development and operation of wholesale (1 MW+) facilities for enterprise grade users. By focusing on this subset of the market they provide large, Fortune 1000 companies great economies of scale in their operation which are often difficult to achieve in the multi-tenant halls of traditional colocation firms. Founded by former Trammell Crow executives and data center specialists at Cushman & Wakefield the company has a combined track record of over 50 million square feet across the US. Skybox has recently launched a brand-new 20 acre campus in Houston and a 100,000 SF 12.5 MW greenfield data center which they recently leased the first phase of prior to completion.
The team has significant experience in the DFW market has great interest in local projects while nationwide opportunities continue to be explored.
Micro Data Centers – Dartpoints
This firm based in Downtown Dallas is taking a niche approach to the market by staying away from the slugfest that is occurring with the big box wholesale and large retail colocation developments. Dartpoints aims to take the data center to the users typically within large, multi-tenant buildings. By providing colocation services within multi-tenant buildings, Dartpoints gives companies an option of keeping all or part of their data center in reach of their local area network without having to take on the headaches of building and maintaining their own server rooms or closets. This is also a significant benefit to the building owner and landlord by making the building more attractive to current and prospective tenants.
With three “Micro Data Centers” already launched and in operation within the DFW market (Dallas, Plano and Fort Worth) Dartpoints looks to continue focusing on developments with the area with three additional DFW area projects in the pipeline.
DFW Going Forward
There is no doubt that DFW has become a power house data center market in comparison with the national and even global landscape. While we have touched on many providers and locations in this series covering the entire DFW market and all its inner workings could be a 200 page book. During our discussions with some of the providers during our research for the series many have told us that they have projects in the works that are not yet ready to be publicized. With all the current options and more on the way soon we see that DFW will continue to thrive and offer continuously improved services for the foreseeable future.