Advanced Data Centers, Inc. 50 Megawatt Sacramento Project
For those of you that have a blog or maintain a website you probably are familiar with web analytics. I was first introduced to web analytics in my days at Equinix where I managed the Omniture relationship. When I first began working with Omniture they had a couple racks of servers. By the time I left Equinix, Omniture was close to 1000 racks of equipment spread across the globe. This happened over the course of a couple years. It didn't take a dummy to figure out they were onto something. A couple months after I left Equinix I started blogging and was introduced to web analytics from the point of a customer/user. I believe analytics is one of the most powerful elements of online behavior. Since the internet is subsidized by advertising dollars analytics plays a huge role. But this post isn't about analytics, it's about, as the title suggests a new 50MW data center project underway in Sacramento, CA. 50 Megawatts is the most power at any data center site that I have ever come across. This project has been and will continue to be the recipient of a good portion of my attention for quite some time....or until we are out of space and power.
After spending 7 years at Equinix I thought I was done with data centers. So much so that it made my head spin even thinking about them. Shortly after leaving, it dawned on me that the data center market is unique in that there are natural barriers to entry in the form of extremely high cost of admission. Some people claim that data centers are being commoditized and with all the new construction taking place this line of thought is getting more attention. For those of us building data centers this is exactly what we want....that is of course as long as it's not the attitude of an investor or banker.
It's positive for us in that by virtue of it's negative connotation, it naturally scares new entrants away, creating additional strains on supply. It's also good because it makes it very difficult, if not impossible, for a new entrant to raise the necessary capital to build out a large scale data center due to construction costs of approximately $1500 per square foot. That cost is enough to scare most people away alone. There are quite a few instances of major corporations in the US forgoing the outsourcing model of colocation and becoming site operators themselves. Without huge augmentation, very few companies have the scale and resources to make this work over an extended period of time. Not impossible by any stretch but certainly challenging. Probably the most challenging element in getting total executive buy-in/support takes place when the CIO meets with the CFO, telling him that he needs $250MM to build a new data center that will support their IT requirements for the next ten years. More often than not, the CFO recalls a similar discussion 18 months ago in which this same CIO was asking for budget to outsource the same type of requirements, albeit less capacity, to a colo supplier. Once the CFO realizes this isn't a prank and that this guy is serious he collects himself and pours a stiff drink(it's a late night at the office in this example so its all good.)
When we embarked on our new venture, we had these types of discussions in mind and saw an opportunity to provide a service which would give the CIO the resources to support their IT customers and, at the same time, give the CFO a heart attack at every budget meeting.
I'm getting sidetracked so I'm going to get back to the analytics component. I find it very interesting to take a close look at how people get to this blog. Some get here by entering terms on the various search engines while some get here by clicking on links on other blogs or news sites that reference this one. And for some, I have no idea how they wound up here. It has been enlightening to see what people search for when they go to google, yahoo, or whatever search engine they use. I've found that a good portion of the folks who wind up here search for common terms that we throw around every day in the data center world...things like: watts per sq foot, kva to kw conversion, 60amp 208v circuit, Equinix rack price, Savvis data centers, 365main outage, etc. You get the point. The analytics service I use allows for me to see the address and domain of these readers network and has given me some insight to what IT people within these organizations have on their plate...or what keeps them up at night. Then again, I could be so wrong and off base I may as well be fire on an frozen pond. Either way, people who wind up here on my blog appear to be in the process of determining how to address their data center requirements.
Without overstepping the boundary of turning this blog into a sales pitch, I really believed the company behind the aforementioned data center project, Advanced Data Centers(ADC), may be a valuable partner to those folks in need of capacity for their IT gear. As such, what better way to reach them than to discuss it here.
If you're one of those folks or think you will be soon, I invite you to visit the ADC website to see what we're up to and if it looks intriguing drop me a note either on this blog or via the form on the contact page of the website.