2014 US Colocation Market: Mature, Competitive, Expanding

Over the last decade, the colocation market has expanded and flourished – with more customers looking to outsource new facilities and more vendors emerging and expanding to meet this demand.

Colocation providers now offer a myriad of services beyond the expected physical space. Infrastructure is now table stakes, including enhanced power efficiency and physical security. The more impressive solutions offer a full portfolio of managed services to cloud, or host and steward a marketplace of third party services, offering close proximity to business partners and primary communications services. By “close” we mean VERY close, as in the same building, sometimes only meters away. Depending on the use case, proximity like this can make the difference between success or failure of a business function – financial trading is an obvious example but there are many more.

To get better acquainted with this ever expanding landscape of vendors and solutions, about this time last year I began a lengthy exercise to investigate and analyze the US colocation market.  After three months, I identified 430 organizations through search engines and public profile sites. I then weeded out 112 firms that had inactive websites, were acquired, or did not clearly provide retail or wholesale colocation. Over the subsequent 3 months, I attempted to quantify the footprint of all qualifying facilities. Some key findings from this research include:

  • There are over 1430 data center facilities in more than 330 cities across the US, but53% of vendors surveyed operated only 1 facility.
  • There is over 68 million square feet of reported data center space, and an estimated 90-120 million square feet in total. This projection includes a fair amount of assumptions as many vendors did not provide facility sizes.
Read more

Now Is The Time For CIOs To Tune Into 3D Printing

While the basic technology behind 3D printing has been around for decades, recent hype and coverage has recast a spotlight on the industry. Over the last few years, incumbent and emerging vendors have been rapidly developing 3D printers, each more productive than the last, with an ever expanding variety of printable materials and possible use cases. 

Outside of consumer hobbyists, 3D printing will have the greatest impact on businesses that design and manufacture discrete products, introducing rapid prototyping to speed up development cycles and an alternative production method for customized finished objects.

What does this mean for CIOs and technology management departments?

As the resident technology expert, you may be called upon to evaluate the hardware and feasibility of 3D printing for your business. Beyond assessment, businesses may demand:

  • Technology support and management. If your business decides to incorporate 3D printers, as a new networked device, support could entail adapting and integrating the 3D printing ecosystem into current product lifecycle management platforms and processes, not to mention troubleshooting hardware and software issues.
Read more

Grow Your Business With A Green Data Center Strategy

With budgets tight and new agendas for social, mobile and cloud, for many, green initiatives are middle to low priority, often considered but secondary to price and convenience.  So why should you care about green?

Customers today are increasingly interested in green alternatives. In the recent report Why Every Online Retailer Needs To Think Green, Sucharita Mulpuru uses Forrester’s consumer Technographics® data to reveal that more than 50% of today's US online adults can be categorized as green consumers, interested in buying green products or buying from brands that engage in green initiatives, such as supply chain transparency or carbon reporting. For online retailers, this represents a significant growth opportunity, as the majority of this consumer segment is not only classified as “high spending,” but also willing to spend more on green alternatives, and more likely to advocate for these products.

Read more

Iceland: Gearing Up To Supply The World With Green IT Solutions

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting the remote and beautiful country of Iceland. After a 5-hour flight and a brief history lesson, I was amazed to learn that in addition to its unique local attractions — geothermal springs, volcanos, aurora borealis — Iceland possesses a wealth of natural resources.

View of the run off from Ljósafoss Hydro-Power Station, located on the River Sog by Lake Úlfljótsvatn’s outflow

View of the run off from Ljósafoss Hydro-Power Station, located on the River Sog by Lake Úlfljótsvatn’s outflow

Straddling the North American and European tectonic plates, Iceland’s geological conditions supply its inhabitants with an abundance of natural resources ideal for renewable energy generation. Over the last century, locals have learned how to harvest these resources, constructing geothermal and hydroelectric power generation facilities and providing the country with 100% renewable, carbon-free electricity. With the current cost-prohibitive, technologically limited methods of electrical interconnection, Iceland’s public utilities have been investigating alternative ways to export their energy surplus in the form of finished products.

Read more

To Build Or To Colocate Your Next Data Center – That Is The Question

Technology and business leaders don’t always fully understand the true costs and risks associated with both building and operating a data center. Data center facilities are one of the largest line items in an IT infrastructure budget, and these costs can run into the tens or even hundreds of millions over a data center’s lifetime. If you’re currently looking for more data center capacity, before you make a decision, it’s important to understand the cost and risk implications of your choice and justify the business case to your executives and budget holders.

Using Forrester’s Total Economic ImpactTM (TEI) methodology, we built an ROI calculator to help infrastructure & operations professionals evaluate three approaches to greenfield data center implementations: traditional builds, modular builds, and colocation. In this model, we quantify the costs, risks, and benefits associated with each scenario and calculate the net present value (NPV) of this investment over 15 years.

Read more