Bitcoin Infrastructure May Grow by $600M

Bitcoin Infrastructure May Grow by $600M in Second Half of 2014

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Montgomery County MD steps up tax incentives with $12M for ByteGrid Data Center tenants

Montgomery County MD has agreed to give tenants of ByteGrid’s Silver Spring data center up to $12 million in property tax breaks over 12 years, the first such move for a county looking to foster a competitive data center cluster and fend off competing jurisdictions.

The package of tax breaks applies to customers of ByteGrid, which operates — and leases space in — two facilities totaling 91,000 square feet on its main Silver Spring campus. “Given the extraordinarily high personal property investment for IT infrastructure by the tenants of these centers, the easiest way for us to level the playing field is to offset some of those infrastructure costs over a 12 year period of time,” said Montgomery County Economic Development Director Steve Silverman.

When Silverman says “level the playing field” (and he did say this several times), he’s referring to the patchwork of tax initiatives that state and local governments have passed in recent years. Oregon, for example, has passed a series of tax breaks aimed at attracting and retaining Google’s and Facebook’s server farms. Virginia, which boasts one of the country’s largest data center hubs in Loudoun County, has passed measures of its own.

Many jurisdictions, including Montgomery County, have opted to focus their data center incentives around personal property taxes, which can present a particularly big burden to an equipment-heavy business.

The MoCo measure doesn’t, however, mean the county will get no tax revenue from incoming ByteGrid tenants. Under the county’s predictions, those tenants will spend the amount of money that would normally (assuming no incentives) produce $36 million in local tax revenue over a dozen years. With the tax package, “We end up, out of every dollar that would be generated by new tenants coming to ByteGrid’s data center, we will get 67 cents,” Silverman said.

Bill Flook covers technology, biotech and venture capital.

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Avere raises $20M to make its storage boxes a hit for high performance at scale

Avere Systemsavere_fxt_edgefiler, a company that sells data center storage hardware containing fast solid-state drives and more traditional hard disk drives, announced today $20 million in fresh funding. The deal should have the effect of making Avere a bigger name in storage land.

A big-name investor led the new round: Western Digital Capital, the investment arm of storage giant Western Digital.

“They’re looking for new and interesting places to put their drives, and really just extend the applications where their drives makes sense to use,” Ron Bianchini, president and chief executive of the startup, said in an interview with VentureBeat.

Avere sells some all-flash boxes, but it also has models that pack in a blend of disk and flash.

Public markets have jumped on companies selling all-flash or hybrid storage boxes. Violin Memory and Nimble Storage have both gone public in the past year. Meanwhile venture firms have backed startups like Nutanix and Tintri.

A big goal at Avere is to use flash in such a way that companies don’t run into performance lag if they keep some data in the cloud. Microsoft and more recently EMC have bought their way in to the market of storage boxes that negotiate the divide between on-premises data centers and public clouds, but Avere stands out from cloud gateways by cutting out the latency that stems from grabbing data in a cloud, said Bianchini, one of Avere’s founders. “Think of our box as a gateway plus the performance part of a NAS [network-attached storage],” he said.

The company has shown how its gear can work in association with object-storage services from companies like Amplidata and Cleversafe, as well as public clouds like Amazon Web Services.

“Our basic roadmap is to certify us in front of more and more of the different repositories,” Bianchini said.

To date Avere has raised $72 million, including a $17 million round in 2010 and a $15 million round a year before that.

In addition to Western Digital Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Menlo Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners and Tenaya Capital also participated in the new round. Much of the new money will go toward sales and marketing.

Avere started in 2008 and is based in Pittsburgh. About 100 people work for the company now, and in a year or so, that number should increase to around 130, Bianchini said.

The company now has hundreds of customers, including ION Geophysical, Rising Sun Pictures, and Turner Broadcasting.

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Apple Is Building Another Solar Farm Near Its North Carolina Data Center

As part of its sustained effort to power its business using renewable energy, Apple is planning on building a third solar farm alongside its Maiden, North Carolina-based data center.

The news comes from the Hickory Daily Record (via MacRumors), which explains that Apple has made an investment of some $55 million in the new solar farm and adds that the farm should generate around 17.5 megawatts of power for Cupertino.

In its report, the Hickory Daily Record explains:

Apple plans to have a grading permit submitted for the property by the end of the year, pending acquisition of the land and other terms of the development agreement. If everything else goes according to plan, the farm is projected to be completed within five years of the commencement date.
One of Apple’s three North Carolina-based solar farms is located on Cupertino’s data center venue. The news comes a few months after Apple confirmed its plans to expand its Maiden data center.

Greenpeace has previously praised Apple’s eco-friendly efforts, with the company promising previously to run its data centers on 100 percent renewable energy. NBC took a look inside Cupertino’s North Carolina data center a few months ago, and soon after Apple hired Bobby Hollis, former NV Energy vice president, as its new Renewable Energy Manager.


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Is information technology as a discrete discipline disappearing?

Most companies are expanding their reliance on networks and cloud services. In turn, network and cloud service providers are utilizing multitenant data centers to fulfill their operational and business needs.

These data centers simplify how companies connect to networks and cloud services. They provide a scalable, reliable, high-performance, secure and distributed global platform that can provide multiple access methods to multiple cloud services from multiple sites.

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Bridging networks and clouds
Multitenant data centers bring together many networks, clouds and IT services, giving enterprises both the flexibility to choose from best-of-breed  offerings and the agility to consume multiple IT and network resources from under one roof, without having to build out data center capacity themselves.

For those enterprises taking advantage of this capability, it provides them with tremendous cost savings, an accelerated time to market and a competitive advantage in many instances.

Now that a vast range of IT resources are pooled in multitenant data centers across the globe, enterprises can improve the security, performance and reliability of their application services by connecting to service providers through direct business-to-business connections, rather than through the public Internet.

A significant number of enterprises have already achieved these benefits by establishing private connections to cloud services and standing up highly customized multi-cloud environments.

Bypassing the public Internet, private connections offer a higher-performing and more secure alternative that meets the needs of a dispersed user base. The demand for these types of connections is apparent, and market leaders have recently responded by deploying within multitenant data centers and offering private connectivity solutions like Amazon Direct Connect and Microsoft ExpressRoute.

Comprehensive business ecosystems make these offerings possible by enabling enterprises to connect to public, private or hybrid cloud solutions via a range of network providers – in Microsoft’s case that includes AT&T, BT, Level 3, and Verizon and others.

In short, companies are forming interconnected business ecosystems inside multitenant data centers, creating valuable benefits for all participants: Network service providers can tap into an aggregated pool of prospective customers, including cloud and managed IT providers seeking efficient network routes for faster service delivery, as well as enterprise IT departments seeking high-performance connections to cloud and managed IT services.

Cloud service providers gain access to enterprises worldwide, as well as to the networks that provide connectivity to those enterprises, ensuring reliable application performance and security.

Enterprises are able to connect to multiple cloud and network service providers and even to systems integrators and managed service providers who can help them architect turnkey solutions for complex data center deployments across multiple geographies.

The way in which enterprises consume network and cloud services is changing drastically and for the better. By leveraging business ecosystems within multitenant data centers, networks become more prevalent in the cloud market, cloud adoption barriers are removed and enterprises are less vulnerable to vendor lock-in.

The resources and tools needed to meet new business demands are already available, and you can find them in the multitenant data center.

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Mesosphere gets $10M from Andreessen Horowitz for Data Center Management Tools

Mesosphere1, a company aimed at simplifying management of server resources inside data centers, has raised a hefty $10 million round.

The investment, led by key Silicon Valley VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, shows the continuing importance of data center technologies, even in a world when many companies are moving to cloud infrastructures that replace or complement their own data centers.

Mesosphere focuses on simplifying the deployment of Apache Mesos, an open-source system that figures out the best way to perform computing jobs in a data center in order to ensure that servers get used in the most efficient way.

“Mesosphere adds software and services to make Mesos work better for companies that don’t have the expertise to do it themselves,” Matt Trifiro, Mesosphere’s senior vice president, told VentureBeat.

“A car analogy: If you like to build cars, then you’ll want to build your own starting with the engine block, Mesos. We deliver you a Ferrari ready to go.”

Mesosphere’s press release notes that Twitter uses Mesos in its private data center, while Airbnb and Hubspot run Mesos on their Amazon Web Services accounts. Note that these companies don’t necessarily use Mesosphere’s products, but rather the open-source software on which Mesosphere is also based.

Mesosphere founder Florian Liebert was among the team that brought Mesos to Twitter, the company’s press release says, and he then went on to implement it at Airbnb.

In November, Mesosphere launched a free service called Elastic Mesos, which lets companies set up and run Mesos quickly and easily in the popular Amazon Web Services public cloud.

Data Collective and Fuel Capital also contributed to the round. The new round comes on top of a $2.25 million seed round from Andreessen Horowitz, Kleiner Perkins, Foundation Capital, and SV Angel. The company is based in San Francisco and has a second office in Hamburg, Germany.


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Data Center Market – Brazil

1Now that the everyone is in full World Cup fever, we thought it would be good to highlight some facts about the Brazilian Data Center Market.  Brazil is the second largest emerging market, it garners the fourth largest level of Foreign Direct Investment, has created the largest and most stable economy in Latin America all while being the seventh largest domestic IT market in the world.


  • More than 70% of all power generation is hydro-electric;
  • Transmission and generation is under government control;
  • Distribution is geographically based and fragmented with no major cross connections to establish regional or national grids;
  • Generation costs are low, however delivered cost can be high due to multiple taxes at all levels of government;
  • Average pricing is US $0.15 – $0.16 per kWh;
  • AES Electropaulo and CPFL are the largest distributors;
  • Power may be purchased on open market for larger power users.


  • Most mature infrastructure in South America with 10 submarine cables that bring fiber to the country making landfall in Fortaleza before funneling to Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro;
  • Virtually all of South America’s connectivity is non-terrestrial / submarine based, which can create greater latency due to longer than necessary fiber routes;
  • 80% of internet traffic from Latin America passes through Terremark/Verizon facility (NAP of the Americas);
  • PTT Metro maintains the 22 main internet exchanges points in Brazil, including the most important in Sao Paulo;
  • Embratel and Telefonica are the dominant telecom and ISP carriers in Brazil and don’t participate in settlement-free peering;
  • Several new submarine fiber cables are in the process of being completed, including WASACE (to Nigeria, Miami and Virginia Beach), Seabras I (to New York), AMX (Rio to Maimi) and BRICS Cable (to Russia, China and India).


  • Despite being the seventh largest economy in the world, there is less than 500K SF of operational data center space available;
  • Three US based data center providers are in Brazil; Equinix (acquired local provider ALOG), Level 3 (via Global Crossing acquisition) and Verizon (via Terremark).
  • Most facilities are less than 10K SF and have densities of less than 100 watts per SF;
  • Very limited number of operators are capable of providing solutions for deployments greater than 500 kW, however 15 MW of wholesale space has been leased in Sao Paulo over the last 12 months;
  • Several international data center providers are vetting expansion opportunities in the country given customer expansion needs and oil / gas sector demand.


  • Sao Paulo accounts for 50% of data center capacity with approximately 450K SF of operational space, largely driven by demand from financial institutions and multinational firms located in the region;
  • A suburb of Sao Paulo known as Barueri is a emerging data center centric area with major providers setting up operations, while the Campinas & Hortolandia region (approx. 50 miles outside of the city) is known as the “Bazilian Silicon Valley” where the first wholesale offerings are occurring;
  • Second largest market is Rio de Janeiro with 150K SF of operational space, largely related to oil & gas sector demand;
  • Other secondary markets include; Belo Horizonte / Minais Gerais (southeast), Parto Alegre (south) and Recife (fast growing tech cluster in north east).


  • Taxes, duties and customs taxes are high and very complex with limited incentives.  Major mechanical & electrical systems are difficult to source locally, however servers and network equipment can be thereby reducing tariffs;
  • Skilled labor shortages of trained IT professional;
  • Broad concerns about the privacy / security of online data;
  • Entities are permitted full property rights unlike other emerging market countries like India and China;
  • Limited Risk from natural disasters.

Brazil-Fifa-2014-World-CupWe tried to keep this to the point and easy to read, but we welcome the opportunity to provide you further details and assist with your needs whether it is in Brazil or through out the Latin America market.

By:  Stephen Bollier  -  Five 9s Digital

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