Five 9s Digital has been reporting on data center market activity over the past two years; most recently analyzing market activity of the first quarter of 2013, and trends have shown a steady increase in activity as investor confidence has risen. Even through market downturns and the economic recession that plagued the country, North Carolina showed resiliency in the data center sector and experienced a boom in data center activity over the past five years.
Economic development groups, investors, corporations, and developers have requested a more detailed, visual representation of the data center marketplace in North Carolina.
This snapshot includes the more nationally recognized data center projects, such as Facebook’s massive data center campus in Rutherford County, Apple’s iCloud data center and solar farm in Maiden, and Google’s data center campus in Lenoir.
The Five 9s Digital North Carolina Data Center Map highlights a large sampling of the most significant data center developments in North Carolina, which includes a range of data centers from large-scale enterprise data centers to major colocation facilities. It covers metropolitan markets such as Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, Greensboro, Hickory, and Winston-Salem. It also includes rural markets rich in tax incentives, power, and locational advantages.
For more information on the data center projects outlined in this overview, or for information regarding new or developing data center opportunities available in the Southeast, please visit the Five 9s Digital website, or contact our team at 704-651-2210.
Global colocation firm Savvis has been awarded a Certified Energy Efficient Datacenter Award (CEEDA) for its LO3 London Docklands data center.
The award was presented by DCProfessional Development to Savvis, a division of telecoms giant Centurylink, in recognition of its energy efficiency following a rigorous assessment of the facility.
CEEDA is a global data center industry accreditation developed and awarded by the BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT.
“We are proud to meet the comprehensive, rigorous standards of the CEEDA independent assessment program,” said Drew Leonard, vice president, colocation product management, at Savvis. “This recognition speaks to Savvis’ dedication to enhancing the energy efficiency of its global data centers and the commitments of our people, who have worked diligently to optimize our operations for providing sustainable, secure and agile IT infrastructure solutions to our clients around the world.”
CEEDA awards are based on independently assessed and audited appraisals of data centers energy efficiency best practices.
Renewed biennially, the assessment has been developed in line with EU Code of Conduct for energy efficiency in data centers, based on globally recognized best practices in data center engineering, IT infrastructure, monitoring and management.
Under the program, DCProfessional Development assesses participating data centers for gold, silver or bronze certification. The assessment includes a comprehensive report combining a description of the performance of the best practices measured, a set of benchmarking tools and a roadmap for further improvement.
Savvis’ LO3 Docklands data center, which opened in June 2012, is a 1.5MW with 11,000sq ft of raised floor space.
DCProfessional Development-appointed assessor John Booth evaluated the facility against CEEDA energy-efficiency best practice criteria. He said: “The LO3 Docklands data center is an excellent example of a facility where the latest energy efficiency design measures and the on-going efforts by facilities staff and management to fully comply with the EU Code of Conduct and CEEDA – as well as go above and beyond – are to be applauded. Savvis’ commitment to energy efficiency and carbon reduction is clear to see, as its commitment to customer sustainability and energy efficiency efforts. It is refreshing that the performance of the data center is seen as important within senior management.”
By earning a Silver CEEDA accreditation Savvis is the seventh organization to be recognized for leadership in sustainability and data center energy efficiency, which is administered by DCProfessional Development on behalf of BCS.
Other organizations to receive CEEDA recognition include: ARM, Fujitsu, the Co-Operative Group, the University of St. Andrews, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and Westpac Bank.
The Texas Legislature has approved legislation to create a temporary sales tax exemption intended to attract major data center projects to Texas. The bill now goes to Governor Rick Perry, who has 20 days to decide whether to sign, veto, or allow the bill to become law without his signature.
House Bill 1223 (“H.B. 1223″) by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Harvey Hilderbran (R-Kerrville) passed Friday after Hilderbran told the House that he was willing to accept two important changes that the Senate made to the bill:
- The Senate increased the minimum capital investment required to qualify for the exemption. Under the finally agreed upon version, only projects involving a capital investment of at least $200 million may qualify for a ten-year sales tax exemption, while those having a $250 million capital investment may qualify for a 15-year exemption. Hilderbran had proposed a lower threshold: $150 million for a ten-year exemption and $200 million for a 15-year exemption.
- The Senate also defined a qualifying data center to require that the center be used by a single occupant.
If the bill is signed, the sales and use tax exemption will become effective on September 1, 2013 and apply to personal property that is necessary and essential to operate a qualified data center, including electricity; an electrical system; a cooling system; an emergency generator; hardware or a distributed mainframe computer or server; a data storage device; network connectivity equipment; a rack, cabinet, and raised floor system; a peripheral component or system; software; and any other equipment or system necessary to operate qualified property, including a fixture; and a component part of any qualified property.
The exemption specifically does not apply to office equipment or supplies, maintenance or janitorial supplies or equipment, equipment or supplies used primarily in sales activities or transportation activities, property on which the purchaser has received or has a pending application for an enterprise zone refund, personal property not otherwise exempted that becomes an improvement to real property, equipment rented or leased for a year or less, or a taxable service that is performed on property exempted by the bill.
To be eligible for the exemption, the data center owner, operator, or occupant must jointly or independently:
- Meet the required capital investment requirement, and
- Create at least 20 full-time permanent jobs that pay at least 120% of the average weekly wage in the county in which the job is located. The jobs must be maintained for five years.
Other important requirements include:
- The Comptroller of Public Accounts (“Comptroller”) must pre-approve a qualifying data center, owner, operator, or occupant. The Comptroller will issue registration numbers for use in claiming the exemption.
- The exemption begins on the date the registration number is issued and expires in either 10 or 15 years, depending on the amount of capital investment.
- No investments made or jobs created prior to September 1, 2013 would count toward the eligibility criteria.
- Each applicant for the exemption must certify to the Comptroller that it will meet the job creation and investment requirements within a five-year period that begins on the date the Comptroller certifies the applicant’s right to participate.
Further, data centers that have property tax abatement agreements under Tax Code Chapter 313 are not eligible for the sales tax exemption.
Gov. Gary Herbert and National Security Agency officials are confident they can work out an agreement to avert taxing the new Utah Data Center on millions of dollars in electricity it needs to run the mammoth computer farm.
The Legislature this year passed and Herbert signed a new law that would allow the Utah Military Installation Development Authority (MIDA) to collect a tax of up to 6 percent on electricity flowing from Rocky Mountain Power to the new Bluffdale data center.
The law irked NSA officials, though the parties now say tweaks can be made to exempt the center, which was located in Utah partly because of the cheap energy costs.
“There’s probably more than one way to skin the cat but the bottom line would end up being … that NSA will not be charged something in addition to what they were told to begin with,” Herbert told The Salt Lake Tribune this week. “I believe the NSA had a legitimate complaint and that complaint is going to be dealt with by the Legislature in a satisfactory way to the NSA.”
Harvey Davis, NSA director of installations and logistics, had raised concerns in emails to Herbert’s office after learning of the new law.
On Thursday, Davis said in an interview he was confident it would be worked out so that the agency doesn’t face larger energy bills.
“That was just more of a hiccup,” Davis said. “Sometimes things get through legislatively that people really aren’t focused on and as soon as the governor and I saw that, there was a commitment to fix it right away, get us back to status quo. I think it was much to do about nothing.”
———-Read the rest of the report online at The Salt Lake Tribune.
The United States has been identified as the least risky country in the world for data centers according to the most recent global data center risk index released by Cushman & Wakefield and Hurleypalmerflatt.
The study ranks countries based upon a number of key risk factors associated with strategic data center location considerations.
Tier Considerations and Weighting
The study ranks and considers factors ranging from infrastructure to political climate to economic indicators, filtering various considerations into three different tiers for weighting purposes.
- Tier I – The highest weighted factors include Energy Cost, International Internal Bandwidth, and the Ease of Doing Business
- Tier II – This level includes factors such as the Corporate Tax Climate, Natural Disaster Risk Factors, and Population Education Level among other considerations
- Tier III – The lowest weighted level includes factors like GDP Per Capita, Inflation, and Water Infrastructure & Availability
Two new risk factors were added to the study from 2011′s evaluation. Energy security includes factors such as vulnerability to power disruptions and price fluctuations, among other considerations. The second new risk factor is the Population Education Level, which evaluates the percentage of the population that has completed a certain level of education and has the educational requirements desirable for data center relevant jobs.
The Top Five
The study ranks 30 countries throughout the world. The United States comes in as the highest ranked country in the world, which means the United States is the least risky country in the world for data centers. The top five countries, and their overall index scores, are as follows:
- United States – 100
- UK – 91
- Germany – 83
- Iceland – 81
- Canada – 80
It should also be noted that Qatar and Hong Kong both have an index score of 80, but come just short of Canada overall, falling to 6th and 7th place respectively on the list.
The Bottom Three
The three riskiest countries for data centers, and their overall index scores, are as follows:
- 28. Indonesia – 31
- 29. India – 31
- 30. Brazil – 26
Risk factors currently hurting these countries at the bottom of the list include power costs and availability, natural disaster risks, economic climate, and education levels.
Each year we see changes in the rankings, as countries are quick to react and respond to deficiencies, so these rankings and evaluations are something to keep an eye on in the coming years.
Macro vs Micro
It is important to note that, while this study evaluates and ranks countries around the world, these rankings are compiled on a macro level. As the study points out, “Countries scoring poorly on the Index might be able to offer the ideal environment for a data center at a micro/local level and should not be discounted.”
Additionally, while these macro-level evaluations may reflect large-scale, general deficiencies, these can be overcome on a case by case basis. While this study serves as a comparative tool to aid companies in their global data center location search, it is not meant to serve as a determinative factor in each search scenario.