Facebook Investing Heavily in Webscale Data Centers – CIO Journal


Facebook Inc.FB -0.82% is investing heavily, no, make that massively, in cloud-based data centers that are capable of delivering video and other complex digital services to its billion-plus users. Total costs and expenses rose 83% from the year-earlier period, far outpacing a 42% increase in revenue, and research and development spending more than doubled, to $1.06 billion, the WSJ’s Alistair Barr and Deepa Seetharaman report.

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Other CIO Journal News:

A technician works on a computer while testing servers at the Facebook Inc. hardware labs in Menlo Park, Calif., April 7, 2014.
“Lurking in the background, though, is Facebook’s heavy spending on data centers to deliver services and long-term projects such as virtual reality and Internet access beamed from solar-powered drones. Facebook needs lots of computers, places to run them, and the means to connect them to end users around the world,” they say.

Such technology is steadily making its way into the corporate mainstream. Bank of America Corp. is considering the ideas behind Facebook’s data center in Prineville, Ore., as it remakes its own IT infrastructure, as CIO Journal reported. Open standards, commodity hardware, and compute, storage and networking systems that scale out to accommodate wild levels of user demand are the order of the day.

Addressing the California drought requires access to accurate data. California, now in its fourth year of drought, is collecting more data than ever from utilities, municipalities and other water providers about just how much water flows through their pipes. But some say the data-collection process, built on monthly self-reporting and spreadsheets, could be better, allowing for more effective, fine-tuned management of water. “More data and better data will allow for more nuanced approaches and potentially allow the water system to function more efficiently,” said Ted Grantham, a research scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey, tells CIO Journal.

EMC CEO says IT in midst of big secular shift. History wasn’t particularly kind to EMC Corp. during the latest quarter, but CEO Joe Tucci says medium and long-term investments in areas such as an open, cloud-based software development platform, security and software-defined everything will pay off.

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Cantor Fitzgerald Sees Data Center REIT Sector “Maturing”

Wed, March 25, 2015

On Monday, Cantor Fitzgerald released key takeaways from an interview with Bryan Loewen, executive managing director of the NGKF Data Center Consulting Group, regarding the U.S. data center landscape.

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The Cantor Fitzgerald data center coverage universe includes:

Digital Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: DLR) – Sell rated; $61 PT
DuPont Fabros Technology, Inc. (NYSE: DFT) – Buy rated; $35.50 PT
CoreSite Realty Corp (NYSE: COR) – Hold rated; $38.00 PT

Tale Of The Tape:

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Cantor Fitzgerald – Key Takeaways:

The data center REIT sector is maturing and “likely entering into a phase of ‘productization,’ as landlords tailor their offerings to the ever-evolving tenant base.”

The Next Phase – Productization: Loewen is “seeing a noticeable increase in demand for ancillary services from enterprise tenants, as they look to further outsource IT requirements and better spend IT dollars.” Cloud service providers are the fastest growing vertical for wholesale data center space landlords.

Fundamentals: Most markets “continue to improve from the perspective of landlords […] Loewen expects to see rent levels continue to grow through 2015 due to the timing of the anticipated development deliveries.

“With regard to renewal spreads, the tenants’ level of expertise, as well as its usage of a broker […]30 – 40 percent of wholesale and 70 – 80 percent of retail leasing do not involve a broker, likely shielding the tenant from actual market conditions.”

Development: “Development activity is evident across all sizes, products and markets, though there are limited near-term deliveries. Notably, Mr. Loewen is seeing significant activity in second- and third-tier markets, as companies look to move from higher-cost markets into locations with lower overall costs and/or with proximity to their corporate locations.”

Transaction Activity: Buyer interest in data centers “remains robust and unchanged from last year, with private equity players being the most aggressive.  The increased interest in Data Center CMBS could push cap rates lower going forward, in Mr. Loewen’s view.”

Also Of Note: Loewen also mentioned AT&T having $2 billion of data centers for sale and his expectation of “increased M&A activity” in the space.

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CFOs: Is It Time to Sell Your Data Center?

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March 5, 2015: Five 9s Digital

If your corporation owns a data center, chances are you have been involved in the perpetual conversation of what must we do next to meet the company’s growing need for data storage, network, disaster recovery, IT staff, and the need for updated and more efficient data center infrastructure. As the CFO, you are in the middle of trying to manage the ROI with the CIOs IT strategy and CEOs expectations.

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The bad news: You can’t make the cost go away.   The good news: There are a lot of good options today not seen even 5 years ago.   Your team can go the hybrid model by augmenting your existing data center growth through the multitude of cloud offerings, the team can go down the path of upgrading your data center to create a more efficient use of space and reduce operating costs, or go full-on third party cloud and migrate out of data center ownership.   These are not simple decisions.

All options come with monetary and IT strategy risks, however, the conversations will continue and it becomes very difficult to budget for future costs and determine how best to manage them.

One solution that is gaining popularity is a sale-leaseback of the company’s data center assets.   Once considered an untouchable asset due to the mission critical nature of the corporate data center, corporations are seriously considering this option as a way to unleash the capital and utilize the proceeds to enhance the data center infrastructure or use the proceeds to address other financial needs.

Today, a number of highly qualified landlords specifically focused on data center real estate allow a company to have the confidence in not owning the asset, while still maintaining control of the operations and IT strategy for the long term.

The sale-leaseback buyer serves as a capital source today and potentially for future expansions and upgrades, with both parties motivated to reach a mutually agreeable price vs. lease structure.

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A number of successful data center sale-leaseback examples have occurred in the US market in the past year exceeding well over $700M in transactional value.   Some examples can be seen in the 2014 EOY Data Center Real Estate Acquisitions Report.

As CFOs work to manage their ever growing IT budget and needs, the Data Center Sale-Leaseback concept is a worthy consideration.

If you have interest in considering a sale-leaseback of your data center, please let us know and we can provide you some recent market comparable transactions.    We can be reached at 704-651-2210 or Steve@Five9sDigital.

More information can be obtained on our website at www.five9sdigital.com.

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Five 9s Digital acquires top level domain www.datacenter.space….for $500K

Posted February 18, 2015

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Just kidding about the $500K price tag, but how much money is your company spending on its data center space and how do you identify and evaluate your options?

Five 9s Digital Advisory assists companies across the country identify and procure the best options for their data center requirements, whether it be colocation, wholesale data center space or a stand alone data center building.

As new domain name extensions have opened up over the past few months, Five 9s Digital procured the www.datacenter.space domain name to compliment the Five 9s website as it expands its data center corporate advisory services across the country.

“As the data center real estate sector grows along with the rapid growth of technology, corporations continue to seek ideal data center space options.  We felt the domain captures the essence of the initial search whereby companies commence their evaluation process for suitable solutions no matter if they are looking for racks, MWs or square feet.” stated Five 9s Digital partner, Stephen Bollier.

Five 9s has saved corporations across the country a significant amount of time and money, while providing the best options for consideration.   A company’s data center solution is  one of the most important decisions in supporting its mission critical operations and, oftentimes, the company’s core business model.   The cost of our advisory services is born by the group providing the solution upon procurement, not a cost paid by the clients we  assist in finding the best data center solution.

If you happen to be in the market for data center space, please let us assist your efforts.

More information can be viewed at www.datacenter.space with more to come soon.   We are always available to speak and correspond directly.

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2014 Data Center Real Estate Acquisitions Report – Year In Review

D A T A   C E N T E R S  R E A L   E S T A T E   A C Q U I S I T I O N S   R E P O R T

2014 Year In Review – Posted February 11, 2015

Data center real estate acquisition activity for the full year 2014 yielded at total of $1.148 Billion worth of transactions with 4,068,995 SF of data center real estate sold. This follows $1.292 Billion of transactions in 2013.   The transactions represent eighteen (18) data center real estate assets sold with an average sale price of $63,812,500 per transaction.

The largest transaction by price was the $211.7M acquisition made by Carter Validus for the Ascent Data Center in the Chicago market.   The largest transaction by size of data center was the 1.3 M SF carrier hotel data center located at 401 N. Broad in Philadelphia acquired by Netrality Properties.

Digital Realty Trust, historically having a large appetite for new acquisitions, acted as seller either outright or to a joint venture partner, as the company redirected its efforts in 2014.   Carter Validus, a mission critical REIT, and other private investment firms filled this acquisitions gap generating comparable total annual sales volume as 2013.   Other REITs not typically involved in the data center real estate market continue to look at the market for potential investments; However, REITs are being pressured to focus on core competency by shareholders so we do not see a big shift of new buyer competition from industrial, retail or other net leased REITs.

The data center real estate investment market remains very competitive for active buyer groups for strategically located assets with long term, good credit tenancy.   Fairly aggressive lending at low interest rates continue to provide attractive financing opportunities for new data center acquisitions.     Likewise, existing owners are refinancing assets at or near loan maturity taking some data center assets out of the potential investment pool.   Cap rates have edged below 7% for good credit, long term, single-tenant leases.   Investment opportunities lacking clear credit, shorter term leases and multi-tenant occupancy are typically trading in 7.5-9.0% cap rate range.

The data center real estate investment market continues to capture the macro trend of growth in data, storage, disaster recovery and the migration to the cloud.   New developments, upon partial or full stabilization, and corporate sale-leasebacks will continue to supply the market for investors.

Trend Spotting:   Corporations continue to migrate to the cloud either in whole or as part of a hybrid solution.   Data centers vacated resulting from this slow but certain migration offers value-add repositioning opportunities to investors and operators seeking cost savings and reasonably quick access to a growth or underserved market.

For the full report, please click:  2014 Data Center Real Estate Acquistions Report

For more information, please visit http://www.Five9sDigital.com.

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Telecity, Interxion to Merge in Data-Center Deal – WSJ

All-Share Merger Comes Amid Rising Demand for Digital Services

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Feb. 11, 2015 5:54 a.m. ET

LONDON—U.K.-based Telecity Group PLC on Wednesday said it would merge with U.S.-listed peer Interxion Holding NV to form a data-center operator with a combined value of $4.5 billion as the industry in Europe scrambles to meet ballooning demand for digital services.

Under the terms of the nonbinding, all-share agreement, Interxion shareholders would receive 2.3386 new Telecity shares for each Interxion share, representing a 15% premium to Interxion’s closing share price of $26.47 on Feb. 9, Telecity said in a statement.

Telecity shareholders would own approximately 55%, and Interxion shareholders approximately 45%, of the combined company, which would have a primary listing in London.

Telecity, which has a market capitalization of £1.72 billion ($2.63 billion), operates in major European cities such as London, Paris and Frankfurt, while New York-listed Interxion, valued at $1.94 billion, has 39 data centers in 11 European countries.

The deal comes amid rising demand for data centers—vast warehouses of computer and telecom equipment that power the Internet—as consumers use more data on their mobile phones and so-called cloud services—a catchall term for files accessed remotely over the Internet but hosted on outside computers.

As well as spending billions of dollars on their own data farms, companies are increasingly outsourcing data management and information-technology handling to so-called co-location operators such as Telecity and Interxion, where space is rented by rack, cage or room.

“Demand for data-centre services is evolving rapidly as enterprise data and digital applications migrate to the cloud,” Telecity said.

The tie-up, which will boost earnings from 2017, is “highly compelling” to the boards of both companies, Telecity said, with total cost and capital synergies estimated at about £600 million.

Interxion and Telecity won’t solicit or discuss alternative proposals until March 4, by which time a binding transaction is expected to be agreed, Telecity said. The deal is expected to complete in the second half of 2015 and is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval. However, it cautioned that there can be no certainty of a binding agreement or what the terms will be.

Telecity’s shares soared in response to the deal, trading up 15% to 977 pence in midmorning European trading.

Interxion, with a broad footprint across the continent, is an asset of strategic importance in the European [data-center market], says Simon Weeden, an analyst at Citi.

Barclays analyst Maurice Patrick said it creates the “dominant European independent retail co-location player,” with Cavendish analyst Nick Jones adding the merger is a “significant milestone” for the industry as it looks to consolidate.

Global Internet traffic will triple over the next five years, according to networking-hardware specialist Cisco Systems Inc., with mobile data flow rising 11-fold between 2013 and 2018. Cloud-computing spending will nearly double to $285.7 billion in 2018 from 2014, adds research firm Gartner.

“Cloud, big data and mobile are driving significant data-center demand around the world so this announcement is in line with what we’re seeing in the market,” said Eric Schwarz, president of Europe, Middle East and Africa at Equinix, a Redwood, Calif.-based operator that has Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. as clients.

Interxion Chief Executive David Ruberg will lad the combined group for 12 months following completion of the transaction, after which time the group will search for a successor, John Hughes, executive chairman of Telecity, told reporters Wednesday. Mr. Hughes will be chairman of the combined company.

Mr. Hughes, who declined to comment on whether there was also investor interest from private equity, which had previously been speculated, said the combined operator would do business in a “very substantial and large market” worth “billions of euros.”

Separately Wednesday, Telecity said its revenue in the year ended Dec. 31 rose 7.1% to £348.7 million.

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10 Ways Data Center Industry Will Change in 2015

Data Center Knowledge:  Yevgeniy Sverdlik on December 22, 2014

As we approach the end of 2014, those in IT who like to ponder industry trends send us their predictions for next year. Here are some of the more interesting predictions we have received from folks so far. Stay tuned for more 2015 predictions on Data Center Knowledge in the coming weeks.

Here it is, our list of data center industry trends that will dominate the conversation in 2015:

1. The Big Guys Build Their Own Networks

Operators of massive data centers, the hyperscale cloud and Internet content providers, also known as web-scale operators, are increasingly buying their own switching gear and dark fiber to expand their networks instead of relying on commercial carriers, according to Cyan Networks, a U.S. networking technology vendor. In 2015, these networks will account for more than half of all network interconnect capacity for the first time ever, Cyan predicted.

2. Network Operators Will Switch to Data Center Hosted Solutions

Less attention on hardware and more attention on software development and operations (DevOps), lower-cost packet switching in data centers, and high cost and complexity of scale in IPv6 Internet is driving network operators to data center hosted solutions, interconnected by agile optical networks, according to Cyan.

3. Carriers Will Invest a Lot More in Data Centers

New DevOps personnel will get more power over strategic direction, and carriers will double down on data center investment, according to Cyan. Telcos will be defining more products and services based on telco cloud.

4. Get on Board With Web-Scale or Suffer

Single-app Web 2.0 companies will continue to proliferate and so will commoditization of cloud infrastructure technology. Platforms like OpenStack have enabled an explosion of cloud-based services and apps, and the web-scale way of building out data center capacity will be a must. Operators and vendors that fail to evolve to support the web-scale paradigm will struggle in 2015, according to Cyan.

5. Real Time Insight Will Replace Batch Processing in Data Lakes

The data lakes and data hubs that have been popular ways to deploy Hadoop this year will turn into processing data platforms, predicts John Schroeder, CEO and co-founder of MapR, one of the biggest Hadoop distribution vendors. Data lakes and Hadoop are great because of their agility and the ability to use thousands of servers to store petabytes of data at less than $1,000 per terabyte per year. But companies will move from batch to real-time processing and integrate file-based, Hadoop, and database engines into large-scale processing platforms.

6. There Will Be Fewer Hadoop Vendors

Adoption of Hadoop at scale around the world is beyond any other data platform 10 years after it was conceived, Schroeder said. Hadoop is still in the innovation phase today, and vendors who have made the mistake of adopting “Red Hat for Hadoop” strategy are existing the market. Intel is the most notable example, Schroeder said, forecasting that EMC’s Pivotal will follow. Hadoop vendors will be consolidating as new business models emerge, while others exit.

7. Docker Will Disrupt IT Departments

No list of 2015 IT trends should go without a mention of Docker. The modern, lightweight form of containers is the next-generation virtualization technology, according to 451 Research. Large enterprises will use Docker more and more, in some cases running alongside traditional VMs and in some replacing them completely because of its management and efficiency advantages. Docker orchestration and security are not quite there yet, but there are plenty of vendors working to address these issues, 451 analysts said.

8. Non-x86 Silicon Will Begin Its Rise

Multiple vendors, including Cavium and Applied Micro, came out with server-grade ARM chips this year. Google and Rackspace, among others, got involved with IBM’s OpenPOWER foundation, opening up the architecture and accelerating development on it. These two things will make 2015 the year alternative silicon really begins to rise, according to Rackspace CTO John Engates.

9. OpenStack Will Get Boring

OpenStack will celebrate its fifth birthday in 2015, and, according to Engates, that birthday will be boring. Rackspace sees the technology mature and shift from mostly test and development to mainstream production. With maturity will come simplification. OpenStack will be easier to use, manage, and scale.

10. More Flash in the Server

As customers in verticals like healthcare, finance, and retail demand faster and faster access to critical applications, more companies will deploy servers with flash storage embedded, according to Dell. These are companies where instant transactions define the experience of their customers.

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