Blogs

The Power of a Strong Data Center Network Ecosystem

What should you look for in a strong network ecosystem? The most crucial aspect is that data center clients should be able to connect to cloud service providers (CSPs), their vendors and partners, and their own network assets through a private connection, without going over public Internet, on a global level.

According to a Gartner report “By 2022, 60% of enterprise IT infrastructures will focus on centers of data, rather than traditional data centers.”

We live in an ever-changing world of information technology that is impacting every aspect of our life. Gartner writes that infrastructures of the future will not be architected based on existing topologies, rather they will be deployed on a global scale, driven by business requirements and unspecific IT vendors. The end result will be an environment that is focused on enabling the rapid deployment of business services (by the business) and deploying workloads to the right locations, for the right reasons, at the right price. That means you need a data center that has a scalable infrastructure connected to a robust global ecosystem. 

Strong network fabrics connecting one data center to another -- locally, nationally or globally, enable you to connect your IT deployments across disparate data centers. These networks can be short-haul and cross a metropolitan area or long haul to connect across the country or even overseas. Whether you are planning a data center migration, disaster recovery or workload distribution, you need a strong network fabric to future-proof your IT strategy. Infrastructure must allow the enterprises to do what they need to do, when they need to do it, anywhere in the world. 

On the other hand, interconnection offers scalability and cost savings for the growing needs of enterprise customers. With an interconnection platform, retail and wholesale colocation environments can be connected to multiple cloud providers (multi-cloud) and multiple cloud locations (availability zones). This design opens the door to unique options for companies to architect their IT environments to optimize resiliency and availability while minimizing cost and complexity. Virtualization via Software-Defined Network (SDN), Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN) enables new services and capabilities to be created in minutes, not in days or weeks. The way Gartner says, we need to create an environment where the role of IT is to deliver the right service, at the right pace, from the right provider, at the right price. And data centers, as the hub of all things critical, become the critical delivery vehicle for these services. 

As an example of how important a strong data center ecosystem is, let’s take a look at Dallas, the #3 data center location in the world. Dallas is a destination market for data centers, meaning enterprises and cloud companies want to include Dallas as part of their global data center footprint. These companies need to distribute applications around the world for maximum performance and reliability. In a recent market report, Cushman & Wakefield ranked Dallas as #2 for global fiber connectivity, right behind Silicon Valley. 

For this strategy to work, a strong network ecosystem is key. Our Dallas TX1 Data Center is carrier neutral with a number of onsite carriers as well as dark fiber connections to the local carrier hotels, providing access to over 70 carriers and global interconnectivity.  For global, secure networks, our clients can use NTT’s Arcstar Universal One virtual private network (VPN), which offers high-quality, global network coverage in over 190 countries. In addition, TX1 is connected with our campuses in Sacramento, California; Ashburn, Virginia; and data center campuses under development in Hillsboro, Oregon; Silicon Valley; and Chicago, so workloads can be distributed, balanced and backed up across the country. Lastly, we offer secure, dedicated connections to the world’s largest cloud providers and a number of SaaS and content providers.

To sum up, it’s clear that the hybrid computing model combining data centers and clouds with a global, seamless, and secure network is the direction that corporate IT is heading. To support hybrid computing, data centers have evolved beyond space, power, telecommunications, and security. Data centers have become a critical infrastructure platform for both cloud providers and enterprises. And locations like Dallas have become integral parts of every data center’s network strategy.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Customer Update - March 15, 2020

March 15, 2020

To our Valued Customers,
 
Our teams are continuing to monitor and respond to the Coronavirus outbreak that is currently impacting communities across our service area and the nation, and our hearts go out to all those affected.
 
Due to several developments over the weekend surrounding the potential widespread threat of Coronavirus (COVID-19), we wanted to let all of our customers know that RagingWire/NTT is requiring all non-essential employees to work from home, effective immediately and continuing through March 27.
 
Please note that this will not impact any critical operations functions across our data centers, as we will maintain all elements of the infrastructure and operations will continue as normal.  This new mandate impacts all of our support personnel (finance, marketing, sales, etc.) that can work remotely during these challenging times and helps limit any potential spread of the virus.
 
It is important to note that there have been no cases of COVID-19 within the company, but we still feel this is the right step to take to prevent and slow the spread of the virus out of an abundance of caution and care for both our employees and customers. 
 
While the data centers will not be closed to customers at this time, we ask that you help us in considering the following measures:

  • We are asking customers to limit non-essential personnel access to the data centers during this time; additionally, please limit meetings and gatherings of employees within the data center.  Note: the training rooms in VA3 and TX1 will be closed for all use over the next two weeks
  • If your staff is feeling unwell, or has traveled internationally in the past two weeks, do not let them come into the data center
  • While working in the data center, all customers should adhere to the latest guidelines on social distancing and sanitization to limit the spread to our staff and your teams
  • Our operations team asks that all customers limit or delay any non-essential work requests that involve our operations and security staff; we want to maintain as much availability of our teams to respond quickly if more critical issues arise during this challenging time

The RagingWire/NTT operations team is working diligently to maintain the data center environment for our customers, including increased cleaning and sanitization across all common areas.  The team also has multiple plans in place to manage whatever is necessary as the situation evolves, with contingency plans in place all with the goal of maintaining data center continuity and ensuring no disruption in service.
 
We appreciate your support and flexibility during these difficult times.  We will all work together to help minimize the spread of this virus, all while ensuring the data center environment continues to operate and stay online for our customers.
 
Should you have any additional questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to anyone on the team for help or information.
 
Thank you,

Doug Adams
President and CEO

Joe Goldsmith
Senior Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer

Bob Woolley
Senior Vice President of Operations

Where to Go for Low TCO? Look No Further than Hillsboro.

How does no sales tax, no inventory tax, and no business income tax sound?

Total cost of ownership (TCO) for running your data center includes factors that you can control, and some that you can’t. 

Line items that you can control include infrastructure purchases like servers and data equipment, installation services, and staffing.

Then there are TCO items that you can’t control, like state and local taxes and weather-related energy costs. 

The only way to control the impact of those line items is by smartly choosing a TCO-friendly geographic location to set up your data center space. After all, once your data center is set up, you can’t ask for lower taxes or better weather.

For the lowest TCO in a Top Tier data center market in the Pacific Northwest, take a good look at Hillsboro, Oregon, which is about 18 miles west of Portland. 

Hillsboro’s low TCO comes from three main drivers:

  1. No state and local sales tax  Oregon does not charge for state and local sales tax, which means that all data center equipment can be bought tax-free. That’s a great deal compared to other West Coast states such as California (8.54% combined state and local sales tax) and Washington state (9.18% combined state and local sales tax). 
  2. No property tax for up to 5 years  Within designated regional Enterprise Zones (many of which are in the Hillsboro market), Oregon offers a 100% property tax abatement for up to 5 years on new qualifying capital assets. Other fees to contribute to the local economy will apply, but data center tenants still come out way ahead by avoiding property tax.
  3. Low power costs – Data center operational expenditures (OpEx) in Hillsboro are kept low from some of the country’s lowest power rates, as well as typically mild temperatures that minimize energy usage for heating and cooling. 

A lot of the momentum that is driving data center users to Hillsboro comes from those aforementioned Enterprise Zones, which are essentially special tax havens in Portland's suburbs. By setting up a data center in an Enterprise Zone, any company can take advantage of the same cost benefits that huge companies such as Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon already know about.

Take Facebook for instance. They were looking for dependable, affordable power in a low-humidity environment with a property tax abatement and no sales tax for the tens of millions of dollars' worth of equipment they planned to purchase. Oregon provided all of those features, so Facebook chose that location for their first company-built data centers

Getting into the details, the news is even better for data center customers. Corporations that operate in Oregon, but sell goods in other states, pay corporate income taxes based solely on company sales within the state of Oregon, according to Oregon4biz

According to the Tax Foundation, a non-partisan research institution, Oregon ranks 7th in the U.S. in the 2019 State Business Tax Climate Index. That is actually 7th and rising, since Oregon was ranked 10th in both 2018 and 2017. That ranking compares favorably with other West Coast data center markets such as Washington state (ranked 20th in the Index), and California (ranked 49th). In fact, the six states ranked ahead of Oregon are not considered primary data center markets, so Oregon would essentially be ranked first when comparing to other appealing states for data center deployments.

To sum up, Hillsboro is not subject to these taxes that typically are levied in less business-friendly cities:

  • No sales tax (state or local)
  • No inventory tax
  • No worldwide unitary tax
  • No motor vehicle tax
  • No business income tax (City or County)
  • No direct levies on intangible properties

That’s why for low TCO, Hillsboro is the place to go. 

PLEASE NOTE: If you are interested in the Hillsboro property tax abatement for your business, we advise you to seek the opinion of your tax advisors. In addition, businesses interested in the Hillsboro Enterprise Zone program can obtain application information from Valerie Okada at 503-681-6112 or via email at val.okada@hillsboro-oregon.gov. For more information, go to this page on the City of Hillsboro’s web site.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Customer Update - March 10, 2020

March 10, 2020

To our Valued Customers,

There is no higher priority to us than the well-being of our clients, partners and employees. We have been working closely with local health and government authorities to take the appropriate precautionary measures across our data center sites.

As the situation regarding the ongoing Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak continues to evolve, we want to reassure you that we have plans in place to keep our data center facilities open and serviced with critical operations continuing at any hazard threat level.

Our preparations and actions are calibrated to the hazard level, as defined here:
 
As of March 10, 2020, all US data center facilities are currently at Hazard Level 1.

Level Status Description
0 No pandemic threat
  • No information about pandemic risk
  • Normal health care measures for employees
1 Potential pandemic threat
  • Warning reported by local authority or international organization
  • Preventive pandemic measures are initiated
  • Unrestricted operation
2 Concrete pandemic threat
  • Specific case of sickness of employee
  • Official information that a facility is located in a risk area
  • Limited operation (services may be delayed)
3 Confirmed pandemic
  • Confirmed cases of illness of several persons in the company
  • Operational activities are reduced to a necessary minimum

These are the active steps we are taking to help contain the potential threat, and minimize the risk to both customers and employees:

Specific actions we are taking with our employees and teams:

  • Suspension of non-essential business travel for all employees globally.
  • Self-quarantine for employees who recently travelled to a high risk area and/or came into prolonged exposure or close contact with relatives/friends/others who recently returned from one.
  • Deferring face-to-face meetings which are non-essential and/or involve large numbers of employees. Avoiding public events wherever possible.
  • Employees who are feeling unwell are being advised to seek medical advice and work from home until they are fully recovered.
  • Observing good personal hygiene practices including regular hand washing with soap and water, and the use of hand sanitizers when soap and water are not easily accessible.

Specific actions we are taking to maintain the data centers:

  • Conducting sanitizing activities daily in our workplaces and providing hand sanitizer throughout the facilities for all building occupants.
  • Requesting customers, contractors and visitors to self-disclose if they have visited a risk area and the timeframe of the incubation period since leaving the risk area is not yet over. 
  • Ensuring frequent contact surfaces in our offices are cleaned thoroughly, multiple times daily and providing easily accessible hand sanitizer in our workplaces.
  • Ensuring our next-level Business Continuity Plans and protocols are ready to be implemented if/when necessary in future.

If you have any further questions around these precautionary measures, please contact your account manager.
 
For more about the virus, please see the continuously updated information at the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention in the US
 
We look forward to working together with you to keep our connected world safe. Should there be an escalation in the hazard level associated with the Covid-19 outbreak, a follow-up communication will be distributed highlighting additional measures being put in place.

Beset regards,

Bob Woolley
Senior Vice President of Operations

Jerry Gilreath
Vice President of Information Technology

Sustainability in Data Centers with Bruno Berti

Sustainability in data centers can mean many different things depending on who you talk to. We sat down to talk to Bruno Berti, Vice President of Product Management at the Global Data Centers division of NTT LTd., to get his perspective on what he's hearing from our customers and why sustainability in data centers is more than just the ability to generate green power.

For more information on our sustainability initiatives, click here.

9 Reasons Why Hillsboro, OR is the Best Location in the Pacific Northwest for Your Data Center

Hillsboro, Oregon is home to one of the strongest network points in the Pacific Northwest, including one of the most advanced and comprehensive trans-Pacific fiber networks in the U.S. and comprehensive local connectivity. It also has more favorable tax incentives than states such as California or Washington.

Here's nine reasons why you should be considering Hillsboro, Oregon for your next data center if you aren't already:

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Low-Latency Access to APAC Region

Multiple submarine cables connect across the Pacific Ocean to help deliver low-latency connections between the U.S. (Hillsboro, OR) and high-growth Asian markets.

2. Comprehensive Local Connectivity

Hillsboro, OR has a rich network infrastructure system. Hillsboro is directly connected to the ultra-high count fiber ring which joins all the major local data centers, businesses and cable landing stations.

3. Favorable Tax Incentives

Oregon has no sales tax and an Enterprise Zone Program. Oregon’s Enterprize Zone Program offers property tax abatement to data centers for up to five years that bring new facilities, equipment and employment to the zone.

4. Lower Energy Bills

Mild temperatures help reduce power usage. Hillsboro’s average temperature of 53°F will save you money on data center cooling when airside economization is used.

5. Get Greener

100% renewable energy options available. Portland General Electric owns seven hydroelectric plants, two wind farms, and seven thermal plants.

6. Convenient Location

Travel is easy within the United States and international locations. Portland International Airport (PDX) offers more than 250 daily direct flights to all major U.S. cities, and direct flights to many international destinations.

7. Total Cost of Ownership

Save up to $10,000,000 over 7 years on base rent and power in the Pacific Northwest when compared to other markets. In addition to favorable tax incentives, the Pacific Northwest market offers affordable power and low operational costs on areas like base rent.

8. Talented Workforce

Compared to other lower cost data center markets, Hillsboro has much greater access to quality IT support staff. Compared to the U.S. average, Hillsboro has 3 to 5 times the concentration of engineering jobs and 2 times as many computer jobs. Technology Services is Hillsboro’s fastest growing trade sector industry — expanding jobs by 46% over the past 5 years.

9. NTT's Hillsboro, Oregon Data Center Campus

Our brand-new 47-acre and 144MW Hillsboro Data Center campus is strategically located near Portland, Oregon—deep in the heart of a Pacific Northwest technology hub. It combines regional bonuses like a robust fiber network, reliable power, and favorable business tax incentives with NTT’s world-class data center expertise, services, and global platform.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you reach customers around the world?

You can’t get around it. Global reach is key to maximizing revenue.

But to reach customers anywhere and everywhere, companies need to reliably distribute applications around the world. For this strategy to work, solid interconnection is key.

So where do you find the perfect city to set up your data center for global reach? Go where the hyperscalers go. Those social media, cloud, and e-commerce giants need to use servers that are customized to meet the needs of millions – maybe even billions – of users. They depend on an architecture that contracts and expands to scale up or down with flexible memory, storage, and networking capabilities.

By going to the same market that the hyperscalers are in, other companies — perhaps like yours — can utilize parts of those hyperscalers’ platforms. Plus, when you see that hyperscalers depend so much on global reach have built their own data center in a particular area, it's a strong indication that other companies should feel secure setting up their own data center there too.

For instance, let’s look at Dallas-Fort Worth. Facebook recently built a new data center there. Why? Well, what Facebook found out, you can too.

Dallas-Fort Worth offers a dense fiber network, low risk of natural disasters, reliable and affordable utility power on a standalone grid, a business-friendly environment, and a significant concentration of wholesale colocation and cloud providers. For these reasons (and more), Dallas is a prime destination for companies looking for a large data center footprint with turnkey or build-to-suit infrastructure.

RagingWire Dallas Data Center

Clearly, Dallas is a smart choice to set up a data center, whether your business calls the State of Texas home or somewhere else in the country. So, if it’s time to sunset your current data center, or you’re looking to expand into a new facility, take a good look at Dallas.

At our 42-acre Dallas data center campus, we have the flexibility to support hyperscale cloud deployments, large enterprise IT shops, emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, healthcare IT and any other industry vertical.

Your global connectivity begins in Dallas. Click here to explore our other data centers in the United States. In addition, we connect you to 160 data centers around the world as part of the network of our parent company, NTT.

Our 16-megawatt Dallas TX1 Data Center is ready for you today. You may find the answers there to help your company meet strategic business objectives -- all while addressing both your current and future IT demands. Contact us to take a tour and find out how you can benefit from this mission-critical facility.

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It’s a buyer’s market for data centers in Dallas – for now

For the time being, there is data center capacity available in one of the top markets in the country -- Dallas. That’s great news for you, as contracts can be written with flexible terms customized to your needs.

Who is already here? Fortune 1000 companies are finding that the Garland / Plano / Richardson area near Dallas-Fort Worth is an ideal location for large-scale data center deployments. This trend is turning what was at one time known as the “Telecom Corridor” into the “Data Center Corridor.”      

With some of the lowest power costs in the U.S. and a business-friendly economy, the Dallas-Fort Worth area has established itself as a top tier destination data center market. Dallas is highly appealing both for companies looking for data center capacity available today, and for those looking to the future to grow their space in an affordable market.

Dallas is surging in so many ways. Forbes named the Dallas-Plano-Irving area as the No. 1 best U.S. city for job growth. The Kauffman Foundation put Dallas in the Top 10 in its Index of Growth Entrepreneurship. Businesses looking to expand their workforce can tap into a deep labor pool of 3.8 million people.

So with all of this interest, why is there data center capacity available in Dallas? In the last few years, there has been a data center building boom – resulting in a surplus of space … for now. No one knows how long this space will remain available, but one thing is for sure – as the space gets absorbed, prices will go up.

According to JLL’s 2018 report, Dallas data centers have about 79 megawatts of data center capacity available out of 516 megawatts of inventory. And that doesn’t even count the room we have to grow at our 42-acre fenced Dallas Data Center Campus, which has space for five interconnected buildings totaling over one million square feet of space.

We can give you the best deals in Dallas for customizable space at our 16-megawatt Dallas TX1 Data Center, which has been featured in media outlets such as Dallas Innovates, Data Center Frontier, and Bisnow.

And in addition to a great price, you’ll find that Dallas offers comprehensive fiber connectivity, dynamic business growth, dependable low-cost power, and a strategic disaster recovery location for a well-balanced data center portfolio.

We would love to show you first-hand exactly what we have to offer in the Dallas market. So if it’s time to sunset your current data center, or you’re looking to expand into a new facility, just let us know. You’ll find that we are absolutely driven to provide IT solutions with flexible terms for companies of all sizes.

If connectivity is gold… Dallas is Fort Knox

Where should your business set up its data center presence?

That’s one of those questions that sounds like it could be complicated, but really it’s not. There are only a few locations that check all the boxes for optimal data center effectiveness.

For a lot of reasons, Dallas, TX is gaining tremendous momentum as an up-and-coming data center market. One of the biggest reasons is the area’s world-class connectivity.

Why should you care? Connectivity is gold to companies that depend on reliable network traffic. And Dallas data center customers are living in the Fort Knox of connectivity gold. They can count on their revenue-generating data getting to customers reliably and quickly – every time.

Dallas is a particularly attractive data center location because its central location within the U.S. means data travels to the rest of the country with very low latency. That point has impressed many large enterprises and cloud companies to prioritize Dallas as a major part of their global data center footprint. After all, these companies need to distribute applications around the world for maximum performance and reliability. For this strategy to work, connectivity is clutch.

And Dallas doesn’t just offer a robust central region connectivity hub, it does so with low TCO figures. Telecom giant AT&T’s long-haul fiber is prevalent in the area – benefitting all Dallas data center customers.

For example, our Dallas TX1 Data Center has dark fiber connections to the carrier hotels in downtown Dallas, providing access to over 70 carriers and global interconnectivity. For global secured networks, our clients can access high-quality, global network coverage in over 190 countries by using the Arcstar Universal One virtual private network (VPN) from our parent company, NTT.

In addition, our Dallas TX1 Data Center is directly connected to our data center campuses in the U.S. including Northern California, Virginia, Chicago, Silicon Valley, Phoenix and Pacific Northwest, so workloads can be balanced and backed up across the country. Lastly, we offer secure connections to the world’s top cloud and content providers.

We would love to show you first-hand exactly what we have to offer in Dallas. So if it’s time to sunset your current data center, or you’re looking to expand into a new facility, let us know when you would like to talk more about the solution that would work for you. You’ll find that we are absolutely driven to provide IT solutions with flexible terms for companies of all sizes.

Inside Data Centers Podcast: How to Drive Revenue with Artificial Intelligence

This episode of our Inside Data Centers podcast is about a technology that is literally “inside data centers”, as well as everywhere else around us. That technology is artificial intelligence (AI).

We know many of our data center clients are eager to find out how AI can help their business. So we asked two industry experts to describe how AI can be used, particularly to help companies either make money or reduce costs. Our podcast guests are:

  • Dave Copps, CEO of HyperGiant Sensory Sciences, a Dallas-based software company with a mission to deliver human perception at impossible scale. Back in 2017, Dave sold his AI startup, Brainspace, as a part of a $2.8 billion rollup.
  • Ryan Fontaine, the CEO and founder of Citadel Analytics, a Dallas-based AI company that has generated significant momentum since its startup.

Inside Data Centers Podcast: How to Drive Revenue with Artificial Intelligence

Oddly enough, both Dave and Ryan became involved in AI at least in part due to serious brushes with death – and that’s how the podcast begins...

Curious? The podcast is full of interesting insights and stories from Dave and Ryan, including:

  • Why does Dave start every day looking at an MRI of his brain?
  • How did a car crash start Ryan’s AI company?
  • Why did Dave chart his own course through college, showing up in classes he wasn’t registered for?
  • Why do Dave’s friends tell him he’s unemployable?
  • How does AI help companies more tightly focus their digital marketing strategies?
  • What is a short explanation of what a data scientist does?
  • Is AI at a point where it has surpassed human intelligence?
  • What is AGI, ASI, and narrow AI?
  • What are some practical applications of AI that companies can use to generate revenue or save costs?
  • How much data will humans eventually create?
  • How does AI augment, but not replace, human employees?
  • What are some memorable stories about how customers used AI?
  • How can AI help Fortune 1000 companies improve their marketing partnerships and drive more revenue?
  • How did AI help the Department of Justice bring months of case research to a close in 30 minutes?
  • Are there any industries that might not yet realize how much AI could help them make money or reduce costs?
  • What tips would you give to companies that want to use AI?
  • What will the future of AI look like?
  • How will the “Evolution of Trust” impact AI?
  • What profound question made Dave have to just sit for a minute and ponder the enormity of it all?

To listen to the full podcast, go to our inside data centers podcast library.

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