NTT Global Data Centers Americas's blog

Phoenix PH1 Data Center Construction Updates

Stay up to date on the latest news and milestones from our new Phoenix data center campus currently under construction.

July 2021

PH1 Mid Construction

An aerial view shows our Phoenix data center campus. At the center Phoenix PH1 - the first of seven data centers.

June 2021

PH1 Generator Yard

The team begins to carve out the pads for the equipment yard on the North side of the building.

PH1 roof half way

An aerial view shows the progress of the installation of PH1’s roof.

PH1 roof half way

The install of the roof continues.

May 2021

PH1 roof from inside

The construction team has begun adding the roof and structural steel framing to the building.

PH1 side walls

All sides of the building are almost completely installed before adding the roof to the building.

PH1 tilt up with moon

PH1 tilt up medium shot

The construction team is seen adding the tilt up walls to the building using a crane.

construction blog first tilt up wall

The tilt up walls have begun installation.

PH1 cement pad foundation

Concrete has been poured on the base of PH1. The rooms and vaults have been sectioned off. The tilt up walls are being cast in place before installation.

construction blog steel rebar

An aerial view over the PH1’s construction zone, shows a footprint of the data center. The yellow portion shows where the steel re-bar has been installed, awaiting a concrete pour.

PH1 substation

The substation has been installed at the Phoenix campus.

PH1 ground breaking

We have officially broken ground on phase one of our Phoenix data center campus, Phoenix PH1.

April 2021

PH1 rendering

PH1 campus rendering

Announcing NTT’s newest data center campus located in Mesa, Arizona. NTT’s Phoenix data center campus will have seven data centers on its 102 acre campus. The first phase of the campus, Phoenix PH1 will include a 2 story building with a reinforced slab floor design. PH1 will have 36MW of critical IT load distributed between 6 vaults. To learn more about our campus, please visit our Phoenix At-A-Glance datasheet.

Silicon Valley SV1 Data Center Construction Updates

Stay up to date on the latest news and milestones from our new Silicon Valley data center campus currently under construction.

April 2021

SV1 Finished Buildinf.jpg

SV1 has officially opened on April 1st. To learn more about our newest 16 MW data center, Silicon Valley, SV1 click here.

Vault Finished.jpg

SV1's data vaults are complete and move in ready. 

March 2021

SV1 Load Banks.jpg

The load banks at SV1 have been turned on acting as stand in servers testing full load. Once each individual component is tested they are run all at one time. Once the test is complete, the load banks are rolled out of the facility and the vault is ready for final completion.

February 2021

Our NTT logo has been added to the exterior of the SV1 data center campus. The data center is getting closer and closer to completion each day. The final details are being added to be completed by April 1.

November 2020

Electrical gear is currently being installed. Electrical gear is fed by the electrical modules which are powered by the utility provider. 

October 2020

The generators are being installed on site. They are used to power the facility in the event of an outage. 

The generator is being placed on the pad.

August 2020

 

 

July 2020

Concrete Massonary Unit Wall (CMU) in place. The gap in the 3-story steel paneling is for access to place the pre-manufactured generators inside and to be sealed once in place. 

Level one and two concrete placement complete.  

June 2020

SV1 Fireproofing

The team is adding Sprayed Fire- Resistant Material (SFRM) a spray on layer of fireproofing that contains gypsum and other materials like mineral wool, quartz, perlite, or vermiculite to the lower level of the building. The spray helps to delay or prevent the failure of steel by thermally insulating the structural members to keep them below the temperatures that cause failure in the event of a fire.

SV1 Topping Off

May 2020

The team has built the second, third, and fourth floor topping the building off. 16 MW of IT power will be distributed throughout the 160,000 sq. ft. facility.

 

April 2020

SV1 Steel Walls

The team is in the process of installing the building's steel framing. The steel is anchored to the cement flooring that sits on top of the base isolators.

 

March 2020

The final section of the base isolation system's triple bearing base isolators have been installed. Listen to Anoop Mokah, Vice President of Earthquake Protection Systems detail how the triple bearing base isolators operate in the event of an earthquake. To learn more about how the base isolation system works read the following article Taking Earthquake Protection to the Next Level in Data Centers by Bob Woolley our Sr. Vice President of Operations.

 

February 2020 

NTT Silicon Valley Data Center - Earthquake-resistant Base Isolation System Installation

The first section of the base isolation system has been installed at our Silicon Valley SV1 Data Center. The isolators are a very important piece to the state-of-the-art base isolation system, it works to protect the building during an earthquake by following the movement of the earth preventing the building itself from moving. The isolators move 3 meters in any direction to help keep the building in place. There is a greater chance that the building will stay operational after a seismic event when built with isolators.

 

September 2019

Demo has begun at our Silicon Valley SV1 Data Center, the team has recycled the old building to make way for our newest data center.  

 

March 2019

We have purchased land and have begun developing a new world-class, 16 megawatt data center “Silicon Valley SV1 Data Center” in Santa Clara, the heart of the tech capital of the world.With a total of 160,000 sq. ft. and 16MW of critical IT power, SV1 is an ideal choice for companies needing data center capacity in this top market where new inventory sells quickly. This facility is the first in Santa Clara to use an earthquake-resistant design featuring an innovative base isolation system. Our campus will also include 100 percent green energy capabilities.

Hillsboro Data Center Campus Construction Updates

Stay up to date on the latest news and milestones from our new Hillsboro data center campus currently under construction.

 

December 2020

The final security features are being added to the facility. The visitor control center (pictured right) has finished installing the camera feeds throughout the facility. The vault entrances (pictured left) are adding final badge readers for an extra layer of protection. 

November 2020

Now that the electrical room is finished the team must test the electrical gear individually. The load banks are turned on acting as stand in servers testing full load in vault one. Once each individual component is tested they are run all at one time. Once the test is complete, the load banks are rolled out of the facility and the vault is ready for final completion.

October 2020

The electrical room has been completed. The electrical room is fed by the electrical modules which are powered by the utility provider. 

September 2020

The anti-climb perimeter fence has been installed around the campus. The campus has armed gates to keep the data center, clients, and employees safe. The data center nonessential lighting will be powered by on campus solar panels (pictured in the far left corner). 

August 2020

 

 

July 2020

Installation on the North IT Room is under way. The main distribution frame, connects NTT’s infrastructure in the Hillsboro data center to the many providers and locations across the globe. The yellow and white track running above the MDF, otherwise known as the cable track, carries the signal from an enclosure to the MDF and out to the world. The patch panel acts as a handoff from the internet provider to the data center. 

The fan walls are currently being installed to vault one. Our team uses slab flooring and a fan wall design to cool the data floor, making for a more efficient and sustainable alternative.  

June 2020

Hillsboro Data Center Campus Construction Update - June 2020

The chillers have finished being installed. The chillers circulate cool water throughout the building.

Hillsboro Data Center Campus Construction Update - June 2020

The manufactured Medium Voltage Switch Gear have been delivered to the site. The team is tying in the medium voltage switch gear to the main utility provider adding power to the building.

April 2020

Modules Installed

The prefabricated electrical modules have finished installation on the side of vault one. 

 

HI1 Walls of Vault

The data center floor has been completed, currently the walls of the vault are being installed. 

 

HI1 Vault Walls

The pre-fabricated electrical modules have been installed at the first of NTT's Hillsboro, Oregon data center campus HI1. The pre-fabricated electrical modules are an essential part of the construction and design teams formula to delivering quality data centers quicker and more efficiently. By constructing the electrical modules offsite, the construction team is able to focus on other areas of the build while they are manufactured and shipped to the site. 

March 2020

Equipment Pads HI1 Construction

The construction team prepares for the prefabricated equipment to arrive on site by laying the foundation in which they will be installed. The foundation pads shown closer to the building are for the generators and electrical modules. The foundation pads shown further from the building are for the chillers. Simultaneously, the team prepares the inside of the building. This modular approach to construction allows us to get capacity online faster for our clients. 

February 2020

HI1 Construction Blog- Slab Floor Install Prep

Our construction team prepares the data floor by adding the essential infrastructure below neccessary for our future clients. Once all cabling and piping has been installed the data center floor will be poured, this slab floor and fan wall design ensures an effcient way to keep the data floor cool. 

January 2020

The first 6MW customizable vault is currently under construction and is available to pre-lease. This vault will be located in the first of five planned buildings on our Hillsboro, OR Data Center campus. Vault 1 will be available this summer. 
 

Vault 1 - General Specifications

  • 6MW at 258.7 watts per square foot
  • 23,000 sq. ft.
  • Single-story structure with a concrete slab design
  • Dedicated electrical infrastructure option at 6MW

To learn more about our Hillsboro, OR Data Center campus and get more details on the first 6MW vault layout and specifications, download the brochure here: NTT Hillsboro Data Center Brochure

November 2019

 

Introducing NTT's Hillsboro, Oregon Data Center campus. The 47-acre campus is located in the Pacific Northwest technology hub with one of the richest network infrastructure in the country. The 1,000,000 square foot space will have 144MW of critical IT load. The first of five buildings, HI1 will be opening in the summer of 2020. Our campus will also include 100 percent green energy capabilities.

Chicago CH1 Data Center Construction Updates

Stay up to date on the latest news and milestones from our new Chicago data center campus currently under construction.

March 2021
CH1 Vault.jpg

Interested in seeing the rest of the Chicago data center campus? Click the link here to watch the grand opening of our CH1 and HI1 data center campuses. Our guided tours will make you feel like you are actually right inside the facilities!

December 2020

 

October 2020

 

August 2020

The construction team has used a crane to lift the chillers to the roof of the building. The chillers are used to circulate cool water throughout the building.

July 2020

Installation on the IT Room is under way. The main distribution frame, connects NTT’s infrastructure in the Chicago data center to the many providers and locations across the globe. The yellow and white track running above the MDF, otherwise known as the cable track, carries the signal from an enclosure to the MDF and out to the world.  

June 2020

CH1 Vault Flooring

The team is preparing to pour the concrete flooring for vault one. This design includes a slab flooring and fan wall cooling technique. 

May 2020

NorthEast Walls

The North East exterior and South West exterior is in progress. Steel and glass will be placed over the wall studs in the next phase of construction. This is the exterior of where the ops team and other offices will be located. The concrete wall to the far right is where the vaults are located.

Partitioned walls

The interior partition framing is in progress. 

The prefabricated exterior walls of the building have been shipped in and installed. By using prefabricated exterior walls we are able to simultaneously build out the interior speeding up timelines of construction. 

 

April 2020

CH1 Roof Installed

The roof has been set, next the precast walls will be shipped to the site and installed to the sides of the building. 

 

March 2020

Setting the Bean

The steel was officially topped out at the NTT CH1 project.  Honoring a long standing tradition, the final steel beam was painted white and affixed with the American flag.  The beam was then signed by the ironworkers and other tradesmen.  They also added the names of project team members from Clune, Verity and Linesight before it was hoisted into place. The topping out ceremony marks a very exciting milestone for this site!

 

November 2019

CH1 Construction has begun

The first 6MW of critical IT load is currently under construction and is available for pre-lease. “The first building on our Chicago Data Center campus is standing up its core and shell now,” said Doug Adams, President and CEO of NTT Global Data Centers Americas (formerly known as RagingWire Data Centers). “By using modular construction techniques, economies of scale, and carefully planned supply chain management, we have lowered construction costs and will be able to affordably offer all the space and critical IT power needed to help companies grow and scale their data center presence as their business needs evolve.”  

 

October 2019

CH1 Exterior

Introducing NTT’s Chicago Data Center campus. The 19-acre campus is located in Itasca, Illinois, which is in the prime area for wholesale data centers. The campus will have two buildings offering a total of 72 megawatts of critical IT load. Each of the two buildings will offer 36 megawatts and 250,000 sq. ft. of space spread over two stories. The first six megawatts of critical IT load will be available in late 2020.

Putting you at the center on day one of your deployment

There are dozens of resources and articles to help you find the right data center partner. However, few address the ins and outs of day one of your deployment. What happens? Who can help you get set up quickly? Where does your equipment get dropped off?  

That's just the beginning. With any new deployment, there are bound to be loads of questions and things to consider. We want to help ensure that your next deployment goes as smoothly as possible, so we'd like to offer you some ideas to think about before you get started. 

Do you have design in mind for your deployment, or are you starting from scratch? 

Some data center clients have a plan in place. They know exactly what they need, and a good data center partner can accommodate those specifications. If they're not flexible enough to adapt to your needs, you should consider looking elsewhere. 

But what happens when you don’t know what you need? You have two options: employing a third-party "integrator," or finding a data center with in-house teams who can help you optimize your design and fit-out for a given space.  

Using an integrator is a popular choice, but they come with their own complications (and we’ll go  into those in just a bit). An in-house team, however, has specific experience within the facility and can offer unique insight to help clients maximize their infrastructure's performance. 

Also, in-house teams, like those you'll find here, help clients prevent costly surprises and set-backs. For instance, if a client's fit-out includes things like high-density power cabinets; containment solutions to manage airflow to accommodate "city-scape" cabinet rows; or structured cabling design and implementations, an in-house team can work closely with that client to engineer a solution to ensure that every part of their infrastructure works seamlessly within the existing environment. 

Where's my stuff? 

Getting a client's equipment where it needs to be is, often, where many data centers and third-party integrators drop the ball. 

It's somewhat understandable when you think about it. No matter how good or dedicated a provider or third-party integrator may be, they are still separate entities, and they add unnecessary layers of communication—increasing the likelihood of complications. There's often no direct line of communication between third-parties and internal teams like Shipping and Receiving, Security, Critical Facilities Operations, IT, and Engineering.  

For example, try as they might, an integrator can't be present at the data center loading dock for every shipment 100 percent of the time. If there is no one to accept a shipment or verify who it's for, vital pieces of client equipment may get turned away—causing the client a frustrating and costly delay. 

By contrast, a data center with an in-house deployment team has direct relationships with other in-house teams like those mentioned above and may be critical for a successful deployment. They're there to ensure your data center fit-out proceeds without a hitch so you can get started right away. 

Is my move-in easy and secure? 

The security of your equipment and the privacy of your particular fit-out are a major priority. Your provider must make sure that only the right people have access to your equipment—from the loading dock to the cage or vault. 

This requires employing the latest badging, biometrics and other multi-factor security measures to ensure everyone who enters the facility is who they say they are. This again, however, is an instance where utilizing third-party integrators may cause delays on day one. 

Whether the client's own employees or contractors will be doing the actual work of moving in, the data center provider needs ample time for proper vetting and accreditation. That means they need a list of every single person who'll be entering the facility well before the actual day..  

With both deployment teams and security staff in-house, it's a fairly simple matter of running the list through normal company channels and processes. But if, for example, a provider employs a third-party security contractor (as many do) and the client engages a third-party deployment integrator, the risk of costly miscommunication or error across disconnected layers becomes far more likely.   

In the unlikely event an in-house team encounters a snag with a client's move-in and deployment, they have a direct line to internal facilities or security teams to address the issue quickly and efficiently. Even if the client needs to make necessary, last-minute staffing or deployment changes, a simple conversation between colleagues can expedite the process and avoid delays. 

How do I get connected? 

Connectivity is perhaps the most important and most complex challenge when moving into a data center. It goes without saying that you need to make absolutely certain you understand how the provider will facilitate your networking and connectivity needs from the start. 

We offer clients several connectivity options and services, and dedicated fit-out and client success teams can provide guidance on what may work best for your deployment. 

For example, your fit-out team will land fiber exactly where it needs to go to ensure you have access to your public cloud provider of choice—either through direct cloud on-ramps or Megaport (or similar) services. 

Our facilities are also carrier-neutral, so in some cases, a client may choose to bring their own dark fiber into the facility via a contractor and third-party provider. Your fit-out team will work directly with your provider and contractor to connect your dedicated fiber from the street to your individual deployment.  

Essentially, we provide clients with the flexibility and expertise to make sure that clients get connected in whatever manner works best for their activities and goals.

How much will this fit-out cost me? 

Of course, success depends on exemplary service. That said, cost absolutely matters. A data center with a dedicated in-house fit-out team may be able to offer a flat-fee with all the trimmings included (depending on need and individual requirements).  

That means one bill from one provider. If a client chooses to use a third-party integrator, often there are multiple layers of mark-up baked into your final cost. For example, a third-party contractor actually doing the physical work of moving in may mark-up labor and material costs. The integrator will also mark-up those costs while adding a project management fee for good measure. The provider often adds another 10 percent on top of that. In contrast, our fit-out team is not a profit center. We consider them to be "value add" services. Any potential mark-ups our clients experience are intended to cover minimal internal costs and thoroughly communicated. That's why it's critical to  understand the total cost of fit-out, not just an itemized list of separate charges.  

But what if I like my integrator? 

Putting clients at the center, to us, means providing them with the flexibility and the means to operate how they need to operate. So, we will absolutely work with third-party integrators. Our goal is to ensure that your fit-out goes smoothly and that costs are transparent—whether you employ a third-party integrator or utilize our dedicated in-house teams. If you trust your integrator, and they have a deep understanding of how you and your infrastructure works, by all means, keep working with them. In-house teams are best for most fit-out scenarios, but they should work with your integrator in the same manner they would if they were working with you directly. 

It's almost time to move in. What now? 

This might seem trivial—until you find yourself struggling to connect to wi-fi on move-in day. There are also more pressing issues like when auto-reporting begins, and what you can expect throughout the life of the partnership. 

A data center partner should provide a dedicated client success team to ensure that you hit the ground running with everything you need—from security badges to access to points-of-contact for remote-hands-and-eyes. A good client success team enables you to focus on your mission-critical goals and not the mundane details of moving in. 

Putting your success at the center from day one 

Sometimes, clients want to plug in the servers and get up and running as soon as they're in the door. Your dedicated team can help with that goal and plan for it in advance to ensure your needs are met.  

In other cases, you might want to sign and start on day one but keep your deployment cold, but ready for future use. When that happens, dependability and predictability are key concerns. Missing a deployment date can have immediate business consequences, and if your data center flubs your move-in and fit-out you should be looking for a new partner. 

What about the future? 

Even at the fit-out stage, you probably have a rough idea of how your deployment may need to scale in the future. Whether you anticipate rapid growth or need to hedge against a potential contraction, your fit-out and move-in must accommodate both exigencies to be effective. If your business is fortunate enough to be the former, you need to know that your provider has processes and standards in place to ensure you can scale with confidence. 

This is why, once again, having a bespoke, integrated solution team is critical to success. If your enterprise needs another cage or vault, you’ll work with the same deployment and customer success teams who facilitated your move-in and fit-out. They will know your infrastructure and your business, and they will have been tracking and monitoring your requirements over time. With a team that understands your needs and how your infrastructure operates, there's no starting from scratch. Plus, they're more likely to identify and proactively remediate potential problems. 

You likely have a battery of questions in store for potential providers—from cost to ongoing optimization to redundancy and more. With so much to consider, it's sometimes easy to lose sight of the day-to-day launch and operation of your deployment. Hopefully, we've given you some things to consider so that your next fit-out is on-time, on-budget, and as smoothly as possible.

Looking Back on 2020

We did it. We made it to the end of 2020, a year that took everyone by surprise and forced us to change the way we operate in business, schools, and communities. This year taught us to be resilient, adaptable, and innovative to ensure our business kept running at the highest level for our clients.

When we reminisce about 2020 many years from now, we’ll most likely remember a time of extreme change and challenges, but we should also remember what we were able to achieve amidst the uncertainty. As this year comes to an end, we wanted to highlight some of those milestones.

RagingWire is Now NTT Global Data Centers Americas

This year we joined the new Global Data Centers division, which incorporates e-shelter, Gyron, Netmagic, NTT Indonesia Nexcenter, RagingWire and other data center companies that formerly sat under the NTT Communications brand. Now as one NTT team, the Global Data Centers division is one of the top three leaders in worldwide colocation and interconnection services. All the benefits of our highly skilled in-house team from the former RagingWire remained for our clients, but by joining the NTT family, we expanded our global footprint and network service options. As NTT Global Data Centers Americas, we’re able to give our clients access to new markets, solutions and help them grow at the pace they need.

A Time of Growth

This was a year of growth for us as we expanded in Ashburn and broke ground on data centers in three new markets – Chicago, Hillsboro, and Silicon Valley – all set to open in 2021. 

 Hillsboro

6MW is now available on the first of five planned data centers on our 47-acre campus just outside Portland, Oregon. The campus offers more than one million square feet of data center space at full buildout and a total of 126MW of critical IT load. We’re proud to have earned the Cleaner Air Oregon certification, which ensures commercial and industrial facilities can’t emit toxic air contaminants at harmful levels. Clients will also have access to direct subsea cables offering low-latency connections between the Hillsboro campus and high-growth Asian markets, making this a prime spot in the Pacific Northwest. 

Chicago

After a year of hard work, the first data center offering 36MW is now available at our new 19-acre data center campus in Chicago. When complete, the campus will feature two buildings totaling 72MW of critical IT load. Customizable high-density vaults, low latency to both US coasts, and robust connectivity make Chicago an increasingly desirable data center location for deployments of all sizes. We’re excited to celebrate the opening of CH1 and HI1 early next year.

 

 

Silicon Valley

We hit significant milestones at SV1, our new data center in Silicon Valley, this year. Construction is nearly complete on the 160,000 square foot, 16MW facility, and its convenient location in Santa Clara makes it an ideal spot for clients looking for space in this prime market. We leaned in on NTT’s experience in Japan and proactively prepared for the challenges of an earthquake. This facility is the first in Santa Clara to use a state-of-the-art base isolation system proven to absorb vibrations and keep IT equipment safe during a seismic event.

 

 

 Ashburn

Expansion in Ashburn is moving fast and the first 8MW are available in a new data center on our 78-acre campus. VA5 contains a total of 32MW of critical IT load and 140,000 square feet of data floor space. With the new addition, our Ashburn campus now totals 224MW and 1.8 million square feet over seven buildings.

An Emphasis on Health and Safety

Like most of the world, COVID-19 forced us into different working environments and made us rethink health and safety protocols. To keep our mission-critical employees as safe as possible in the data centers so they could keep our clients’ businesses running, we moved all other employees to remote work and implemented extra safety precautions, including:

  • Temperature checks at each data center
  • Health screenings asking data center entrants about recent travel
  • Increased cleaning/sterilizing throughout the day, especially at frequent contact surfaces
  • Hand sanitizer distribution to all occupants

 

 

Employees moving to remote work encountered lots of virtual meetings, canceled events, and a change in dynamic among colleagues. We came up with some unique ways to keep our team and clients connected including a virtual “Craft Cocktails with the Chief of Staff” mixology event and cookie decorating party around the holidays. 

Designing for Density in the Data Center

If we learned anything from 2020, it was how to adapt to rapidly changing situations and find innovative ways to solve problems. As the growing adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) changes density demands in the data center, we’ve made sure our data center facilities can support accelerated computing operations. Our Dallas TX1 and Ashburn VA3 Data Centers are now qualified as NVIDIA DGX-Ready data centers. Clients can utilize DGX, NVIDIA’s flagship appliance for AI computation, and leverage AI benefits without installing their own infrastructure. It’s a major step toward our goal of making AI infrastructure-as-a-service accessible and economical for businesses of all sizes. 

Looking Ahead

As we look to the new year, we have several exciting milestones coming up. We’re planning a (virtual) launch for both our Chicago and Hillsboro Data Centers, and we’ll break ground on a brand-new campus in Phoenix. Stay tuned for more about that site.

The many obstacles we all faced in 2020 brought data to the forefront of our everyday lives more than ever, and we’re looking forward to the opportunities ahead. We hope 2021 brings back a sense of normalcy, but it might be a new normal. No matter what, we remain committed to giving our clients the best global technology solutions to drive their growth and enable their success

Why Enterprises Should Use Hyperscale Data Center Techniques

When contemplating what data center customers will need over the next one to three years, several things come to mind.

First, hybrid cloud will continue to be a popular trend, and with good reason. Uncontrollable costs from public cloud service providers are driving people to pull workloads from those applications and into a more economical hybrid cloud environment. Some customers have also reported performance issues when demand on public cloud is high.

Next, many customers are asking for larger footprints and increased power density. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see densities hit 20kW. These higher power densities are a real problem for legacy data center providers that designed their buildings to serve 4-5kW per rack installations, back in the days when a high-density load was considered to be 10kW. We’re long past that now. Data center operators who can build-to-suit can handle these new 20kW and higher requirements, which is really what customers need to run their mission-critical applications.

The bottom line is: to get the most cost-effective, efficient use of a data center, enterprises need to use hyperscale techniques. But how?

Let’s start with utilization rates. Enterprises typically get about a 30 percent utilization rate of their infrastructure when measured on a 24x7x365 basis, whereas hyperscalers get 70-80 percent – more than double that of enterprises. If enterprises can double their utilization rate, it means that they can buy half of what they normally buy and still serve the same workload demand. That will save a lot of money. 

But to improve their utilization rate, enterprises have a choice. They can do it on their own, or buy a hyperconverged system that essentially does the same thing. That hyperconverged system will give them public cloud economics in a private cloud environment. There are also quite a few composable systems from major OEMs that leverage similar techniques.

A few years ago, I sponsored an infrastructure TCO study that still rings true today. The study highlighted the point that most of the cost of running a server is not the cost of the server itself. The TCO of running a server consists of three major components: 1) the cost of the server, 2) administration and management, and 3) space, power and cooling. The actual server represents about 20% of the total, 70% is administration and management, and the remaining 10% is space, power, and cooling. 

So, enterprises that want to reduce costs should look closely at the fact that 70% of their server costs are tied up in administration and management. Hyperscalers have done exactly that. Their investments in software, machine learning, and automation drive utilization rates to 4X that of the average enterprise, creating world-class TCO and programmability of their data center infrastructure.  

Tax breaks are perfect topping on Chicago pie

For data centers, Chicago had it all… almost.

Great connectivity. Low latency to both U.S. coasts. Hundreds of temperate days without the need to cool the data floor. Affordable power. Deep dish pizza. Sorry, did that last item make you hungry? Well, keep reading, you’ll be glad you did. 

While Chicago offered a deep, broad list of benefits for data center customers, something was missing. And other data center markets had it. 

So close to perfect 

The missing topping on Chicago’s data center pie? Tax incentives. And that left a noticeable blank spot on an otherwise delicious dish. 

Chicago’s situation came to a somewhat dramatic head on Jan. 27, 2019, when Ally Marotti of the Chicago Tribune wrote an article describing what was at stake if Illinois could not provide the same data center tax incentives that were offered in 30 other states. And of those 30 states, it was nice, quiet Iowa that figuratively sounded the alarm that Illinois could not help but hear. 

Back in 2017, Iowa enticed Apple to start building a 400,000 square-foot data center near Des Moines by offering $20 million in tax incentives. A comprehensive report paid for by the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Foundation found that if Apple had chosen to build its project in Illinois, the state could have added 3,360 jobs, $203.9 million in labor income and $521.7 million in economic output.

Let’s do something about it  

Illinois did not want to watch more major players become drawn to Iowa as a top Midwestern magnet for data centers while forsaking Chicago and all its great benefits.

Tyler Diers, executive director of the Illinois chamber’s technology council, made that point clear in Marotti’s article, saying “We hear the war stories all the time, and [data center operators] do too. We’re increasingly losing our desirability and our competitiveness. Even though we’re still relatively high, we want to stop the bleeding before we no longer [are] a desirable location.”

Those are strong words, and they made a powerful impression. Instead of standing by idly as other states flushed their economic coffers full of data center-driven cash, Illinois bore down and did something about the situation. After all, this state is personified by Chicago, the city of the big shoulders where “dem Grabowskis” root for “Da Bears”. The Windy City was not about to get blown away by Iowa.

In June 2019, Chicago essentially called dibs on the Midwest data center market when Illinois added data center tax incentives to the state’s capital spending budget. Now qualifying data centers -- and their customers -- are exempt from paying state and local sales taxes on equipment in the data centers, including everything from cooling and heating equipment to servers and storage racks. To qualify, a data center must spend at least $250 million on the facility and employ at least 20 full-time employees over a five-year period. In addition, it must prove it meets a green building standard, such as  LEED  or  Energy Star.

NTT’s Global Data Centers Americas division will meet all of those qualifications as we build two 36MW data centers on our 19-acre campus in Itasca, Illinois, which is about 27 miles outside of the city of Chicago and right near airports, restaurants, hotels, beautiful lakes, and other amenities.

Here’s what’s in it for you 

So how does that tax break benefit data center colocation customers? Well, the sales tax rate in Itasca is 7.5%. For businesses that are new to colocation, they may have to invest money in new equipment. Say they invest $500,000, that’s an extra $37,500 in sales tax they don’t have to pay because of this benefit.

And this Illinois sales tax exemption is locked in for 20 years, so data center customers will pay no sales tax when they refresh their equipment down the road too.

So that’s the Chicago story, and it’s a darn good one. This is a town that saw it was falling behind, so it lowered its broad shoulders, and charged forward to take the lead again. Now data center customers can enjoy significant tax savings for decades to come in a market that already had everything else they could possibly need. 

Oh, still thinking about that deep dish pizza? I understand. Here’s a great tip: you can get an authentic Chicago deep dish pizza shipped frozen to you from Giordanos or Lou Malnati’s. Either way you can’t go wrong. You’re welcome -- enjoy!

P.S. You can talk the talk – Chicago-style! To learn more about the flavor of Chicago through the city’s unique jargon, check out this page to find out the meanings of frunchroom, the bean, grachki, sammich and more.

Earthquake Protection Systems partners with NTT to keep our customer's IT equipment safe.

 

 

Tokyo, where NTT is headquartered, is known to experience some of the most powerful earthquakes on the planet. That’s one of the reasons why NTT has dedicated much research and resources toward building seismically stable data centers that can protect clients’ mission-critical, sensitive equipment in the event of a strong earthquake. 

Now, NTT is bringing our proven construction model for earthquake-resistant data centers to Silicon Valley by building a four-story, 16MW data center in Santa Clara. The building will be set on a base isolation system that will be the first of its kind for data centers in the region. 

Opening in early 2021, this new Silicon Valley SV1 data center will provide clients with a state-of-the-art presence in a global tech hub, while also connecting them to NTT's platform of 160 data centers across 20 countries and regions around the world.

The Secret to Data Center Expansion: Modular Construction

 

 

It is no surprise that the demand for data centers has increased since March 2020. With so many people turning to digital entertainment, a work from home lifestyle, and remote schooling environments, this increase in network traffic is leaving online technology-based companies looking for data center space beyond the scope of their on-premises resources. 
 
Luckily, colocation data centers can take the burden of running a data center off your shoulders. NTT Ltd.’s Global Data Centers Americas division offers access to data centers all over the world. One of the key strategies that enabled us to expand our platform to 160 data centers across 20 countries and regions is the concept of modular construction, which lowers production costs, speeds up timelines, and provides customizable spaces for customers.  
 
The concept of modular construction is simple. By simultaneously constructing the data center shell onsite while the mechanical and electrical components are manufactured at an offsite factory, our team can speed up the timeline of production. The modules are shipped to the site and installed for just in time commissioning.  
 
Not only does manufacturing offer a more efficient solution, but it also increases the integrity of the product. Often, building large components onsite has limitations. Whereas building in a manufacturing warehouse allows for the use of better materials, more thorough testing, and specialized labor.  
 
There are many benefits to a modular construction approach: 
 
    1    Lower costs from buying material in large volumes for quantity discounts. 
    2    Better scheduling of resources from using repeatable processes . 
    3    Reduction of on-site manpower from using prefabricated components.  
    4    Lower labor workforce rates from using factory assembly staff vs. tradesmen on-site.  
    5    Fewer costly weather-related delays by shifting prefab components indoors.  
    6    Lower costs associated with QA/QC through factory controlled repeatable processes . 
 
Overall, modular construction is a smart and efficient way of constructing data centers, leading to faster delivery at a lower price point for data center customers. 

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