Published by: Andrew Schaap – CEO at Aligned Data Centers
As compute loads become more dynamic as demand varies from month to month, day to day, hour to hour and project to project, the supporting infrastructure needs evolve. Today’s forward-looking companies, including hyperscalers, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) providers, and enterprises with high-density computing requirements, require a data center provider that offers adaptive, future-proof infrastructure solutions. The endgame is to provide these organizations with flexible Colocation or Build-to-Scale solutions that are designed to maintain pace with their ever-changing workloads and scalability requirements.
Equally business-critical is the ability to build or obtain data center capacity quickly enough, when and where they need it, which means ensuring fast project delivery and deployment. For these types of organizations, slow speed-to-market is the Achille’s heal to new revenue-generating initiatives or business expansions in new or existing markets.
To solve for the need for speed and other challenges, Aligned leverages a standardized supply chain methodology, proven technologies and best-of-breed partners that enable data center builds to be delivered in as few as six months. We can also provision initial deployments of 2 to 20-plus MWs of capacity, and scale beyond in as little as 12 weeks.
Take for example our new 26-acre, 180 MW master-planned data center campus in Ashburn, Virginia. Ashburn is the largest data center market in North America and continues to be a key location for hyperscalers, cloud and platform providers due to its proximity to major population centers, abundant fiber, affordable and reliable power, and favorable tax incentives. Leveraging our standardized supply chain and dedicated inventory pool, Aligned constructed a 370,000 square-foot data center and built out the first 12MW of data center space, expandable to 60 MW, in less than six months. Northern Virginia has long been a strategic priority for Amazon Web Services (AWS), Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Oracle, and Salesforce, in addition to data-driven companies such as Uber, LinkedIn, and Dropbox.
In other Aligned markets, such as Salt Lake City, the rapidity with which Aligned brought its data center online further underscores its design and delivery effectiveness. Completed in just six months, the 300,000 sq. ft. site initially provides a 75,000 sq. ft. data hall, 15,000 sq. ft. of rentable office space, and 9,700 sq. ft. of technical burn-in and storage space. The building also features a dedicated loading dock, conference rooms, drop-in office pods, a café area, and shower facilities. Situated on 55 acres, including a dedicated on-site substation, the facility will deliver 130 MW of critical capacity and grow to 600,000 sq. ft. at full build.
So strong is the demand that Aligned is experiencing for our adaptive data center platform that our Dallas and Phoenix data centers have also undergone recent expansions to better serve customers that require dynamically scalable, efficient and reliable infrastructure.
We’ve recently announced an 8 MW expansion of our Dallas, Texas-area data center, DFW-01. The expansion at the 19-acre campus, which at full build-out will support a 375,000 square-foot, 60 MW facility, is in response to rising customer demand for Aligned’s adaptive and intelligent infrastructure solutions. Last year also saw a 200,000-sq.-ft. expansion at Aligned’s Phoenix data center campus, which added 60 MW while substantially increasing the amount of space available to our clients.
How is it possible for a data center provider to go from delivering 5.5 MW of capacity to more than 550 planned MW in such a short time frame?
- A standardized supply chain – which features an electrical equipment inventory in the form of a standardized kit that encompasses medium-voltage power distribution all the way down to the Power Distribution Unit (PDU). On the mechanical side, Aligned provides a complete cooling inventory program from heat rejection to heat absorption.
- Inventory – A byproduct of standardization, having inventory is the number one risk mitigator when it comes to delivering on time. At any given point in time, Aligned’s vendors hold a 50 MW, auto-replenished pool of available inventory, ready for immediate deployment. Aligned also prefabricates power and cooling equipment for fast, easy and efficient deployment and scalability. Compared to on-site assembly, prefabricated components accelerate project timelines and reduce cost.
- Adaptable design – our technology eliminates the need for raised floors and complex cooling systems. Aligned’s award-winning, patented cooling technology, Delta Cube (Delta³), allows customers to deploy infrastructure where and when they need it — and reconfigure quickly and seamlessly, and usually within the same footprint — as their requirements change.
- Strong capital partners – Between our secured loan with Goldman Sachs, and equity investments from Macquarie Infrastructure Partners and Blue Mountain Capital Management, Aligned has a clear path to take advantage of future expansion opportunities and help you meet data center growth requirement
According to Cisco, in two years, hyperscalers will account for 55 percent of all data center traffic, 65 percent of all data stored, and 69 percent of all data center processing power. Granted, these figures are only projections, not certainties. However, for these and other high-growth, high-capacity customers, we can be certain that the need to match speed-to-market with scale and minimal risk exposure will only continue, as will the need of a data center provider that can solve these and other challenges as they emerge, now and into the future.