CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) has set Las Vegas as the next destination for data center expansion through a partnership with Switch SUPERNAP, a deal that will enable it to immediately expand its footprint while offering Switch customers its portfolio of colocation, cloud, managed services and network services.
This partnership has benefits for both CenturyLink and Switch.
For CenturyLink, the pact is about scale as it immediately can address its customers' needs to add hosting and colocation space in the Las Vegas market, where CenturyLink employs about 700 people and operates a large network services business.
"We are expanding our data center footprint position into the Las Vegas market," said David Meredith, senior vice president and global general manager for CenturyLink Technology Solutions, in an interview with FierceTelecom. "Las Vegas is a market where we have pretty much everything else we do except for a data center, but we have significant network assets deployed and a lot of customers deployed in that area."
Switch, which had traditionally sold only space and power, will now be able to extend CenturyLink Cloud services or deploy colocation and managed services through CenturyLink's 57 global data center locations.
"Switch has a lot of customers in that market that have needs outside of the Las Vegas market so they'll be able to drive business into our data centers in all the markets they're not currently in today," Meredith said. "There's not a lot of overlap between our two footprints today so they're able to provide data center services into our 57 data centers that we have and we'll be able to provide our cloud and managed services to their customers in Las Vegas."
One of the key vertical segments the Switch partnership could benefit is its state and local government customers in Nevada. Today, the service provider delivers its host of managed and traditional telecom services like Ethernet and wavelengths to agencies, but having a data center presence in Las Vegas will fulfill their desire to have a local facility to store and backup data.
"A good example is we have a very significant state and local government business across the United States and in most cases they want to see their data housed in the state borders so it's important that we have data center footprint in all of our markets," Meredith said.
Another element of the Switch relationship is reliability. Besides being the only carrier-neutral colocation facility to earn the Uptime Institute's Tier IV Gold Certification of Operational Sustainability, Switch is also the only colocation facility in North America to hold a Tier IV Certification of Constructed Facility. CenturyLink recently earned similar certifications for new facilities in Minneapolis and Toronto.
"Switch is certified Tier IV Gold status by the Uptime Institute and all of our facilities have 100 percent uptime SLAs so there's a consistent level of quality of what Switch has and our footprint, which is appealing to us," Meredith said. "We're filling in a market where we have a strong local presence."
Growing its data center footprint has been a top priority for CenturyLink. This year the service provider has completed the buildout of data centers in four other markets including Minneapolis, Toronto, Phoenix and Hong Kong. It also completed expansions of existing facilities in Chicago and Irvine, Calif.
While CenturyLink has traditionally built its own data centers, it has been leveraging key partners such as IO to enter the Phoenix market, while in China it is leveraging data center provider GDS, IT solutions and services provider Neusoft and network provider Citic Telecom CPC.
Meredith said that by partnering with Switch it can accelerate its growth strategy even quicker.
"We increased the capital we're spending on data center capacity and we expect to increase that next year, but we want to grow even faster so we'll extend our reach through the right partnerships," Meredith said. "It's a shift in our strategy over the last year and half to actively look for the right partners to extend even faster."
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