Level 3 lights up new Virginia data center, enhances enterprise-service reach

Level 3 Communications is capitalizing on the Virginia market's desire for cloud services by establishing a new data center in Herndon, Virginia.

As a Premier Elite data center, Level 3 said the new facility offers redundant, high-density power and cooling systems, multitier security and direct connectivity to its global network.

Herndon is one of the three Premier Elite facilities in North America. Additional Premier Elite facilities are located in San Francisco and Omaha, Neb. Level 3 also operates another 17 Premier Elite data centers throughout Europe and Latin America.

Level 3's data-center reach is vast, reaching more than 350 locations globally.

Another significant element of the Herndon location is that the town is home to a number of federal-government agencies and large corporations.

"We have about 300 data centers and the Premier facilities are the most hardened, high density facilities that we have in the network, so they are suitable for any type of enterprise or government application that's needed," said Paul Savill, senior vice president of Core Product Management for Level 3, in an interview with FierceTelecom. "The other thing is Herndon is a big Internet hub and so Level 3 makes these facilities so we're carrier neutral and allow for other carriers to build into this facility."

Savill added that because the data center is connected to its own fiber network it can give customers global connectivity.

"Customers that choose to locate at this facility can have their choice of connectivity between all these carriers, but it is sitting on the Level 3 backbone and is connected into our global platform so it offers customers easy data connectivity locations around the world," he said.

Businesses that use this facility can connect to other third-party cloud service platforms such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services.

"Level 3 has a cloud connect product that enable customers to provision and utilize data connectivity to major cloud service platforms on a usage basis billing type arrangement," Savill said. "What we also support out of this facility is global connectivity to cloud service platforms like Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) Azure and Amazon Web Services (NASDAQ: AMZN) so there's a lot of ways that it fits into our global strategy."

While Level 3 has no plans to open up any new data centers this year, the service provider recently lit up similar facilities outside of London, San Francisco and Omaha.

"We're looking at expansion on some of these facilities already, but the Herndon one is just getting started," Savill said.

According to Ovum's data-center-tracking information, "the Northern Virginia market is one of the top three data center markets in the world."

"The use of external third-party data centers are necessary to address expanding their global coverage, increased use of cloud services, and improving application performance," said Mike Sapien, principal analyst of Global Enterprise Services for Ovum.

Adding another Premier Elite data center will come in handy as Level 3 continues to ramp up its enterprise-service revenue base. Level 3 reported that in Q2 2014, its enterprise Core Network Services (CNS) revenues rose 11 percent year-over-year, to $984 million.

For more:
- see the release

Editor's Corner: AT&T, CenturyLink and competitors are divided on dark fiber potential

Related articles: 
Level 3's Q2 enterprise services revenues grow 11% to $984M
Level 3 tapped by DHS to provide LAN managed services
Level 3 lays out its management structure after tw telecom acquisition closes
Level 3 calls for FCC to extend net neutrality to interconnect points

This article was updated on Aug. 29 with quotes from Paul Savill, senior vice president of Core Product Management for Level 3.