In the world of data centers, the landscape of buyers and sellers continues to shift. The latest reality: Zayo Group Holdings is a confirmed buyer for a Dallas location, while CenturyLink and Verizon Communications apparently want to be sellers on a global scale.
Indeed, Zayo -- which specializes in global communications infrastructure -- has purchased Stream Data Centers’ 36,000 square foot Dallas facility. The purchase nearly doubles Zayo’s Dallas data center footprint to 61,000 square feet across four locations. The purchase will help Zayo to meet growing demand from technology and energy customers in the regions.
Zayo Global Network Strategy
Still, this is more than a data center play. Zayo also has a dense fiber backbone in Dallas, which spans more than 3,500 miles. The new data center will tether to the company's key points-of-presence (POPs) in the area.
While cloud computing remains a hot topic for data center providers, Zayo continues to see "healthy demand for colocation and data center services in the Dallas region,” said Greg Friedman, executive vice president of Colocation and Cloud Infrastructure at Zayo, said in a statement.
Dallas is only one piece on the larger Zayo global puzzle. The company has a 92,000-mile network in the U.S. and Europe -- linking to thousands of buildings and data centers.
CenturyLink, Verizon Data Centers Up for Sale?
While Zayo is a buyer, some larger players are trying to figure out if they're now sellers in this market. Among the giants that might make exits:
- CenturyLink has been trying to sell nearly 60 data centers worldwide. The company apparently wants to exit the brick and mortar, while holding on to the cloud and managed services running in those data centers. CenturyLink CFO Stewart Ewing this week also suggested that CenturyLink could consider a wholesale model for its data center business.
- Verizon reportedly is trying to sell its data center business in a bidding process that could set the value at $2.5 billion or more. Verizon in late 2015 dismissed a similar rumor involving the potential sale of its data center business.
Amazon, Microsoft Azure Cloud Concerns
No doubt, some data center owners are concerned about head-on competition from Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. Competing head-on against those public cloud services providers isn't really a sustainable option.
Still, there are alternative paths to profits. For instance, IBM has been working closely with CIOs and developers to promote big data capabilities, Watson and SoftLayer cloud. Also of note, Equinix has been blending its data centers and network interconnections to give customers a fast onramp to multiple clouds and networks -- essentially a cloud of clouds.
Some pundits, including Continuum CEO Michael George, are calling on channel partners to increasingly embrace public clouds like AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform and IBM SoftLayer. His reasoning: The big public clouds have economies of scale to continually improve security and scalability.