Northern Virginia Colocation Market Q1, 2012

Northern Virginia Colocation market is the second largest in the US with over 4-million sq-ft already built and close to another one-million planned to come on-line in the near future. Historically, it was driven by the federal government and Telcos (AT&T, UUNET, MCI) and the technology corridor they fueled. But it truly started to grow in the mid-1990s when one of the first Internet Exchanges, MAE-East was established. In the last five years, large financial institutions, and Internet companies like Amazon, Salesforce and VISA, have bolstered its growth.

All major co-location providers have multiple sites – mainly near Ashburn, Virginia. In fact, Equinix’s first co-location data center, DC1, was built there in 1999. The retail co-location giant now has 11 buildings in its Ashburn campuses – adding two within the last year. Also in 2011, Digital Realty Trust, Dupont Fabros, Equinix and Sabey all added capacity in NoVA.

Interesting facts about the NoVA market based on our recent analysis:

  • There are 73 co-location data center buildings totaling more than 500MW of critical power currently in the NoVA market.
  • The majority of these data centers are wholesale ones owned by the two top providers in the country – Digital Realty Trust and Dupont Fabros Technology – with 11 each.
  • It is the fastest growing market in the US with capacity being filled almost as soon as it is added.
  • The retail co-location sector of this market is dominated by Equinix with nine buildings and more than 50MW of critical power.
  • Telco data centers still represent a large portion of this market with 16 buildings and undisclosed amount of critical power.

With the abundance of fiber and access to every national network, NoVA will continue to be a major hub for the co-location data center market for years to come.

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