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Carefully constructing capacity, Carrier-1 opens in Dallas

The Dallas market remains a top market in the US, with capacity often taken up as fast or faster than providers can build it out. It's nearly always good timing to build out additional supply there, and we continue to see new providers leveraging Dallas as a strategic entry into the multi-tenant datacenter sector. Carrier-1 Data Centers has built out the first 10,000 square feet of a multi-phase facility that will also offer business continuity and customer office space, hoping to take advantage of continued demand.

Context

Carrier-1 Data Centers is led by founders Peter Pathos, Ed Kramer, Julia Morgan and Trey Berndt. This leadership team brings extensive experience to the company, as well as a strong history as a cohesive team. Prior to starting Carrier-1, the team operated CoreXchange Datacenters in Dallas and The Planet. However, the leadership team is striking out into new territory with Carrier-1, shifting from a small retail colocation offering to a large-scale offering. While Carrier-1 will serve a variety of industries, the company's offering will likely attract some of the Houston-based oil and energy companies looking to Dallas for business-continuity and disaster-recovery locations, as well as financial services and other regulated industries with specific compliance requirements.

The datacenter was originally purchased as a private investment, and was not sold when CoreXchange was. The Carrier-1 team of founders attracted private investors to support the buildout of the facility.

Previously, CoreXchange provided retail colocation services down to the single cabinet. However, Carrier-1 is focused on large customers, especially those looking to deploy 5,000 square feet or more (500kW-plus). The Dallas market continues to see strong demand for services to support this deployment range. In addition to the multi-tenant data hall, the company is offering turnkey pods and powered shell space built to suit customer requirements.

Carrier-1's datacenter

Because Dallas is prone to tornadoes and high winds, the company selected a structure with a reinforced concrete roof with an FM I-90 wind uplift rated roof. The Carrier-1 datacenter offers 106,866 gross square feet of space. The company has planned multiple phases to support up to 60,000 square feet of raised floor space. Currently, Carrier-1 has built out about 10,000 square feet of capacity, along with outfitting 30,000 square feet of customer office space and conference rooms. Additionally, the first phase floor space features storage bays that open directly onto the floor, which customers can leverage for storage.

To support the first phase, the company has installed diverse-path underground utility feeds to support 1MW of critical capacity. This capacity is supported by two 2,500kVA transformers, with expansion capabilities to support up to 10MW of power. The power infrastructure is built out to support a variety of redundancy requirements. This infrastructure includes a 2MW Cummins generator supported by 7,000 gallons of on-site fuel and four-hour response time with multiple fuel vendors. The company has also installed three 600kVA Liebert UPSs in N+1 configuration, and 12 125kVA Liebert PDUs in an A-side and B-side configuration. The facility is cooled with 12 30-ton Liebert air-cooled units totaling 480 tons in an N+2 configuration.

The facility is connected to Equinix in the Dallas Infomart via diverse-path dark fiber to expand the number of carriers available to customers. This gives customers access to more than 95 carriers. The company will also support customers wishing to bring specific carriers directly into Carrier-1.

The datacenter will also include a 10,000-square-foot business-continuity center. This space is often a requirement for customers in areas more prone to natural disasters, and is in high demand in the Dallas area.

Competition

The Dallas multi-tenant datacenter market is one of the largest in the US, in terms of square footage, with more than 2.7 million square feet of total capacity. As Carrier-1 gains ground in the market, it can expect to face competition from multiple providers, but QTS and CyrusOne offer products targeting similar customers, and will probably be the closest competitors.

SWOT Analysis

Strengths

   

Weaknesses

Carrier-1's leadership team brings significant industry experience in starting up new companies, datacenter design and development, and datacenter marketing, especially in the Dallas market. The team's previous facilities were profitable endeavors that were also startups.     Because it is a new company, the facility's success will rely heavily on the past experience and reputation of the leadership team and strategic marketing, whereas its competition is well established in this and other markets.

Opportunities

   

Threats

When it comes to the Dallas market, providers must take advantage of building lulls, where other providers have capacity in progress, but not necessarily capacity available for immediate use. Carrier-1 can leverage these windows through its early phases in order to gain market share.     As QTS, CyrusOne and others continue to build out supply in the market, Carrier-1 will face strong competition from established providers in the market that have capex available to build out capacity steadily, to support demand from existing and new customers.