The Dallas Infomart begins a new chapter this week with the opening of the Equinix DA11 data center, which expands the iconic carrier hotel property into a multi-building cloud campus.
Equinix bought the Infomart in 2018 for $800 million, and invested an additional $142 million to create the first phase of DA11, a four-story stand-alone structure constructed next door to the main Infomart building. DA11 provides 2,000 square feet of colocation space and can house 1,975 cabinets. Future phases are expected to double that capacity.
“If a data center can have that new car smell, this one has it in spades,” says Jon Lin, President of Americas for Equinix, in a blog post.
The expansion provides an unusual opportunity for a major expansion of a carrier hotel, which is rare due to the difficulty of adding new buildings in congested urban markets. It also allows Equinix to provide purpose-built data center capacity in way that would be difficult inside the 1.6 million square foot Infomart.
Building on Strength in Key Gateway
Built in 1986, the Infomart’s distinctive glass facade was designed as a replica of the Crystal Palace built in London in 1850 as part of the first World’s Fair. Originally designed to house offices and trade shows, the property found a niche in the early 1990s when it began leasing space to telecom tenants.
The Infomart is an early example of carrier hotels, buildings in the central business district of major cities that emerge as hubs for network connectivity, attracting dozens of providers. That’s why it has always been a key facility for Equinix, which operates four data centers within the facility.
Lin says Dallas is an “increasingly important and growing market.” The company has nine data centers across the Greater Dallas metroplex, serving more than 135 network customers.
“We are seeing significant customer demand in Dallas as enterprises look to increase their business offerings through implementing IT infrastructures that are able to keep pace with the continually evolving digital landscape,” said Lin. “Our customers doing business in Dallas have asked for highly interconnected colocation facilities close to banking, telecom, tech, healthcare and logistics companies, and we’ve responded.”
A Testbed for 5G and Edge Enablement
Building on the Infomart’s massive connectivity, Equinix is positioning DA11 as a testbed for next-generation technologies, designating the building a “5G and Edge Proof of Concept Center (POCC).” The company sees latency-sensitive applications as a driver for hybrid multicloud architectures that can interconnect with strategic business partners within the Equinix global ecosystem of nearly 10,000 customers.
Equinix says the 5G and Edge (POCC) will provide a “sandbox” environment, enabling Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), cloud platforms, technology vendors and enterprises to directly connect with its data center platform in order to test complex 5G and edge deployment and interoperability scenarios. The POCC aims to:
- Develop 5G and edge architectures that leverage ecosystems already resident at Equinix.
- Explore hybrid multicloud interconnectivity scenarios between MNOs, public clouds and private infrastructures.
- Develop multiparty business models, partnering strategies and go-to-market motions for the nascent 5G and edge market.
“Connectivity is becoming increasingly critical for the development of modern hybrid cloud and mobile environments, and Dallas is a key market in enabling companies to accelerate their 5G strategies and overall digital transformation journey,” said Stefanie Williams, Analyst, 451 Research. “The Dallas multi-tenant data center market remains among the top five in the U.S., and providers have benefitted from strong demand over the years. Dallas will most likely continue to see notable levels of demand, and with the opening of DA11, Equinix is positioning itself to meet demand for connectivity and interconnection to an ecosystem of carriers, network and cloud providers.”