Dallas Data Center Summit: “Something is Happening in Texas…”
by Josh Anderson
DALLAS, TX – CapRE’s Sixth Annual Dallas Data Center Summit took a wide view of the data center game in northern Texas – honing in on all aspects of the arena, from capital markets to M&A to connectivity. And to get to the crux of what’s happening at the intersection of all three, the panel Connectivity in Texas: Analysis of Dark Fiber, Latency Challenges and Innovations in Telecom kicked off with a question about this one of the biggest deals in recent memory in these parts.
“Something is happening in Texas,” began Moderator Greg Stover, Director, Vertiv. “It’s a fabulous market. It’s got good energy prices, it’s got good real estate prices, it’s got good regulation, it has great fiber in the ground already and there’s a reason it’s moved into the top 4 [markets]. But what do you guys think about Equinix buying Infomart, which is kind of the center of all connectivity in this city means, and how might that change what we are going to be looking at in the future? I know TJ has an opinion on this.”
“I’ll kick it off,” replied TJ Karklins, Principal at Global Vectors LLC. “Equinix is a great company. they bought that property which they were the primary tenant in, and there is too much connectivity into it. It’s 22-23 Bryant, and most of the networks through that are controlled by DRT. So I think that what it’s going to do to the market is accelerate the deconstruction of that centralization.”
“If you take a look at a couple of things that have happened, first is Cloud connectivity,” continued Karklins. “The Cloud providers basically make all of the data centers and allow people to get to the Cloud. If they don’t allow them to get to the Cloud, then it’s a big problem. And so with the holes that are being cut in the side of each data center, to allow Amazon and Azure and Google connectivity, are holes that can be leveraged, frankly, for SDN and other things to get in and deconstruct that, pull that connectivity out of those key buildings, and into Edge providers and into the other data centers.”
“If you take all of that together, then I think there are ways to network around all of this,” he asserted. “From the physical, going out to the manhole outside of Infomart, and being able to connect things up, to doing it virtually, which is going to be so much faster and much more effective. And so I think we’ll see that accelerate. It’ll be good for this market and it’ll be good for all of the players in it.”
Karklins also thinks that it can be good for Equinix. “Because if the whole eco-system grows, then they can maintain where they’re at,” he conclude. “But is it going to be like we’ve had for the last fifteen years, where if you don’t get a cross-connect in Infomart, you can’t exist as a data center? I don’t think that’s tenable anymore.”
Banner Photo (R): TJ Karklins, Principal, Global Vectors LLC.