A recent news story in Data Center Knowledge caught our eyes at the Interconnections blog because it involved two metros we have a lot of love for, and a development that’s been a long time coming.
The story reported 451 Research’s projection that Northern Virginia will pass the New York metro area next year as the largest multi-tenant data center market in the U.S.
At the end of 2013, Northern Virginia had 3.22 million square feet of multi-tenant data center space, compared to 3.25 million in New York. But 451 Research says the Northern Virginia market will grow by 14% this year, while New York will grow 11%, so the edge in growth rates will push Northern Virginia into the top spot by early 2015.
We see abundant interconnection and business opportunity with Equinix in both places, and Matt Monaco, who oversees the New York market for Equinix, said the news is just the culmination of a trend several years running of slightly higher growth in the Washington region.
“They’re both massive markets, they’re both growing. One is just growing faster than the other,” said Monaco, Equinix’s Senior Director of Business Operations for the Northeast region.
Equinix’s history in Northern Virginia dates to the company’s beginnings, when we started building what’s now an eight-facility campus in Ashburn, Va. We’re the region’s largest data center provider by far, with more than a half-million square feet of data center space, and we’re getting bigger. Equinix has purchased 45 acres of land there and plans to add another 1.2 million square feet of data center space.
Equinix’s Jon Lin, who oversees the Washington market, noted several advantages in Northern Virginia, including significant tax incentives for development, more affordable real estate, a highly educated workforce and a lower cost of living.
Geography is no small edge, either. The mid-Atlantic location enables Ashburn customers to reach major metros in both the north and south, while offering a clear route west. Lin noted the area also has “a lot of fiber in the ground” because it’s home to a number of legacy network providers.
It’s all helped draw a rush of cloud and content providers.
“For peering and also for other businesses where connectivity is critical, you look at Ashburn as a market that’s really building momentum,” he said.
Equinix also has a long history in New York, and we’ve built the pre-eminent financial services ecosystem around the region’s trading community. Locating with Equinix is pretty much essential for companies in New York’s financial services industry. In addition, we house a strong concentration of content and media companies there.
Monaco also noted that New York is smack in the middle of the Boston-to-Washington population corridor which counts 44 million people. That gives businesses serving that massive market the proximity they need for low-latency, high-performance and cost-effective connectivity.
“If you’re connecting to things in the Northeast, fewer miles of cable equals cheaper,” he said.
Monaco added that no matter the growth trends, being with Equinix in Washington and New York is never an either/or situation.
“We’re not hedging that one is going to do better than the other, and we’re prepared for growth in both markets,” he said.