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The Silicon Forest: Unparalleled Connectivity in Hillsboro, Oregon

August 18, 2021

Hillsboro, Oregon, a western suburb of Portland, is known as the Silicon Forest because of the many high technology companies located there. Sitting in the middle of two of the biggest tech hubs in the U.S.—the Bay Area and Seattle—it is an attractive location for all-sized businesses. Both the state of Oregon and the city of Hillsboro extend generous tax incentives to encourage businesses to locate and grow there. In addition to its attractive business tax incentives, tax credits and abatement programs, Hillsboro offers a prime geographic gateway to cultivate business relationships with Asia Pacific counterparts. In fact, Hillsboro is one of the fastest-growing data center markets in North America, with connectivity to Asia being one of the main drivers. 

The global economy and society is brought closer together through advances in technology—technology that must be delivered through subsea cables. With more than three billion people—roughly half of the world’s population—in emerging world markets, there is a high demand for connectivity that can only be delivered through subsea cables. To put things in perspective, $10 trillion of daily transactions take place across the subsea cables of the world. The e-commerce and finance industries are highly dependent on these cables—making them even more critical to a global economy. 

Hillsboro, Oregon is a prime location for enterprises to locate their IT infrastructure, offering proximity to subsea cables to Asia, available land and power with reasonable costs for data centers, and constraints on growth at the historic carrier hotel in downtown Portland. Hillsboro is closer to the cable landings than downtown Portland and it’s easier to build data centers there. In recent years, demand for interconnection has moved closer to the subsea cable landings in Oregon, in part because the subsea cables increasingly are owned by firms such as Amazon, Facebook, Google and Microsoft rather than the telecom consortia of the past. These firms and other IT platforms have chosen to place workloads close to the cable terminations in order to avoid some of the transit costs they would otherwise pay to telecom providers. 

Flexential’s Presence in Hillsboro 

Flexential was one of the first providers in the Hillsboro market. It’s had a leading presence in the area for 20 years and will continue to grow alongside its customers there. Flexential’s Hillsboro 2 data center has achieved Tier III certification by the Uptime Institute, the only data center in Hillsboro with that certification. It is also the Network Access Point (NAP) of the Northwest and is one of the most connected data centers as the U.S. point of presence for the New Cross Pacific and Hawaiki transpacific subsea cables. 

Flexential’s Hillsboro 3 data center is scheduled to open this fall—just a year after groundbreaking. The 358,000 square-foot facility will expand Flexential’s existing Hillsboro campus and offer 36 megawatts (MW) of critical power capacity; 1500+ watts per square foot power density; N+2 cooling redundancy; and a 100% SLA on power, cooling, network and bandwidth. Sitting on diverse metro fiber rings, the facility will offer direct connection to two major transpacific subsea cables. Its fiber-rich connectivity ecosystem integrates Flexential’s 100 GB backbone for access to 200+ carrier access points and connectivity to 39 data centers. The energy-efficient facility is part of a 100% percent renewable energy campus and offers an industry-leading 1.3 power usage effectiveness (PUE) rating and an air-based water system for the highest cooling efficiency in the region.  

Flexential has three interconnected data centers in the Portland – Hillsboro area. They are part of a national platform that interconnects all of its data centers across 19 markets, from Philadelphia to Phoenix, Portland to Fort Lauderdale, and everywhere in between. 

Ryan Mallory, Chief Operating Officer, Colocation Services

Ryan Mallory

Chief Operating Officer, Colocation Services

Ryan drives operational excellence and performance optimization for the colocation and interconnection portfolio at Flexential including data center and network operations, product management, design, construction, engineering and facilities management.

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