thought leadership

Flexential Adopts an Aggressive Growth Strategy to Meet Demand in Emerging Tier 2 Markets

The data center industry is experiencing unprecedented growth, stoked by an intensifying focus and reliance on Tier 2 markets. As these secondary markets have bulked up their power and fiber capacities, they have lured businesses away from prime metro locations, such as New York City and Silicon Valley, through enticing tax incentives.

The general public has also moved away from expensive, densely populated cities in favor of more suburban locations to improve their quality of life and cost of living. According to one report, 82% of urban areas have experienced a decline in residency. 

COVID-19 accelerated this trend, further increasing demand in non-prime locations. As businesses shifted to remote work environments, they needed to provide distributed workforces with low-latency access to Google Workspace, Microsoft Office 365, video conferencing applications and other applications within their corporate IT stacks to remain productive. Not surprisingly, this pandemic-induced shift increased cloud usage for 90% of companies, according to the Flexera 2021 State of the Cloud Report. Capacity requirements climbed further as the house-bound general population relied on Netflix, Hulu, gaming applications and other on-demand, cloud-based applications for entertainment.

The cumulative impact of migrations to Tier 2 markets by businesses and individuals, increased adoption of cloud technologies, and growth of edge computing and 5G wireless is driving more data center providers to these areas to support escalating need and deliver lower latency connections. As an added benefit, these second-tier locations also offer opportunities for businesses to build redundancy into their data center strategies.

Flexential Tier 2 Growth

Flexential is a leader in these Tier 2 markets, providing its diverse customer base with the scalable, reliable data center services they need. To meet heightened demand from enterprises and as-a-service providers, as well as hyperscale cloud providers seeking edge deployments in these areas, Flexential has embraced an aggressive national growth strategy to broaden its reach and augment its existing capacity by 33 megawatts (MW) by the end of 2022. Ultimately, this plan will bring Flexential’s portfolio-wide footprint to more than 3 million square feet and its overall capacity to 220MW across its fleet of 38 data center in 19 markets.  

Flexential Net-new Builds

After assessing various locations for the availability and cost of power and land, fiber connectivity and tax incentives—as well as their gross domestic product (GDP) potential—Flexential identified the Raleigh and Atlanta markets for net-new facilities. This growth is backed by a $2.1 billion investment achieved through an asset-backed securities offering, and supplemented by a recent $150 million Green Financing Investment.  

These Gen 5 facilities will utilize Flexential’s water-free design and offer low power usage effectiveness (PUE) to support Flexential’s sustainability efforts.

Atlanta. Atlanta’s strong tax advantages make it an attractive location for technology companies and as-a-service providers. The new Atlanta-Douglasville facility will deliver 22.5MW of total capacity and 150,000 SF of IT space and will be Flexential’s third data center in the Atlanta region.

Raleigh. Flexential’s new Raleigh facility will provide 120,000 SF of space and 18MW of total power capacity, with 4.5MW available by year-end 2022. The new Raleigh site adds a second Flexential presence in the area.

Flexential Existing Data Center Expansions

Flexential will also expand existing facilities in Denver, Dallas, Tampa and Las Vegas to offer more power capacity.

Denver. Denver boasts one of the fastest-growing technology centers in the U.S. and is a major hub to connect the West Coast to large Midwest and East Coast markets. To support Flexential’s continued growth in this area, Flexential is adding 4.5MW to its 490,000 SF Denver-Englewood data center in the spring and 11.25MW by the end of 2022 to bring its total power capacity to 18MW.

Dallas. Flexential’s Dallas-Plano facility will add 130,000 SF to double the size of its existing footprint. The expansions will also increase power capacity to 18MW when all phases of the expansion are complete.

Las Vegas and Tampa. The Las Vegas-North and Tampa-North augmentations are designed to support growing demand, particularly for edge node deployments by hyperscalers in those locations. The Las Vegas-North facility will offer an additional 2.25MW to bring the site’s total capacity to 11.25MW, while the Tampa-North upgrade will provide an additional 1.5MW for a total of 3MW at that facility and 4.85MW across the Tampa campus.

Moving Beyond the Four Walls of the Data Center

Deploying strategically located facilities with enough capacity is only half the battle in supporting end-user demands. Organizations also need to connect to customers, partners and providers across multiple markets. The Flexential FlexAnywhere™ platform is built to address this need. By seamlessly connecting Flexential data centers and offering private and public cloud access and connections to other customers within the Flexential ecosystem, the solution strengthens business opportunities and outcomes, while reducing enterprises’ reliance on the public internet. Using the FlexAnywhere™ private, 100GB backbone, Flexential has flattened the Tier 2 data center market, allowing customers to look, act and feel like the largest Fortune 500 customer.

These expansions and Flexential’s future strategic initiatives are supported by the strength of its forecasting capabilities. With a strong line of sight into the procurement cycle, Flexential can effectively manage today’s supply chain challenges to procure the large-scale infrastructure needed to keep net-new builds and existing site expansions on track. These capabilities have made Flexential a preferred vendor for companies in the markets in which it operates and will continue to allow Flexential to effectively serve mounting demand in emerging and existing markets.

Learn more about Flexential's sustainability and growth strategy in an exclusive interview with Website Planet.

Ryan Mallory, Chief Operating Officer, Colocation Services

Ryan Mallory

Chief Operating Officer

As COO for Flexential, Ryan drives operational excellence and performance optimization for the integrated colocation and interconnection portfolio - including colocation services, cloud managed services, backbone, real estate, data center and network operations, desi