When I was hired by RagingWire Data Centers, we serviced two data center markets in Sacramento and Ashburn. During that time, we built our reputation on providing superior, enterprise-level colocation services with a focus on retail clients.

As market needs changed, we evolved our strategy, expanding first into wholesale, and later into the hyperscale space, offering rapid construction of higher-capacity, cloud-ready facilities.

We've moved beyond Sacramento and Ashburn into a total of seven markets, opening campuses in Dallas, Santa Clara, Hillsboro, Chicago, and Phoenix. Through it all, I've been fortunate to be part of an extraordinary team of professionals, who helped to build this company into one of America's leading data center providers.

In 2014, NTT, the Japanese telecom giant, bought 80 percent of RagingWire; and they completed the acquisition in 2017. At a time when other telecoms were getting out of the data center business, NTT was acquiring a range of international providers, including Gyron in the UK, e-Shelter in Germany, and NetMagic in India. Today, NTT Global Data Centers is one of the largest data center companies in the world.

As the Americas division of NTT Global Data Centers, we once again have to rethink our market approach, changing from a national to a global perspective. As our US customers seek to distribute their IT assets worldwide, we can now offer them access to NTT's portfolio of data centers in more than 20 countries and regions.

For the first time, we can easily provide our clients with complex data center and connectivity solutions that allow them to extend their presence across multiple continents.

A spike in demand (again)

In the past two years, the data center market has grown exponentially. Along with the need for more facilities with space and power to support ever-increasing IT deployments, we're seeing a high demand for data center services in international locations.

This is in addition to significant demand for more robust connectivity to link IT footprints and data centers with global networks, public and hybrid clouds, and overseas offices and customers.

The many factors driving these demands include the continuous global expansion of corporations and the need to establish an IT presence in strategic international markets and the ongoing switch from private data centers to cloud-based hosting.

Investments in new technologies requiring higher-density IT infrastructure, such as 5G, Internet of Things, AI, and machine learning are also a factor, as well as the rise of Edge deployments, with servers that process applications and data in close proximity to end users, to reduce network latency and bandwidth use.

And then there's the pandemic (you knew I was going to mention that sooner or later, didn't you?) In 2020, IT services providers were scrambling to handle the surge in online business application use and e-commerce sales, brought on by home workers and consumers in lockdown. This gave us a spike in data center demand, as companies sought to double or triple their reserve capacity at the facilities where they housed their IT footprints.

US expansion plans

Backed by financing from our parent company, the Americas division is playing a major role in increasing NTT's US data center footprint. Here's a look at some of the facilities and campuses that we have recently opened, or will open soon:

  • Hillsboro, OR: Constructed in response to strong demand from the nearby high-tech market in Portland, the new Hillsboro campus will feature five data centers covering 47 acres (190,000m2),with 126MW of planned IT load.
  • Chicago, IL: Our newly-opened campus in Itasca, Illinois, northwest of Chicago, will offer two data centers (CH1 and CH2) with a combined 500,000 sq. ft. of space and 72MW.
  • Santa Clara, CA: In 2021, we opened SV1, a 160,000 sq. ft., 16MW, four-story data center in the heart of Silicon Valley. The first phase of SV1 sold out before the building was even finished. Also, SV1 is the first data center to use an earthquake-resistant design featuring an innovative base isolation system.
  • Ashburn, VA: To date, we've completed five of nine planned facilities on our 78-acre campus in "Data Center Alley." In 2020, we opened VA4 and VA5, two identical buildings, each offering four 35,000 sq. ft, 8MW private vaults.
  • Phoenix, AZ: In early 2022, we will open our seventh data center campus in North America. The PH1 facility will be the first of seven planned data centers on the 102-acre, 240MW Arizona campus, offering an initial 36MW of IT load capacity.

Global expansion plans

Over the next 18 months, NTT Global Data Centers will add 600,000 m2 (6.5m sq ft) of space and 300MW of capacity throughout the world. NTT will build multiple new facilities and campuses in international markets, including:

  • EMEA: In addition to the recently opened UK flagship London 1 Data Center, plus new facilities in Amsterdam, Munich, and Frankfurt, we will add 115MW of IT load across 50,000m2 in the next few years. We are planning 13 new facilities across nine markets in six countries, including our first data centers in Madrid and Johannesburg, and additional buildings in London, Zurich, Vienna, and across Germany.
  • APAC: NTT continues to provide much-needed data center space in Asian and Pacific markets. In Tokyo, we have built a 21MW facility. In Malaysia, we recently opened a fifth data center at our Cyberjaya campus, offering 6.8MW. In Indonesia, we will soon launch 15MW at our Jakarta campus. We are considering further expansions in Osaka, Bangkok, and Southern Vietnam.
  • India: This fall, the Mumbai 8 data center at our Chandivali campus will go live, bringing India's first operational hyperscale data center park up to 85MW of IT load. Over the next 18 months, we plan to bring four additional hyperscale data center parks online – one in Delhi, one in Chennai, and two in Navi Mumbai, adding approximately 133MW of IT load and 50,000m2 of floorspace.

Connections with international networks

At its heart, NTT is still a networking company. In response to high demands for robust IT connectivity, NTT is expanding Global Data Center Interconnect (GDCI), a cross-regional network that connects multiple facilities.

GDCI provides our data center clients with access to a high-speed interconnected digital backbone across worldwide markets, including private secure connections to major cloud service providers.

Additional efforts to increase global connectivity for our data center clients include:

  • Our Hillsboro, OR, campus offers Subsea Connect, a trans-pacific network service that connects with Asian networks via Tokyo, Japan, using NTT's Pacific Crossing PC-1 subsea cable system.
  • We have invested in duct and cable to cross-connect all of NTT's London data centers, and to build up interconnections between our data centers in continental Europe. Also, in 2021, NTT has opened interconnections for several data centers across India.
  • We are currently constructing an 11,000 km "MIST" large-capacity submarine cable connecting Singapore, Malaysia, and India, with landing stations in Mumbai and Chennai. The MIST cable system is slated to begin operation in 2023.

It's worth noting that NTT is the only company to be named as a Leader on both the Gartner Magic Quadrant: Networking industry list and the IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Datacenter Services 2021 Vendor Assessment. No other company appears on both of these lists.

A global provider with local service

Keeping with the high standards of customer service that we started under RagingWire, the Americas branch of NTT Global Data Centers still maintains personalized onsite services at our facilities. It's a cliché, but we are "a large company with small company people."

At each of our US data centers, all operations and security personnel are NTT employees, not outsourced staff. When customers arrive at our facilities and go through security, they are greeted by NTT staff members who treat them as our guests.

When they utilize our remote hands and eyes service, our clients know they will be working with NTT technicians who are committed to providing quality support services. At every NTT facility, the onsite staff understand the importance of building strong, long-term relationships with our clients. These onsite personnel are the face of NTT Global Data Centers, committed to creating a positive impression of our company.

As the post-pandemic world becomes more connected, NTT Global Data Centers continues to expand its worldwide platform, building new facilities and strengthening its international network backbone. We are perfectly positioned to handle the ongoing needs of our customers for data center services as they continue to distribute their assets on a global scale.