Light Reading

CenturyLink Targets 'Underserved' Twin Cities

Carol Wilson

In the increasingly competitive world of cloud and data services, CenturyLink opened a data center today in what it considers the underserved market of Minneapolis-St. Paul. (See CenturyLink Opens Minneapolis Data Center.)

As the local service provider to the Twin Cities, CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL) is well aware of the demand for cloud, co-location, and managed hosting services, much of it coming from the carrier's network services customers. But there are also a number of corporations headquartered in Minneapolis that are seeking more service options, says Jim Kozlowski, vice president of co-location business development at CenturyLink Technology Solutions, the division that includes the cloud operations. (See CenturyLink Brings Savvis Into Brand Alignment.)

"When you look at the Minneapolis area and the number of large corporations headquartered there or nearby, there hasn't really been a large presence here for data centers," Kozlowski says. "We think this is an underserved area. We saw the need of our current customer base, as well, and the base of midsized to large enterprises we serve here."

The data center was built to some very stringent requirements, such as withstanding winds of up to 150 miles per hour and significant seismic events. It is the first multi-tenant data center to be certified Tier III by the Uptime Institute. The growing concern about the survivability of cloud-based data and apps, as well as disaster recovery efforts, make this particular data center attractive as a backup location for companies based on either coast, where weather events or earthquakes can be a greater threat.

"It's true Minneapolis can have brutal winters, but they are less impacted by things like hurricanes and earthquakes," Kozlowski says.

The new center is part of the CenturyLink physical expansion strategy, which is part of the company's expanded cloud, hosted, and co-location efforts. (See A Peek Inside CenturyLink's Cloud Expansion and CenturyLink Cuts Cloud Prices, Touts Power.)

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

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User Rank: Light Sabre
5/20/2014 | 4:11:20 PM
CenturyLink Targets 'Underserved' Twin Cities
@Carol, Makes sense! 
Carol Wilson
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
5/20/2014 | 4:03:50 PM
Re: CenturyLink Targets "Underserved" Twin Cities
I think a lot of companies are working this angle -- in this case, CenturyLink was looking where to expand its data centers and realized Minneapolis was one place that not every major DC player had on their "to-do" list. And because they sell data services there, it was also a good fit. 
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/20/2014 | 3:57:26 PM
CenturyLink Targets "Underserved" Twin Cities
Carol, sounds like a smart strategy by CenturyLink.  Providing hosting or support capabilities in this way is bound to fill a growing unmet need.  As we collect more and more data, I believe we will rely more and more on these resources - almost as a utility.

It's amazing that no one else identified this need - or has it just matured?
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