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Data Center Infrastructure

Digital Realty Goes Big in Chicago

Digital Realty and two partners are building a major new data center in downtown Chicago, next door to its current facility, promising immediate and fast connectivity and state-of-the-art infrastructure. (See Digital Realty Leads Major New Chicago Data Center).

At a time when many data centers are popping up at the edge of the networks or in suburban office park locations, the Digital Realty Trust Inc. 330 East Cermak data center will provide up to 660,000 square feet and 54 megawatts of electricity. It sits adjacent to the Lakeside Technology Center, an existing 1.1 million square foot data center at 350 East Cermak, to which more than 110 different carriers are connected.

"One of the unique things is that this new data center can offer no-latency connections to the carriers in 350 Cermak's meet-me room," says Todd Bateman, North American Agency Practice Leader for CBRE's Data Center Solutions Group, one of Digital Realty's two partners. The other is CenterPoint Properties, which with Digital Realty is developing and building the 12-story data center.


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The new facility will be built to meet the specifications of its new tenants, most of whom are expected to lease space well in advance of the construction finish, Bateman tells Light Reading. The 350 East Cermak location has been at or very near 100% occupancy for most of the last decade.

"We are seeing distributed models and suburban campuses experience great success," Bateman says. "But there is a continued need for folks who want zero latency and to be connected to everyone in the world in one spot."

Artist's Rendering of New Data Center

Among those seeking low latency and interconnectivity are the financial services industry, content and media customers, telecom players and more, he says.

Because this will be a purpose-built data center, and not a repurposed building, it will be more cost-effective and will have economies of scale built in from the outset, says John Stewart, senior vice president, Investor Relations at Digital Realty. That will include allowing tenants to customize their leased space for redundancy or efficiency as they choose.

This is the latest in recent aggressive moves by Digital Realty, which included launching its own Service Exchange, to directly challenge Equinix in the hybrid cloud connection space. (See Digital Realty Targets Equinix With Service Exchange.)

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

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