NTT's acquisition of the majority stake in a German data center operator continues that company's aggressive push to build a global infrastructure of networks and data centers aimed at multi-national enterprise needs for both IT and communications services. With this deal, NTT becomes the third largest data center operator in Europe. (See NTT Buys German Data Center Firm.)
It also continues a global consolidation in the data center space. Last month, Telecity and Interxion created the number two data center operator in Europe -- trailing only Equinix Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX) -- when they merged.
For NTT Communications Corp. (NYSE: NTT), paying about $830 million for more than an 86% stake of e-shelter allows the company to quickly expand its European footprint by adding a major data center campus in Frankfurt and two other smaller sites in that city, along with two data centers in Munich and one each in Hamburg, Berlin, Zurich and Vienna.
Two thirds of NTT's data center footprint is now outside Japan, notes Chris Davis, senior director of marketing for NTT America Inc. , as the company continues to court multi-nationals' ICT business.
NTT sees tremendous growth in enterprise demand for data center capacity that is driven, in part, by cloud services but also by the move of corporations away from operating their own data centers and the interest multi-nationals have in networked data centers packaged with security services and more, Davis says.
"We consistently have seen more and more corporations giving up trying to operate their own data centers, as they are realizing the amount of time and money it takes to mitigate down time is beyond their IT department's capacity," he notes.
At the same time, NTT's strategic goal of being a one-stop global IT shop fits well into the enterprise need to bundle networking, data center capacity and auxiliary managed services such as security and more, Davis posits. By making its services available as a global standard in the major markets in the US, Europe and APAC regions, NTT makes it easier for multi-nationals to serve the offices globally in the same way.
"If you are purchasing data center space in Singapore, Hong Kong, San Jose and Frankfurt, you are getting the same services and elements of that service in all locations," Davis says.
The customer portal NTT launched last fall for its Enterprise Cloud service allows its customers to do on-demand management of its Internet and VPN circuits in addition to its cloud-based services so that they can turn bandwidth up and down and add network segments in addition to controlling cloud-based computing and other resources. (See NTT Offers On-Demand Services Via Portal.)
"We are merging all of our portals so we'll be able to offer [customers] a single portal where they can manage their assets, and set up a virtual firewall, manage cloud computing assets and check on a colo space as well," Davis says. "This is being driven through using SDN and NFV to deliver some of these services as well as automating a lot of those capabilities for that interaction between us and the client."
NTT not only is expanding its data center footprint but also its cloud delivery service sites, and will have 13 of those online globally by year's end, Davis says.
— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading