Telcos fire up new data centers

British Telecom, AT&T each are planning data center expansions.

Telecommunications companies are taking long hard looks at their data centers, and making plans – plans that generally include expansion.

British Telecom, for example, is adding 10,000 square feet to its existing data center hall in the Newport, Wales facility operated by Next Generation Data (NGD) Europe. NGD specializes in the operation and on-going management of mission-critical environments and operates data centers, including the one in Newport which NDG reports is Europe’s largest Tier 3 data center and the fourth largest in the world. The facility has 750,000 square feet housing up to 19,000 racks, features triple-skinned walls, bomb-proof glass and anti-ram defenses, and uses 100 percent renewable energy sources.

British Telecom says it has outgrown its initial 9,600 square feet, 380 rack, custom-built data hall in just two years’ time. British Telecom's Engage IT group selected NGD Europe's Newport, Wales facility for delivering secure co-location services to international customers and as the launch pad for supporting its Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and cloud offerings for thousands of businesses.

Stay tuned for more news on that, and how cloud is affecting data center strategies, as I will be interviewing Simon Taylor, chairman of NGD in the next few days.

Meanwhile, North Carolina Gov. Perdue has announced that AT&T is going to build a new data center – a more than $200 million investment – in Kings Mountain, west of Charlotte, N.C.

The new data center is expected to create an estimated ongoing economic impact of $935 million over 10 years, including spending on annual goods and services to support the data center’s ongoing operations.

The center is also expected to create more than 100 full-time jobs and more than 1,000 construction-related jobs needed through 2013 to complete the data center. The facility is scheduled to open in 2014 and will help AT&T accommodate the company’s ever-growing computing and data storage needs.

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