Forget Sandy. Telx still likes NYC for its latest data center

Data center providers gain ground in New York City despite storm risks, but some firms are moving IT equipment elsewhere

Manhattan is one of the best locations in the U.S. for data center network connectivity, but in the era of climate change it is also an increasingly risky location. Even so, major data center provider Telx thinks the benefits of NYC outweigh the risks.

Telx said Wednesday that it is opening its third facility in New York, a 72,000 square-foot data center at 32 Avenue of Americas in a former AT&T building rich in network connections.

There are more than 600 network alternatives available in the building, said Chris Downie, president and CFO of Telx. For many customers, "leveraging access to connectivity" and low latency remains a priority, he said. And having data center facilities close to their Manhattan offices is also a consideration.

Telx operates data centers at two other New York network hubs, 60 Hudson St. -- the former Western Union Building -- and 111 8th Ave., New York, which is owned by Google. Generators were turned on in both those buildings as a result of the power outage in lower Manhattan caused by Hurricane Sandy last fall.

Many data centers had to run on generator power in lower Manhattan because of the storm, including those on Hudson and 8th Avenue. The buildings of some other data centers closer to the shore were hit directly by flood waters.

Kelly Morgan, the research manager for data centers at 451 Research, said that post-Sandy, enterprise data centers have been reconsidering their locations in Manhattan.

"They are looking to move their equipment either off the island completely, or into more redundant, multi-tenant facilities that are more defensible against floods and things like that on Manhattan," said Morgan.

It's the latter trend which is helping co-location providers, such as Telex, said Morgan. But customers are also being more selective about what equipment they will keep on the island, and users may relocate systems to other regions that don't necessarily require the city's latency advantage.

Hurricane Sandy flooded parts of lower Manhattan and left major parts of the island without power for days. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently proposed a multi-billion dollar plan to protect the city from rising oceans and storm surges, as well as better shielding telecommunications systems from damage.

It's been estimated that New York City accounts for 3% of the world's Web traffic "even as the city serves as home to only 0.1% of the world's population," according to Bloomberg's plan.

Telx has some 550,000 gross square feet of data center facilities in the New York and New Jersey Metro area. In creating the new operation on the Avenue of Americas, it will also assume operation of Rudin Management Co.'s Hub colocation and interconnection facility in that building.

This article, Forget Sandy; Telx still likes NYC for its latest data center, was originally published at Computerworld.com.

Patrick Thibodeau covers cloud computing and enterprise applications, outsourcing, government IT policies, data centers and IT workforce issues for Computerworld. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @DCgov or subscribe to Patrick's RSS feed. His e-mail address is pthibodeau@computerworld.com.

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This story, "Forget Sandy. Telx still likes NYC for its latest data center" was originally published by Computerworld.

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