The Atlanta region — home to 17 Fortune 500 corporations and over 13,000 high tech companies — has one of the nation’s most robust data center markets. In this blog post, we’ll talk about why Atlanta was a logical choice for data centers in 2017 and why this metro region will continue to rank high as a site for data center expansion in the future. Atlanta can check off the boxes for data center site selection in just about every category:
Atlanta’s data center and colocation market in 2016 enjoyed its biggest year ever in terms of total megawatts (MWs) of wholesale data center absorption which exceeded 12 MWs. While not quantified, several resources are reporting that 2017 should exceed that demand.
A history of the Atlanta data center market since the 1990s
During the Internet Boom of the 1990s, Atlanta’s growth was concentrated in the downtown core in such carrier hotel and colocation facilities as 55 Marietta, 56 Marietta and 180 Peachtree. Other highly connected facilities were 250 Williams and 345 Courtland. Not including enterprise data centers for corporations like Home Depot, UPS and Delta Airlines, the largest suburban colocation projects by 2001 were Exodus Communications’ 300,000-square-foot Internet Gateway site and ITC DeltaCom’s 375,000 SF Suwanee data center. When the dot-com bubble burst, these companies filed for bankruptcy protection and their facilities were gobbled up by other providers. Other smaller colocation providers remained near the downtown core.
The suburban Atlanta retail and wholesale colocation market remained fairly small and static until 2005 when Quality Group and its QTS Data Centers bought the ITC DeltaCom site and Digital Realty purchased the Exodus data center. Atlanta has now drawn major new development and expansions from several data center developers and wholesale colocation operators.
The competitive landscape and some further market statistics
As Atlanta continues its year-over-year record absorption, the competition is comprised of several heavyweights in the retail and wholesale colocation sectors. Here’s a list of some of the notable data center projects:
Depending upon which statistics are being used, Atlanta currently stands as the No. 8 or 9 data center market, but it is very reasonable to expect over the next two or three years that it will overtake some other markets higher on this list. With all of the favorable factors on the data center site selection checklists, the Atlanta market should expect to continue its upward growth curve.