The Dallas-Fort Worth data center market is the second-largest data center market in the U.S. after the Northern Virginia region surrounding Ashburn. In the data center site selection matrix, DFW delivers high scores across all critical categories including affordable and robust power, significant fiber infrastructure, aggressive economic incentives and minimal disaster risks. The result is the continued expansion across all data center sectors: hyperscale cloud providers, powered shell developers and retail colocation companies.

 

The negative economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic across so many business sectors has only highlighted the critical importance of the data center and has thus grown the data center market. With so many businesses relegated to a strict work-from-home mandate, everyone’s IT infrastructure has been severely tested — raising the importance of their networks, cloud services and bandwidth — to provide what employees received in an office environment.  Across the data center and colocation market, many developers and operators have continued with a business-as-usual mandate.

 

The COVID-19 impact isn’t expected to have a long-term negative economic impact, according to a Grand View Research study. “The global data center colocation market size is expected to reach USD 104.77 billion by 2027, expanding at a CAGR of 12.9% from 2020 to 2027,” the report said.

 

The primary growth drivers are the continued trends toward cloud computing and workloads; migration of private data centers to third-party managed colocation facilities; customer demand for more content-driven capacity on their devices; and business demand for big data analytics.  The Dallas-Fort Worth region will continue to see its share of future growth due to these factors.

 

Dallas-Fort Worth noted for multiple data center submarkets

 

The DFW region is comprised of over 10 separate geographical submarkets, which is very different from most of the other top 10 U.S. markets. Silicon Valley is concentrated in Santa Clara, tapping into the much cheaper power of Silicon Valley Power. The Northwest U.S. (Washington/Oregon) is centered in Hillsboro Oregon and the eastern Washington region, with small clusters in the Seattle central business district and Tukwila. The Northern Virginia region is centered in Ashburn due to the masses of hyperscale cloud operators and wholesale colocation companies.

 

All of the DFW submarkets can offer similar competitive site selection factors to ensure a robust data center. Some of the larger data center submarkets include:

 

  • Central Business District and Stemmons Corridor. Some notable projects include Equinix’s InfoMart, IBM Cloud (SoftLayer) and Digital’s 2323 Bryan carrier hotel
  • Richardson/East Plano/North Garland. Some notable centers include Digital’s Richardson campus, TierPoint (Allen campus), NTT RagingWire, Flexential and CyrusOne
  • Legacy/West Plano. Centers include T5 Data Centers, Equinix and DataBank
  • Fort Worth/Alliance. Data centers include QTS, STACK and Facebook

The South Dallas County submarket, where Google is building a 200 MW+ campus in Midlothian, has received significant press coverage. Compass Datacenters, which announced its intention for over 200 MWs in Red Oak, is also part of this emerging submarket.

 

Notable data center competitors in DFW

 

Out of many data center operators, cloud facilities, large retail colocation competitors and wholesale colocation and powered shell developers, the following are the notable competition that have significant operations across DFW:

 

  • Digital Realty. One of the largest wholesale and turnkey data center developers in DFW, Digital operates multiple Dallas area campuses including over 1 million square feet (SF) and 125+ MW at its ~70 acre Richardson campus and 2323 Bryan St. in downtown Dallas as one of the area’s primary carrier hotels.
  • The company has nine Equinix IBX data centers across DFW, most notably the 1.6 million SF InfoMart, where the company recently announced the $142 million completion of the first InfoMart expansion phase totaling 72,000 SF.
  • This company has three campuses across the Dallas region that will total nearly 2 million SF and over 150 MWs when fully developed. Its largest campus is in Carrollton with the company also expanding at its Allen campus.
  • This data center company has two locations in DFW, with its first campus retrofitting a 700,000 SF semiconductor plant to date into 376K SF of raised-floor environment using renewable sourced power totaling 140 MWs. Its second location is an expandable 263,000 SF former enterprise data center in Fort Worth, with an on-site substation with a potential 50 MWs.
  • As part of NTT Global Data Centers, this turnkey and wholesale data center developer has a 42-acre north Garland campus. The phase one data center comprises 230,000 SF with 118,000 SF of data hall space and 16 MWs; future expansion could exceed 1 million SF and 80 MWs.
  • With its two DFW locations — Dallas and Allen (part of a Compass Datacenters development) — this national cloud and colocation provider has over 70,000 SF of raised-floor environment along with future expansion capabilities.
  • Its combined three Dallas locations total over 440,000 SF of mission critical space, including over 80,000 SF and 6.7 MWs critical load at the InfoMart.
  • This Dallas-based national operator has three DFW locations, with a critical load of 88 MWs in its 244,000 SF portfolio.
  • Compass Datacenters. This turnkey and wholesale data center developer operating in the U.S. and Canada has two campuses, one in Allen and new construction in Red Oak (southern Dallas County). The existing Allen campus comprises 10 MWs of development, while the more ambitious Red Oak campus can achieve up to 250 MWs.           

Conclusions

The Dallas-Fort Worth data center market continues to solidify its position as one of the largest and most active data center markets in the U.S. As IT requirements continue to grow, we can expect more data center facilities to come on line in the coming years.

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