Data Centers: Digital Realty Trust diversifies and offers Data Center design and Build Services

It was only a matter of time that a data center wholesaler or hosting provider jumped into the data center design and build services and that day has come. Digital Realty Trust, Inc. (DRT) a wholesale datacenter provider, has launched a new offering called POD Architecture Services(SM) to provide design and construction services to companies that own or want to own their own datacenter facility, and would like to leverage Digital Realty Trust’s datacenter expertise and resources.

It is a smart move by DRT, but what are the motives behind it? Many companies diversify and do so for various reasons. DRT’s ability to design and build its own data centers goes without saying, but now they are taking there talents and offering it out as a service to the industry that already has design and build firms.

According to DRT, “The services are aimed at companies who want to retain ownership of their datacenter facilities (rather than lease space in one of our buildings)…but who want to tap into our expertise.”

The expertise that DRT is referring to is its data center team, but more specifically recently acquired Michael Manos who once was responsible for Microsoft’s data centers and now is the vice president of technical services for DRT. According to DRT, Michael Manos will be managing the new POD Architecture Services program.

“These services fill a gap in the market between a pure do-it-yourself approach and leasing wholesale space from an outsourced provider such as Digital Realty Trust. Many companies want to own their own datacenter, but they do not have the internal skill set and experience to successfully tackle a construction project with the scope and complexity of a major datacenter facility,” said Michael Manos. “By using Digital Realty Trust’s POD Architecture Services(SM), those companies can retain ownership of the facility and the process, while dramatically reducing the risks, costs and timeline by working with a team that has built hundreds of datacenters around the world.”

According to DRT the reason why they decided to diversify was to address the demand they were receiving from “companies and government agencies who know about us and like how we design datacenters…but who have a corporate/organizational directive to retain ownership of datacenter facilities despite the benefits of leasing and moving to an opex model.

In this case it appears that demand for DRT’s talent and understanding of the data center facility has created a new service for DRT. DRT’s choice to diversify and offer design and build services is a smart move and is an interesting addition to an already heavily populated design and build field.

A list of Digital Realty Trust’s fee-based POD Architecture Services(SM) includes:

• License Digital Realty Trust’s Turn-Key Datacenter(SM) design package, including its proprietary Design Engineering Guidelines, schematics, one-lines, BOMs, project/site basis and airflow modeling – enabling companies to benefit from the efficiencies of Digital Realty Trust’s proven model.

• Access Digital Realty Trust’s supply chain for procurement of datacenter components – providing companies with significant pricing advantages and accelerated delivery of equipment via Digital Realty Trust’s vendor partnerships.

• Benefit from Digital Realty Trust’s proprietary Gating Process(SM) – providing enterprises with a series of sign offs and checks that give them complete control of the program from ROM to Final Product with input and final decision-making power. Unlike traditional development methods for build-to-suit projects, Digital Realty Trust’s Gating Process(TM) provides customers with transparency and inputs at key stages of the project — from scope and schematic through commissioning and completion.

• Leverage Digital Realty Trust’s expertise in the datacenter construction management process, including negotiation of contracts, coordination with contractors and oversight of commissioning procedures – a key component of Digital Realty Trust’s Gating Process(SM).

• Take advantage of Digital Realty Trust’s expertise in the specific challenges related to datacenter development and project management, including obtaining contracts, securing permits, coordination with local agencies and service providers and building the facility – another key component of Digital Realty Trust’s Gating Process(SM).

• Benefit from Digital Realty Trust’s award-winning green datacenter and energy efficiency program and expertise.

• Receive support from the world’s largest wholesale datacenter company whose design, engineering, construction and operations teams are able to support datacenter projects of any size and location.

by Bob DeCoufle for The Data Center Journal


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