Data centers are mission-critical buildings and we discuss the top 5 data center companies, in the largest 7 markets across the United States. Specifically, data centers provide space, redundant power, cooling, security and most importantly, connectivity. Indeed, many of the most important companies in the world lease data center capacity.

The top 5 publicly-traded data center companies in the United States include Equinix, Digital Realty, CyrusOne, CoreSite, and QTS Realty Trust. Additionally, the top 7 data center markets in the United States, include Northern Virginia, Silicon Valley, New York & New Jersey, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Phoenix, and Atlanta.

Data centers are a component of digital infrastructure that is being built to support the immense amount of data people are consuming on a daily basis. For example, this could be for streaming videos or using applications in the cloud.

Data Centers – Overview

Data centers can be broadly placed into two main categories: i) retail data centers and ii) wholesale data centers. Below are some of the key distinctions between the two types of data centers.

Retail Data Centers (Equinix and CoreSite)

Retail data centers are third-party organizations that are multi-tenant accessible. Indeed, this means that multiple businesses of any size or industry can house their equipment within these data centers. Companies of all types and sizes, from small- and medium-sized businesses to Fortune 500 firms use retail data centers. Finally, customers have smaller power requirements and require help to manage their equipment that resides in these data centers.

Wholesale Data Centers (Digital Realty, CyrusOne, and QTS)

Wholesale data centers provide space, power, and cooling to run large-scale computing or storage deployments. Specifically, tenants are large Internet and cloud companies that own and operate their network equipment. Indeed, space and power are leased in larger capacities than in retail data centers. Therefore, wholesale data centers typically house fewer customers per facility.

Data Centers – Publicly-Traded Companies

Below we highlight some of the key metrics of the five largest and publicly-traded data center companies in the United States. These data center providers include Equinix, Digital Realty, CyrusOne, CoreSite, and QTS Realty Trust.

Top Data Centers Companies

(1) Equinix

The company trades on the Nasdaq under the ticker EQIX. Specifically, Equinix is the largest public data center REIT and has a global footprint of 227 data centers, representing ~1,300 megawatts / 308k cabinets of power capacity. Collectively, these data centers comprise 26.2 million sqft, across 26 countries around the world, and support over 10k customers. Within its data centers, Equinix has 387k interconnections, also known as cross-connects.

Interconnection – Note

Interconnection is of growing importance for data center customers as data integration, and low latency capabilities become higher priorities. Specifically, interconnection, or cross-connects, provide a point-to-point cable link, which is primarily through fiber, between two customers in the same data center. Cross-connects deliver fast, convenient, affordable, and reliable connectivity and data exchange.

(2) CoreSite

The company trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker COR. Specifically, CoreSite operates 24 data centers, representing 250 megawatts of power capacity. Collectively, these data centers comprise 3.2 million sqft, in the United States, supporting over 1,350 customers. Within its data centers, CoreSite has 30k+ interconnections or cross-connects.

(3) Digital Realty

The company trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker DLR. Specifically, Digital Realty is the second largest public data center REIT and has a global footprint of 284 data centers, representing 1,800 megawatts of power capacity. Collectively, these data centers comprise 35.4m sqft, across 48 metros and six continents, supporting over 4,000 customers. Within its data centers, Digital Realty has 162k interconnections or cross-connects.

(4) CyrusOne

The company trades on the Nasdaq under the ticker CONE. Specifically, CyrusOne operates 53 data centers, representing 836 megawatts of power capacity. Collectively, these data centers comprise 7.7 million sqft, in the United States and Europe, supporting over 1,000 customers. Within its data centers, CyrusOne has 23k interconnections or cross-connects.

(5) QTS Realty Trust

The company trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker QTS. Specifically, QTS operates 27 data centers, representing 294 megawatts of power capacity. Collectively, these data centers comprise 3.9 million sqft, in the United States and Europe, supporting over 1,000 customers. Within its data centers, QTS has 13k interconnections or cross-connects.

Top Customers of the Data Center Companies

Overall, the key customers for these five data center providers include cloud service providers, internet companies and, developing companies. Indeed, many more of these companies have recognizable names, as consumers use their services on a daily basis. However, it is really the five previously mentioned data center companies who provide the digital infrastructure to allow these more consumer-facing businesses to function.

  • Cloud Service Providers: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and IBM Cloud
  • Internet Companies: Facebook, Uber, Twitter, Netflix, Apple, and Salesforce
  • Developing Companies: Spotify, Snapchat, TikTok (owned by ByteDance), and LinkedIn

Data Centers – United States Markets

The top seven data center markets in the United States include Northern Virginia, Silicon Valley, New York & New Jersey, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Phoenix, and Atlanta. In data center parlance, these top seven markets are known as the “Tier 1” markets of the United States.

Below we discuss the supply and demand metrics for each of these top data center markets. Indeed, this will highlight why each market is important to the top five data center companies above.

Top Data Centers Markets

(1) Northern Virginia

Northern Virginia is the largest data center market in the United States in terms of supply at 1,275 megawatts. Demand has been driven by large hyperscale requirements from companies like Microsoft Azure and Facebook. Indeed, this has driven availability down to 100 megawatts, equating to a vacancy rate of only 8%.

Digital Realty is the largest data center operator in the Northern Virginia market. Indeed, it is one of the providers contributing to Northern Virginia’s 240 megawatts of data center capacity under construction. Furthermore, the Northern Virginia market has the potential to develop another 1,680 megawatts of power capacity over the coming years. Specifically, this power capacity is contingent on factors such as securing a pre-lease on a data center development.

Over the past 12 months, absorption (or leasing) in Northern Virginia has been 345 megawatts of power capacity. Indeed, this leasing has been led by Microsoft Azure, Facebook, TikTok (owned by ByteDance), Google Cloud, Uber, and Salesforce.

(2) Silicon Valley (Northern California)

Silicon Valley is a market with significant demand from technology companies. Furthermore, it is one of the tightest supply markets in the United States, primarily due to limited available land to build new data centers. Specifically, Silicon Valley has 280 megawatts of supply and availability of 15 megawatts. Indeed, this equates to the lowest vacancy rate, among all seven key data center markets, at only 5%.

CoreSite, CyrusOne, and Digital Realty contribute to Silicon Valley’s 25 megawatts of data center capacity under construction. Furthermore, the Silicon Valley market has the potential to develop another 140 megawatts of power capacity over the coming years.

Over the past 12 months, absorption (or leasing) in Silicon Valley has been 65 megawatts of power capacity. Indeed, this leasing has again been led by Microsoft Azure and Facebook, but also includes Nvidia and Oracle Cloud.

(3) New York & New Jersey

The New York & New Jersey market is driven by financial services firms. Specifically, New Jersey is a more affordable market than New York City given its relatively high costs for power and real estate. Collectively, New York & New Jersey has 150 megawatts of supply and availability of 15 megawatts. Indeed, this equates to vacancy rate of 9%.

CoreSite, CyrusOne, and QTS contribute to New York & New Jersey’s 20 megawatts of data center capacity under construction. Furthermore, the New York & New Jersey market has the potential to develop another 110 megawatts of power capacity over the coming years.

Over the past 12 months, absorption (or leasing) in New York & New Jersey has been 25 megawatts of power capacity. Indeed, this leasing has been led by financial services firms Bloomberg and Citadel.

(4) Chicago

The Chicago market is a mix of enterprise, connectivity, and hyperscale customer demand. Specifically, Chicago has 280 megawatts of supply. Indeed, significant development supply from the past few years has led to higher availability of 40 megawatts and, in turn, a higher vacancy rate of 14%.

Digital Realty is the largest data center operator in the Chicago market, and is among one of the providers, including CoreSite and QTS, contributing to Chicago’s 15 megawatts of data center capacity under construction. Furthermore, the Chicago market has the potential to develop another 165 megawatts of power capacity over the coming years.

Over the past 12 months, absorption (or leasing) in Chicago has been 25 megawatts of power capacity. Indeed, this leasing has again been led by Microsoft Azure and Facebook.

(5) Dallas-Fort Worth

The Dallas-Fort Worth market focuses on enterprise and smaller wholesale deployments including federal, Internet, and social media companies. In turn, this market is less dependent on large hyperscale deployments, like in Northern Virginia. Dallas-Fort Worth experiences competitive pricing given the significant number of data center providers in the market.

Overall, Dallas-Fort Worth has 345 megawatts of supply and availability of 75 megawatts, equating to an elevated vacancy rate of 21% across the market.

Digital Realty, QTS, and Stream Data Centers, contribute to Dallas-Fort Worth’s 15 megawatts of data center capacity under construction. Furthermore, the Dallas-Fort Worth market has the potential to develop another 675 megawatts of power capacity over the coming years.

Over the past 12 months, absorption (or leasing) in Dallas-Fort Worth has been 30 megawatts of power capacity. Indeed, this leasing has been led by Facebook and Google Cloud.

(6) Phoenix

Phoenix has 230 megawatts of supply and availability of 20 megawatts, equating to a vacancy rate of 8%. Private operators, Compass Datacenters and Stream Data Centers contribute to Phoenix’s 30 megawatts of data center capacity under construction.

Furthermore, the Phoenix market has the potential to develop another 1,220 megawatts of power capacity from providers such as QTS and STACK Infrastructure, who have available land for development. Indeed, land in the Phoenix metro is less of a constraint than in many other metros, which is driving development activity in multiple sub-markets.

Over the past 12 months, absorption (or leasing) in Phoenix has been 35 megawatts of power capacity. Indeed, this has been led by Microsoft Azure, Oracle Cloud, and PayPal.

(7) Atlanta

In Atlanta, leasing activity has accelerated materially over the past couple of years. Specifically, significant demand has come from social media companies, such as Twitter. Overall, Atlanta has 150 megawatts of supply and availability of 20 megawatts, equating to a vacancy rate of 15%.

QTS and Switch Inc contribute to Atlanta’s 30 megawatts of data center capacity under construction. Furthermore, the Atlanta market has the potential to develop another 240 megawatts of power capacity over the coming years.

Over the past 12 months, absorption (or leasing) in Atlanta has been 50 megawatts of power capacity. Indeed, this leasing has been led by Twitter and Workday.

Summary – Top 5 Data Center Companies and 7 U.S. Markets

In summary, the top 5 publicly-traded data center companies in the United States include Equinix, Digital Realty, CyrusOne, CoreSite, and QTS Realty Trust. Furthermore, the top 7 data center markets in the United States, include Northern Virginia, Silicon Valley, New York & New Jersey, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Phoenix, and Atlanta.

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