Thanks to NTT’s acquisition of RagingWire, my perspective on data centers has truly evolved. What used to be a purely U.S.-based point of view has grown to full-spectrum global awareness. That’s what happens when your company becomes part of a $118 billion, 283,000-employee organization with 140 data centers in 20 countries and regions.
I’ve been with RagingWire since 2001, so for a long time I’ve had a front row view of the outstanding people and solutions that grew this company into one of the most successful colocation data center operators in the U.S.
While I knew all the strengths of RagingWire, my international understanding of data centers was limited. When NTT acquired 100% ownership of RagingWire and I was named President in 2016 and CEO in 2017, I really wasn’t sure what I would find when I first started meeting with executives at NTT data centers around the world. Would their facilities and processes be similar to ours? Would they be different? Would they need to adapt to us, or vice versa? How difficult would that be?
A Whirlwind, Worldwide Trip
To start my journey around NTT’s data center universe. I purchased a special “round-the-world” airfare ticket, which I had never done before. Over seven days, I went literally around the world, starting from San Francisco and going to various parts of Asia and Europe, then to New York and back to San Francisco.
And I saw the most amazing data centers I’ve ever seen. I found that NTT has put together a portfolio of data centers that are of extraordinary quality. As for the questions I had wondered about, I found that some aspects of RagingWire and other NTT data centers were the same. However, there were differences that could be ironed out in order to offer a real benefit to our customers in the form of consistent best practices employed by every NTT data center.
Since that first trip, myself and other RagingWire executives have had the privilege of returning to sit down and work with leaders of NTT data centers in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Germany, India, the UK, China and Singapore. We have hammered out global standards for NTT’s data center designs, operations, business models, pricing and contracts. In addition, we have solved the challenge of shifting digital workloads from site to site in order to balance data center capacity as needed.
Looking to the future, we’re excited that later this year RagingWire will be even more aligned with NTT’s other data centers. NTT will be forming a new global holding company which will contain NTT Communications (which includes RagingWire), Dimension Data, NTT DATA, and NTT Security. By combining these entities, we will create an even more seamless international experience for our customers while also enabling easier access to expertise across global markets.
Meeting Our New Data Center Siblings
Since NTT is headquartered in Japan, I spent a lot of time on my trips meeting with executives at 10 NTT data centers across Japan, including stops in Osaka and Tokyo to learn about the base isolation systems in place at those data centers. Those systems combine with other technologies to make data centers essentially immune to the effects of earthquakes, which have caused massive damage in that area throughout history. Building earthquake-proof data centers in Japan is a remarkable engineering achievement, especially given that these are all multi-story buildings that are five, six, seven stories high and wouldn’t figure to withstand much shaking. We’re proud to use that same base isolation technology as we build our new four-story SV1 Data Center in Santa Clara, Calif., which will be the first seismically-resistant data center in Silicon Valley.