The industry is seeing an acceleration of data consumption, a continued move to cloud solutions and a growing adoption of the Internet of Things. Driven by bandwidth-intensive services and streaming, Internet traffic continues its dramatic growth trajectory; annual global IP traffic is forecast to reach 3.3 ZB per year by 2021, according to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index. As a result of both business and consumer trends, businesses are upgrading their communications infrastructure and increasingly adopting colocation and cloud infrastructure, which provide greater capacity at less cost than traditional, in-house platforms.
The industry is also seeing providers process and cache their data in Tier 2 data centers, extending the ‘edge’ of the network further from the Tier 1 hubs of New York, Silicon Valley, Chicago, Dallas and Miami. Whether companies are distributing their compute or deploying disaster recovery, these locations and fiber networks offer performance, speed and low latency.
zColo by Zayo, a 100% carrier-neutral data center division under the Zayo Group umbrella, offers premium colocation from 51 data centers in Tier 1 and Tier 2 markets across North America and Europe for critical networking, data storage and processing. Each data center offers scalability, physical security and resilient power, with 100% availability. In addition to carrier-neutral interconnectivity, customers can also access Zayo’s extensive fiber network to reach major in-market carrier hotels and data centers as well as access to an expansive global fiber network. zColo also meets business-class certifications and service-level compliance standards from independent audits, including SOC 1 Type 2, SOC 2 Type 2, SOC 3, HIPAA, GLBA and PCI DSS for all 37 zColo data centers in the U.S. In Europe, zColo is moving forward aggressively with ISO 27001 compliance and has recently added FISMA Moderate to seven of their U.S. data centers.
zColo: Combining Colocation with Connectivity
While other providers offer only data center services, zColo combines colocation with connectivity, leveraging Zayo’s nearly 11 million miles of fiber in its global network. zColo can also create unique solutions and competitive pricing by bundling colocation and connectivity together — combining colocation with dark fiber, lit connectivity including wavelengths and ethernet, and a range of managed solutions including cyber security.
Leadership at zColo by Zayo
TJ Karklins is senior vice president of the zColo business segment, responsible for strategy, operations and investment and financial performance. TJ’s career spans sales, finance and leadership roles in technology and international businesses. He began his career as an officer and aviator in the U.S. Army where he commanded helicopter units in the 4th Aviation Brigade. He is a Wharton Fellow and holds an MBA from the University of Denver and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Colorado.
Last year saw zColo expand in several key markets. “Our California expansion includes a new data center in Santa Clara, a new build at the One Wilshire facility in Los Angeles, and the acquisition of KIONetwork’s San Diego data centers. In combination with Zayo’s acquisition of Electric Lightwave, our customers now benefit from diverse long haul and metro fiber routes and data centers up and down the West Coast,” said Karklins.
One Wilshire is the preeminent point of connectivity between North America and Asia’s Pacific Coast, making it one of the most significant carrier hotels in the world. Through Zayo’s expansive fiber network, which now includes a subsea fiber route up the coast of California, customers can connect to more than 240 carriers within the building; along with nearly 110 cloud and IT service providers.
In 2017, zColo also opened its fourth data center in Colorado — NAP of the Flatirons in Westminster — providing a much-needed option in the high-tech corridor between Boulder and Denver. And it expanded its state-of-the-art facility in Ashburn, Virginia, as well as its cloud-enabled data center in Atlanta. And just recently acquired a second Virginia data center located in McLean.
Expanding zColo’s Global Footprint
“In addition to U.S. data center expansions and upgrades that are underway in Atlanta, Ashburn, McLean and Los Angeles, we are also focused on expanding our capabilities in Europe,” said Karklins. “We’re particularly excited about our new Paris-Vélizy facility, which provides expansive space in a growing high-tech area: Silicon Vélizy. The data center provides connectivity to Zayo’s dense metro fiber backbone in Paris and extends across Zayo’s extensive network throughout France and Europe, with easy access to other continents.”
The site’s location and ability to tether to zColo’s central Paris facility make it a key portal to Europe’s four centers for telco and finance: Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam and Paris (FLAP). This data center also hosts Zayo’s 100G network over the FLAP, providing high-performance connectivity to Spain, Asia and Africa through Marseilles and to North America through Amsterdam or the U.K. In addition, upgrades are underway at the newly acquired Feltham, UK facility located close to Heathrow airport and providing 30,000 square feet of data center space and 3 megawatts of critical power.
Personal Service and Innovative Self-Service
Customers can now purchase and manage complex infrastructure as effortlessly as shopping for travel. Zayo recently launched version 3.0 of Tranzact, a significant upgrade of its self-service platform for shopping, purchasing and managing communications infrastructure. The upgrade introduces new capabilities, a redesigned user interface and streamlined navigation, and now incorporates Zayo’s full portfolio of infrastructure solutions including data center and cloud infrastructure. Customers can quote and order colocation and interconnection services, with configuration for cages and specification for power in the company’s data centers. For personalized service, zColo also launched a specialized Technical Support Team available 24x7x365.
By expanding its data center offerings and combining colocation with connectivity, zColo is winning over customers from webscale and cloud providers to large enterprises in finance, insurance, healthcare and technology.
MacStadium, for example, is a Mac-centric private cloud hosting provider with more than 3,000 customers in 55 countries. When MacStadium acquired another hosting company in 2016, it became clear its data center facility wasn’t going to meet the requirements of its global build-out strategy. After a competitive bid, zColo was selected as MacStadium’s Western U.S. provider.
“zColo was not only able to meet our current and future space requirements but they also designed a multi-phase power distribution option to accommodate our unique Apple servers, our traditional storage area network and switching infrastructure,” said MacStadium CEO Greg McGraw. “MacStadium has experienced over a 5,000% increase in our business over the past three years. Our customers demand high performance, high availability and geographic diversity for their managed private cloud environments. zColo’s data center footprint in the U.S. and expanding facilities management provides us with multiple options and a flexible partnership that will enable us to continue serving our customers for years to come.”
Focus on Energy Efficiency
With data growing exponentially, data centers are faced with the challenge of sustainability. “At Zayo, our approach to sustainability focuses on all areas of the business to reduce waste and maximize our environmental efficiency. Initiatives range from implementing energy-efficient practices in our large data centers and offices to involving employees in alternative transportation and zero waste recycling programs,” said Karklins.
As a certified EPA Green Power Partner, zColo by Zayo’s efficiency projects include upgraded power and HVAC system components, enhanced airflow management and lighting retrofits. But it’s taking sustainability a step further in selected data centers: In a partnership with Stem Intelligent Energy Storage and Southern California Edison (SCE), Zayo zColo has installed large-scale Tesla batteries and using Stem’s AI technology to power its Irvine data centers when peak energy demand hits. The system’s ability to predictively address energy demand and change power loads across a network will ease the utility’s peak power strains.
“We’re upgrading our data centers to focus on a better customer experience and we are more focused than ever on energy efficiency,” said Karklins. “We are continuously upgrading our facilities to make them more secure, comfortable and enjoyable. Additional initiatives include investing in efficiency to save our customers money and upgrading our national technical support desk.”
The Team that Makes It Happen
“At zColo, we’re more than just space and power. We pride ourselves on being the best team in the business, with data center managers who have both expertise and a relentless focus on the customer experience,” said Karklins.
Every full-time zColo employee — from leadership to local technicians — has ownership in the company, which means they have a vested interest in making customers happy. Zayo is also focused on a diverse workforce and inclusive work environment, with four women on its board of directors and a staff made up of more than 40% women in its headquarters state of Colorado.
Supporting the Entrepreneurial Community
As a startup itself 10 years ago, Zayo is committed to supporting the entrepreneurial community, including accelerators and co-working facilities such as 1871, Galvanize and Capital Factory. zColo by Zayo advises startups to think ahead about their data needs and how they can scale effectively as they grow, through high-performance connectivity, data center solutions and cloud infrastructure.
The “NAP of the Flatirons” data center in Westminster, Colorado, will house zColo’s first Innovation Center, which is designed to service the infrastructure needs of the Front Range startup and accelerator community with services sized and priced to meet their needs.
Zayo is actively engaged in the community supporting education, diversity and entreprenuership. Zayo and Galvanize, for example, are collaborating to provide Galvanize community members at campus locations in Denver, Boulder and San Francisco with access to services typically out of reach for smaller startups. Zayo’s scalable data center, cloud infrastructure and high capacity connectivity, allows entrepreneurs to adapt the latest technologies and ultimately grow their businesses.