A passion for IT and growing fascination of the internet while studying in Milan led Corrado Del Po to found CDLAN in 2000, a company which today boasts a $20mn turnover and has elevated the city’s reputation for high quality data services.
Last year, the business opened its most impressive asset to date, Caldera21, a Tier IV equivalent colocation data centre in the heart of Milan’s data district, Caldera Park.
“The Italian colocation industry has been historically dominated by telco data centres while the internet core was growing in Caldera Park, a private campus and the most network dense area in the city,” Del Po explains.
“It is only in recent years that massive data centres have been launched around Milan, sites managed by large international companies.”
CDLAN certainly competes with the global players that have moved into town, no better demonstrated than by the recent awarding of ISO 27001: 2013 and ISO 9001: 2015 quality management certifications. Its clients can be rest assured that their data is safe when housed in one of its facilities.
This rings true at the company’s newest colocation data centre, Caldera21. A purpose-built data centre, as opposed to the other facilities on the Caldera Park campus, it is also the site’s only exclusively colocation facility.
“With a multi-year experience operating in the business campus and a good understanding of what new and existing customers wanted from their co-lo provider, we have simply built up a data centre whose features were unique compared to the existing campus data centres,” Del Po says.
“High resiliency, high power density, high security level and redundant connectivity – having all of these qualities meant that our data centre was natively born without a competitor. Essentially, we built a five-star hotel on the last piece of land available in a city with only three-star hotels.”
Being a 3,100 sqm building with an initial 400 rack capacity and 1,400 sqm of whitespace, Caldera21 is physically sizable as well as technologically future-proof.
Del Po also points to the sustainable credentials of the data centre, which include energy efficient lighting and an effective, bespoke cooling system. The latter in particular is emphasised by Del Po as key to cutting energy use. The 800mm raised floor allows breathing space for wiring and helps to distribute heat, while the internal mechanics of the building permit hot and cold aisle containment which helps to eliminate hotspots.
Despite the constraints of operating in a business campus, which limits the size of the cooling system that can be installed outside of the building, Caldera21 still achieves a 1.35 annualised power usage effectiveness (PUE).
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CDLAN’s team handle all technical and customer engagement operations, allowing it to operate with speed and a personal touch, key components that Del Po is eager to maintain.
“Human relationships define our customer service and support,” he says. “CDLAN is a 30-people company and even if we implemented a full suite of self-provisioned services through our customer portal, we still prefer to maintain a personal contact between our customers and staff.”
Another crucial factor in ensuring customer happiness for Del Po is offering value, and CDLAN has greatly diversified its portfolio of services in order to become more relevant to its clients. As well as providing fibre optic, ADSL and XDSL, wireless and transit IP internet solutions to businesses in Milan, CDLAN also provides a number of Voice over IP services. This is on top of the cloud-based staples like disaster recovery, virtual servers, remote backup, data storage and ecommerce functions.
As well as the ISO certifications, the company has other accreditations that demonstrate its ability to deliver its ever-widening suite of services. It has achieved Level 3 Master Italian Reseller status, a testament to the quality and cost-effectiveness of its broadband provision, and has also been awarded professional service provider status by VMware.
With the global colocation data centre market set to grow from $31.52bn this year to $62.30bn by 2022, growing at over 14.5% a year, CDLAN is well placed to take advantage of businesses in the Milan region looking to reap the advantages on offer.
Del Po concludes: “Our goal will be to leverage from co-lo and cloud services and to grow our value-added services. The premium position of our state-of-the-art data centre in the heart of the Italian internet, the technical capabilities to tailor customised solutions and the smart way we move compared to larger enterprises, will help us achieve this.”