Todd Coleman, eStruxture’s president and CEO, explains how the company is leveraging its knowledge of the Canadian market for data center excellence...
Canada’s eStruxture provides carrier and cloud neutral data center center service across the country. The company is experiencing rapid growth – this year alone, it acquired its first facility in Calgary and its second in Vancouver, as well as upgrading existing facilities in Montreal and Vancouver.
Behind the company’s success is its keen attention to the specificities of the Canadian market, as Todd Coleman, President and CEO, explains: “What sets us apart from other data center providers is our 100% focus on the Canadian region, our ability to serve a multitude of markets and our willingness and ability to pre-deploy capacity to enable our customers to quickly deploy, even up to multiple mega-watts, in our state-of-the-art facilities. We are Canadian owned and headquartered, and focus entirely on our region. Our mindset is not diluted with other out-of-region markets; we know how to get things done in the markets in which we operate, we believe in local customer touch at the market level and, as data sovereignty and foreign ownership issues increase, we are very sensitive to the Canadian regulatory landscape and how that may impact our customers.”
eStruxture’s portfolio of data centers may be growing, but expansion is always carefully and responsibly considered. “We have a unique set of requirements that we look for in target acquisitions particularly around the facilities, requiring Tier III, concurrently maintainable architecture, redundancy across the electrical and mechanical systems, access to incremental utility power, close proximity to fiber networks and massively scalable power distribution within the facility up to 30kW per rack,” says Coleman. “The Calgary acquisition checked all of our boxes on the technical requirements and included highly skilled employees and an expanded customer base. With this acquisition, eStruxture has positioned itself as the largest carrier-neutral data center provider in the market.”
The company is also constructing brand new, state-of-the-art facilities in Montreal and Vancouver. The former, MTL-2, is situated in a repurposed building, formerly a Montreal Gazette printing facility. “We are confident that this facility is the most scalable, state-of-the-art carrier-neutral facility in Quebec – and quite likely all of Canada,” says Coleman. “We considered every detail of the design, architecture, equipment selection and operating model to enable us to serve our retail and wholesale customers in ways that are unique to the Canadian data center industry. The facility was designed around the fundamental tenet of high scalability, efficiency and sustainability, which translates to 30MW of immediately available, hydro-electric power; utilization of free-cooling up to 8 months a year; a power utilization efficiency that is designed for sub-1.2 at load; the latest lithium battery, UPS technology; scalable and flexible power configurations that support up to 30kW per cabinet and 2N redundancy; and pre-deployed and built-out capacity that allows us to deploy a multi-megawatt customer in less than 90 days.”
The latter, Vancouver facility is being developed to take advantage of the underserved data center market in the area. “We announced earlier this year the development of a new, 55,000 square feet, 10MW data center in Burnaby, just on the edge of the City of Vancouver. This facility is being designed and architected around the basis of design we have developed for our MTL-2 facility with focus on scale, flexibility, efficiency and sustainability. We are confident that this state-of-the-art facility will be a game changer for the Vancouver market offering substantial expansion capabilities for our retail and wholesale customers with dedicated fiber access to our VAN-1 facility as well as the downtown Vancouver carrier hotel.”
eStruxture ensures that a focus on sustainability is built into its facilities from the earliest design stage. “From a design perspective, our engineers work to design and develop the most energy efficient data center possible,” says Coleman. “We are constantly challenging to drive to the highest efficiency possible. Additionally, the customer IT and server equipment produces a significant amount of heat that we strive to re-use through heat exchangers, either in our own building through uses like heating our office space and/or by providing it to other adjacent buildings or businesses.” It’s also about making sure facilities run as efficiently as possible, with ramifications from both a business and sustainability perspective. “A traditional data center has total energy expenditure for cooling alone of 50% or more of critical IT load – sometimes significantly higher. In eStruxture’s case, we were able to achieve a yearly average power saving of about 70% through the use of air flow management, CFD analysis and air side economizers, allowing us to benefit from the lower ambient temperatures in Canada that enable us to achieve up to eight months per year of free cooling.”
eStruxture is confident in the path it is taking, while keeping an eye on upcoming industry trends such as edge computing. “With new technologies like AI and autonomous vehicles rapidly gaining traction, companies are beginning to need much more powerful and local compute, storage and networking resources than most current data center providers are used to deploying,” says Coleman. “As a result, interest in facilities located outside of traditional Tier 1 data center markets will continue to surge.”
“Our goal has always been to become the leading data center provider in Canada, and we will continue to strive for that superlative,” says Coleman. “We will continue to expand, both into new markets and within our existing markets, and we will continue to be sure our customers have state-of-the-art technology at their fingertips all while receiving white glove customer service.”