Digital Realty Trust continues expansion with London data center site

August 18, 2011

Digital Realty Trust (DRT) has bought a redevelopment site in England for -£12.9m which it plans to turn into a 130,000 sq ft data center with a capacity of up to 8MW.

The Chessington site, in a town famed for the Chessington World of Adventures theme park, is about 17 miles southwest of central London and eight miles inside the M25 ring road that separates Greater London from the rest of the UK.

DRT CEO Michael F Foust said the location allows DRT to continue catering for demand from central London’s financial services, corporate enterprise and telecommunications customers despite its other facilities in London nearing capacity.

“This acquisition provides us with additional inventory to meet customer demand in London,” Foust said.

He said the new site is capable of holding five of its 1.44MW Turn-Key Datacentre PODs, modular data centers build using DRT’s proprietary containerized architecture which includes metering technology for metered power use and customer charge back.

DRT sales Vice President Adam Levine said DRT is currently tracking demand of 30MW in the greater London market, “including requirements of 6MW of more of contiguous space”.

“At this time, few facilities are capable of meeting these specifications,” Levine said.

Digital Realty Trust has taken an aggressive path to growth in the last year expanding into the Asia Pacific region and the US.

It purchased a 200,000 sq ft site for US$10.7m in Sydney’s Erskine park. It also took out a minority stage in a 800,000 sq ft data center campus in Texas for US$53.2m.

In a recent interview Digital Realty Trust Regional Head for Asia Pacific Kris Kumar said the global financial crisis had worked in favour of data center companies like Digital Realty Trust.

“We had one of the best years ever in 2009, despite being hit by the global financial crisis,” Kumar said.

“When companies have restrictions on capital, they look to meet business needs through outsourcing to reserve operating expenditure.”

The PODs Digital Realty Trust will use for its latest London build, which was hinted at in its recent financial results, will be similar to those used in other builds around the world. Each POD is prefabricated in a DRT factory then shipped to sites and slotted into the buildings.

DRT currently manufactures these PODs in the US but Kumar said it is considering locations in APAC for the manufacturing process.