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The Founding Fathers of Co-Location

| July 28, 2014

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The roots of Co-Location, like cloud services can be traced back to the 60’s during the early development of the internet. The web was designed to aid both government and education agencies to connect their computers across a wide-band network in order to execute their operations efficiently. As the Internet developed, businesses began to show interest in this revolutionary network and sought out to use this web service as a vice to create business for themselves. In particular, SunGard Data Systems Inc. formerly known as Sun Information Systems led by John Ryan determined that if their network were to fail they could stand to lose over $3 million dollars in a span of three days. This drove SunGard to construct the world’s first disaster recovery data center in Philadelphia in 1978. The utilization of data centers allowed companies to maximize their internet connectivity and profitability by focusing their efforts towards the actual operation of their business rather than the physical infrastructure of their network.
By using the exterior storage of mission critical data, Internet Service Providers or ISPs began to build data centers to provide their customers with the ability to maximize their efficiency by storing and managing their valuable information in the form of servers.

Thus the Co-Location market was born offering many companies the ability to build their business on a new frontier of internet services. Some of these founding fathers of Co-Location include Google, Level 3, Equinix, Cogent, and Hurrican Electric among others. Throughout the history of Co-Location many companies have tried to enter the market but have been left disappointed due to the saturation of the market as well as poor planning of their data center operations. Of these founding fathers, only Hurricane Electric and few other companies saw success each year of operation since its initial dive into the Co-Lo market.

Since its early hurdles, the Co-Location industry has grown successful spanning over 3,000 total Co-Location data centers spread globally. In fact in the United States, data centers account for 1.5% of the total energy consumption each year with over 5.75 million servers being deployed annually. Google, one of the Co-Lo founding fathers built its first data center in 1998 which held one cage that spanned a 7’x4’ space and held one megabit of usable bandwidth costing them a whopping $1,200 dollars per month. During its early stages Google could process 1 Mbps which accumulates to about one million queries per day costing their customers a $4,ooo dollar investment to purchase one 7’x4’ (2.5 m2) cage. While the industry developed further and further Google has expanded their data center options to 12 total locations today managing over 20 million web pages and processing over 3 billion queries per day. The founding fathers of Co-Location set the stage for the industry and remain some of the top players in storing mission critical data.

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