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Savvis Goes Around The World In 50 Data Centers

Like rival Amazon, Savvis adds locations as it preps for a future full of global, competing chains of data centers.

Enterprise cloud supplier Savvis is building two new data centers in the United States and expanding three others, bringing its worldwide total for supplying infrastructure as a service to 50. When completed, Savvis will be the manager of a worldwide chain of 50 data centers, as its 34 are combined with 16 from CenturyLink.

The new data centers will be built in Piscataway, N.J., outside New York City, and Seattle. Existing data centers in Boston, Atlanta, and Toronto will be expanded. The two moves combined add 100,000 square feet of data center space to Savvis' cloud, managed hosting, and colocation services.

In the future, there are likely to be competing chains of data centers that are linked around the world to provide cloud computing services to customers, regardless of where a customer's business units or customers might be located. Those chains are just starting to emerge.

Amazon Web Services has data centers on the East and West coasts of the United States, in Dublin, Ireland; in Tokyo and in Singapore.

VMware, in attempting to assure its customers of access to public cloud infrastructure, has five partners providing services compatible with its product line, including BlueLock in Indianapolis; Terremark in Miami; Colt in London, Frankfurt, Barcelona, Copenhagen, and Paris; Singtel in Singapore; and SoftBank in Japan.

[Want to avoid missteps on way to the cloud? See Seven Self-Inflicted Wounds Of Cloud Computing]

Google operates a chain of data centers around the world primarily to power search queries, but also to support its Google App Engine cloud service; it doesn't name the locations.

Microsoft has built data centers to support its Windows Azure cloud and software as a service in Quincy, Wash.; Chicago; San Antonio; Dublin; Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Hong Kong; and Singapore.

Savvis is one of the largest chains, but some of its locations are small. Its 6,000-square-foot center in Tokyo, for example, is dwarfed by Microsoft's 700,000-square-foot facility outside Chicago, one of the largest of the modern data center types. Its Atlanta center has added 25,400 square feet; Seattle, with 27,150 square feet of new space, opened Sept. 1; Piscataway will have 26,000 square feet when it opens Nov. 15; Toronto will gain 5,500 square feet of space by Nov. 15.

Savvis was acquired by CenturyLink in mid-July for $2.5 billion, which brought a telecommunications provider already astride major network access points into partnership with a major enterprise-oriented, managed hosted services provider. CenturyLink said it will transform its own hosting services unit, with 16 data centers, into cloud services. Combined with Savvis' 34--the two new units will come online before the end of the year--its worldwide chain of 50 interlinked data centers will be run under the Savvis brand by Savvis CEO Jim Ousley and his team in St. Louis, said CenturyLink CEO Glen Post July 15.

Savvis is an enterprise-oriented IaaS supplier with specific security levels and enterprise-style service level agreements in its contracts. Amazon Web Services, a pioneer in cloud infrastructure and a price leader, also offers security measures and service level agreements, but its SLAs promise to replace downtime with free replacement time, not penalties or compensation for lost business.

Savvis offers customers a virtual private data center with specific security measures. It offers the option of establishing a virtual private data center on multitenant servers or on servers dedicated to a single customer's use. It offers quick provision of already configured Oracle or SQL Server database systems with a customer's application workload servers.

"CenturyLink's hosting and network assets combined with Savvis' proven solutions" moves CenturyLink toward becoming a supplier of enterprise infrastructure as a service, Post said July 15 as the acquisition was completed.

Both CenturyLink and Savvis were named to this year's InformationWeek 500, an annual listing of the nation's most innovative users of business technology.

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