Following our previous article about the current state of connectivity in the Montreal data center market, where we push the fact that the market needs a new carrier hotel, the next question is what company could be the best candidate for a new carrier hotel?
As we discussed in our previous post, building a carrier hotel is not easy. Many technical and financial criteria are very complex to get over to have a successful offering. However, once a company succeeds at doing this, it is a great income source.
So who has the cash, the facility, and the technical knowledge to make this wish a reality? Here are our bets.
Prime candidates for a new carrier hotel in Montreal
So who are the companies that are in position, or would have great leverage to do so? Here are the best candidates from our outside perspective.
eStruxture Data Centers
eStruxture is a young and dynamic company. They have quite a bit of data center experience, they have tons of funding and a pretty solid brand.
Their first acquisition was the data center at 800 Square Victoria that was previously owned by Netelligent. This data center is by far the best candidate to be the next carrier hotel in Montreal. Its location is great, there is already tons of networks on-site and its a fairly nice data center.
However, eStruxture has filled this data center at its max capacity. Some of the clients in that data center are in the VFX or gaming industry and draw a fair bit of power. We are quite sure eStruxture could scale the data center’s floor space, but not the amount of power. Indeed, the roof where their cooling units and generators are located is quite full and we don’t see any more space there.
The only solution we could see would be for them to move their high-density clients to their new MTL 2 data center, to free up some power. But let’s be realistic, this would never happen. On one hand, moving clients from a DC to another is really a nightmare for the end-user. On the other hand, eStruxture is so laser focused on its new data center that they probably won’t put such energy and funds into a project like this.
That said, we would love to be proven wrong!
Urbacon has been sitting on their 30 MW data center at 544 rue de l’inspecteur for years. For many reasons, it has great potential to be a carrier hotel, but the company just won’t do it.
The company has either rejected or failed to get so many deals, it’s absolutely crazy. Someday, the company will have to admit that its powered-shell strategy just won’t work as well in Montreal as it does in Ontario.
Anyhow, it would take a tenant to manage the colo and connectivity side of it, since Urbacon doesn’t really manage colo. Unfortunately, this comes back to the point where Urbacon wants 1 to 3 tenants to take over the whole building.
Long story short, the building is great, but the lack of vision and flexibility from the company is blocking all their opportunities.
What if eStruxture rented a floor at 544 rue de l’inspecteur to expand their 800 Square Victoria site for a carrier hotel project?
Yes, Zayo. But not in the way you think.
Of course, a carrier hotel has to be carrier-neutral, and Zayo is not. However, Zayo has quite a bit of free space in their 625 Belmont building. If the company would be willing to rent out a floor or two of unused space, this building would be great. It is built to resist to bombs (not a joke), it has space for power an cooling, and is already filled with fiber.
A lot of renovations would need to be done, but it combines all the technical requirements a carrier hotel needs to have.
A very smart investor
This last one is quite open-ended. There is clearly an opportunity to build a carrier hotel, but it takes a partnership between a savvy investor and a team of technically-skilled people. MontrealColo has a wide network of people that would be great to operate the carrier hotel, yet it would require a large investor to push it forward.
There are quite a few other buildings in Montreal that could host a data center, yet there is a lack of collaboration between entrepreneurs and investors that would like to collaborate on such a project.
How we see the future
As you can understand, there are many candidates that have great potential to build a carrier hotel in Montreal, but all of the options have something blocking them. For some its lack of capacity, for others its plain stubbornness. The first person to stand up and take the bet could be heavily rewarded if their offering is good enough to fight Cologix’s insane pricing.
Want to build a carrier hotel? This blog post is for you:
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