Last fall, CenturyLink said it was interested in selling its data centers. Today, it says it plans to increase capacity in four data centers in the first half of 2016 — and it added 14 MW of capacity at eight data centers in 2015.
Perhaps the seeming indecision stems from the fact that shortly after CenturyLink said it was selling its data centers, rumors surfaced that Verizon might sell its data centers.
Verizon’s portfolio of 48 data center and co-location facilities could garner as much as $2.5 billion for the carrier, according to Reuters.
CenturyLink hasn’t said exactly how many data centers and co-location facilities are in its portfolio. But James Feger, its VP of network strategy and development, said in an interview with SDxCentral last October that 60 of its data centers worldwide “are pure, true data centers.”
In today’s announcement CenturyLink said it offers nearly 2.62 million square feet of raised floor space throughout North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
How many buyers for data centers are there at any given time?
In its fourth-quarter 2015 earnings call in February 2016, CenturyLink CEO Glen Post said, “As you know, in early November we had announced we were beginning a strategic review process of our data centers and co-location business.”
Since its November announcement, CenturyLink has established a separate data center and co-location organization, including a separate management team, which is working to provide potential acquirers with valuations on options ranging from an outright purchase of its data centers and co-location business to a partnership or a joint venture.
“This is an ongoing process that could result in any one of these outcomes, including the potential sale of a portion of, or all of, our data center business,” said Post. “Also, we could ultimately choose to retain these assets and related operations.”
While it continues to asses its options, CenturyLink is simultaneously forging ahead with its goal to have full global virtualization coverage in its IP core network and data centers by 2018. This is all part of its creation of its Programmable Services Backbone (PSB) to deliver virtualized services.
“As we outlined in November, we believe in the macro trends of the data center location industry and the importance of the service in our hybrid IP solutions, but we do not believe we must own the co-location facilities to provide the full range of services our customer needs to manage a variety of functions,” said Post on the earnings call.