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Data Centers in the Arizona Desert: The Salt River Project

You wouldn't think of the Arizona desert as the ideal location for a data center; never mind an entire oasis of data centers – but that's exactly what's happening with the Salt River Project. Pioneered by CyrusOne, one of America's fastest-growing providers of multitenant data center services, this particular installation relies on the SRP modular data center and its ability to connect directly to the power grid.

The Next Generation of Data Centers

Not only does this provide a highly reliable and efficient means of powering the innovative modular data center concept, but it makes it possible to streamline the design and development of high-end data centers. It seems, at least for now, the Arizona desert is the focal point of this next-gen initiative.

Sylvia Kang, vice president of site selection and energy management with CyrusOne, spoke about their plans by saying: "Greater Phoenix is one of our favorite locations. We just purchased a 29-acre parcel south of our current location and we have decided to lay down roots here. This is a successful location for us because Arizona is an extremely business-friendly state; the passage of the sales and use tax exemption in 2013 has driven large customers to Arizona; the qualification process for a new data center site is usually very onerous, but in Arizona it is expedited in just a few steps."

Other sites exist, too, but CyrusOne wants to take advantage of the Phoenix region for as long as possible; Kang added: "We are also in Virginia, Dallas, Chicago and New York, but we plan on being in the Phoenix area for a long time. This is an ideal location from a risk standpoint, and SRP is so mature in their network and so responsive. To us, that is our lifeline."

Different Companies are Joining the Mix

CyrusOne isn't the only presence in the Arizona desert. Digital Realty recently acquired DuPont Fabros Technology for $7.6 billion – a price tag that includes the largest data center in the state at a location that's just a few miles away in Chandler, AZ. Their 519,000-square-foot facility pulls 23 megawatts of power to support their mission-critical IT operations.

Another company, BASELAYER, is working with SRP Telecom to build and launch their modular SRP data centers in the various regions surrounding Phoenix. It's a novel and highly innovative project of its own – and it complements the directives with the Salt River Project quite well.

Clint Poole, manager of the SRP Telecom Group operating in Phoenix, explained some of the potential benefits by saying: "We work with data centers all the time to understand and enable their critical infrastructure. A shift within the industry is coming. That’s what DataStation is all about. Having an integrated utility data center — called DataStation — can increase performance and reliability while reducing costs."

Finding Out More

To find out more information about the Salt River Project, SRP Telecom or their modular data center design, please visit their official website at


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