With Usage Surging, Flexential’s Data Center Expansion Roars On

Flexential is meeting the increased need for cloud and connectivity stemming from the coronavirus pandemic head-on by building its largest data center ever on its Portland-Hillsboro, Oregon, campus which has a unique connection to Asia-Pacific.


Fueled by a recent $250 million injection, fast-growing colocation and hybrid solutions provider Flexential is continuing its data center expansion by building its largest facility ever in Portland, Ore.

To meet the growing and anticipated demand sparked by digital transformation and the COVID-19 pandemic, the Charlotte, N.C.-based company is creating the new 358,000-square-foot data center on its Portland-Hillsboro, Ore. campus.

“We’ve seen our bandwidth usage go up about 25 percent over the course of April,” said Jason Carolan, chief innovation officer at Flexential, in an interview with CRN.

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“We have expansions in Atlanta, Charlotte, Denver. Minneapolis is in the works for expansion as well. We just brought on a new [next-generation] facility in Dallas,” said Carolan, whose company made CRN’s 2020 Data Center 50 list. “We’re about to literally break ground on this third location in Portland. We are the largest private, multi-tenant data center provider in the state of Oregon.”

[Related: Equinix Revenue Hits $1.45 Billion As All Data Centers ‘Remain Operational’]

At a time when some companies are scaling back, Flexential is doubling down on infrastructure investments after its parent, Flexential Intermediate Corp., issued $250 million of senior secured notes in February to the data center specialist. “That $250 million financial round is really powering some of those big builds and expansions in some of our regions,” said Carolan, adding that the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t halted expansion efforts.

Flexential, which was created in 2017 following the merger of Peak 10 and ViaWest, operates 40 data centers spanning 21 markets. The company builds on a platform of three-million square feet of total data center space on its innovative FlexAnywhere 100-GB private network backbone.

Flexential is expecting to break ground on its new 36-megawatt Portland data center this summer, which will complement two existing data centers on site. The campus will offer customers nearly 700,000 square feet of space and roughly 60 megawatts of power.

The Oregon market is unique to Flexential because much of the connectivity is in the Asia-Pacific region. For example, the new facility will have direct access to two high-capacity trans-Pacific cables that connect Hillsboro to Asia Pacific, including Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and Taiwan.

“We have cable landings that actually feed into our facility directly in the Hillsboro, Oregon area, which then take traffic into southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii – it really provides some of the fastest, lowest latency connectivity into Asia-Pacific. That’s interesting because typically anybody having to access that region had to go through Los Angeles,” said Carolan. “So this really provides an additional path, and in some cases, is a lot is faster than the connection in L.A.”

Flexential, which made CRN’s 2020 Partner Program Guide, currently has approximately 400 channel partners and more than 600 sub-agents. The Flexential Partner Network includes incentives such as tiered discounting, joint marketing planning and marketing development funding for partners.

“In a time when some companies are scaling back, Flexential is moving forward with a multi-million dollar investment in our infrastructure, building our largest data center to date,” said Flexential CEO Chris Downie in a statement. “The mounting customer demand and disruption to the supply chain are making cloud and connectivity even more relevant in areas such as healthcare, transportation, technology and financial services. We are adding solutions and expanding capacity to meet the current and anticipated needs to support this new way of doing business during and after the pandemic.”