10 Coolest Software-Defined Data Center Operators: 2022 SDDC 50

Here’s 10 of the coolest software-defined data center operators in 2022 that are paving the way for the future as part of CRN’s 2022 Software-Defined Data Center 50 list.

10 Software Defined Data Center Vendors In 2022 You Should Know

The world leading data center operators are striving to become more flexible and scalable with software-defined strategies to accommodate hyperscale cloud providers and enterprises across the globe.

Data center operators provide a slew of platforms and services around colocation, interconnection, networking and much more that house businesses entire IT environments and infrastructure.

Many of these top-notch data center companies provide much more than simply facilities. From edge computing and data protection software to unified communications and cloud services, the world’s leading data center operators are providing more solutions than ever for customers around data insights and overall digital transformation.

IT research firm Gartner predicts that worldwide spending on data center systems will climb to $218.6 billion in 2022, representing a 5.5 percent annual growth rate. Gartner expects spending on data centers will continue next year at around the same growth rate, reaching $230.4 billion in 2023.

Some of the largest spenders of buying and leasing data center space and capacity include the hyperscale cloud giants like Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure. The billions spent each year by these cloud hyperscalers are fueling the growth for many of the software defined data center companies on CRN list.

From market leaders like Equinix and Digital Realty to new players such as American Tower as well as longstanding data center standouts like CyrusOne: CRN breaks down some of the leading and more innovative software-defined data center companies on the planet. These 10 companies own, operate and manage hundreds of data centers across the globe.

Here are the 10 software-defined data center operators making waves in the market in 2022.

American Tower

Top Executive: Tom Bartlett, President and CEO

Headquarters: Boston

American Tower is a global owner and operator of thousands communication towers with a highly interconnected footprint of data centers. With a focus on becoming a dominant player in edge computing and 5G, the company acquired 24 data centers across the U.S. from CoreSite last year.


Top Executive: Bill Fathers, CEO

Headquarters: Denver, Colo.

Cologix operates more than 40 data centers across North America, including 29 prime colocation and interconnection hubs along with five hyperscale capacity facilities. Cologix’s software-defined platform of network-neutral data centers empowers customers and partners to connect computing, storage and networking together.


Top Executive: David Ferdman, President and CEO

Headquarters: Dallas, Texas

Through its network of more than 50 data centers in key American and European markets, CyrusOne provides colocation, cloud and software-defined connectivity solutions for nearly 1,000 customers. In March, CyrusOne was acquired by private equity firms KKR and Global Infrastructure Partners for approximately $15 million with the goal of boosting its data center capabilities.


Top Executive: Raul Martynek, CEO

Headquarters: Dallas, Texas

With a focus on edge computing, networking and software-defined infrastructure, DataBank operates dozens of data centers across the U.S. DataBank provides a slew of cloud, colocation, storage and networking services, including data protection as-a-service and managed security, along with its Cloud Direct Connect and Managed Internet platforms.

Digital Realty

Top Executive: A. William Stein, CEO

Headquarters: Austin, Texas

Digital Realty is spending billions on acquisitions and growth initiatives to boost its massive data center footprint of more than 280 facilities across 24 countries. The company’s software-defined PlatformDIGITAL solution aims to accelerate digital transformation via data-driven insights by providing customers with coverage, connectivity, capacity and control of their IT environment.


Top Executive: Charles Meyers, President and CEO

Headquarters: Redwood City, Calif.

Equinix is one of the largest data center operators on the planet with more than 220 data centers and over 10,000 customers. The company provides real-time infrastructure monitoring, flexible power and usage solutions, and a variety colocation services. The Equinix Fabric connects infrastructure and services on demand at software speed via software-defined interconnections.


Top Executive: Chris Downie, CEO

Headquarters: Charlotte, N.C.

Flexential operates 40 data centers in mostly the U.S. and Asia-Pacific with a full suite of data center services and software-defined solutions. The company’s FlexAnywhere hybrid IT portfolio aims to improve application performance and reliability, scale and agility to infrastructure, and deliver top-notch network performance and interconnection.

H5 Data Centers

Top Executive: Josh Simms, CEO

Headquarters: Denver, Colo.

H5 Data Centers operates dozens of U.S.-based data centers, including edge computing and custom build facilities, designed for scalability to address core infrastructure and edge requirements. This year, the company acquired seven data centers from vXchnge in order to expand its portfolio into 20 markets and grow its interconnected digital ecosystems.

T5 Data Centers

Top Executive: Pete Marin, President and CEO

Headquarters: Atlanta, Ga.

Dubbing itself as the industry’s only full lifecycle data center service provider, T5 Data Centers provides wholesale turnkey or powered shell data centers to ongoing management and operations services. With its 55 data centers in the U.S., the company offers its ForeverOn lifecycle platform as well as facility management and operations services.

Vapor IO

Top Executive: Cole Crawford, CEO

Headquarters: Austin, Texas

Vapor IO strives to deliver autonomous infrastructure edge-to-edge with its Kinetic Grid software-defined infrastructure that combines its colocation, networking and interconnection capabilities for modern applications. The company designs and builds modular data centers to provide levels of intelligence, efficiency, security and automation not available in off-the-shelf products.