CyrusOne Fortifies Five More Data Centers With CenturyLink Fiber Network Backbone

Colocation provider CyrusOne now has a direct connection to CenturyLink's fiber network in 12 of its 29 U.S.-based data centers. Both companies Friday said CyrusOne business customers will have another major carrier to choose from as a primary or backup connectivity option, and will be able to connect with more cloud and service providers while staying on-network.

Via the terms of the expanded partnership between the two providers, five additional CyrusOne carrier-neutral data center properties will be connected to CenturyLink's 250,000-route-mile U.S. fiber network and its 300,000-route-mile international transport network. This will connect businesses to nearly 300 Tier 1, 2 and 3 data centers that CenturyLink has built into, including more than 60 CenturyLink-operated data centers and more than 40,000 multitenant-unit office buildings, said Blake Wetzel, vice president of CenturyLink's Channel Alliance.

"Having a Tier 1 provider in a [colocation provider's] portfolio and built into the data center is key to their customers. We can scale quickly with a business, and that's attractive," Wetzel said.

[Related: How CenturyLink Shook Up The 2015 Infonetics SIP Trunking Scorecard]

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Josh Snowhorn, vice president and general manager of interconnection for CyrusOne, called the CenturyLink build-out into its data centers "a tremendous benefit."

This partnership allows customers to stay on the CenturyLink network between data centers and cloud and service provider facilities, Snowhorn said.

"As customers want to reach all of these different providers, like Google, AWS or Rackspace, they need telecom vendors that have access to all those different partners. CenturyLink is going to see a huge uptick in business from us because of the volume of growth we have in our data centers," he said.

CyrusOne channel partners are also very excited about the new relationship because many solution providers selling CyrusOne are also agents for carriers like CenturyLink, Snowhorn said.

"They are not only going to be able to sell our data center services, but also then sell CenturyLink services and generate agency fees on top of that -- they're quite fired up about it," he said.

CenturyLink’s fiber network will be connected within three CyrusOne Tier 2 and Tier 3 data center locations in Texas, as well as two data centers, in Ohio and Virginia, by early 2016. Solution providers, VARs and end customers in the 12 on-net CyrusOne data centers will now have access to offerings from the CenturyLink portfolio, including managed security, big data analytics, business continuity and disaster recovery services, and the CenturyLink Cloud platform.

Though CyrusOne had a CenturyLink presence in many of its data center facilities previously, it was more of an "arm's length" relationship, Snowhorn said. The two providers are working together much more closely now for a compressive interconnection portfolio.

"We want to use our carrier partners to really support our customers' needs," he said. "We are excited to work with the carriers that are building out to multiple facilities because over 60 percent of Cyrus' data center bookings are replication in multiple data centers. Because these can be in different regions, cities and across state lines, this requires our carrier partners to be involved in what we do."

CenturyLink’s network can help enterprises connect with the many additional data centers, service providers and business locations that are on-net with CenturyLink, allowing for a more hybrid IT approach, Wetzel said. The carrier's Data Center Interconnect imitative -- which the CyrusOne deal is a part of -- was requested by CenturyLink's partner community, he said.

In fact, the data center interconnect relationship between CyrusOne and CenturyLink was facilitated by Pompano Beach solution provider and IT adviser Global Communication Networks Inc., which advised the two providers on adding five more data centers.

"Partners came to us and said they wanted us to design a program on how to interconnect data centers, and described to us what would make it ideal to support their customers, so a lot of these relationships we built are in partnership with our [channel] community," Wetzel said.