Mexico Becoming Data Center Leader in Latin America

18 Aug 2014 by Technology

"Back in January, IBM made an announcement that it would be opening a group of 15 new data center locations across different regions, according to Nearshore Americas. The move was part of a widespread effort on the part of the company to leverage data centers to maximize its profits. Of the various locations named as spots for IBM's new centers, Mexico was among them. IBM outlined plans for the center to be located in Mexico City.

The placement of its upcoming data center in Mexico points, more broadly, to the emergence of the country as a data center hub in Latin America. Indeed, the Mexico City IBM facility is not even the first center that the company has constructed in Mexico. Back in 2012, IBM launched what it called a Smarter Data Center at its company outpost in the city of Guadalajara. That center was geared toward providing ""clients with unique 3D tools for IT infrastructure planning and modeling accuracy as well as real-time virtual access to tools that enable them to monitor their system performance for more informed and timely decision making,"" according to the company.

What IBM's data center in Mexico suggests is that the country presents a lucrative base for the development of data centers. In that regard, Mexico is rapidly becoming the data center leader of Latin America, and all signs point to this growth only continuing in the future.

When it Comes to Data Centers in Latin America, Mexico Heading to the Top of the List
According to Datacenter Dynamics, Mexico has recently become the focal point of data center development in Latin America. The continuing growth of data centers in the country is particularly impressive given that nationwide, Mexico's economy has otherwise not been in the best situation. The fact that data centers continue to sprout up in spite of that attests to the unstoppable growth of the colocation industry in the country.

Though economic growth in the country has dropped over a full percentage point from last year, that hasn't stopped businesses from saying that they plan to make healthy investments in IT - which means, in turn, data centers. A study conducted by Gartner and quoted in DataCenter Dynamics found that of 150 Latin American companies surveyed, a full 50 percent said they projected funneling more funds into IT this year than in 2013. Only 10 percent of survey respondents suggested that IT spending would decrease in any way.

According to Gartner, by 2018, Mexico will have emerged as the foremost data center leader of Latin America. Why is it that data center services are rapidly becoming concentrated in the region? According to Gartner Latin America VP of consultancy Salvador Orozco, Mexico currently represents a buyer's market as far as data center growth goes. The upcoming IBM center, for instance, is just one example of that.

Centers Coming From Domestic Companies as Well as Outside
But it's not only companies like IBM that are based outside the country that are investing in Mexican data center opportunities. BNamericas reported that organizations within the country are also capitalizing on the possibilities for data center expansion. Alestra, for instance - which is a Mexico-based telecom service provider - opened up a data center in Querétaro back in February.

Alestra's data center marked not just a major advancement for the company, but also for the state of data centers in Mexico. The center - which came in at a building cost of nearly $60 million - was a precedent-setter in terms of energy efficiency in Latin American centers. What makes this center such a boon to environmental sustainability is the fact that it gets its power through two natural gas power plants that are located on-site. Because the plants are on the same physical space as the data center, the operation can harness wasted heat and funnel that into an automated cooling system that helps keep the center at an optimal temperature range. This recapturing and repurposing process ensures that the Alestra center represents one of the foremost of its kind in the country in terms of environmental benefits.

Miguel Ramos, head of data center operations for the facility, told BNamericas that the center's environmentally-friendly design wasn't just a positive thing for the environment, but also for the company's pocketbook. According to Ramos, the grid-powered nature of Alestra's center will help lead the company to conserve significant energy. This, of course, means more money saved too.

When it comes to data center growth in Mexico as a whole, Gartner's Orozco said it's something that will continue as more and more businesses seek out Mexico as a desirable data center destination.

""This [growth] will be seen with the arrival of new companies,"" Orozco said. ""We're going to see current companies growing more quickly and foreign companies buying local companies."""

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