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What Role Do Local Partners Play in International Data Center Development?
What Role Do Local Partners Play in International Data Center Development?

By Rhett Gill · 8/9/2021

Nigel Clarkson’s decades of experience in the data center space preceded him as he spoke about the latest happenings with Stratus Data Centres. Having led the successful construction of major data center facilities in Europe, South Africa, and Asia—from identifying and acquiring sites to overseeing construction and commissioning—he is capable of providing insight into the current state of those markets.

The Stratus Approach

Stratus Data Centres is a data center property platform led and managed by an experienced, specialist management team with over 20 years of proven track record in data center property investments, development, and management.

Two of their largest developments are London and Frankfurt. The London facility is a 100MW data center on a six-acre site in East London and is powered by renewable energy. The German project is a 34-acre site that provides up to a 300MW campus. These sites set the standard that Stratus looks to pursue across Europe and Asia.

As Stratus continues to grow, they’ve worked with a number of global investors to identify and secure exclusive access to data center projects and tenants through existing relationships, with the capability to provide comprehensive products that meet tenants’ needs. However, Stratus’ approach varies from a typical data center operator.

Because Stratus isn’t an operator themselves, they don’t compete with tenants in the colocation business. Instead, they aim to be the long-term property partner with customers so they can leverage their expertise in sourcing sites outside their home markets, securing power and planning, and developing build-to-suit data centers in locations across Asia Pacific and Europe—achieving true “resource augmentation” for global hyperscalers and data center operators.

The Need for Local Expertise

Nigel shares that data center developers looking to work in any location that’s not their home will inevitably need the insight of someone who’s on the ground in that country. As someone from Australia but lives in the UK, Nigel acknowledged that he leans on those who are based in the places where Stratus works to develop data centers, particularly in Asia.

What Stratus chooses to do differently when working in Asia is they tend to go into joint ventures to leverage the insight of local experts who know the legalities and all that’s necessary to develop in their city. Whereas Europe has become the backyard of Stratus, the company also knows where they need outside help from local insiders. Working with joint ventures inevitably means more people involved in a project, but Stratus believes this is the best way to develop and deliver great data centers.

When asked about how his work is going, Nigel responds by saying he’s busier than ever. The growth and competition currently happening in the US markets is starting to rise in Europe and Asia Pacific. And as these countries continue to develop the need for more data centers, Stratus will be ready.

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