Texas Tech Firms Embrace Cloud Computing
With a rich legacy that includes the birthplace of the integrated circuit, Texas stands as a global leader in technology-related enterprise and innovation.
And with each advancement, from the early years of component development through the telecommunications boom, and now cloud services and data centers, Texas sets the pace for innovation.
The state's advantages in a skilled workforce, energy prices, reliable power and low business costs have attracted domestic, as well as international, technology interests and the momentum continues to build.
Big Names, Big Business
Computer and communications stalwarts with a substantial presence in Texas include Dell, Texas Instruments, HP Enterprise Services, Cisco, Alcatel USA., Nokia, Fujitsu Network Communications, AT&T, Verizon, Amazon.com, Google, Freescale Semiconductor and Ericsson.
Apple is expanding its Texas footprint with a $304 million investment in a new campus in Austin that will create upwards of 3,600 new jobs and more than double the company’s Texas workforce over the next decade.
In total, Texas is home to nearly 28,000 high-tech establishments that employ more than 456,000 technology workers, second among all states. Payroll in 2010 was $38.7 billion, a number that will grow with new ventures and expansion of existing ones.
In October 2011, Facebook doubled its office space in Austin, which had opened less than a year and a half before. It is now Facebook’s second-largest operation outside of California.
That announcement followed by just a few months, eBay's announcement that it would expand its 250-employee operations in Austin, including its PayPal subsidiary. The $5.1 million investment could lead to creation of more than 1,000 jobs over a 10-year period. eBay executives cited economic development investments from the Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF) and the City of Austin as being instrumental in its investment decision.
Austin-based WindData plans to build a $70 million data center powered by renewable energy in Pflugerville within the next three years. The venture is part of a $210 million investment in a planned five-building, 50-acre data center campus. The venture is part of a $210 million investment in a planned five-building, 50-acre data center campus.
Cloud Formations in Texas
San Antonio has a highly developed cluster of data centers that includes Microsoft and Rackspace. Microsoft invested more than $550 million for a massive data center in San Antonio that opened in 2008 to support its consumer and business services.
The Dallas-Richardson region is at the forefront of cloud services, the network-based sharing of resources, software and information of which data centers are the backbone. Richardson’s Telecom Corridor already is home to players such as AT&T, Verizon Business, Digital Realty Trust and SunGard.
VCE, a company formed by Cisco and EMC that has become a major player in cloud computing, established its headquarters in Richardson in 2011. Texas helped make the company's $35 million capital investment possible with a $2.45 million TEF investment.
"VCE is very pleased with its decision to locate its headquarters in Texas,” says Rick LaCroix, VCE’s director of corporate communications. “We expanded throughout 2011 and continued to do so into 2012. Richardson provides us with a large and experienced employee base, an international travel hub and room to expand.”
San Antonio-based Rackspace is expanding in Richardson with leased space in Datacenter Park, a Digital Realty Trust property. Rackspace, a leading player in the market for cloud computing services, invested more than $200 million to add more than 12,000 servers in 2011 to accommodate new cloud customers.
The new space in Richardson, which was scheduled to open in August 2012, includes a private, 100-megawatt substation that provides wholesale rates, fiber-optic infrastructure and the availability of more space as Rackspace grows, says Jacques Greyling, COO of Rackspace. The company’s first center in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, in Grapevine, is still operating and it has expanded once already to another site in the area.
Reliable power and proximity are crucial for Rackspace customers. “It is nice to be in an area where power reliability is not a concern,” Greyling says.
“Richardson has a very robust infrastructure when it comes to power,” says John Jacobs, vice president of the Richardson Economic Development Partnership.
The region was on the forefront of the telecom boom 20 years ago, trademarking itself as the Telecom Corridor, enjoyed the dot.com boom a decade later, and nowdata centers are the big play.
The area already has 10 data centers, with three more under construction. “All of our technologies are very aligned with cloud computing. That is what has us on fire today,” Jacobs says. “I tell people I don’t know what will be next, but I know it will be here in Richardson.