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Richmond-area data center now tied into subsea cables in Virginia Beach

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Print this page Jessica Sabbath

A data center in Henrico County is now tied into two subsea cables providing ultra-high-capacity connectivity between Virginia Beach and overseas.

Telxius, the operator of subsea cables coming ashore in Virginia Beach, has established a location in QTS Realty Trust’s data center in eastern Henrico.

The 1.3-million-square-foot facility is the closest Tier 3 data center to the Virginia Beach Cable Landing Station, where the subsea cables come ashore in Virginia Beach.

The cables, known as MAREA and BRUSA, are two of the highest-capacity, lowest latency subsea cables ever built. Low latency is especially important for streaming data.

MAREA, which connects Spain and Virginia Beach, is a joint project with Facebook and Microsoft. Telxius operates the cable for the companies.

BRUSA is both owned and operated by Telxius and connects with Brazil.

But once that data comes ashore, it needs the compute and storage infrastructure of a data center. That’s why Telxius set up  QTS’ Henrico facility.

“What that means functionally for the traffic on those networks is you've now got the ability to interconnect with the 17 different carriers and network suppliers in that building, which means you can get to a lot of places all across North America right there at the Richmond data center,” Sean Baillie, executive vice president of sales and marketing for QTS, said in an interview.
It also will connect the subsea cables to QTS’ data center in Ashburn in Loudoun County, which is home to the largest concentration of data centers in the world.

The announcement is expected to attract major enterprises and “hyperscalers” needed access to high capacity, low latency connectivity.

The cables enables the next generation of cloud services and content distribution to European and Latin American markets. “Just think of an enterprise in North America that wants to serve customers in Puerto Rico and Brazil,” says Baillie.

That could be financial institutions, health-care providers, gaming companies and content providers.

“What we in Richmond offer to all those potential buyers is the closest geographic access to those cables, which is the closest geographic access to Puerto Rico and Brazil and then to Bilbao, Spain, which is an entry point to all of Europe and beyond,” Baillie said. “There’s a ton of use cases for folks that want access to those cables.”

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