#CyberFLASH: Q9 Networks talks data centre infrastructure in a hyper-changing world of connectivity

Q9DataCentreConsidering that data centres are the infrastructure upon which all Internet traffic cooperates, you’d think that Canada’s largest data centre provider, Q9 Networks, would be a household name.

“For a while, it actually was a bit of tech darling,” Strahan McCarten, Q9’s Senior Vice President of Product Management & Strategy, told me at the recent Capacity Conference in Toronto, “but then once it was purchased by private equity, it sort of fell off the publicly traded stock market map.”

Founded in Toronto in 1995, Q9 Networks went public on the TSX in 2004 before being taken private again for $1.1 billion a couple years ago by a consortium which included BCE, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, Providence Equity Partners and Madison Dearborn Partners.

Today, Q9 has 14 data centre locations spread across six locations in Canada, from Ontario west, all designed to provide continuous power and cooling distribution and engineered to operate at 100% capacity with at least N+1 redundancy.

The reliability of that capacity is important considering that there isn’t much Internet traffic that doesn’t rely on the backbone that Q9 provides.

“We believe our focus is on running infrastructure,” says McCarten. “So whether or not that’s Ping-Power-Pipe or traditional real estate infrastructure, or compute and storage, or more of a complete private cloud, we tend to build and manage those things directly ourselves. And in some instances, some people might resell either our service, or include our infrastructure as part of a product that they sell. A lot of our customers are SaaS providers. They are running financial services applications in downtown Toronto, or running services for the oil patch in Calgary, and their software runs in our data centre infrastructure.”

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