(English) IXcellerate and Rostelecom plan to invest massively in Russian data centers

18 февраля 2019

(English) Last week IXcellerate, a leading commercial data center operator in Russia, announced a five-year $260 million investment plan. The funding will be provided by the company’s shareholders as well as bank financing and an additional injection of “foreign capital.”

By 2023, according to this plan, the company will operate the existing Moscow One Datacentre and run “at least four additional sites.” IXcellerate’s total capacity will “exceed 15,000 racks, making up to 25% of the local market.”

The first step is a $30 million investment tranche in 2019 to build and launch IXcellerate’s second data center in Moscow. “This facility will be Tier III-certified and large enough to host 1,485 high-load racks totalling 12MW of power,” the company indicates.

According to industry resource CNews, IXcellerate is the number four data center company in Russia by number of racks. In May 2018, the company launched what it presented as “the country’s largest data hall,” holding 1,100 racks.

IXcellerate’s customer base includes “over 100 international and Russian companies.” Among them is Tencent Cloud, with which IXcellerate has signed a “strategic partnership” and service contract to develop Tencent’s cloud services and gaming in Russia. Thus, over the past 12 months, more than 600 Tencent racks were installed at IXcellerate Moscow One.

Monopolistic acquisition?

Meanwhile Rostelecom, the national telecom operator and number one data center company, has plans to acquire DataLine, number two in Russia.

Such an acquisition would provide Rostelecom with an up to 30% share of the domestic market, according to industry experts cited by Kommersant.

Rostelecom has filed a request with the antimonopoly authority to approve the deal, reports the business daily. In case of approval, the transaction could be completed in April 2019, valuing DataLine at 21-23 billion rubles, not taking into account DataLine’s 3 billion ruble debts. Thus, Rostelecom could spend some 18 billion rubles (approximately $272 million at the current exchange rate) to acquire the company.

“The demand for secure data storage and processing is growing around globally every year and Russia is no exception. For any developed economy, commercial data centers are as important today as railways were for the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century,” believes IXcellerate CEO Guy Willner.

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