Behind the scenes of Israel’s Global Data Center
Data Economy spoke to Moshe Lasman, CEO and Founder of Global Data Center, to understand how the company has positioned itself to support the needs of Israeli companies and aligned its investment towards the market’s imminent exponential growth.
Lasman’s background is in industrial engineering and he has a degree in computer science and economics. He worked for a number of international companies in Israel, formerly managing the service division at HP and later managing the strategic outsourcing department at IBM for 30 years.
As a result of this experience, and his close relationships with enterprise companies in Israel, he noticed that there was a shortage in high-level data centres for them in the country and founded Global Data Center in 2013. Global Data Center specialises in advanced data centre services, ranging from server hosting to cloud computing and disaster recovery services.
“The idea and mission of the company was to cover this shortage in the market,” he tells Data Economy. “Back in those days, I had excellent relationships with most enterprises in Israel due to the multitude of discussions I would have and due to this experience and insight, I decided to establish the company.
So what about the financial backing of the company? As we all know, it takes a lot of capital to fund a data centre business. “For the first round, I approached the Viola Group, which is one of the largest equity fund groups in Israel that manages approximately $3 billion. Most of their investment is related to technology companies,” he responds.
At a later stage, Lasman sought a second round of investment to raise further capital. “Voila didn’t want their shareholding to be diluted so they joined this round as well but GlenRock Israel, a private equity investment firm, also signed up to what we were doing,” he adds. GlenRock Israel is owned by Leon Recanati, one of the wealthiest individuals in Israel.
Lasman found a location in Herzilya that was fit for purpose for a data centre but it wasn’t a regular site for a facility though, he tells Data Economy. With security being a key concern for many Israeli companies, this facility was an
underground one and “this was a good key difference for our company”.
“When we established the first phase of the data centre, it was approximately 3,000 square metres. It took us about four-and-a-half years to populate this surface area. At the start of 2019, we expanded and then doubled this data centre, taking the square footage to 6,000 square metres,” the founder and CEO states.
“It took us a year-and-a-half to populate this additional capacity. In a third of the time, we filled the same surface areas with this expansion.”
Why was this? The company was no longer a newcomer but is now one of the leading data centre players in the country. Its unique facility and location within the Herzliya high-tech zone also offers a clear advantage in disaster recovery scenarios.
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It’s near all the large communication providers in Israel, as well as the major banks, which are subject to banking regulation stipulating that data centres must be located less than 30km from the bank.
Over 40 companies reside in Global Data Center’s facility, including some of
the largest Israeli insurance firms and financial institutions. Its experience and reputation is something that Lasman helps will not only propel the company’s success with the launch of another facility next year but to leverage the clear market demand and imminent boom that Israel will soon experience.
BOOMING ISRAELI MARKET
The Isareli data centre market is booming but is lagging behind the US and European markets. Lasman explains: “There is less than 40,000 square metres in the country today and if we compare the Israeli market with the penetration of the US market, we should really have around 110,000 square metres.” He adds that the comparison with the European market shows that the Israeli market should be nearly triple the size it is.
“On top of this, if you look at the compound average growth quoted by
international analysts, the market is growing by more than 40% on a yearly
basis. Taking this projected growth, the market in four to five years’ time should be over 220,000 square metres.” There’s huge demand, according to Lasman, and coupled with the fact that many data centre spaces in Israel are currently being managed by companies independently, as the market moves towards colocation data centres, the potential boom is clear to see.
Lasman stresses that he doesn’t look at things from an entrepreneur’s point of view but from an IT perspective. He sees the company as “part of the IT chain of our customers” and is proud that the facility has not had a single failure in its history. “We’re not just providing the land and some electricity for our tenants. We believe that we should be part of the IT chain of our customer and this is a huge difference in our company’s mindset and
philosophy, compared to our competition,” he states.
NEW $30M FACILITY
A few months ago, the company announced that it will launch a new
$30 million data centre hub near Tel Aviv. In the initial stage, the facility will encompass 64,000 square feet and will also be in a protected and highly secured underground site, in an area that is easily accessible.
“This facility, which is strategically located near a key business district, was designed first. We didn’t source a space that can fit a data centre but designed one that was specific to our needs,” Lasman adds. The data centre will be powered by a 15MW supply of electricity, making it the largest data centre in Israel in regards to electrical capacity: 10MW in phase one with the ability to expand to 15MW in phase two. Construction is underway and the facility will open and commence commercial operations by mid-2021, Lasman tells Data Economy, adding: “Many companies have already registered their interest in being hosted in this new facility.”
“The establishment of the new data centre, near large high-tech centres
of Petah Tikva, offers the best proof of the business momentum that we are
currently experiencing,” says Lasman. He reveals that there are already plans afoot to double the size of this new facility to around 129,000 square feet in line with the forecasted market demand and growth, similar to what the company experienced in Herzilya.
“Our mission is to design, build and manage data centres,” Lasman reveals as we conclude the meeting. “Many others are building facilities and are letting others manage them. However, our mission is to provide the full experience and scope of data centres.”
Global Data Center has perfectly positioned itself to support even more
companies with this full experience and as we finish our call, the CEO reveals that in addition to the new data centre launching next year, the company has already identified a third site for another facility and is in discussions with the landlord. The size of this facility will be similar to the Tel Aviv data centre. Business is booming in Israel!