Switch (company)

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Traded as
Headquarters7135 South Decatur Blvd., ,
Key people
Rob Roy (CEO, founder, chairman)
Number of employees
760 [2]

Switch is a company based in Las Vegas, Nevada, that develops and operates the SUPERNAP data center facilities and provides colocation, telecommunications, cloud services, and content ecosystems.[1][3]


Switch was founded in 2000 by Rob Roy, CEO and the organization's principal inventor and chief engineer.[4] In 2002, Roy purchased a former Enron facility in Nevada in an auction only attended by Roy since Enron's "fiber plans were so secretive that few people even knew about the auction", with the facility which Enron invested millions of dollar into selling for only $930,000.[5][6][7] The facility was built in a rundown area of Las Vegas near E Sahara, constructed right over the "backbone" of fiber optic cables providing service to technology companies nationwide,[5] which Enron sought to use as a way to sell bandwidth to Internet service providers like a commodity.[7] Six years later in 2008, Switch was planning to build its first SUPERNAP facility which would "rival anything being built by the likes of Microsoft and Google" for $350 million, with Roy stating that he could store "four times as much gear as those companies do in his center".[7]

Rob Roy holds 218 patents or patent-pending claims for SUPERNAP designs and engineering that have been Tier IV certified by the Uptime Institute.[8] However, in 2017, the company announced that it would no longer pursue certifications by the Uptime Institute, and instead planned to create a non-profit organization to control and define a new data center standard that uses 30 additional metrics and is called Tier 5 Platinum, and that they have plans to follow the new standards.[9][10] Switch is a CLEC (Competitive Local Exchange Carrier) that sells all telecommunications services.

As of July 2015, half of the company's 14 top executives are women.[11] Seventy-percent of the current workforce are veterans.[12]

In 2015, the company became the first data center provider in the U.S. to participate in President Barack Obama's American Business Act on Climate Pledge by announcing that they would join the second round of private sector companies participating in this effort.[13] Under this pledge, and following the company's commitment to sustainability, Switch is currently constructing the first of two solar farms, which will provide renewable energy to its data centers.[14] As of January 1, 2016 all Switch data centers are 100% powered by clean and renewable energy.[15] In 2016 Switch joined the WWF/WRI Renewable Buyers’ Principles with a public commitment to have their Michigan data centers also 100% renewably powered.[16]

In its 2017 report on the energy footprint of the IT sector, Greenpeace positioned Switch as one of the leaders in clean energy for the company's use of renewable energy in its data centers.[17][18][19]

Data Centers[edit]

In 2008, the company opened SUPERNAP 7, a 515,047-square-foot (47,849.4 m2) facility, its seventh data center.[1] In 2017, LAS VEGAS 10 opened adding approximately 350,000 square feet of data center space.[20][21] The Core Campus located in Las Vegas consists of eleven operating data centers spanning over 2 million square feet. At completion of construction, The Core Campus will measure more than 2.3 million square feet with 12 buildings completed.[8][22]

Power to the data facilities will be generated through two solar generation projects, Switch Station 1 and Switch Station 2. The Switch Stations will produce 179-megawatts of power and were originally part of a joint construction project through First Solar in partnership with NV Energy.[23] In June 2017, EDF Renewable Energy acquired the two solar projects from First Solar.[24]

Switch has sued NV Energy for $30 million over disagreements about power price,[25][26][27] and in 2016 Switch was allowed to switch from NV Energy to its own solar power plants at an "exit fee" of $27 million.[28]

In January, 2015 Switch announced a $4 billion expansion plan to build a new data center campus east of Reno in Storey County. The Citadel Campus at Tahoe Reno Industrial Center (TRIC) is over 1,000 acres and is expected to have more than 7.2 million square feet of data center space at completion.[29] In February 2017, Switch opened its first data center on the campus, TAHOE RENO 1, which will be more than 1.3 million square feet (110,000 m2), have 130 MVA power capacity, and more than 83,000 tons of cooling capability, making it the largest data center campus in the world.[30][31] This is the first of eight planned data centers to be built at TRIC.[30]

In order to connect its Las Vegas and Tahoe-Reno campus, Switch is building the Switch SUPERLOOP fiber network, which will connect Las Vegas to Reno through 500-miles (800 km) of fiber. The Switch SUPERLOOP will extend directly to include Los Angeles and San Francisco.[32][33][34][35]

Construction has begun on Switch's Pyramid Campus (former Steelcase Pyramid) in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Switch opened The Pyramid Campus in May 2017. At completion, it will reach up to 1.8 million square-feet making it the largest data center campus in the eastern U.S.[36][37]

SUPERNAP International[edit]

In 2014, Switch formed SUPERNAP International in partnership with ACDC Fund and its two limited partners Orascom TMT Investments and Accelero Capital to build data centers based on designs from the Tier IV-rated Switch SUPERNAP U.S. facilities. The two new SUPERNAP International campus projects under construction are located in Siziano, Italy slated to open late 2016 and the Chonburi Province, Thailand campus opening in early 2017.[38][39]

The SUPERNAP data center campus in Siziano, Italy will be 452,084 square-feet (42,000 m2) and have 40-megawatt power distributed via two 132kV transmission paths.[38]

The US$300 million (11 billion THB) Thailand SUPERNAP data center facility will have capacity for more than 6,000 data server racks. It will cover an area of nearly 75 rai (12 hectares) and is located 27-kilometers away from an international cable landing station linking national and international telecoms and IT carriers.[40]


Switch headquarters are in Las Vegas, with data center facilities and Innevation Centers located in northern and southern Nevada. The firm added a campus in Grand Rapids, Michigan and recently announced plans to develop a more than 1 million square foot data center campus in Atlanta, Georgia.[41][42]


Switch has hundreds of clients, including Fortune 1000 companies.[4][43] According to The Register, "organizations turn to Switch for black-ops projects, spam filtering of the most serious proportions, utility computing projects, data warehouses at casinos, modeling, online games and ordinary e-commerce".[7]

Switch developed an over $5 trillion purchasing cooperative to allow customers to collectively purchase telecommunications and other services across all of its campuses.[8]

Certifications and awards[edit]

Switch SUPERNAP 8 data center has received Tier IV Gold Operational Sustainability Certificate from the Uptime Institute, a Tier IV Constructed Facility Certificate and Tier IV Design Certificate. In addition, Switch SUPERNAP 9 has received a Tier IV Gold Operational Sustainability Certificate, a Tier IV Design Certificate and a Tier IV Constructed Facility Certificate.[44][45]


In 2014, the firm announced collaboration with Intel and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas to give university researchers access to a powerful supercomputer. iSupercomputer Cherry Creek will be housed on Switch's campus, with researchers accessing the computer through the SUPERNAP facilities' telecommunications network.[46]

In 2017, the firm donated $3.4 million in data center services to the University of Nevada, Reno for a new supercomputer, called Pronghorn. The supercomputer will be housed in the TAHOE RENO 1 data center, and it is expected that the initial hardware installation will be completed in September 2017 [47]

Innevation Center[edit]

The firm has designed a 65,000 square foot Innevation Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.[38] It partnered with the University of Nevada, Reno to develop the northern Nevada-based Innevation Center in Reno which opened in September 2015. The Centers are intended for collaboration between students, entrepreneurs, businesses, investors and non-profits.[35][48]

The Reno center is home to the Nevada Advanced Autonomous Systems Innovation Center (NAASIC). Funded by a grant from Governor's Office of Economic Development, it hosts programs to commercialize stationary robotic and advanced manufacturing systems, unmanned aerial vehicles, driverless cars, and underwater robots.[49]


  1. ^ a b c Jennifer Robison (21 September 2011). "Switch Communications data center expanding to 2.2 million square feet". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
  2. ^ "Switch SUPERNAP Superloop Colocation Data Center Construction Starts".
  3. ^ Overgaard, Kristi "Switch SUPERNAP Named as the First and Only Registered Hosting Center for Online Gaming by the Nevada Gaming Commission" Nevada Business. May 31, 2013
  4. ^ a b Miller, Rich "SuperNAP 8 Earns Tier IV Gold Status for Operations" Data Center Knowledge. August 5, 2014
  5. ^ a b "Profiting from Enron Bankruptcy". Nevada Public Radio. 29 November 2004. Retrieved 17 February 2017.
  6. ^ Miller, Greg (11 September 2015). "SUPERNAP: The World's Most Advanced Data Center". Wall Street Daily. Retrieved 17 February 2017.
  7. ^ a b c d Vance, Ashlee (24 May 2008). "Welcome to Las Vegas - Home of the technology superpower you've never heard of". The Register. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  8. ^ a b c Luxford, Hollie "SuperNAP Data Centers Branches Out of the US" Data Center Dynamics. March 13, 2014
  9. ^ "Switch launches 'Tier 5' data center standard". DatacenterDynamics. Retrieved 2017-08-25.
  10. ^ "Switch Backs Away from Uptime's Tiers, Pushes Own Data Center Standard | Data Center Knowledge". Data Center Knowledge. 2017-06-08. Retrieved 2017-08-25.
  11. ^ Rothberg, Daniel. “With seven women among its top 14 executives, Switch sets itself apart.” Vegas Inc. July 20, 2015
  12. ^ Evans, Pat. "Regional tech industry welcomes Switch." Grand Rapids Business Journal. Dec. 18, 2015
  13. ^ Booth, Nick. "Switch joins carbon campaign, announces 100MW solar farm." Datacenter Dynamics. Aug. 26, 2015
  14. ^ Sverdlik, Yevgeniy. “Switch Joins Obama’s Business Climate Pledge, Plans 100 MW Solar Project in Nevada.” Data Center Knowledge. Aug. 24, 2015
  15. ^ http://datacenterfrontier.com/switch-goes-green-renewable-power-supernaps/
  16. ^ "Switch Announces Plans To Make SUPERNAP Michigan Data Centers 100 Percent Green; Joins WWF/WRI Renewable Buyers' Energy Principles" Press Release. Jan. 21, 2016
  17. ^ Butler, Brandon. "Greenpeace's naughty and nice list of the most – and least – green tech vendors". Network World. Retrieved 2017-08-25.
  18. ^ "Greenpeace: Apple, Google World's Greenest Tech Companies". PCMAG. Retrieved 2017-08-25.
  19. ^ Cook, Gary (January 2017). "Clicking Clean: Who is Winning the Race to Build a Green Internet?" (PDF). Greenpeace.
  20. ^ "Switch opens another Las Vegas data center". LasVegasSun.com. 2017-06-15. Retrieved 2017-08-25.
  21. ^ "Switch's Las Vegas Data Center Stronghold Reaches North of 2 Million Square Feet | Data Center Knowledge". Data Center Knowledge. 2017-06-15. Retrieved 2017-08-25.
  22. ^ Miller, Rich "Shutterfly Deploys 1,000 Cabinets at Switch SUPERNAP" Data Center Knowledge. October 16, 2014
  23. ^ Miller, Rich. "Switch goes green with renewable power for SUPERNAPs." Data Center Frontier. Jan. 5, 2016
  24. ^ "First Solar, Inc., 179 Megawatt AC (MWac) Switch Station 1 and Switch Station 2 Solar Projects: Private Company Information - Bloomberg". www.bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2017-08-25.
  25. ^ "Why Data Center Provider Switch is Suing Nevada and NV Energy". Data Center Knowledge. July 20, 2016. Retrieved November 5, 2016.
  26. ^ http://pucweb1.state.nv.us/PDF/AxImages/DOCKETS_2015_THRU_PRESENT/2016-9/15489.pdf
  27. ^ "Switch applies for wholesale electricity for Northern Nevada project". Las Vegas Review-Journal. October 6, 2016. Retrieved November 5, 2016.
  28. ^ "Switch reaches agreement with Nevada regulators to leave NV Energy". Las Vegas Review-Journal. December 9, 2016. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
  29. ^ "Vegas' Switch Opens World's Biggest Data Center in Northern Nevada". Retrieved 2017-08-25.
  30. ^ a b Hidalgo, Jason. "On Switch: Reno-area SuperNAP to be largest data center on Earth." Reno Gazette-Journal. Sept. 14, 2015
  31. ^ "Switch: Largest data center building in world opens near Reno". Reno Gazette Journal. Retrieved 2017-08-25.
  32. ^ Miller, Rich. "Switch Plans Massive $1 Billion SUPERNAP Data Center in Reno" Data Center Knowledge. Jan. 15, 2015
  33. ^ "$1B Switch data center near Reno will be world's biggest". The Associated Press. January 16, 2015. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
  34. ^ "$1B Switch Data Center Near Reno Will Be World's Biggest". ABC News. January 16, 2015. Retrieved January 16, 2015.
  35. ^ a b "Switch Plans Massive $1 Billion SUPERNAP Data Center in Reno". January 16, 2015. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
  36. ^ Harger, Jim. "Switch confirms plans for $5B investment, 1,000 jobs at West Michigan data center." Nov. 16, 2015
  37. ^ "Switch Pyramid Data Center Kicks Off Grand Rapids Campus". Data Center Frontier. 2017-03-09. Retrieved 2017-08-25.
  38. ^ a b c Longhitano, Lorenzo. "Internet, aprirà in Italia il principale snodo di connettività europeo." Wired Italy. Oct. 6, 2015
  39. ^ Mah, Paul. "Construction begins on SuperNAP Thailand" Datacenter Dynamics. Jan. 27, 2016
  40. ^ Sverdlik, Yevgeniy. "Switch Building SuperNap Mega Data Center in Thailand" Data Center Knowledge. Jan. 14, 2016
  41. ^ Harger, Jim. "$5B Switch data center in Steelcase pyramid is 'Michigan's to lose'" Mlive. Nov 30, 2015
  42. ^ "Vegas-based Switch plans $2.5 billion data center campus in Atlanta". bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2017-08-28.
  43. ^ Brodkin, John "Meet Rob Roy, the man who built the SuperNAP data center" Network World. Jan. 22, 2009
  44. ^ Sverdlik, Yevgeniy. "Switch Gets Tier IV for Second Las Vegas Data Center." Data Center Knowledge. March 2, 2016
  45. ^ "All Certifications." Uptime Institute website
  46. ^ Schmidt, Will "UNLV Awarded the Use of Intel's World-Class Supercomputer Cherry Creek" Tech Cocktail Las Vegas. Oct. 13, 2014
  47. ^ "Switch Donates $3.4M in Data Center Services for Reno Supercomputer". Data Center Knowledge. 2017-08-04. Retrieved 2017-08-28.
  48. ^ Villarreal, Crystal "Straight Shooter" Site Selection
  49. ^ Wolterbeek,Mike "NAASIC to spur autonomous systems development, receives $3 million in state funding" University of Reno

Relevant Patents[edit]

External links[edit]