Switch (company)

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Industry Technology
Founded 2000[1]
Headquarters Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Key people
Rob Roy (CEO, founder, chairman)
Number of employees
400-500 [2]
Website www.switch.com

Switch is a privately held company based in Las Vegas, Nevada. The company is the developer and operator of the SUPERNAP, data center facilities, and provides colocation, telecommunications, cloud services, and content ecosystems.[1][3]


Switch was founded in 2000 Rob Roy, CEO and the organization's principal inventor and chief engineer.[4] In 2002, Roy, with the help of a "reclusive majority shareholder", 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] 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.[9] Seventy-percent of the current workforce are veterans.[10]

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.[11] 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.[12] As of January 1, 2016 all Switch data centers are 100% powered by clean and renewable energy.[13] In 2016 Switch joined the WWF/WRI Renewable Buyers’ Principles with a public commitment to have their SUPERNAP Michigan data centers also 100% renewably powered.[14]

SUPERNAP Facilities[edit]

In 2008, the company opened SUPERNAP 7, a 515,047-square-foot (47,849.4 m2) facility, its seventh data center.[1] Switch has built and is operating in the Las Vegas Digital Exchange campus, which currently consists of three operating SUPERNAP data centers spanning 1,510,926 square feet (140,369 m2) and covering SUPERNAP phases seven through nine. At completion of construction, the Las Vegas Digital Exchange campus will measure more than 2.3-million square feet with 12 buildings completed.[8][15] As of 2016, SUPERNAP 10 is under construction in Las Vegas with two additional SUPERNAP data centers in planning phases.

Power to the SUPERNAP data facilities will be generated through two solar generation projects, Switch Station I and Switch Station II. The Switch Stations will produce 180-megawatts of power and are a joint construction project through First Solar in partnership with NV Energy.[16] Switch has sued NV Energy for $30 million over disagreements about power price,[17][18][19] and in 2016 Switch was allowed to switch from NV Energy to its own solar power plants at an "exit fee" of $27 million.[20]

In January, 2015 Switch announced a $4 billion expansion plan to build a new data center campus east of Reno in Storey County. The Switch Campus at Tahoe Reno Industrial Center (TRIC) is over 1,000 acres and is expected to have more than 6.4 million square feet of data center space at completion. That size will make it the largest data center campus in the world.[21] Switch has begun construction on its first data center on the campus, SUPERNAP Tahoe Reno 1, which will be more than 1,200,000 square-feet (110,000 m2), have 150 MVA power capacity, and more than 83,000 tons of cooling capability, making it the largest single data center in the world. This is the first of seven planned SUPERNAP data centers to be built at TRIC.[21]

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.[22][23][24][25]

Construction has begun on the Switch SUPERNAP Michigan campus at the site of the Switch Pyramid (former Steelcase Pyramid) in Grand Rapids, with the first customers expected to occupy that space in mid-2016. At completion the Grand Rapids campus will be more than two million square-feet making it the largest data center campus in the eastern U.S.[26]

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.[27][28]

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.[27]

The $300 million USD (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.[29]


Switch headquarters are in Las Vegas, with SUPERNAP data facilities and Innevation Centers located in northern and southern Nevada. As of 2016, Switch is expanding to the eastern United States with a planned data center campus located in Grand Rapids, Michigan.[30]

Las Vegas Digital Exchange Campus

Data Center Facility Square Footage Status
LAS VEGAS SUPERNAP 1-6 88,383 Open
LAS VEGAS SUPERNAP 10 343,436 Under Construction
LAS VEGAS SUPERNAP 11 343,436 Planned
LAS VEGAS SUPERNAP 12 168,040 Planned

Tahoe Reno Industrial Campus

Data Center Facility Square Footage Status
TAHOE RENO 1 1,200,947 Under construction
TAHOE RENO 2 610,974 Planned
TAHOE RENO 3 935,064 Planned
TAHOE RENO 4 935,064 Planned
TAHOE RENO 5 935,064 Planned
TAHOE RENO 6 935,064 Planned
TAHOE RENO 7 935,064 Planned


Switch has more than 1,000 clients, including Fortune 1000 companies.[4][31] Users include eBay, HP, EMC, Intel, Shutterfly, Machine Zone (Game of War), Amgen, DreamWorks, JP Morgan Chase, Sony, Boeing and Fox Broadcasting, among others.[31][32] 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 old-fashioned e-commerce".[7]

Switch developed a $3 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.[33][34]

Supercomputer Cherry Creek[edit]

In 2014, Switch 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 to work in fields that include genetics and medicine.[35]

Innevation Center[edit]

Innevation Center Las Vegas[edit]

Switch has designed a 65,000 square foot Innevation Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.[27]

The Las Vegas Innevation Center is a collaborative work space that allows members of the community, non-profits and other organizations to work and host events.[36]

Switch has also designed a 65,000 square foot Innevation Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.[37]

Innevation Center Reno[edit]

In summer 2015, Switch partnered with the University of Nevada, Reno to develop the northern Nevada-based Innevation Center in a facility in downtown Reno, Nevada. Opened in September 2015, the northern Nevada Innevation Center is a collaborative center for students, entrepreneurs, businesses, investors and non-profits. The 25,000 square-foot building was purchased from City of Reno.[25] Switch contributed $500,000 for the interior build-out, and the center was funded from a $3 million grant from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED).[26]

The Innevation Center in Reno is home to the Nevada Advanced Autonomous Systems Innovation Center (NAASIC). Funded by a grant from Governor’s Office of Economic Development, the center hosts programs to commercialize stationary robotic and advanced manufacturing systems, unmanned aerial vehicles, driverless cars, and underwater robots.[38]


  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. ^ Rothberg, Daniel. “With seven women among its top 14 executives, Switch sets itself apart.” Vegas Inc. July 20, 2015
  10. ^ Evans, Pat. "Regional tech industry welcomes Switch." Grand Rapids Business Journal. Dec. 18, 2015
  11. ^ Booth, Nick. "Switch joins carbon campaign, announces 100MW solar farm." Datacenter Dynamics. Aug. 26, 2015
  12. ^ Sverdlik, Yevgeniy. “Switch Joins Obama’s Business Climate Pledge, Plans 100 MW Solar Project in Nevada.” Data Center Knowledge. Aug. 24, 2015
  13. ^ http://datacenterfrontier.com/switch-goes-green-renewable-power-supernaps/
  14. ^ "Switch Announces Plans To Make SUPERNAP Michigan Data Centers 100 Percent Green; Joins WWF/WRI Renewable Buyers' Energy Principles" Press Release. Jan. 21, 2016
  15. ^ Miller, Rich "Shutterfly Deploys 1,000 Cabinets at Switch SUPERNAP" Data Center Knowledge. October 16, 2014
  16. ^ Miller, Rich. "Switch goes green with renewable power for SUPERNAPs." Data Center Frontier. Jan. 5, 2016
  17. ^ "Why Data Center Provider Switch is Suing Nevada and NV Energy". Data Center Knowledge. July 20, 2016. Retrieved November 5, 2016. 
  18. ^ http://pucweb1.state.nv.us/PDF/AxImages/DOCKETS_2015_THRU_PRESENT/2016-9/15489.pdf
  19. ^ "Switch applies for wholesale electricity for Northern Nevada project". Las Vegas Review-Journal. October 6, 2016. Retrieved November 5, 2016. 
  20. ^ "Switch reaches agreement with Nevada regulators to leave NV Energy". Las Vegas Review-Journal. December 9, 2016. Retrieved December 21, 2016. 
  21. ^ a b Hidalgo, Jason. "On Switch: Reno-area SuperNAP to be largest data center on Earth." Reno Gazette-Journal. Sept. 14, 2015
  22. ^ Miller, Rich. "Switch Plans Massive $1 Billion SUPERNAP Data Center in Reno" Data Center Knowledge. Jan. 15, 2015
  23. ^ "$1B Switch data center near Reno will be world's biggest". The Associated Press. January 16, 2015. Retrieved January 25, 2015. 
  24. ^ "$1B Switch Data Center Near Reno Will Be World's Biggest". ABC News. January 16, 2015. Retrieved January 16, 2015. 
  25. ^ a b "Switch Plans Massive $1 Billion SUPERNAP Data Center in Reno". January 16, 2015. Retrieved January 25, 2015. 
  26. ^ a b Harger, Jim. "Switch confirms plans for $5B investment, 1,000 jobs at West Michigan data center." Nov. 16, 2015
  27. ^ a b c Longhitano, Lorenzo. "Internet, aprirà in Italia il principale snodo di connettività europeo." Wired Italy. Oct. 6, 2015
  28. ^ Mah, Paul. "Construction begins on SuperNAP Thailand" Datacenter Dynamics. Jan. 27, 2016
  29. ^ Sverdlik, Yevgeniy. "Switch Building SuperNap Mega Data Center in Thailand" Data Center Knowledge. Jan. 14, 2016
  30. ^ Harger, Jim. "$5B Switch data center in Steelcase pyramid is 'Michigan's to lose'" Mlive. Nov 30, 2015
  31. ^ a b Brodkin, John "Meet Rob Roy, the man who built the SuperNAP data center" Network World. Jan. 22, 2009
  32. ^ Miller, Rich "SuperNAP 8 Earns Tier IV Gold Status for Operations" Data Center Knowledge. August 5, 2014
  33. ^ Sverdlik, Yevgeniy. "Switch Gets Tier IV for Second Las Vegas Data Center." Data Center Knowledge. March 2, 2016
  34. ^ "All Certifications." Uptime Institute website
  35. ^ Schmidt, Will "UNLV Awarded the Use of Intel's World-Class Supercomputer Cherry Creek" Tech Cocktail Las Vegas. Oct. 13, 2014
  36. ^ Villarreal, Crystal "Straight Shooter" Site Selection
  37. ^ Hidalgo, Jason. “UNR releases ‘Innevation Center’ renderings, Switch pitching in half million dollars." Reno Gazette-Journal. May 29, 2015
  38. ^ Wolterbeek,Mike "NAASIC to spur autonomous systems development, receives $3 million in state funding" University of Reno

Relevant Patents[edit]

External links[edit]