InterGlobix magazine recently published an indepth interview with Loudon County Executive Director Buddy Rizer, also known as the “Godfather of Data Center Alley.” In this fascinating Q&A, Rizer discusses how Loudon County, Virginia, home to Ashburn, came to be the #1 data center market in the world.

Since 2008, Loudon County has been the wealthiest county in the United States, thanks to a series of very strategic decisions that made Ashburn, Virginia the top data center market in the world. Beginning in 1997, many important players in the early days of the internet made their home in Ashburn, including America Online, UUnet/WorldCom, and MAE East. In the early years, Loudoun County was a crosspoint for close to 70% of the world’s internet traffic.

Due to plentiful land, water access, highly reliable power, and a world-class fiber network, Ashburn’s data center market was an ideal location for the burgeoning data center market. Through best-in-class incentives, and fast-track construction processes, Loudoun County continued to grow year after year, eventually earning it the nickname “Data Center Alley.” 

In this article, Rizen also discusses the future of Ashburn and Loudoun County. Currently Ashburn is home to over 100 data centers and over 1000MW of provisioned data center capacity. Demand for land in Loudoun County has gone up so much that the price is now over $1.5 million per acre. Rizen says he and others in Loudoun County are encouraging data center facility owners to build taller, rather than wider buildings, and as a result many one-story buildings are now becoming to three- and four-story data centers.

With over 3,400 companies now using Loudoun County data centers, 13.5 million square feet of operational data center space, and 4.5 million more under development, Rizen is excited for the future growth of Ashburn, and its prospects for the future.

For more details and interesting insights from Rizen, read the full article from InterGlobix.