Is Mahwah Running Out of Colocation Space?

The lengths that the exchanges will go to maximize the value of their data related services never ceases to amaze us.  The latest example comes from a recent SEC approval of a NYSE ARCA rule proposal which dealt with the allocation of cage space inside the NYSE-owned Mahwah colocation facility.  Apparently, Mahwah may be starting to run out of space and the exchange is now shifting the cages, which house client servers, around like puzzle pieces to extract as much rent as possible from their speed hungry clients.  Here’s a little background from NYSE ARCA about the cages that house the servers which sit next to the exchange matching engine:

“The Exchange offers Users the ability to rent cages to house their cabinets in the Data Center, and historically has offered these cages on a first come/first serve basis. The Exchange states that a cage typically is purchased by a User that has several cabinets within the Data Center and wishes to arrange its cabinets contiguously while also enhancing privacy around its cabinets.  The Exchange offers three cage sizes, corresponding to the number of cabinets housed therein, and charges fees for the cages based on the size.  The physical footprint of each cage is greater than that of the cabinets that it houses, as each cage is constructed so as to include aisles around the purchasing User’s cabinets, for accessibility and to comply with safety regulations.”

Last year,  NYSE ARCA started moving some cages around so they can free up some space for larger, more expensive cages:

“The Exchange determined that to continue to be able to meet its obligation to accommodate demand, and in particular to make available more contiguous, larger spaces for new and existing Users, it would exercise its right to move some Users’ equipment within the Data Center (the “Migration”). “

In a move which signals a further space constraint, the SEC just approved a new cage allocation process where NYSE ARCA will form a waitlist:

“The Exchange has proposed to establish procedures governing the allocation of cages should the currently available open contiguous space in the Data Center be insufficient to house a new cage or if the open contiguous space available is sufficiently limited such that the Exchange cannot both provide new cages and satisfy all User demand for other co-location services. Specifically, the Exchange proposes that it will place Users seeking new cages on a waitlist.”

Exchanges sure know how to protect their data center investments and max out those millions of dollars in colocation revenue.