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Tucows exits its domain name portfolio

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Company no longer holds a portfolio of domains for the secondary market.

Tucows (NASDAQ: TCX) released its Q3 earnings yesterday. You can see the numbers here (pdf), but they aren’t the headline for the domain segment. Instead, it’s this: after many years of owning its a domain portfolio, Tucows has exited that business.

It still owns a portfolio of surname domain names that it uses for its Realnames email service. But it no longer holds a portfolio of domain names to monetize via pay-per-click and to sell on the aftermarket.

It sold the remainder of its portfolio over the past few months. It made a bulk sale of $1.9 million during the third quarter and $1.4 million after the quarter ended. (I believe that GoDaddy was the buyer.)

Tucows CEO Elliot Noss explained the change in the aftermarket business in the latest pre-recorded investor conference call (pdf):

We have owned our own portfolio for a little over a decade now, and it’s been a great tactical business, consistently generating sales in the range of $2 and $3 million annually, with relatively little ebb and flow, and with some years punctuated by a larger bulk sale or two.

Throughout this period, two things were true. We were always adding to the portfolio through the expiry stream and we were always needing to increase the transaction volume in order to maintain the same levels. At the same time, the underlying demand in this segment was declining as the increasing sophistication of SEO and related online advertising technologies reduced the returns on direct navigation domain names. We have all witnessed the maturation of online advertising technologies over this time as they evolved from a relatively blunt instrument to an amazing precision tool that now tracks every element of our life with great accuracy and provides incredibly efficient, if sometimes annoying, results. Through this maturation, the value of domain name traffic has declined to the point where we made the decision, starting a couple of years ago, to first reduce our exposure to this segment, and  finally, to exit it completely. We do want to note that the value of a premium domain name, as a name for a company itself, has never waned — it’s at least what it was when we started this exercise –and might even be up over time. Despite the fact that premium names was the segment of the market that we focused on, the value of leads was the primary driver for the health of this segment.

Tl;dr: Direct navigation and domain parking went to shit, which has dramatically changed the domain name investing business.

There’s some good news for domain investors in this announcement. Investors were annoyed that Tucows would cherry-pick expiring inventory for its own portfolio. Now it’s sending all of it to GoDaddy Auctions.

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CAPRE’s Data Center Round Up for November 7, 2019

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Check out the latest in deals, development and disruptive technology in the data center industry for November 7, 2019:

  • Hypertec Secures Two New Facilities in Quebec Region for Wholesale Colocation Services: Hypertec, an end-to-end global provider of wholesale colocation services, technology products and value-added services, announced it has secured two additional properties in Montreal and the Montreal-Quebec City corridor to further expand and support the rapid growth of its wholesale colocation business. This latest expansion advances Hypertec’s strategy by providing the necessary capacity and site diversity to support the growth of its existing customers in the cloud and communication service, media and entertainment and financial services industries as well as providing future customers with greater capacity and access to all four of Hypertec’s highly versatile, application-optimized, data hall build types. The two facilities were strategically chosen for their white space capacity, power availability and fiber diversity as well as their security. The first property, YUL02, is located near the existing Hypertec Montréal West Island campus and the second property, YUL03, is situated in the Montréal-Quebec City corridor. YUL02 and YUL03 will have critical load capacities of 26 MW and 32 MW, respectively, increasing Hypertec’s fully developed critical load capacity to a total of 103 MW for the region of Quebec.
  • Rackspace to Acquire Onica, a Cloud-Native Consulting and Managed Services Company: Rackspace has agreed to acquire Onica, an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Partner Network (APN) Premier Consulting Partner and AWS Managed Service Provider. This acquisition brings Onica’s innovative professional services capabilities – including strategic advisory, architecture and engineering and application development – to the Rackspace portfolio, complementing its existing managed cloud services capabilities. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Founded in 2014 and headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Onica has rapidly grown to more than 350 highly-skilled consultants across North America. The company holds nine AWS competencies across Data and Analytics, DevOps, Education, Healthcare, Industrial Software, IoT, Microsoft Workloads, Migration and Storage. Onica has been a regular on Inc. Magazine’s Best Workplaces list and ranked fifth on the CRN Fast Growth 150 list. As a cloud-native services company, Onica helps customers build new revenue streams, increase efficiency and deliver incredible experiences by bringing the innovative capabilities of the cloud to some of the most complex technology projects in the world.
  • Shell Company for NE Hyperscale Data Center Makes Land Grab: The Lincoln Journal Star is first reporting that Agate, LLC, a shell-company likely serving as a placeholder for Google or a similar tech giant, has purchased a tract of land for more than $18 Million USD outside the capital of Nebraska. This is a major step following the announcement of the data center plans in July, which will eventually amount to over $600 Million USD in investment. “According to real estate transfers dated Oct. 30, Agate paid more than $18.6 million for about 600 acres of land to the north and west of the 56th Street exit on Interstate 80,” writes the Star. “According to a traffic study included with the application, construction could start next year, with the potential for 160 full-time employees to be working there by 2022, 480 by 2025 and 960 by full build-out in 2040. The data center could occupy as much as 2 million square feet, according to application documents. The City Council in September approved an annexation and zoning change to facilitate the development.”
  • New Rugged Supercomputing Servers Enable AI, HPC and Sensor Fusion Applications at the Edge: Mercury Systems has unveiled the EnterpriseSeries RES AI rugged rackmount server line, bringing High Performance Computing (HPC) capabilities to aerospace, defense and other mission-critical applications at the Edge. Mercury’s rugged HPC servers leverage the latest data center processing and co-processing technologies to accelerate the most demanding workloads. Customer benefits include the ability to scale supercomputing applications from the cloud to the edge with rugged subsystems that adhere to open standards and integrate the latest commercial technologies; maximized throughput through contemporary NVIDIA graphics processing units, Intel server-class processors, field-programmable gate array, accelerators, and high-speed networking; optimized performance for almost any mission-critical platform with multiple form-factors that withstand a broad range of field environments; advanced security options that deliver trusted performance and safeguard critical data; as well as extended system longevity and product lifecycles to support the needs of aerospace, defense and other mission critical operations.
  • Apple alum Scott Noteboom Joins Submer Technologies as CTO: Silicon Valley luminary Scott Noteboom, who has spoken at CAPRE’s International Data Center Summit Series in Montréal, joins Submer Technologies as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to help build next generation data infrastructures. Scott Noteboom has been a fixture of leading technology companies for more than twenty years – including serving as Head of Infrastructure Strategy, Design, and Development for Apple and VP of Engineering & Operations at Yahoo!. He will bring his experience to help drive strategic innovation across Submer’s line of immersion cooling systems and autonomous infrastructure platform. Mr. Noteboom started his position on November 1st, 2019, and will operate from San José, California.

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Colocation Company Flexential Expands to Latin America with Seaborn Networks

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Flexential, a large provider of data center colocation and hybrid IT solutions, is expanding its FlexAnywhere offering. It now provides their customers direct access to Seaborn Networks’ transoceanic platform.

The original source for ths post is Colocation Company Flexential Expands to Latin America with Seaborn Networks on Website Hosting Review.