Datacenter fire sales

Back at the beginning of the decade, when the dot-bomb implosion took place, a whole lot of hardware wound up either on eBay or being sold at auction. With the start-up dead, its servers often went for about five to ten cents on the dollar. It was great if you were looking to buy a $50,000 Sun server for $5,000, not so great for Sun’s sales people at the time.

Now, though, it seems datacenters are being sold whole instead of piecemeal. The latest case involves Yahoo Japan, which is probably the one bright spot in the company, which is paying 45 billion yen ($478 million) to acquire Softbank IDC Solutions Corp., which operates nine data centers in Japan.

Yahoo Japan is the largest Internet portal in Japan, with 43 billion monthly page views in January 2009. It said it was buying the datacenters to meet growing demand for resources and infrastructure.

The implosion on Wall Street also yielded some bargains. When Lehman Brothers was sold to Barclays plc for $1.75 billion last year, Lehman’s NYC headquarters building and two datacenters accounted for $1.5 billion of the deal’s value.

In March 2008, JPMorgan bought the assets of Bear Stearns, and like Lehman, Bear’s two datacenters and headquarters building were what made up most of the $270 million price tag.

If Second Life is on the way out, as Valleywag insinuates, that datacenter could likely fetch a pretty penny.

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