I was reading this article and several others and the coverage from outside the industry is profound, and really doesn't tell a story, and speculates on things that don't make sense to me and other industry peers.
The factual news part of the Dell deal is that they bought land in a data center market where there are other data centers, and access to abundant cheap power, that part I get. It is also an active seismic area and long term that is not such a smart move to put a facility there unless you have it interconnected to other facilities on other grids, in other non seismic zones. To put one major facility in an active seismic zone indicates that their risk models either figured out that the power costs are cheaper than the expense of the facility, data loss and brand damage, or their site selection process overlooked the ground moving a lot and if you have one facility in one place with 100 different networks coming into the building then you will stand a better chance of losing all 100 networks AND the building in a major earthquake. Buh bye, on a big scale.
Does Dell have other data centers? Absolutely. Do those facilities have the capacity in them to take the entire load of the Washington facility in the event of an earthquake? I would hope so. If not, they may want to have another site in the works that could provide the deployed airbag like instant saturation of network connections (if they are even available), compute and storage load transfers that will occur.
If Dell wants to get into the hosting space, they need to get people who understand that business, from site selection to SLA's, otherwise this facility will be a bigger Dell box to put smaller Dell boxes in, and become one of the least cost effective sites to deliver those services from. Which might make sense if it was being built for a Government tenant... that I could understand.