Savvis Expansion Tour Opens in NJ

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The first stop on Savvis’ Data Center Expansion Tour in Piscataway, New Jersey had the trappings of a media event: flashing blue neon lights, speeches by the CEO and mayor, and a talk by a leading IT author. But the star of last night’s tour was the data center – an 88,000 square foot facility showcasing Savvis’ infrastructure and utility computing platform.

“We took a lot of time and put a lot of thought into how design this facility,” said Savvis CEO Phil Koen. “We believe this is absolutely state-of-the-art.”

Many corporate data centers are having trouble staying current with the latest requirements for high-density computing, presenting an opportunity for Savvis (SVVS) and other data center operators. “A couple of days ago, Gartner issued a report saying that any data center that was built prior to 2000 is probably technologically obsolete,” said Koen.

The Piscataway facility, housed in a Digital Realty Trust (DLR) building, is the third Savvis data center in New Jersey, joining sites in Weehawken and Jersey City. The NJ3 center includes 47,600 square feet of technical space on a 30-inch raised floor, with 34,000 square feet for colocation and the remainder housing Savvis’ utility computing customers.


The raised floor space is engineered to support 140 watts per square foot of power, and supported by two power feeds from separate PSE&G substations and six 2 megawatt diesel generators. The cooling plant includes five Trane chillers and a 25,000 gallon chilled water storage tank.

The facility’s security features include biometric access control on doors, more than 200 video cameras, a central security center with bullet-proof glass and Kevlar-lined walls and man-trap corridors leading to the data floor. The equipment area is protected by a VESDA (very early smoke detection) system and a pre-action sprinkler system, which maintains dry pipes over the equipment in most scenarios but will load with water upon an alarm.

The opening of the Piscataway center, along with additional new data centers in Atlanta, Santa Clara, Calif. and Sterling, Va., give Savvis a network of 27 facilities with more than 1.3 million square feet of raised floor space. Similar “expansion tour” events will be held in Santa Clara (Oct. 18) and Sterling (Oct. 23). IT author Nicholas Carr is the featured speaker at each stop.

“This new facility allows us to serve leaders in the financial services industry based in and around the New York metropolitan area, as well as the high concentration of corporations, including many of the life sciences industry leaders, headquartered in New Jersey,” said James Whitemore, Chief Marketing Officer of SAVVIS.

Savvis worked closely with the New Jersey Technology Council in planning last night’s tour, which drew about 140 people. The event was planned for a large tent outside the building, but an early-afternoon thunderstorm forced the event indoors to the facility’s reception area.

“Fortunately, we’re ‘built to respond,’ ” Koen joked.

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.