RIM Buys Texas Data Center to Bolster Blackberry

Research in Motion (RIMM) has bought a large data center in Plano, Texas to expand the infrastructure for its hugely popular Blackberry device, providing network diversity that may help avert future service outages. RIM has purchased a 150,000 square foot data center in the Legacy Business Park in Plano that was developed by Stream Realty Partners, according to BizJournals.

The Blackberry e-mail network suffered a network outage in February that left its 12 million North American users offline for four hours. Research in Motion previously experienced a widespread network outage in April 2007, which left users without e-mail for more than 12 hours. After both outages, RIM was criticized for its reliance upon a data center in Waterloo, Ontario to handle all its North American messaging traffic.

In April we wondered if the February outage would prompt RIM to add infrastructure to support its Blackberry network. The move to add a Texas data center will allow RIM to shift network services should it encounter problems at its Ontario facility. Texas is a poopular site for backup data centers because the state has its own power grid.

Research in Motion declined to confirm or discuss the sale, according to local media, who said that “numerous other North Texas real estate sources” confirmed the property was acquired by RIM. In December Research in Motion announced that it will locate its U.S. headquarters in Irving’s Las Colinas area and employ as many as 1,000 there in the next few years.

The RIM expansion continues the robust growth for the Dallas data center market. In April CyrusOne announced it was building a new Dallas data center, while Savvis (SVVS), SoftLayer and Telx have also added space in recent months. Dataside will also be expanding its Dallas data center footprint in the wake of its recent acquisition by Denver-based ViaWest.

Stream built the Plano data center on a speculative basis, and finished construction in December. The building sits on 20 acres, leaving space to build additional data centers if needed.

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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.