EMC Opens New Cloud Data Center in NC

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A look at some of EMC's data center infrastructure. The company is opening a new cloud data center and research lab in Durham, North Carolina.

EMC today announced a new data center and Center of Excellence lab in Durham, North Carolina that will power the company’s cloud computing operation. The 450,000 square foot facility will house a 30,000 square foot data center running IT applications to support EMC’s 50,000 employees around the globe, as well as more than 130,000 square feet of research and development space.

The new data center will replace an existing facility in Westborough, Mass. which is out of space. Over the next year, EMC will shift more than 6 petabytes of data from Westborough to the new highly-virtualized facility in Durham. Once the migration is complete, the Westborough facility willbe retired. EMC will continue to maintain a disaster recovery data center in Hopkinton, Mass.

Another Project for North Carolina
EMC becomes the latest in a series of leading technology companies to choose North Carolina as the location for new data centers, a list that includes Apple, Google, Facebook, Cisco, American Express, IBM and NetApp, among others.

EMC said the data center will include energy efficiency features, including the use of outside air (free cooling) for approximately 57 percent of the year, a col-aisle containment system to manage airflow within the data center, and flywheel UPS systems to save space and reduce reliance on batteries. The company expects that the facility will earn Silver certification under the LEED standard for sustainable buildings, and operate with a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of about 1.3.

EMC runs more than 500 applications in its five corporate data centers. The company also maintains Centers of Excellence in India, China, Egypt, Israel, Ireland, and Russia. The Centers of Excellence perform  engineering and research and development, translation services and  technical support.

‘Virtual First’ as Mantra

“We are pleased to extend EMC’s network of COEs around the globe by increasing our IT and R&D presence in North Carolina,” said Sanjay Mirchandani, EMC Chief Information Officer and COO, Global Centers of Excellence. ” Our virtual-first mantra and the latest EMC, VMware and VCE technologies, not only provided the foundation to deliver agility to our more than 50,000 employees, but the COE, data center and our R&D labs enable us to extend and showcase our world-class cloud computing capabilities, solutions and the best practices with our customers.”

“As a leading global technology innovator, EMC has put its money where its mouth is with its new COE and cloud data center,” said Charles King, Principal Analyst, Pund-IT. “By doing so, the company has opened the doors to harness the agility of cloud computing for its employees.  Its efforts should also help EMC customers develop their own virtualization and cloud computing initiatives.”

In 2004, EMC’s IT organization began moving from a physical to a highly-virtualized IT infrastructure. The new EMC data center provides the foundation required for cloud computing with an architecture that will leverage EMC’s latest information infrastructure technologies, VMware virtualization and cloud infrastructure technologies, and Vblock Infrastructure Platforms from VCE (the Virtual Computing Environment Company formed by Cisco and EMC with investments from VMware and Intel).

An aerial view of the 450,000 square foot building housing EMC's new data center in Durham, North Carolina.

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor-in-chief 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.

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