NetApp Is Newest Entry in Portland’s Growing Silicon Forest

The exterior of the new NetApp data center in Hillsboro, Oregon, which will provide global customer supports to the storage company. (Photo: Digital Realty)

NetApp is the latest company to open a new data center in the “Silicon Forest.” On Friday, the storage vendor opened the doors of its new facility in Hillsboro, Oregon, which will serve as the hub for  NetApp’s global customer support monitoring and corporate IT services. The data center was designed in partnership with Digital Realty, and is projected to operate with a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of 1.3.

The 55,000 square foot NetApp facility is one of four new data center projects arriving in  Hillsboro, a suburb of Portland known as the Silicon Forest due to its high concentration of technology companies (including a major Intel campus). Fortune Data Centers, Adobe Systems and T5 Data Centers have all built or announced new facilities in Hillsboro. The area’s attractions include a climate ideal for fresh-air cooling and a low-tax business environments. Hillsboro is also rich in trans-Pacific fiber, due to the presence of multiple undersea cable landings near Portland.

NetApp says the Hillsboro facility will help it address an explosion in the amount of data that must be stored and managed.

“With the business and customer landscape changing at a rapid pace, we demand an intelligent storage architecture that can anticipate and respond to the business faster,” said Cynthia Stoddard, chief information officer for NetApp. “To achieve the growth objectives we have, we need to enable an environment where the data is essentially immortal; it is always available – never having to worry about scheduled downtime or gaps in our ability to support our customers. The environment has to enable infinite scalability based on the exponential growth of data and information that we need to store and manage.”

The data center ‘s energy efficiency features include the use of outside air economizers provides “free cooling” for most of the year, and pressure-controlled cold-aisle containment reduces fan energy while eliminating hot air intrusion. The design builds on innovations introduced in the company’s Research Triangle facility in North Carolina, which was the first data center to earn the Energy Star for Data Centers rating from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“NetApp asked us to deliver an efficient, cost-effective data center in the shortest time feasible,” said Michael Foust, chief executive officer at Digital Realty. “The Hillsboro custom designed data center represents our commitment to meet NetApp’s specific requirements, utilizing our innovative approach to modular data center engineering, design and construction. We are very pleased this data center will be an important component of NetApp’s growth strategy and long-term vision to remain one step ahead of growing business demand.”

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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.

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