Compass Signs Up Windstream As First Customer

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Compass Datacenters is building its first data center in Franklin, Tennessee for Windstream’s hosting division, the company said today. (Photo: Compass)

Compass Datacenters has signed up Windstream’s hosting division for the first building at its Franklin, Tennessee campus just outside of Nashville. Through a long term lease agreement, Compass will construct a 22,000 square foot stand-alone data center, scheduled to open in 2013.

Last week, Compass also announced it achieved Uptime Institute Tier III Certification for the first two wholesale stand-alone data centers based on its “Truly Modular” Architecture in Durham, North Caroline and Franklin.

“Windstream’s selection of Compass to build their Nashville facility is a validation of both our product concept and the work that we’ve done with the Uptime Institute” said Chris Crosby, CEO and Founder of Compass Datacenters. “Windstream was able to locate their new data center where they needed it, with the control they needed to meet their unique requirements, and are also able to provide their customers with the level of confidence in the reliability of their site that only true Tier III certification can provide. This is an example of the new data center paradigm that we believe Compass is bringing to the market”.

The new Windsteam Hosted Solutions Facility

Windstream provides enterprise-class cloud computing and managed services solutions. The data center facility will feature 2500 kVA of utility capacity, with full redundancy throughout. It will also be designed to enable rapid expansion of up to five times its current capacity.

“One of the most unique benefits is that our contract leaves the door open for us to expand the data center without having to pay for empty space,” said Kip Turco, Senior Vice President of Data Center Operations at Windstream Hosted Solutions. “That kind of flexibility is highly valuable for us as we continue to grow.”

“Our architecture also allows Windstream to do IT capacity planning in a much smarter way by expanding in chunks of 1.2 MW increments, which means they can synchronize their spend with their revenue growth,”  said Crosby.

The facility will be Windstream-branded, and will be designed to be SSAE-16 compliant. It will also feature round the clock Network Operations Center (NOC) and connectivity to multiple Windstream core POP sites via redundant OC-192 10Gbps circuits. This building will be on a campus that Compass is developing on land recently acquired in suburban Nashville

“Compass is delivering a complete solution that includes everything we were looking for in a data center,” said Kip Turco, “A permanent building with a hardened shell, Tier III certification, LEED Gold energy efficiency, our branding, dedicated office and support space, and so much more.”

Bringing Wholesale to Smaller Markets

Compass’ strategy is to bring turnkey data centers to second tier markets. Back in April, Compass hadn’t yet announced its target markets, but said it was scouting cities with successful colocation and managed hosting providers, such as Nashville, Raleigh, Minneapolis and Houston.

The Nashville area facility is being built using Compass’ architecture, which provides customers with dedicated wholesale solutions where they need them, thus serving the vast majority of companies that are not located in the few markets where geographically-constrained data center facilities are currently concentrated. Compass has developed a standardized design that it believes provides the right amount of IT capacity for customers and the right economics for Compasss to work in these smaller markets.

“Compass was flexible, ensuring that our contract gave us the right level of operational control over the facility,” said Turco. ”Windstream’s rapid growth throughout North America, especially in the delivery of cloud-based solutions like our Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), makes it imperative for us to expand strategically.”

“In addition to giving Windstream geographic freedom for where they locate their data center, our wholesale standalone data centers give them enhanced control and the ability to do smart IT capacity planning,” said Crosby.

Tier III certification

Last week, Compass announced it had attained the Uptime Institute Tier III Certification of Design Documents for the first two wholesale standalone data centers based on its Truly Modular™ Architecture. After a comprehensive review of Compass Datacenters’ data center design, Uptime Institute has certified the design for Durham, North Carolina and Franklin, Tennessee as having all of the elements required to deliver Tier III Concurrently Maintainable performance and reliability.

“Our goal was to design a product that can be easily Tier III Certified regardless of the location,” said Crosby. “We have worked closely with Uptime Institute to accomplish that. By working with Compass, customers can get their own hardened Tier III, LEED Gold modular data center wherever they need it to be. They no longer have to go to one of the top six datacenter markets to get a facility of this caliber, which is a game changer for the data center industry. This validation of our design provides us with a platform that can easily comply with Uptime Institute’s climate-dependent requirements to achieve Certifications in the markets where our customers want to locate their data centers in the future.”

Every Compass data center will also go through formal Uptime Institute Facility Certification.

About the Author

Jason Verge is an Editor/Industry Analyst on the Data Center Knowledge team with a strong background in the data center and Web hosting industries. In the past he’s covered all things Internet Infrastructure, including cloud (IaaS, PaaS and SaaS), mass market hosting, managed hosting, enterprise IT spending trends and M&A. He writes about a range of topics at DCK, with an emphasis on cloud hosting.

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