C7 Opening Newest Utah Data Center
September 10th, 2013 By: Jason Verge
C7 Data Centers has announced an October launch for Granite Point II, a new 95,000 square foot data center complex in Bluffdale, Utah. The site will have 70,000 feet of raised floor space and is designed for 10 megawatts. The data center will also have 25,000 square feet of office space to accommodate the high rate of out of state customers that the company attracts.
While the Utah market is typically seen as a disaster recovery hot spot, C7 says it is unique in that it is attracting a high percentage of production customers.
“Seventy five to 80 percent of our customers are out of state, and 80 percent of that is production,” said Wes Swenson, CEO of C7. “Utah has a population of 2.8 million, so we can’t totally depend on approximate market.”
The company sees a bright future as the grip on server hugging lessens. ”The pressure to reduce the cost to compute is going to increase, making customer open to remotely colocating their infrastructure,” said Swenson.
C7 has multiple Utah data centers, providing colocation, disaster recovery, cloud and storage solutions. The company can accommodate one rack to thousands of square feet. It’s first data center on this campus is a 65,000 square foot facility built in 2010. “We happen to sit in the middle part of the two major population centers, and maybe 3 miles away ‘as the crow flies’ from the NSA data center,” said Swenson.
Swenson gives several reasons why Utah should be at the top of the list for data center space, and not just for disaster recovery, but for production.
“We get great operational efficiency,” he said. “The biggest differentiator is that we are in Utah, the lowest disaster rates in the U.S. It’s at a higher elevation, it sits in what they call a cold desert. We’re able to use ambient air almost 9 months out of the year. We also have some of the lowest power pricing per capita at 3-5 cents per kilowatt – tremendous power pricing. Utah is number 5 or 6 in national gas or oil shale, so there’ no transportation cost for that energy. Utah can basically produce it’s own energy, meaning lower power pricing.”
The company hopes to achieve a low power usage effectiveness (PUE) due to the ambient air the Utah climate provides and the type of equipment used. The company anticipates a PUE of 1.2. The data center has 24 inch plenum, it uses Big Ass Fans (that’s a brand, not a descriptor. Okay, it’s a descriptor, too.)
“The facility has a very specialized cold row containment system,” said Swenson. “Large fans on the ceiling push the hot air off faster. There’s a 36- inch raised cold floor. There’s no limit to the kilowattage that we can cool to the cabinet. We can cool virtually any space.”
Because of this, Swenson says that customers can use more of the rack, and ultimately need to take down less space, saving money, thanks to a slew of reasons that both the location of Utah and the design of the data center provide. He attributes this to the company’s appeal with out-of-staters colocating production infrastructure.
The design of the data center has been in development for the last two years and construction began in February of 2013.
“This data center is the culmination of years of listening to our customers, combined with our vision of what a modern data center should be,” said Swenson. “It is truly world class and state of the art in every respect with a vision for the future. In this day and age, businesses are experiencing rapid IT growth but their data centers are aging. Granite Point II is truly a modern data center, built at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains, and will provide a terrific product for our demanding customers experiencing growth.”