Entergy Corp., the New Orleans-based energy company, will spend $41 million to buy the 76,000 square foot former home of the Little Rock Municipal Library and convert it to a data center. The utility, whose primary data center was damaged by Hurricane Katrina, is locatiing The center will be staffed by employees of Science Applications International Corp., which is partnering with Entergy on the project. The building, at 7th and Louisiana streets, will serve as one of two primary data centers for the four-state Entergy system.
Renovations will begin this month, with operations to begin by the third quarter of 2007. The center will house servers managing the utility's accounting, finance and customer service applications. In addition to supporting its work for Entergy, Cawthon said SAIC might eventually be able to work with other central Arkansas clients at the data center.
Entergy has relied primarily on a single data center in Gretna, La., which is just across the Mississippi River from New Orleans. The center was damaged by the Hurricane Katrina, but is back to normal operations now with beefed-up back-up in Little Rock.
"This is going to be a state-of-the-art facility," said Wayne Alphonso, Entergy director in charge of the project. "The reliability of the whole Entergy operation depends heavily on the reliability of its data centers, so it's very important that this is done right. The old library is an ideal location. Its size, structure and availability fit perfectly into our strategy and provide Entergy with an opportunity to perform the renovations and have the system operational before the peak of next hurricane season."
Entergy is considering a similar facility in Jackson, Miss., that would be operational in 2008.