When you mention data centers and Virginia, most folks think of Ashburn and other northern Virginia towns housing clusters of mission-critical facilities. But the state's newest data center is about as far away from Ashburn as you can get and still be in Virginia.
OnePartner has opened its Advanced Technology & Applications Center (ATAC) in Duffield, a town about 400 miles southwest of Washington in a corner of Virginia nestled between Kentucky and Tennessee. The stand-alone data center opened in October with an anchor tenant, the Bank of Tennessee.
OnePartner has been certified as a Tier III data center by The Uptime Institute, which developed the tier system for data center reliability and runs a certification process managed by ComputerSite Engineering. OnePartner's marketing stresses that ATAC is the "sole U.S. company providing outsourced commercial data center services" with a Tier III rating.
There are 37 data centers whose facilities or designs have been approved as Tier III or Tier IV (see the full list at ComputerSite), but all are single-tenant enterprise data centers that don't lease space to third parties. Other commercial colocation and data center outsourcing firms clearly meet Tier III standards, but have not participated in Uptime's certiciation process.
Qualifiers aside, OnePartner sees Uptime certification as an important step to validate its infrastructure and assure customers of the data center's reliability.
"Having gone through the certification process, I believe in the importance of a qualified third party review," said Tom Deaderick, Director of OnePartner. "We’ve seen data centers with two or three times the server room space that have one-third of our environmental systems. The consumer cannot readily examine a commercial facility’s A/B power scheme to ensure that there is truly no overlap between A and B.
"No one wants to be surprised to find that their commercial data center has single points of failure, yet we hear of such surprises on a weekly basis as we talk with prospective clients," Deaderick added.
On Oct. 24 OnePartner announced an agreement to provide disaster recovery services for the Bank of Tennessee, protecting the bank's customer records.
"After researching the possibility of building our own disaster recovery site we found it much more cost-effective to utilize OnePartner ATAC as our disaster recovery center," said Phillip Haumiller, Senior Operating Officer and Executive Vice-President of Bank of Tennessee. "In the world of disaster recovery, it is important to have a secondary site. The certification tells me that it is a safe site. Distance is important. If there is a regional disaster, we need to have a site that is outside the area."