Data Center Nears Opening in Boise, Idaho

The center will be the largest in the Treasure Valley and will claim the area’s highest rating for data accessibility and power redundancy.

by Zach Kyle, McClatchy News Service / May 29, 2014

San Diego-based DataSite is preparing to open its 60,000-square-foot data center in a former Hewlett-Packard data center in Boise, Idaho, on June 1.

The center will be the largest in the Treasure Valley and will claim the area’s highest rating for data accessibility and power redundancy. DataSite has signed an anchor tenant: SEN Technologies, a Boise information-technology services provider.

The data center industry has grown as companies and governments acclimate to the big-data era for digital data storage and protection. Data centers provide temperature-controlled space for companies to store server racks holding backup data, streaming and cloud services and a long list of other data-heavy uses requiring redundant power and a secure, high-capacity Internet connection. Some offer information technology services and can function as the IT department for companies. DataSite calls itself a “wholesale” service that targets larger clients — many of whom are IT specialists themselves — and doesn’t offer IT services, DataSite owner Jeff Burges said.

Burges said he expects other large data centers to follow him here to take advantage of the Valley’s cheap electricity and low risk of natural disasters. “More wholesale players will probably follow us here because of that value proposition,” Burges said.

Two smaller data centers already in Boise, Involta and FiberPipe Data Centers, are planning second locations far larger than their current ones.

Involta broke ground April 17 on a $10.5-million, 34,000 square-foot building near the intersection of West Victory Road and South Maple Grove Road.

Fiberpipe is in the permitting process for what it says will be a 70,000-square-foot center near the corner of West Emerald Street and West Mitchell Street. The company plans to break ground in early June.

Data centers are rated on how many sources of electricity flow into the building from different loops on the grid to provide redundancy, as well as how many backup generators are on-site as a fail-safe. Burges said DataSite Boise’s standard offering will be Tier 3, though the company has separate infrastructure on site for Tier 2 as well as Tier 4, the highest possible rating. Involta and FiberPipe says their new centers will be rated as Tier 3.

Involta’s current center is rated at Tier 1 and Fiberpipe’s at Tier 2.

While DataSite’s center on Bethel Court near West Franklin Road will be the largest in the Valley, it will be the smallest of the company’s eight centers around the country.

Reed Disney, vice president and general manager of the Involta data centers in Boise and Tuscon, Ariz., said the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, company has strategically expanded to “non-NFL cities” that lacked large data centers. Involta has signed St. Luke’s Health System as an anchor tenant for its Boise center.

Fiberpipe has not announced an anchor tenant. CEO and President Ken Birch did not return a call for comment.

©2014 The Idaho Statesman (Boise, Idaho)