Giant data center nears opening in Boise; 2 more coming soon

Construction of a second, smaller facility has started, and plans for a third have been announced.

zkyle@idahostatesman.comMay 29, 2014 

DataSite Boise Raised Floor.JPG

Five generators will ensure backup power to the DataSite Boise floor, which the company hopes to fill with tenants’ server racks.

PROVIDED BY DATASITE

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

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.

Data centers provide temperature-controlled space for racks of servers that hold backup data and provide streaming and cloud services, plus other data uses that require redundant power supplies and secure, high-capacity Internet connections. Some offer information technology services and can function as the IT department for companies. The data-center industry has grown with the rise of the big-data era.

Read more about how the big-data industry is warming to Boise

DataSite calls itself a "wholesale" service that targets larger clients, many of whom are IT specialists themselves. Owner Jeff 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.

Meanwhile, 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 and West Mitchell streets. The company has said it 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 also has on-site infrastructure for Tier 2 and 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 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 Tucson, Ariz., said the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, company has strategically expanded to "non-NFL cities" that lacked large data centers. He said Involta decided to expand in Boise despite knowing DataSite was coming to town. Involta has signed St. Luke's Health System as an anchor tenant for its Boise center. Once both Involta centers are operational, the company expects to employ about 30 people earning an average of $65,000 a year.

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


View Boise's new and proposed data centers in a larger map

Zach Kyle: 377-6464,Twitter: @IDS_zachkyle

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