Bluebird Network completes subterranean expansion project
Located in Springfield, Missouri, Bluebird Network’s state-of-the-art underground data centre has just completed an $11.5mn expansion project.
The company announced its extensive plan in November 2019 to meet the requirements of enterprises shifting to increasingly bandwidth-hungry applications. The project has provided an additional 11,500sq of white space – bringing Bluebird's total capacity to 29,000sq.
Built in 2014, the futuristic facility is encased in solid limestone 85 feet below ground. It offers extreme protection measures against natural disasters as well as a host of security measures to protect hardware and data. These include a multi-layered security access system, including mantraps, restricted access, two, manned guard stations, video monitoring, key card access and biometric scanning.
Bluebird’s 2MW diesel-fuelled generators are powered by Rolls Royce v16 octo-turbo engines. With a total 6MW of off-grid power, the station can operate autonomously for an indefinite period.
The Tier 3 data centre’s expansion included upgrading the generating capabilities with 6MW of power, advanced lithium-ion Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) and new intelligent management systems to improve overall efficiency.
Currently powered by 40% renewable energy, the upgrade also included a total Data Centre Infrastructure Management (DCIM) platform implementation. The facility now offers enhanced, continuous operations monitoring to its customers.
Speaking about the expansion, , said, “Our customers will reap the benefits of a world-class data centre with unparalleled security. Bluebird’s strengths and communications infrastructure offerings underpin the success of a digital world. We thrive on helping businesses, hospitals, governments and other operations run lightning fast every day while offering them a way to flexibly grow.”
He continued, “Being 85 feet below ground, a unique data centre like Bluebird Underground requires a unique expansion strategy to empower dynamic and growing requirements, and that’s exactly what this addition has accomplished for our customers.”
Recently, Bluebird launched the Springfield Internet Exchange (SpringIX). Hosted in the underground hub, the exchange is the first of its kind in the area. SpringIX enables members of the exchange to offload local traffic with other content providers. It is an additional feature that supports the communications infrastructure.
Moray added, “Our tenants have everything they need, including colocation services, remote hands, high-bandwidth internet access, and multiple data transport options—all from the highly secure and highly reliable location that is the Bluebird Underground. We’re thrilled to bring these enhanced capabilities to market, building on our trusted partnerships with our customers and further establishing ourselves as a major provider in the Midwest.”
Equinix: Digital leaders expect changes to working patterns
A global report released by Equinix has revealed that digital leaders expect long-term changes to the way people work.
As part of the report, the data infrastructure company surveyed 2,600 IT decision-makers from several different businesses spanning 26 countries in the Americas, Asia-Pacific and EMEA regions. The study also highlighted the biggest technology trends affecting global businesses and how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted digital infrastructure plans.
Talking about companies’ expansion strategies, Claire Macland, Senior Vice President of Global Marketing at Equinix, said: “Many companies are now investing more in their digital infrastructure to enable them to embrace a hybrid working model and thrive in the new world of work we all find ourselves in.
“Despite headwinds in many sectors, many organizations are continuing to expand physically and virtually into new markets and regions around the world”, she said.
The report drew the following conclusions:
- 64% of the 2,600 digital leaders surveyed believed there will be “long-term changes to both how and where people will work in the future.
- 57% of global companies intend to expand into new regions despite the effects of the pandemic
- 51% of businesses worldwide say they have rearchitected their IT infrastructure so that it can meet the demands of remote and hybrid working. Digital transformation has also been accelerated due to an increase in businesses’ technology budgets.
How might digital transformation be affected post-pandemic?
COVID-19 has demanded that companies make several changes to the way that they operate, including digital transformation. According to the study, 47% of those surveyed reported that they have accelerated their digital transformation plans because of the Coronavirus pandemic. A further 42% of organisations said their budgets have increased to keep up with the growth of digital transformation.
Another change in adapting to the pandemic was to businesses’ IT strategies with six in 10 companies saying that it has been revised in response to the situation. 58% said they are looking to invest in technology to “improve agility’ post-COVID.
When asked about their priorities for their digital strategy, 80% of respondents said that digitising their infrastructure was of utmost importance, while 57% viewed interconnection as a ‘key facilitator’ of digital transformation.
"This increasing focus on digitization and expansion is one of the reasons why Equinix has continued to invest in its own growth. We completed 16 new expansions in 2020—our most active build year ever—and expect to continue to evolve Platform Equinix to support our customers as they continue on their digital transformation journey”, said Claire Macland.
Potential concerns disperse over expansion plans being halted by COVID-19
The study has also revealed that organisations’ previous concerns that the pandemic will negatively affect their business expansion plans have been lessened.
57% of businesses have said that they “still have plans” to expand into new regions and of that percentage, nearly two-thirds (63%) plan to do so virtually instead of investing in physical IT infrastructure.
The full Equinix report can be found here.