Apr 5, 2021

DC Blox breaks ground on new data centre in South Carolina

Data Centres
Harry Menear
3 min
The new 18 MW facility is on track to be the state’s first multi-tenant Tier III facility
The new 18 MW facility is on track to be the state’s first multi-tenant Tier III facility...

Southeastern US-based data centre operator DC Blox has begun construction of South Carolina’s first multi-tenant Tier-III-certified data centre. The company announced that the project had advanced to the construction stage last week, revealing that the first stage of the data centre is expected to be operational by Q3 of 2021. 

The data centre, located in Greenville, South Carolina, will have a total IT load capacity of 1 MW upon the launch of its first phase. Upon completion (an event for which DC Blox declined to provide a concrete timeline), the Greenville data centre will comprise six data halls with a footprint of 54,000 square feet of whitespace spread across an 8.5 acre campus located in the Global Business Park adjacent to Interstate 85. 

This puts it a few minutes south of downtown Greenville and a roughly two hour drive from the city of Charlotte, South Carolina’s most populous urban area and regional business hub.

DC Blox Chief Operating Officer, Mark Masi, hailed the project as a landmark development for South Carolina’s digital economy. “With the first Tier III-designed data centre now under construction in South Carolina, businesses adopting digital transformation strategies are set to have access to the most reliable and interconnected facility in the State,” he said in a press release last week. 

He added that, “Whether it’s a prime location, cloud storage, disaster recovery, or an expanded data centre footprint, we are proud to bring this state-of-the-art data centre campus to South Carolina. Now, even more companies can leverage reliable and efficient data centre services and private, high-speed, low latency network access to cloud providers and applications at scale.”

DC Blox has declined to share how much it is investing in the construction of the Greenville data centre, although it claims that - in addition to creating five “high-paying position” over the next few years, the project will represent a cumulative investment of more than $200mn by DC Blox itself and its tenant customers. This, according to the company, makes it the “single largest amount reported by the Greenville Area Development Corporation in at least five years.” 

“DC BLOX brings good-paying jobs and significant capital investment to Greenville County, and we are excited to see their vision begin to take shape with this groundbreaking,” commented Greenville County Council Chairman and Greenville Area Development Corporation Board Member Willis Meadows. 

“This new data centre will help Greenville County accelerate economic growth and build on our reputation as a world-class technology destination. DC BLOX is a welcome addition to our community.”

The announcement of the new facility in Greenville comes hot on the heels of DC Blox securing an additional $187mn in long term funding. On March 30, the company announced that it had secured the cash from investment companies Post Road Group and Bain Capital Credit, which has allowed it to refinance existing credit facilities and free up liquidity for further expansion across the US Southeast. 

DC Blox isn’t the only data centre operator expanding its presence in the South Carolina market. On March 19, Google announced a $500mn investment in the expansion of its own data centre in Moncks Corner, a coastal suburb of Charlston located some three hours from Greenville. 

DC Blox owns and operates a network of data centres across the Southeastern US, including other facilities in Atlanta, Georgia; Birmingham, Alabama; Huntsville, Alabama; and Chattanooga, Tennessee. Over the coming months, the company has said it intends to announce further projects across its home region, adding that the new Greenville facility, “is positioned to vastly improve digital infrastructure capabilities for businesses throughout Greenville and Spartanburg counties, and the State of South Carolina.” 

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Jun 20, 2021

Schneider Electric reveals new IT Innovation report

3 min
Schneider Electric has released the Digital Economy and Climate Impact report revealing new innovations for sustainability and resiliency in data centres

Schneider Electric has released a new IT innovations report titled “Digital Economy and Climate Impact”, with the aim of gaining an understanding of how digitised and smart applications will be powered in the future. The company says that the report predicts that IT sector-related electricity demand is expected to increase by almost 50% by 2030. 

Despite this, the report also shows that emissions would not increase by more than 26% by the same year, following the decarbonisation of the electricity system. In an attempt to reduce this rise in emissions the Schneider Electric TM Sustainability Research Institute recommends continued efforts in achieving efficiencies on the IT and energy sides at both the component and system levels. 

The report highlights how the rise of edge computing technologies require a “specific focus” due to these systems being less efficient than hyperscale data centres. “When the world locked down, it also logged on and internet traffic soared,” said Pankaj Sharma, EVP, Secure Power, Schneider Electric. 

“It’s misleading to assume that digital activity will inevitably result in a deeply problematic increase in CO2 emissions. The analysis from the Schneider Electric Sustainability Institute puts to rest many of the worst-case scenario claims predicting IT-related electricity use will double every five years. That said, as an industry, we must remain vigilant in finding new sources of sustainability gains while ensuring resiliency as digital keeps life moving forward”, he added. 

As well as the release of the report, Schneider Electric also announced several updates to its EcoStruxure IT data center infrastructure management software, Galaxy VL 3-phase uninterruptable power supply (UPS), introducing an industry-leading single-phase UPS, the APC™ Smart-UPS™ Ultra. All introductions are designed to advance the industry forward in meeting sustainability goals while increasing the resiliency of IT and data centre infrastructure, the company said. 

Managing hybrid data center and edge IT environments

Also showcased in Schneider Electric’s report are the increasing demands on digital consumption. According to the company, these create a more complex hybrid environment inclusive of enterprise, cloud, and edge data centres. Addressing the unique management challenges of a hybrid IT environment, Schneider Electric has announced updates to its EcoStruxure IT software to increase efficiency and resiliency, including:

  • Increased remote management capabilities: New granular remote device configuration features enable users to change configurations on one or more devices – including the new Galaxy VL and APC Smart-UPS Ultra single-phase UPS units – from one centralised platform with EcoStruxure IT Expert. This update, combined with previously released software insights on device security health, enables the user to identify faulty devices or configurations and address them in a matter of clicks, keeping their hybrid IT environment secure.
  • Improved environmental monitoring: Environmental monitoring systems ensure users have eyes and ears on data centre and IT deployments from anywhere, anytime. With this update, users can push mass configurations remotely for NetBotz cameras 750 and 755 quickly and efficiently increasing security across the critical infrastructure.
  • Enhanced remote capacity modeling and planning: With EcoStruxure IT Advisor’s new capabilities, users can remotely compare an unlimited number of racks and easily identify available capacity, view what assets are deployed and their dependencies.

Sharma concluded: “Schneider Electric has been focused on sustainability for the past 15 years and was recently named the most sustainable corporation in the world. We have embraced the mindset that future innovation will deliver better efficiency across the broader connectivity landscape. By making smart intentional choices, our industry can help mitigate how much electricity and emissions result from the rising appetite for digital technologies”.

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