DC BLOX to build Tier III data centre in North Carolina
DC Blox has announced it has acquired land in High Point in the US state of North Carolina to build the first highly secure Tier III data centre in the Carolina Core.
The US$305mn investment will be the first of its kind in the market and will utilise the company’s fully redundant network infrastructure, which has a 99.99% uptime Service Level Agreement (SLA).
The new building will provide a total of 54,000 sq ft of data hall space and 6,700 sq ft of tenant space, including conference rooms and workspaces.
The US-based IT service management company has said that the data centre will provide Core Digital Infrastructure Solutions for organisations in the Carolina Core, which includes the High Point, Winston-Salem and Greensboro markets.
Several organisations supported DC BLOX in the development of the new centre.
said: “The High Point Economic Development Corporation, the Guilford County Economic Development Alliance, the City of High Point and Guilford County have been great partners supporting and enabling DC BLOX to develop a new Tier III data centre in this location.”
Uphues added that this allowed tax incentives to be approved, accelerating the company’s growth.
He also pointed out that the new facility will encourage digital transformation with the help of several local and state businesses and agencies.
“[The data centre] will enable enterprise businesses across industries, local and state government agencies, higher education institutions and managed service providers across North Carolina with major market capabilities, connectivity solutions and highly reliable services to enable effective digital transformation,” said Uphues.
Talking about the location for the new facility, Interim Director of the High Point Economic Development Corporation, Sandy Dunbeck, said: “DC BLOX has chosen High Point to build a multi-tenant data centre that could add more than $305 million to our tax base, which is the largest capital investment project for High Point in the 15 years since I have been with the High Point EDC.
“We are grateful for the company’s confidence in our city and our community,” she said.
DC BLOX claims that the centre will offer “a minimum of N+1 redundancy in power when it is completed.
The latest site will join DC Blox’s existing fleet of data centres located in Huntsville, Atlanta, Birmingham, Chattanooga, and Greenville.
Praising the organisation, High Point’s Mayor, Jay Wagner, said: “Throughout these last several months and over our many discussions, it has become clear to me that DC BLOX is a first-rate company.
He added: “We know the company will find High Point to be the perfect location to handle that mission.”
Digital transformation in data centres
Industries are welcoming digital transformation to data centres. The reason for this is due to the accelerating growth of data and infrastructure. Data centres that are well connected with digital transformation in mind are able to run IT infrastructure and protect equipment more reliably than a centre that is not as well connected.
The DC BLOX Tier III data centre in North Carolina aims to incorporate this to enable greater efficiency and data protection.
NUS and NTU launch cooling project for tropical data centres
The National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), have announced a project in an attempt to source and develop new cooling solutions for data centres located in tropical areas. According to the companies, the programme costs S$23mn (US$17.1mn) and plans to research, build and test innovative and sustainable cooling solutions.
The Sustainable Tropical Data Centre Testbed (STDCT)
The NUS and NTU say that the Sustainable Tropical Data Centre Testbed (STDCT) will act as a research point and innovation hub for the project. Facebook, along with the National Research Foundation Singapore (NRF), is also involved, providing funding for the programme. Further support from other partners includes the Infocomm Media Development Authority, Ascenix, CoolestDC Keppel Data Centres, Red Dot Analytics, and New Media Express.
Commenting on working with the companies, Facebook Vice President of Infrastructure, Alex Johnson, said: “We are excited about the opportunity to partner NUS, NTU, Keppel Data Centres and the CoolestSG community to develop innovative solutions that reduce the carbon footprint and energy consumption of the average data centre, particularly those located in tropical areas like Singapore”.
The NTU and NUS highlight that Singapore houses 60% of Southeast Asia’s total data centre market, and aims to supply 12% of the country’s total energy needs by 2030. This results in the need to reduce the carbon footprints and power consumption of data centres, meaning more innovative cooling solutions are required, the NTU and NUS said.
Professor Chen Thuan, Deputy President of Research & Technology at the NUS, said: “Data centres are a critical enabler of the digital economy, but the average data centre can exert a significant environmental burden. Aligned with RIE 2025, sustainability is a key research focus of NUS, and our researchers have deep expertise in developing integrated solutions for tropical, urban and Asian settings”.
How will the Sustainable Tropical Data Centre Testbed (STDCT) help to provide cooling solutions?
According to the NUS and NTU, the STDCT will be built using equipment such as a novel desiccant-coated heat exchanger and a StatePoint Liquid Cooling System (SPLC) designed by both Nortek Air Solutions and Facebook. The institutions also say they will adopt chip-level hybrid cooling to ensure servers remain cool.
Furthermore, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) will aim to manage the “smart operations” of the technologies so that the data centres are water and power efficient, as well as able to preserve equipment and servers.
The NTU and NSU said in a joint statement the combination of the cooling technologies could reduce energy consumption “significantly” and greenhouse gas emissions by up to 25%, compared to traditional air-cooled data centres. If adopted industry-wide across the entire tropical region, the energy usage of the data centre industry could potentially be lowered by at least 40%”, the companies said.
The STDCT is expected to be operational by 1 October 2021.