Wisconsin Independent Network, LLC (WIN) today announced the availability of its new 4200-square-foot data center in downtown Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The company completely refurbished a former Sequent Computer/IBM office and data center in the Banbury Place complex after moving its headquarters to the location this May.
Designed primarily to provide the perfect environment for critical business Information Technology (IT) equipment (such as computer servers and data storage devices), data centers are in increasing demand as businesses look for secure, fault-tolerant alternatives to building and maintaining their own data processing and data storage sites. Earlier this year, Gartner Group and IDC predicted that power and cooling challenges will make a large number of corporate data centers obsolete by 2010.
Several information-intensive industries, including financial and healthcare firms, have regulatory requirements for retaining and backing up electronic information files in geographically separated locations to ensure that a disaster does not destroy their data.
“While metropolitan settings like Milwaukee, Madison, and the Twin Cities are where you usually find this type of facility, we are ideally located in a smaller, less congested, less expensive area right in between these other markets,” explained Scott Hoffmann, WIN’s Executive Director. “Another unique feature is that WIN not only provides the physical space for IT equipment in its Data Center, we also operate an extensive 2,500 mile fiber optic network throughout the region that can securely connect customers in fifty large and small cities in four Midwestern states back to this site. Through the Internet, businesses across the country and around the world can access their IT equipment in this facility as well.”
The Midwest is also a desirable location for at least one large Internet company. In June of this year, Google Inc. announced plans to open a data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
WIN knew that refurbishing the vintage 1990 data center would require extensive upgrades. “When we calculated the power and cooling capacities required for today’s more dense and powerful computer systems, we realized that we needed to replace the existing infrastructure with more
“When we calculated the power and cooling capacities required for today’s more dense and powerful computer systems, we realized that we needed to replace the existing infrastructure with more cost-effective, scalable systems,” stated Matt Yach, WIN’s Director of Operations. “We took a unique distributed approach that enables us to grow the power and cooling capacities of the data center as the need for both increases.”
Besides designing a highly scalable and reliable data center, WIN concentrated on creating a “green” facility by implementing efficient electrical systems, power-saving data storage arrays, and an atmosphere-friendly waterless clean agent fire suppression agent.“WIN hopes that our new Data Center will have a local impact on the greater Eau Claire business district by showing that environmentally friendly facilities can not only work, but work well,” stated Hoffmann.
“WIN hopes that our new data center will have a local impact on the greater Eau Claire business district by showing that environmentally friendly facilities can not only work, but work well,” stated Hoffmann.
Additional features of the WIN Data Center include extensive environmental and security monitoring, on-site back-up power generation, and a soft-loading parallel utility/generator power switching system.
WIN’s sister company Airstream Communications will be the first tenant to utilize part of the new data center for its Internet servers and networking equipment. Airstream provides Internet services to local telephone companies serving over 100,000 Internet customers in Wisconsin. With the opening of the Data Center, WIN anticipates adding additional technology professionals to its current staff of twelve as the demand for its data center services grows.
Formed in 1997, WIN is a full-service provider of wholesale transport network services and next generation IP solutions. WIN and Airstream Communications are both part of Communications Management Group, LLC, a privately-held company owned by 31 independent local telephone companies.
The company’s website may be found at:http://www.wins.net.