Cogeco opens largest data centre
In some Canadian cities there are worries that too many condominiums are being built. There are apparently no such worries about too many data centres.
 
The latest was opened today in Barrie, Ont., an hour’s drive north of Toronto, by Cogeco Data Services (CDS) in what had been the RCMP operations headquarters for the controversial G20 summit in 2010.
(Inside the new Barrie centre)

At 60,000 square feet it will be the largest of CDS’ five data centres (four in the Toronto area, plus one in Vancouver). However, that doesn’t include the 19 data centres parent Cogeco Inc. owns through its acquisition last year of Peer 1 networks.

When the Barrie facility is fully built out in about five years CDS will have spent about $85 million, said Virginia Brailey, CDS’ vice-president of marketing and communications. About 10,000 square feet has already been built.

“There’s a really strong market” for data centre services, Brailey (pictured above) said in an interview, “and it crosses a number of service areas. The economics don’t make sense for organizations to build their own facilities, so they’re increasingly outsourcing their requirements. There’s strong growth in the market for co-location, managed IT services, and we see really strong growth in shared and dedicated cloud services.”

CDS offers a wide range of services including cloud (infrastructure as a service, backup and disaster recovery), voice (including SIP trunking) and wavelength. Because it owns its own fibre optic network, data centers and cloud infrastructure so CDS can offer end to end service level agreements, Brailey said.

Although Barrie is the gateway to Toronto’s cottage country, CDS’ facility there will have some  company: Last year IBM Canada opened a $25,000 sq. ft. facility.

The location is ideal for Toronto-area organizations that want a data recovery site far enough from the city to cover almost all potential problems but not too far away, Brailey said.

A heavily protected structure built to suit police needs is ideal for a security-conscious data centre. It came with secure fencing, and then CDS added features like biometric access control and other security tricks.

As for the data centre itself, it’s built to exceed Tier III standards with redundant power supplies and two separate power feeds. It is also efficient, with an EcoBreeze cooling system from Schneider Electric, that takes advantage of outside air for chilling without allowing it to mix with the much cleaner inside air.  CDS promises customers 100 per cent up time.

Meanwhile, CDS plans to open a sixth data centre late next year in the Montreal suburb of Kirkland.

 In April Cogeco Inc. [TSX: CGO]  released its financial results for the second quarter, saying revenue was up 32 per cent to $485 million. Profit hit $56.5 million.



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