New Telus data centre now bound for Rimouski

Three years after promising to build a Tier III data centre for Internet-related services in Quebec, Telus Corp. has renewed its vow but changed the location and increased its size.

The Vancouver-based telecommunications company says that Rimouski will be the location for the new $65 million facility instead of the Montreal suburb of Laval.

Acccording to Shawn Myron, director of the utility’s hosted data centre services and solutions, it will have 10 times the power capacity of the the Laval facility, which announced in 2008 just as the recession was begining.

“We want to continue to serve our business customers and offer services like managed hosting and IT outsourcing, and to lay the foundation for growing opportunities like cloud compugting and unified communications,” Myron said.

A Telus spokesman said the planned Laval project, at 44,500 square feet of space, ended up being too small for the needs of customers. The Rimouski data centre, which is expected to open in 2012, will be 115,000 square feet if fully built out.

While most of the customers will likely be in the Montreal area, the data centre location was also switched to Rimouski becuase of its distance 250 kilometres from that city. An increasing number of organizations want all or a portion of their computing needs located away from urban centres, Myron said.

Telus also has a significant presence in Rimouski, with a staff of about 1,400 in call centres and sales offices.

The facility will be Telus’ third Tier III data centre, and the first it has built to that standard since 2001.

According to the Uptime Institute, a Tier III data centre has redundant delivery paths for power and cooling in addition to redundant power supplies and cooling equipment. Telus also has three Tier II data centres in Quebec.

It will also be the telco’s first data centre built to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environnmental Design) Gold standards

which will have a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of 1.15. the PUE is a ratio of the total amount of power used in a data centre to the power delivered to computing equipment. An ideal is a rating of 1.0.

As such it will be “significantly” more power efficient than earlier data centres, Myron said.

The facility itself will be built by Skanska AB, a Swedish-based construction conglomerate with expertise in data centres.

It will be built to a modular design, Myron said, making it easier to add capacity than other data centres, as well as giving it the ability to take advantage of newer technologies in the future.

Telus calls it an intelligent data centre because it will have the ability link to the company’s other data centres and shift workloads in a true cloud computing model.