Accessing Expedient Data Center’s newest Cleveland location is a little like entering an exclusive nightclub. Inside an unmarked building, a stalwart doorkeeper buzzes authorized visitors with valid ID through two sets of doors. The premises are constantly monitored with 32 closed-circuit cameras. Such measures are all for the sake of security, which is what the data center business is all about.“
Our job is to make sure that your environment, whatever you bring us,” says David Saliba, Expedient’s regional vice president, “it’s up and running 24/7.” This latest center is the 10th company-wide and the third in Cleveland, bringing its total local storage space to 50,000 square feet. We got an inside look at how the company’s newest data storage facility keeps Cleveland’s data safe and secure.
POWER PLAY » Each of Expedient’s storage facilities have multiple, uninterruptible power supplies connected to hardware via cords that run under the floor. Its newest Cleveland facility also has two 1,500-kilowatt generators for every 6,000 square feet of storage space, which can pick up the load in case of a power outage. “In our world, if you lose power to your data center, you’re done,” says Saliba.
TECH CONNECT » To avoid the possibility of data loss due to a power interruption, Expedient employs a cloud-based backup system. Not only are each of its facilities linked through the cloud, a network of fiber-optic cables also keeps data physically connected. “We run and manage our own private [10GB] fiber ring,” says Saliba, which allows customers to easily store and transfer data among any of its locations.
HOT AND COLD » To keep equipment cool, a “cold-row, hot-row” system of vents alternates chilled air with warm exhaust, and flooring is raised a full 2 feet off the ground. The floor is clean, too: Adhesive mats at each entrance remove particulates that could otherwise clog hardware from street shoes. Fire extinguishers are installed at floor level to reduce the risk of electrical damage posed by overhead sprinklers. “Water’s typically pretty bad for equipment,” says Saliba.
(LOW) RISKY BUSINESS » Besides keeping a low-profile exterior, Expedient builds its facilities in low-risk locations. “We’re not downtown, we’re not near any body of water, we’re not near any railroad track,” says Saliba, which he says keeps the chance of a natural or physical accident low. And while all employees have key cards to access common areas, only a few are able to enter the data floors, which are protected by biometric hand scanners.
OPEN-DOOR POLICY » Security measures are stringent, but Expedient offers round-the-clock access for customers. “If [customers] need to visit the data center, they can come here,” says Saliba. Plus, two dedicated support centers monitor all three Cleveland data centers, assisting clients both locally and remotely.