Despite an ongoing recessionary climate, Phoenix-based i/o Data Centers just keeps on growing and doesn’t plan on stopping.
In the last year i/o doubled its number of employees and is looking to expand its Phoenix location. In Oct., i/o announced it closed $200 million in financing for the company’s expansions.
In addition to its Phoenix and Scottsdale centers, i/o wants to establish locations throughout the U.S., as well as manufacture modular data centers, called i/o ANYWHERE, that would allow data center capacity anywhere a customer needs it. The modular data centers would be manufactured in Arizona, adding to i/o’s employment capabilities within the state.
The i/o Data Centers in Phoenix are co-location data centers, which means individual companies hire i/o to store and secure their data at an i/o facility. Approximately 400 companies store their data in i/o’s two Arizona locations.
The impression that i/o stores data is misleading, the company is merely the keeper of the outside package not the internal information, says Jason Ferrara, vice president of marketing at i/o Data Centers.
“You can say i/o stores data, and that’s where I think confusion comes into play,” Ferrara says. “We don’t touch anyone’s data. … We don’t have access to your data, which is a really important thing because the companies we deal with here are literally some of the biggest in the world.”
Its clients, companies such as AAA Insurance and Fender Musical Instruments, “have a competitive advantage by being here,” Ferrara says. Some companies refuse to be named as an i/o client because it gives them a large competitive edge.
“Really what i/o does is we just allow other companies to do their business,” Ferrara says. “We provide them with the infrastructure, the power, the cooling, the network and the access control so that they can conduct their IT operations without failure.”
By using back-up power sources, an evaporative cooling system, and maintaining tight-as-Fort-Knox security, i/o ensures its clients will never go offline.
“They can effectively conduct business 24 by seven by forever,” he says.
Round-the-clock power and flawless security are particularly important for companies such as banks that allow clients to make payments or transfers online, or a company that stores personal information, such as credit card numbers.
Ferrara says Arizona is a perfect place for a data center because of three reasons – Arizona is an exporter of power, which means i/o will never go without power; Arizona is business-friendly; and finally Arizona is free from environmental threats like earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes and tornadoes.
Although many people question the efficiency of running a data center – known to produce a large amount of heat – in one of the hottest cities in the nation, i/o uses a fairly green method of cooling, Ferrara says.
Evaporative cooling systems, which are more effective than air conditioning systems at keeping temperatures low, cool its data centers. Other green practices include LED lighting and variable frequency dry fans, which only operate at the frequency necessary to keep the room at a particular temperature.
In addition to keeping the temperature at a certain level, i/o also uses ultrasonic humidification devices to prevent static electricity from creating a spark and causing an outage, Ferarra says.
“That’s our goal – is uptime – keeping our customers’ computer systems online all the time. And they pay a lot of money for that.”