Data's In Demand
Chicago data centers have some of the lowest vacancies in the country, and the experts will explain why at Bisnow’s 3rd Annual Chicago Data Center Boom on Feb. 25. Mortenson Construction senior design phase manager Patrick Davis tells us he’s seeing imminent need for data center space from Mortenson’s customers, but companies remain very cautious when making data decisions. (Maybe online profiles could work... they help people make dating decisions.) Mortenson builds data centers for enterprise, colocation, and Internet services clients around the country, helping corporate, healthcare, and higher-education firms determine if they should build internally or use a third-party provider.
Patrick’s bullish on the Chicago data center market, noting it’s the crossroads for fiber across the country, one of the best locations for resisting natural disasters, and power rates are low with reliable service (can’t forget all your Fortune 500 neighbors). Companies have used a lot of Band-Aids in the last five years to help their data limp through the recession, creating pent-up demand that is finally regaining capital. And big data is looming, with advances like electronic medical records ballooning the size of data healthcare customers require. An avid concertgoer, Patrick estimates he’s seen Phish almost 100 times.
Involta CEO Bruce Lehrman (snapped on the day he got his pilot license last fall) could travel through the cloud backwards with his eyes closed, so we’ve also tapped his expertise. Involta’s seeing steady growth in its secondary market strategy for colocation, with more mid- to large-enterprise organizations adopting Involta as third-party manager for their infrastructure. The next big decision is a private cloud versus hybrid cloud strategy, Bruce says, which comes down to compliance issues. Most customers are dealing with auditors and assessing risk around IT infrastructure outside of their own four walls, and both the public and private options have economic merits.
It’s all about security and reliability, Bruce says. A company could store its development and testing environments in shared cloud space, but keep its critical applications like storage and computing private. (Like a high school diary.) He’s noticed Chicago companies looking to move their data outside of the metro area, and Involta has built fiber connectivity between the city and its Iowa data center. The firm’s also building out its private cloud environments across different data centers, working on a big expansion in the Akron, Ohio market, and building a new data center in Boise, Idaho. An outdoorsman who enjoys biking and skiing, Bruce also likes to escape the winter and relax in warmer climates.