Data center facilities pro

Aug 16 2010   5:41PM GMT

Firehost builds data center instead of paying for colo inefficiency

Matt Stansberry Matt Stansberry Profile: Matt Stansberry

Chris Drake, CEO of secure managed hosting provider Firehost is working on building out a new data center. The company entered the market two years ago, focusing on hosting sensitive data and Websites for customers like ABC, Fossil and DHL.

Firehost is moving into an old Nortel Networks building in Dallas. Drake said he expects to begin construction in two months, opening up in the middle of 2011. Right now Firehost can use 1,500-2000 square feet of data center, and plans to do a modular build out to 2,600 sq ft of data center in the new facility.

Firehost decided to build its own data center, because Drake was sick of getting charged for colo operators’ inefficiencies.

“I’ve walked 15 data centers in the last few months, and the only people deploying energy efficient data centers are enterprises hosting their own stuff,” Drake said. “Colocation data center providers are passing costs onto their customers.”

Drake said he is paying for power inefficiencies in Firehost’s current data center, where the provider is using two 1.5 KW Liebert CRAC units to cool the servers. “It’s a waste of power to move all of that air,” Drake said. “We’re looking at in-row cooling from APC Schneider electric. Only moves air four inches, and doing hot-air containment on the backside of the cabinets. It’s one tenth the power requirements.”

The other reason Drake decided to build out instead of renting data center space was access. “We’re adding servers every week, as we grow, hopefully that will happen every day. Our engineers will need to access the data center,” Drake said. “We’re only three miles from our colocation data center. Even three miles has been a pain at night, or when things are busy.”

Check out this Q&A or more on the data center build-vs-buy debate.

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