T5 Atlanta Data Center Nears Completion

I received a progress report from the good people over at T5 Data Centers today regarding the construction of their Atlanta data center.  It looks like their 100,500 sqft wholesale data center will be rack ready next month and fully commissioned by November of this year.

Here are a few facility design characteristics from the

  • Tier 3+ Data Center
  • 6.0 MW critical, expandable to 7.5 MW critical
  • Rack installations September, 2011; fully
    commissioned November, 2011
  • 100,500 sf purpose-built data center building
  • 54,000 sf of 36” raised floor production space
  • 20’ Clear Height above 36” raised floor
  • Structure/roof built to wind loads of 146 mph (Miami-Dade County)
  • Natural and man-made security measures with 150’
  • Densities of 120 – 200 watts/sf
  • Designed to LEED Silver Certified

For more information or about the facility or leasing space contact:

Jason Chartrand

(o) 404.239.7144

(m) 404.993.5996




Physical security for data center infrastructure

I’ve always found it interesting that data centers seem to be of two minds when it comes to physical security.  Most data centers employ elaborate, multilayered physical security strategies to control access to their IT devices.  Security guards, access badges, security code generators, turnstiles, biometric devices and webcams can all be found in abundance protecting the “white space” of every well operated/well designed data center.   Yet these same data centers will secure their “grey space” devices such as generators, chillers and fuel supplies using only the most rudimentary of security devices. 

Obviously, the threat of data theft and other cyber attacks demand a high level of physical security for the white space.  But physical security is also about preventing loss or damage to critical physical infrastructure components. 

For data centers, physical security is also about reliability and operational continuity.  Leaving critical electrical or mechanical infrastructure relatively unprotected provides the thief, disgruntled employee, corporate saboteur or state sponsored agent a handy and quick path to disrupt data center uptime. 

In my career, I’ve seen a number of instances where simple thieves took advantage of unprotected grey space data center assets and caused data center outages.  In one case, thieves used bolt cutters to access the emergency generator yard of a suburban data center.  They quickly made off with 10,000 gallons of diesel fuel from a storage tank.  (The thieves were savvy enough to trick the Veeder Root system into not sending a tank low level alarm.)  Later that month, a lightning strike took out utility power.  The generators ran for a few minutes until their day tanks went dry.  Then they sputtered and failed; plunging the data center into darkness. 

In another case, a bold pair of copper thieves stole drycoolers coils from the roof of an operating data center.  After the staff went home for the night, thieves cut a padlock that secured the ladder to the building’s roof.  A few minutes later camera footage shows the thieves tossing copper coils off the roof of the data center into the bed of their waiting truck.  A few minutes later, servers started shutting off on overtemp.                

If simple thieves can cause this sort of mayhem and data center downtime, image what a well coordinated attack on your physical infrastructure could achieve.  Protect your WHOLE data center.  Consult a physical security professional to evaluate your vulnerability.  Penetration testing in not just for IT systems.

More growth for ATL data center market

Here’s more good news for the Atlanta data center marketplace.  The Atlanta Business Chronicle reported in this week’s edition that more downtown Atlanta real estate will be converted into data center space.  The article reports that:

Westplan Investors Inc., owner of the 21-story 55 Marietta Street building…said last week month it would begin converting 200,000 square feet for more data centers”

Factors and trends cited as contributing to the transitions include:

  • “55 Marietta is 50% vacant”
  • Telx (56 Marietta) and Quality Technology Services (1033 Jefferson St.) see steady demand for data center space.  Telx for example has 56 Marietta almost 100% leased”
  • “All the buildings are located near dense fiber optic infrastructure or, like 55 Marietta, a major Internet exchange where several telecom carriers converge”
  • Data center “Demand is spiking as companies focus on their core businesses and outsource data hosting and management.”
  • “relatively inexpensive and stable electricity supply also draws power hungry data centers to the region…averages 6 to 7 cents per kilowatt hour”
  • “proximity to globally connected Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport”

The 55 Marietta conversion further solidifies Atlanta’s position as a national hub for data center activity.  The Atlanta area already hosts major data centers of both the colocation and corporate enterprise types.  Residents with significant data center footprints include, Google, E*Trade, Coca-Cola, Home Depot, HP, GE, QTS, RIM and Internap.  The QTS facility at 1033 Jefferson is also noted as:

“the world’s second largest data center, a nearly 1 million-square-foot giant”

It’s activity like this that led Tier1 Research to declare Atlanta:

“one of the fastest-growing markets in the United States for data center demand and construction”

Way to go ATL!

What the world needs now is…another data center blog?

Okay, maybe not.  I’m starting one anyway.  Here’s what to expect;

  • I’m an electrical and mechanical infrastructure guy.  I speak the language of watts, amps, BTUs and CFM.  You can expect my posts to touch on issues related to this type of infrastructure and probably not include a lot about IT gear.
  • I know the data center market in Southeast Region of the U.S. best.  As a result, I’ll be posting news and articles of note that occur in this region.  I’m not going to try to be exclusive to this territory.  If it interests me, I post news from wherever I please.  Deal with it.  
  • Like everyone else in this industry, I’m always thinking about strategies for greening the data center.  I’ll try not to rehash or repost a bunch of filler that everyone has heard a dozen times.  So, I guess you can say I’m interested in “fresh greens” 
  • I’m interested in cybersecurity for physical infrastructure.  If you’re concerned that the nation’s electrical grid, water supply or your data center is susceptible to cyber attack…well, yeah.  I am too.  Read about it here.
  • Jobs!  I run a couple of networking groups in the Region.  From time to time, I hear about new jobs opening up in the data center market.  I’ll keep you updated on who’s hiring, what they are looking for and where to apply.

So that’s it.  Like all beginning bloggers, I’m going to aim for a post a day.  Join me!