Wyoming Data Center Activity: New Facilities, State Contracts

August 11, 2014

"The data center industry seems to be particularly interested in Wyoming recently, with a number of service providers announcing plans for new and expanded facilities. At the same time, state officials recently noted that they are looking to contract with private data center vendors to rent space in their facilities.

Microsoft's New Cheyenne Data Center
One company looking to expand its service footprint in the state is Microsoft, which announced plans in April for a new data center in Cheyenne. According to the Star Tribune, the computing giant previously established two computing facilities in the Cheyenne LEADS North Range Business Park, just west of the city. The new structure will be constructed on the site and is a part of the company's $500 million investment in the state, $274 million of which will go toward the new data center.

The new facility, which is slated to come online in the summer of 2015, will not only provide property tax revenue for the region, but could also create as many as 400 new construction employment opportunities. At the same time, the Star Tribune noted that while the first 50 acres in the business park were given to the company, Microsoft will purchase the additional 30 acres needed for the new data center. Randy Bruns, CEO of Cheyenne LEADS, the company that owns the land, said they weren't trying to make any money from the Microsoft deal, but were instead looking to foster economic development in the area.

""That reaches deep into your economy,"" Bruns said. ""That's an immediate boost. Then you have the ongoing sales of electricity and the sales tax on that. And sales tax on a lot of building materials. It creates hundreds of taxable events that add to the state, as well as the local public sector.""

Overall, Microsoft noted that the new Cheyenne facility will bolster their cloud services, allowing for the best delivery for clients in the area.

Green House Data's New Cheyenne Data Center
Green House Data also looked toward the Cheyenne area for their footprint expansion, and recently opened a new data center there at the end of July. Wyoming News reported that construction began in August 2013, when ground was broken for the $35 million data center. The new structure sits next to the company's original facility, but is four times as big at 35,000 square feet.

The new data center also features best-in-class security features including PIN codes, magnetic card recognition systems, biometric fingerprint authentication access and redundancy built in for every component. Art Salazar, Green House Data director for data center facilities and compliance, noted that these measures will ensure uptime.

""Some companies are literally making tons of money per minute, and if they're down for just an hour, that's very costly to these companies doing Internet business and things of that nature,"" Salazar said. ""That's what data centers are all about, that 100 percent uptime. You can lost part of your heating, part of your cooling'¦part of your carriers, your circuits, and you still remain up and running.""

One of the first clients of the new Cheyenne facility is the state of Wyoming itself, which acquired 56 racks in the data center for its ownservers and equipment.

""The state is so pleased to have these,"" noted Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead. ""It's a great asset for the state, especially as we look at expanding what we can do here.""

State Officials Look To Contract With Private Service Vendors
Just under two weeks after Green House Data celebrated the opening of its Cheyenne data center, Wyoming state officials announced plans to contract with private vendors for their data center services needs, Wyoming News reported.

Decision-makers voted to allow a plan that would enable $800,000 to be spent on contracts with private data centers to meet their computing needs. This represents startup capital in an initiative that will see the state moving its data centers to rented space in private facilities. The plan is currently temporary and comes in preparation for major renovations to take place at the state's data center at the Herschler Building.

""In the long run, I believe it makes far more sense for us to partner with folks who manage data well as their full-time job rather than try to continue to expand our walls out to capture all the data that the state is going to need,"" said Flint Waters, Wyoming chief information officer. ""This accelerates (our plans) dramatically, and it changes our sequence, but it very much fits within our plan.""

In addition to the initial $800,000, the project also includes annual costs of $1.5 million, which takes into account the approximate $950,000 in yearly power costs. The primary startup capital will come from the $259 million officials approved for improvements to the Herschler Building as well as the state capitol.

(Microsoft Data Center Million Dollar Expansion in Wyoming)"



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    "The data center industry seems to be particularly interested in Wyoming recently, with a number of service providers announcing plans for new and expanded facilities. At the same time, state officials recently noted that they are looking to contract with private data center vendors to rent space in their facilities. ...