Business

$20 million data center opens in Douglas County

OneNeck cites incentives offered by Douglas County

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OneNeck IT Solutions has completed the first phase of a new $20 million, 35,000-square-foot Tier 3 data center in northern Douglas County.

On hand for a June 23 tour of the facility were all three Douglas County commissioners and state Sen. Chris Holbert, R-Parker, who heralded the project as an example of the county's business-friendly climate.

“If it weren't for the tax incentives, the construction incentives, etc., we probably wouldn't be here,” said Terry Swanson, a vice president for OneNeck. “We're here because Douglas County is a great place to do business.”

Swanson said the Denver metro area was a good choice to open its first Colorado location because geographically it links their data centers in the Midwest and Phoenix. The company is based in Chicago.

According to OneNeck, Denver ranks eighth in the U.S. for the most attractive places to build a data center facility. The company says it ranks above places like New York, Dallas and Chicago.

“It was mentioned that Douglas County did tax incentives, and I just want to remind everyone that we did not collect the business personal property tax,” County Commissioner Jill Repella said. “We did not give any taxes away. It's very interesting to hear people talk about tax incentives. It's not a subsidy. This stimulus and what this business brings to our community by far exceeds what the business personal property tax value does.”

Repella said there was a firm commitment by the county commissioners about six or seven years ago, when the county was rolling into the recession, to make jobs a priority.

“Pretty much every building permit that comes through Douglas County we try to expedite to meet the schedule for that business, because when a business door is open, revenue is flowing through the business to employees and being spent in our community,” Repella said.

The data center, near Peoria Street and County Line Road at 8675 Concord Center Drive, is built like a fortress.

Retina scanners are used by employees to access each room. The center has six separate data rooms, with 15-inch-thick walls between them, and the roof is made of concrete. Special HVAC equipment and water sources are kept completely out of data rooms.

“This is truly a fortress unlike any other commercial data center here in the mountain states area,” said Hank Koch, a vice resident for OneNeck. “It's a proven design. We've used it in a couple other of our data center builds, but this one improves on our reference architecture.”

Plans call for the center to expand to 160,000 square feet.

What is a data center?

A data center is a facility used to house computer systems and associated components, such as telecommunications and storage systems. It generally includes redundant or backup power supplies, redundant data communications connections, environmental controls and various security devices.

There are four tiers of data centers. The Douglas County facility is a Tier 3 center.

This means:

• There are multiple independent distribution paths serving the IT equipment.

• All IT equipment must be dual-powered and fully compatible with the topology of a site's architecture.

• There must be concurrently maintainable site infrastructure with expected availability of 99.982 percent.

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