Chattanooga data center already eyeing expansion

Chattanooga data center already eyeing expansion

September 27th, 2017 by Mike Pare in Business Around the Region

Jeff Uphues, dcBLOX Chief Executive Officer, points to generators that keep the dcBLOX data center in Chattanooga, Tenn., constantly running Friday, Sept. 22, 2017. One key to the company's success is redundancy with multiples of almost every piece that keeps the business operating if one piece fails.

Photo by Erin O. Smith

Gallery: Chattanooga data center eyes expansion

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“We like to think the Gig City got a lot faster.”
Jeff Uphues, chief executive of dcBLOX

An Atlanta company that put in a $10 million data center in Chattanooga earlier this year says it has picked up key clients such as Mohawk Industries and EPB and already is eyeing an expansion.

"Based on the plan we've got, within the next two years (we expect) a physical expansion," said Jeff Uphues, chief executive of dcBLOX.

Uphues said Comcast, Windstream and AT&T also are local customers of dcBLOX's data center at Main Street and Central Avenue.

"We like to think the Gig City got a lot faster," Uphues said, adding that the data center brings the power of the internet closer to markets not in traditional centers such as Atlanta.

Such data centers "make Chattanooga an on ramp to cloud computing," he said.

The facility enables customers to transfer, back up and restore large business-critical data sets and systems in minutes, if not seconds, according to the company.

Plans are to fill the site, which is about the size of a convenience store and employs five people, and expand to meet customer demand, Uphues said.

Kurt Stoever, chief product and marketing officer for dcBLOX, cited an adjacent tract about the same size as the center's existing footprint as the expansion site.

He said plans would be to "flip" the data center's square footage for a future expansion.

Uphues said dcBLOX wants to serve cities in other states in the Southeast including Alabama and Georgia.

According to the company, it's designing, building and will operate "a network of innovative data centers to bring best-in-class cloud computing" to the Southeast.

While more than 19 million people live in major data center markets such as Phoenix, Chicago and Dallas-Fort Worth, those serve just 7 percent of the U.S. population, according to the company. Its goal is to bring its uninterrupted streaming audio and video, jitter-free virtual and augmented reality, and millisecond response to the remaining 93 percent.

Uphues declined to give annual revenues for the business, but expected those to rise four times through 2018.

He said one key to the Chattanooga center is its redundancy, noting it has a diesel-run generator on site in case electricity is disrupted. Right next to it is an identical generator for even more redundancy.

"We've got another as a backup," Uphues said.

Additionally, the company CEO said, the site has redundant cooling and utility feeds.

The company decided to locate the facility in Chattanooga due to EPB's smart grid and the city's proximity to major fiber lines. Key in-ground fiber carriers run between Atlanta and Chattanooga and offer a lot of connectivity, officials said.

Contact Mike Pare at mpare@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6318.


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