STARKVILLE, Miss. – With its new, state-of-the-art $20 million data center only nine months from opening, C Spire announced today that it has signed an agreement to provide Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company with data center services to support its enhanced business continuity program.
The 23,800-square-foot center is located on a 6.5 acre site at the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park in Starkville, Mississippi. C Spire began site excavation, grading and foundation work in November and plans to complete construction on the initial phase in November 2014, when Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company and other firms are expected to begin using the center.
When it opens, the center will be one of only 52 in the U.S. with a Tier 3 or 4 rating, the highest in the industry based on data center certifications by the Uptime Institute. C Spire’s Tier 3-plus facility will be the premiere data center in the Southeast with ample commercial space available for businesses and government agencies and the only one in its class and capability within 250 miles of its location.
“The data center industry and computing solutions have grown and advanced at a staggering pace. Unfortunately, the industry has also grown further and further away from its customers,” said Kevin Hankins, COO for C Spire. “We are changing that. Our center and the solutions it houses will be world class. What’s more important is that we will know our customers intimately, we will be highly flexible in tailoring services to meet their needs and the level of attention and support they will receive will be unmatched.”
Local officials in Starkville and Oktibbeha County, who provided tax incentives to support the project, said construction and operation of the facility is the largest private sector investment in the region’s history.
“This significant private sector technology infrastructure investment by a great Mississippi company will help us build a strong economic future for this region,” said Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman.
Along with its location in a low-risk geographic zone, the center boasts direct access to C Spire’s ring-protected fiber optic network and will be managed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year by the company’s locally-based, award-winning IT staff. C Spire has been named to InformationWeek 500’s top technology innovators list for two years in row.
Other services C Spire plans to offer at the center include colocation, managed hosting, computing, storage, disaster recovery, enterprise cloud services, network and connectivity. In addition, the center will feature the latest security infrastructure, complete disaster contingency plans, a C Spire solutions center and management office and conference room space for traveling client IT staff.
General contractor for the data center project is Brasfield and Gorrie, LLC of Birmingham. Architects are Syska Hennessy Group, Inc. of Atlanta, Piper O’Brien Herr of Alpharetta, Georgia and Dale Partners in Jackson, Mississippi. Civil engineering services for the center will be provided by Pritchard Engineering in Starkville, Mississippi.