Data center service provider Venyu announced in late April that is expanding its portfolio beyond Louisiana for the first time with a new Mississippi data center.
The facility will serve as a disaster recovery center and will be built within a refurbished department store in Jackson. There is little interest from national service providers to build new sites in areas like Mississippi, creating an underserved market. However, Venyu has made its mark on the industry by helping businesses navigate potential disasters, making this new facility an ideal venture for the company. With experience running Louisiana data centers and enduring massive storms like Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Gustav with impeccable uptime, Venyu executives felt it was time to expand further into the South.
The Jackson data center will serve as a complementary facility to Venyu's Louisiana infrastructure, providing a location that is less vulnerable to weather for those in the area while still being located within 150 miles. Jackson is Mississippi's most populous city, and as a result, all of the major telecoms run through the area and are fairly close to where the site will be, according to Venyu executive vice president Matt Wallace.
The Mississippi data center will be built in the same manner as the company's Baton Rouge data center, which opened last year. Both facilities have a capacity of 2 MW and are designed for 5 kW per rack.
Making Something Old New Again
Venyu is no stranger to repurposing buildings to meet its needs. For its Baton Rouge data center campus, the company used a former mall, converting a movie theater into the first facility and a department store into the second. The Jackson site will also be converted from an old department store, which will need to be structurally reinforced before the heavy equipment necessary to run a data center can be kept inside. The building will cost about $35 million to refurbish.
Abandoned or rundown malls and department stores have solid foundations and a lack of windows that are ideal for storing servers. In Mississippi and Louisiana where the summer gets especially hot, a lack of outside light can help keep cooling costs down. The Jackson data center will feature cooling and power transformers on a specially built mezzanine level that will look directly over each row of racks. On the computing floor, heat rises up through a plenum that leads into the mezzanine and is sucked into the building's AC returns where it is cooled and sent back down in a closed loop design.
Along with the Jackson data center, Venyu is also partnering with the University of Mississippi Medical Center to build a facility that will house the school's telehealth initiative, leveraging its power and network infrastructure.
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