PAETEC Holding Corp. officially opened an expansive, high-tech data center yesterday in Andover, MA, approximately 24 miles north of Boston. This new flagship center will help customers maintain their critical data, server operating applications, network, and communications assets. It also represents a major step forward for the company towards supporting cloud computing.

According to Arunas Chesonis, chairman and CEO, PAETEC, the center not only serves companies in New England, but those nationwide with a need for geographic redundancy or a presence on the East Coast for reduced latency. The two-story, 92,700 square feet facility includes nearly an acre of raised floor space available for customers to collocate their servers, routers, and other communication equipment.

The new data center marks the first of many steps PAETEC will take over the next 18 months to open eight more data centers across the country, with new centers in Houston, Milwaukee, and Phoenix scheduled for later this year. Across the nation, PAETEC has 1.4 million square feet or more than 32 acres of data center space. It serves customers in financial services, government, healthcare, higher education, and hospitality industries.

According to Chesonis, these new sites will be in addition to sites that might be acquired to take advantage of opportunities and add to the firms’s nationwide footprint. Chesonics said that PAETEC already has presence in 85 of the nation’s top 100 markets. New sites would allow them to offer additional services or reduced cost at these facilities. Many of these sites became part of the PAETEC porfolio after its 2008 acquisition of McLeod USA. Cautious integration of these facilities and consistent upgrading has allow PAETEC to develop a consistent level of service throughout its facilities.

The Andover center will offer Data Backup and Recovery to ensure regulatory compliance, disaster preparedness, and business continuity, as well as Dedicated Hosted Services and Shared Web Hosting based on a customer's need to either maintain complete administrative control or completely outsource network monitoring and management.

"We're utilizing our more than ten years of data center experience along with our advanced portfolio of communication solutions," added Chesonis. "As a result, we've built an infrastructure that will responsibly serve our customers' needs now and in the future as we continue our data center expansion efforts, implement virtualization, and provide server consolidation, content acceleration, and software as a service offerings."

PAETEC's data center solutions are hosted in its highly secure central office and data center collocation sites around the country. Supported by a staff of 11 with a 24x7 Technical Assistance Center (TAC), the Andover center with connections to a diverse OC-48 fiber ring has redundant power to the grid, backed-up by five 1400 horsepower, one-megawatt generators with 30,000 gallons of diesel fuel. To keep the center at an optimum temperature for customer equipment, the center boasts 2000 tons of cooling capacity, which will pull from outside air in winter months to help reduce energy costs and overall consumption for increased efficiencies.

According to Chris Lodge, vice president of Data Centers, the new center will be highly reliable and very energy efficient. He said, “We replaced all the electrical components and are achieving great efficiency using GE’s new line of inverters, batteries, and UPS.” He estimates system efficiency at 94 percent at the six-megawatt facility. He also describes an innovative plate-and-frame chiller system that will allow them to achieve a calculated PUE as low as 1.6 in the winter, with higher values expected in the summer.

The Andover facility is also expected to achieve high reliability. PAETEC is offering a 100 percent SLA guarantee on power and cooling, counting on a reliability scheme that includes four primary and four secondary feeds, dual power supplies fed by a 2N UPS configuration and two PDUs.