DC Blox designs, builds, and operates interconnected data centers in underserved and growing markets in the Southeastern U.S. In these markets, colocation in NFL cities or insourced data centers have historically been the predominant source for high-reliability data center services. DC Blox delivers an alternative that allows customers to utilize a data center local to their states and communities without having to build their own. Its markets have modern, efficient, scalable, and reliable, connected data centers right where customers live and do business. Infrastructure needs of businesses in smaller growing markets are no less than companies in major markets, but often have lacked reliable and flexible local infrastructure to meet their goals.
The company focuses on refining designs, improving efficiency, and solving customer infrastructure challenges. Its carrier-grade network offers high speed, high capacity, low latency, and an ecosystem of communications partners that help interconnect all of the elements of the customers’ distributed IT infrastructure in a modular design.
Examples of companies and organizations that rely on DC Blox include financial institutions, health care providers and research institutions, state and local governments, manufacturing, content providers, university systems, and managed service organizations.
Data center providers in NFL cities have consumption models for forecasting demand. Underserved, growing markets do not generally have historical demand data, so DC Blox needed to create a concurrently maintainable design that was both scalable and capital-efficient — one-size-fits-all does not work. The design is distributed, redundant with block sizes from 500 kW to 1 MW with full deployment from 1.5 to 3 MW of critical IT load per data hall. Each data hall is essentially independent with security, SCADA, and utility feeds being the only shared features. This permits a mixing of densities between halls and scalability for growth. For smaller markets, a 500-kW block size can be deployed initially and scaled up. Larger markets can start at 1 MW per hall. The design itself does not change, just the capacities of the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP). Fundamentally, the company can provide customers with a modern, efficient data center that matches current needs and can grow to meet the future demand of each market.
A unique feature is that DC Blox builds to a standard of controlled unclassified information (CUI) with layered security. Should a customer require the ability to up-scope to collateral clearance or higher, the organization is ready with an executed construction security and management plan and have pre-stubbed for guard shack, bag check, and X-ray.
Uptime Institute’s Tier III TCCF Certification is an important part of the DC Blox differentiation strategy. While it is common for other data centers to be based in the same markets, most are not Tier III designed or certified. The Tier III Certification establishes the baseline of capability by which competing alternatives must be measured.
Uptime Institute’s Tier III TCCF Certification was selected as a practical way of establishing brand credibility, as DC Blox is a relatively new brand. The company also found that many customers and prospects require Tier III Certification and the reliability it represents as a prerequisite in RFPs.
DC Blox and Uptime Institute performed the Tier III Certification of a constructed facility in an active data center under pandemic guidelines. At the beginning of the pandemic, Uptime Institute introduced new remote service delivery options of its globally recognized Tier Certifications as well as Accredited Educational curriculum, Data Center Risk Assessment, Management & Operations Stamp of Approval, and Facilities Management and Operations services. These new service delivery options can now be utilized by clients to reduce the risks associated with IT service delivery based on infrastructure design, construction, efficiency, and operations.
The methodologies and protocols for each of Uptime Institute’s performance portfolio of services has been updated to define significant portions of the required work to be remotely enabled if desired. The new approaches allow infrastructure projects to continue forward by accommodating any project constraints, working style, or health and safety guideline.
Uptime Institute engineers remotely leveraged video and SCADA systems data from DC Blox to view and assess all scripted tests in real time for a successful award of the Tier III Constructed Facility Certification.