DATA CENTERS—AN IDEAL & SECURE LOCATION Austin’s strategic location and exceptional infrastructure make it an ideal location for data center operations. The region’s long history in related technology and services provides the necessary support and qualified technical workforce for data center operations. Industry giants, including AMD, IBM, Cisco, Citigroup, Dell Technologies, Hewlett-Packard, Home Depot, Intel, and Oracle, have facilities in Austin ranging from headquarters and R&D operations to manufacturing and mission-critical enterprise data centers. Austin has a long history in supporting technology and service providers. As a result, you’ll find a qualified technical workforce for data center operations. The University of Texas at Austin’s Department of Computer Science is ranked as a top-10 computer science department nationally. UT’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, also top-10 ranked, is the largest department in the Cockrell School of Engineering with almost 2,000 students. Environment & Climate The Austin region has an extremely low occurrence of natural disasters. Central Texas has a very low level of seismic risk and has no reported incidents of earthquakes, tsunamis, or hurricanes, and is located outside the central United States region known as Tornado Alley. Austin experiences an annual average of 43 days with thunderstorm activity per year. Energy The area’s energy providers work hand-in-hand with industry looking for increased efficiency and greener solutions. Texas has its own electric grid and a variety of electric providers in Central Texas offer competitive rates and excellent reliability ratings. Municipal utilities and cooperatives provide power in several area communities. The City of Austin’s municipallyowned utility, Austin Energy, has a track record of reliability and redundancy for large power users, including 24-7 chip manufacturing facilities, data centers, and call center operations. In deregulated parts of the region, customers have the ability to choose providers and negotiate rates with a variety of electric utilities. Water Sources of water in Central Texas are surface waters managed by the Lower Colorado River Authority, the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority, and the Brazos River Authority. Ground water is also available from the Edwards and Trinity Aquifers. Regional planning groups ensure that this critical resource is efficiently managed. Real Estate Austin’s data center collocation buildings typically feature dual-feed electric, redundant telecom, and other amenities required by mission-critical facilities. For example, the state-of-the-art MetCenter features dual-feed electric service from separate substations— each capable of growing to 400-megawatts—fed from separate power sources. Space is also available in collocation facilities such as CyrusOne, Data Foundry, Digital Realty, OnRamp, Sungard, XO Communications, and Zayo Group. Telecommunications Greater Austin enjoys one of the world’s most advanced, robust, and redundant telecommunications networks. Fiber protected by SONET rings and Ethernet network architecture, including digital access control, is virtually universal in all routes to customers. With no fewer than 25 interexchange carrier POPs and LSOs, the city and surrounding regional cities are equipped to handle multiple redundancy needs. The community is also served with ultra-fast broadband by Google Fiber and AT&T’s GigaPower. HIGH-PROFILE DATA CENTER OPERATIONS IN THE REGION • Dell has two global data centers, comprising one of the largest storage-area networks in the U.S. and supporting more than 78,000 employees worldwide. • Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the entity that manages the electric grid for the State of Texas, has its headquarters, data center, and back-up command center in the Austin region. • IGT, a lotto systems administrator, operates a mission-critical data center in Austin. • Citigroup owns and operates a 300,000- square-foot data center in Georgetown. • Hewlett-Packard chose Austin for two data centers totaling 400,000 square feet when consolidating its national data centers. • Oracle’s 130,000-square-foot data center hosts the world’s largest Network Appliance and Dell/Linux installations under one roof. In its IT overhaul, Oracle merged 40 data centers into this site. • Austin is one of three cities in the U.S. to have a Corporate Franchise Data Center, operated and housed with the Department of Veterans Affairs DATA ANALYTICS—TALENT THAT IS BOTH CREATIVE & TECHNICALLY SKILLED Over the past decade, the collection and storage of data has become both ubiquitous and cost-effective. Deriving business value from that data, however, requires the unique, delicate balance of technical expertise and creative thinking for which Austin is world-renowned. Not only is Central Texas home to a range of data center operations but also the region’s growing talent pool adds value to business operations through the analysis and manipulation of complex databases across a wide range of industry sectors, including healthcare, energy, and transportation. High-profile companies such as Bazaarvoice, InfoChimps, Sotera Defense Solutions, and Tableau Software already call Austin home. Recent announcements such as IBM’s Innovation Center and Dell’s Evergreen Innovation Center also suggest that this sector will continue to thrive in the region. Talent Innovation and creative thinking are celebrated in this “weird” community known for its exceptional quality of life. The University of Texas at Austin alone is home to over 20 research units devoted to computers and information science, including the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), one of 11 centers across the country providing leadershipclass computing resources to the national research community. TACC partners with researchers and industry experts to enable discoveries that advance science and society through the application of advanced computing technologies. Thousands of researchers each year use the computing resources available at TACC to forecast weather and environmental disasters such as the BP oil spill, produce whole-earth simulations of plate tectonics, and perform other important research.
Published by EMMIS Communications. View All Articles.
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