Sentinel to Build 420K Multitenant Whopper in Durham, N.C.

The Sentinel NC-1 facility will ultimately yield approximately 200,000 square feet of net computer room space.

Sentinel Data Centers LLC said that it has committed to building a whopping 420,000-square-foot facility in Durham, N.C., apparently after winning financial incentives from local officials.

The Sentinel NC-1 facility will be available for occupancy in early 2013, following the completion and commissioning of an initial 120,000 square foot phase, the company said. The Sentinel NC-1 facility will ultimately yield approximately 200,000 square feet of net computer room space, divisible into autonomous, turnkey suites of multiple sizes and configurations. It will cover 29 acres.

The Durham facility will be Sentinel’s second; the company already has a 330,000-square-feet operation on 22.5 acres in the New York metro region, specifically Somerset, New Jersey. That facility is home to enterprises in financial services, healthcare, energy and technology.

Sentinel had already pitched Durham officials to approve a $800,000 incentive package in return for building the site, which will add 19 full-time jobs to the economy, according to the Durham News-Observer. It was approved.

“This would be the first introduction of what is referred to as the wholesale data center model into the Durham area as well as into the state of North Carolina,” Sentinel co-president Joshua Rabina said at the time.

Sentinel said it plans to try and lure both in-region and out-of-region customers. Without a facility like the one Sentinel has under construction, Sentinel co-president Todd Aaron wrote in a statement, local customers have traditionally built their own private data centers.

“We also believe that the combination of highly reliable, low cost power, significant regional talent, easy access via multiple airports and exceptional quality of life will attract out-of-region users from multiple industries looking for a best-of-breed data center solution with North Carolina’s extremely attractive occupancy economics,” Rabina added Oct. 1.

Sentinel NC-1 will offer new “multi-tiering” solutions that will enable each user to deploy different resiliency zones within its space, allowing for granular optimization of cost structure by application, the company said.

Sentinel hasn’t said much about how it will build the data center, but its efficiency page contains a number of caveats to green technologies such as fresh-air cooling (increases particulate and corrosion risks and can constrain future flexibility) and flywheel power (operate at higher efficiencies, but limit ride-through to seconds rather than minutes). Instead, Sentinel’s modus operandi is to “optimize for efficiency to the greatest degree possible without harming customer TCO or deploying untested or risk-laden technology.” The company uses utility billing, charging customers for what they use.

Sentinel said it would offer highest-efficiency chilled water-cooling with enhanced free cooling capabilities, and will offer multiple containment options including hot-aisle, cold-aisle, and chimney-type. Consumption and the efficiency will be measured using custom software, in real time.

 

Image: Sentinel

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