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Telus building data center near Quebec

By Max Burkhalter
May 20, 2011
Telus, one of Canada's largest cloud service and unified communications providers, recently announced plans to build a new state-of-the-art data center in Rimouski, a small city on the very edge of Quebec's area-of-influence.

Telus' facility is being funded by a $65 million investment that will help it become one of the most advanced data centers in the world. To achieve this, the company is emphasizing two key design strategies - Tier III certification and LEED Gold recognition.

The Tier system for certifying data centers was developed by the Uptime Institute and evaluates facilities based on their security and reliability. Essentially, a Tier III data center has been built with so much precision and inherent redundancy that they can be trusted with critical applications.

LEED Gold recognition emphasizes the data center's economic efficiency and is a standard that has become prevalent in the industry. Telus' new facility will use hydroelectric power prominently in its design, making it a uniquely sustainable data center.

Francois Cote, president of Telus Quebec and Telus Health Solutions, said the company's new facility is an important strategic move.

"The new Telus Intelligent Internet Data Centre will be a flagship facility; one of the most energy efficient and environmentally friendly purpose-built data centers of its kind in North America," said Cote. "It demonstrates our commitment to providing our business clients with the most powerful, innovative IT services. In fact, the data centers will meet their growing need for cloud computing solutions which are becoming a software and infrastructure management priority."

Besides offering access to hydroelectric power, Cote said building in Rimouski will foster sustainability by giving the company access to free cooling. Free cooling is becoming an important green technology because it allows businesses to use exterior area to cool servers and other data center equipment. Regions with moderate temperatures, such as Rimouski, are ideal for free cooling.

The data center industry is facing an important period of change. Energy efficiency and reliable are emerging as more important characteristics than ever before and companies are either building highly-specialized facilities of their own or turning to colocation providers to meet their advanced needs. Recently, Planned Systems International, an IT service provider that works with the U.S. Department of Defense, announced plans to lease data center space with colocation provider Quality Technology Services to meet its growing capacity needs.


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