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Twin Cities may be home to the next data center boom

By Donna Donnowitz
February 2, 2015

Data center companies from across the country have eyed Chattanooga, Tenn. ever since the city decided to lay down its own fiber-optic network. The wave of data center construction and jobs that followed in the wake of Chattanooga's fiber project demonstrated just how powerful the technology is in terms of benefiting the local community. History may be repeating itself in the Twin Cities as more data center operators look to expand in Minnesota. Learn more about the recent push for data center construction in Minneapolis and St. Paul for a sneak peek at a pattern that may soon play out again in metro centers across the country.

Demand for data storage on the rise
Minneapolis and St. Paul lawmakers have recently signed new tax incentives for tech facilities, hoping to bring even more data center business to the Twin Cities. The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal noted that colocation providers added over 75,000-square-feet of data storage capacity to the town during 2014. This pattern is expected to continue into 2015 as well - according to Data Center Knowledge, Cologix has already been certified to receive tax assistance from the city of Minneapolis to build its newest 28,000-square-foot facility.

The resourced noted that a long list of colocation providers are eyeing Minnesota for growth, including Digital Realty, DataBank, zColo and Compass. Often this rush of data center construction accompanies a fiber-optic expansion, such as in Chattanooga or Kansas City. In the Twin Cities, however, the it seems that in this case the market will lead the product instead of the other way around.

Fiber could be just around the corner
CenturyLink promised that Twin Cities customers, both commercial and residential, would be getting access to gigabit Internet via fiber-optic cables before the end of the year, said the St. Paul Pioneer Press. If the spread of fiber services in other cities is any indicator of the future, then Minneapolis and St. Paul will enjoy even more fiber customers and data center construction alike over the next few years. Even existing homes and businesses utilizing copper wires will be able to update their infrastructure with ease with fiber-to-Ethernet connectors. Expect CenturyLink's telecom rivals to follow up with fiber roll-outs of their own.

Perle has an extensive range of Managed and Unmanaged Fiber Media Converters to extended copper-based Ethernet equipment over a fiber optic link, multimode to multimode and multimode to single mode fiber up to 160 km.


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