Eagan project would offer backup links to Net

  • Article by: STEVE ALEXANDER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 16, 2011 - 8:24 PM

City wants data center as a sort of computer hotel for corporate customers.

A $75 million to $100 million data center planned for construction in Eagan would provide local corporations with backup connections to the Internet in the event of a cable break.

City officials also hope the privately owned "Connexion" data center, to be built on Yankee Doodle Road in Eagan, will promote economic development.

"The goal is to keep the technology jobs we have in Eagan and to add new ones" by providing multiple routes to the Internet at lower cost, said Tom Garrison, a spokesman for the city of Eagan, in an interview Wednesday.

The 138,000-square-foot data center would provide a service called "co-location," in which the center functions as a sort of computer hotel for corporate customers. Companies would route their data to their own computer at the data center, and the data would be relayed to the Internet over fiber optic telecommunications cables.

Other data centers in the Twin Cities offer similar services, but the one in Eagan would be different in that it would not be affiliated with any one fiber-optic network company, Garrison said. It's hoped that several network companies would serve the data center, thus providing customers with multiple routes to the Internet.

That would address a problem faced by Eagan corporations, Garrison said. Some large companies already pay extra to have redundant routes to the Internet, but many smaller companies find it too expensive and rely on a single route that could be disrupted, he said.

In addition to providing network connections, the data center also could provide remote backup storage for corporations outside the Twin Cities, he said.

The data center, which has a planned completion date in the third quarter of 2012, would be built by Five 9s Digital of North Carolina. Initial connection to the Internet would be provided by XO Communications, a national network provider. Officials of Five 9s could not be reached for comment.

Steve Alexander • 612-673-4553

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