What Makes a Data Center ‘Texas Ready’?

by James Leach
23 March 2017

The Dallas / Fort Worth region is one of the top data center markets in the U.S. and growing fast. According to the recent Data Center Frontier Special Report on the Dallas Data Center Market, the Dallas/Fort Worth region has 275 megawatts (MW) of commissioned data center power and 200 MW in the pipeline.

RagingWire is part of the data center boom in North Dallas. We are planning to open our Dallas TX1 Data Center on April 18, 2017 as the first phase of a 1,000,000 square foot (sq. ft.) campus with 80 megawatts (MW) of power on 42 acres of land. The TX1 facility has 16 MW of power and 230,000 sq. ft. of total space, 118,000 sq. ft. of raised floor, 10,000 square feet of customer office space, and 28,000 sq. ft. of customer amenity space including a conference center, meeting rooms, and a gym. If you are interested in attending our grand opening, please request your invitation.

Like most successful colocation companies, RagingWire has a proven design that is the foundation for our data center portfolio. However, to build a great data center, the design template must be tailored to the unique aspects of the site and location. This was certainly the case for RagingWire in Dallas. Here is the list of critical items we believe make a data center “Texas Ready.”

Everything is bigger in Texas – including data centers.

RagingWire TX1 Data Center in Dallas, Texas
In downtown Dallas, you’ll find the carrier hotels where space is optimized for telecommunications access. North Dallas, which includes Richardson, Plano, Carrollton, and Garland, is where you’ll find the massive wholesale data centers which are in such high demand by Fortune 1000 enterprises and cloud companies. The new RagingWire TX1 data center is built to mega scale and also with the flexibility to configure the space and power to meet the needs of individual clients. Vaults are available in 1 MW, 2 MW, and 5 MW increments and can be subdivided.

An underpowered data center is just a building.

Texas Ready data centers need a substantial amount of utility power to support the millions of websites and applications running on the servers in the facility. The good news is that today’s data centers are highly efficient users of power. The bad news is that not all sites in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex have sufficient utility power for data centers. RagingWire is fortunate to be working directly with Garland Power & Light (GP&L) to build a massive 108 MVA substation right next to the TX1 Data Center. The substation has diverse feeds from GP&L and Oncor. GP&L is providing two new 138KV lines connected to multiple transfer systems that can choose between two independent transmission lines connected to dedicated RagingWire transformers. Eventually this new substation will connect to the new 345KV transmission system which will be the backbone for electrical power throughout Texas.

Texas can-do attitude and the U.S. power grid.

Texas is famous for its independent nature and can-do attitude. So it should be no surprise that Texas is the only state in the U.S. with its own power grid, known as ERCOT which stands for the organization that runs the Texas grid, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. ERCOT is a great benefit for national colocation providers that want to provide diverse access to the three power grids in the U.S. For example, RagingWire in Ashburn connects to the Eastern Grid. Our Sacramento campus connects to the Western Grid. And TX1 connects to ERCOT.

Be ready for extreme weather.

Since we’ve been in Texas, we’ve experienced draught, tornados, flash floods, and golf-ball sized hail. To be Texas Ready, a data center needs to be built to withstand extreme weather conditions and the cooling systems should minimize water usage. The Enhanced Fujita scale (also known as the EF scale) uses wind speed to gauge the potential damage from a tornado. EF ratings go from EF-0 (65-85 mph winds) to EF-5 (over 200 mph winds). Everything from roof to foundation in our TX1 Data Center was designed to withstand an EF3 tornado of 136 mph. For efficient and effective cooling even in draught conditions, we have installed one of the largest water-free mechanical systems in the U.S. Plus our data center infrastructure management (DCIM) software is tuned to take advantage of the 5000+ hours of free cooling/year expected in Dallas.

Interconnection is key.

Dallas is a destination market for data centers, meaning enterprises and cloud companies want to include Dallas as part of their global data center footprint. These companies need to distribute applications around the world for maximum performance and reliability. For this strategy to work, interconnection is key. Our TX1 data center is carrier neutral with a number of onsite carriers as well as dark fiber connections to the carrier hotels at the Infomart and 2323 Bryan, providing access to over 70 carriers and global interconnectivity.  For global secured networks, you can use the Arcstar Universal One virtual private network (VPN) from our parent company NTT Communications which offers high-quality, global network coverage in over 190 countries. In addition, TX1 is connected with RagingWire’s campuses in Sacramento, California and Ashburn, Virginia so workloads can be balanced and backed up across the country. Lastly, we offer direct, secure connections to the world’s largest cloud providers and a number of software providers.

RagingWire Data Center in the Lone Star State - TexasThe Lone Star State is a great place to have a data center, particularly as part of a national or global data center footprint. The core elements are in place to build a world-class data center – land, power, and fiber connectivity. The economy is strong, growing, and diverse. A data center community is emerging that attracts both suppliers and buyers of data centers. And the pride and optimism of Texas can’t be beat. We are thrilled that the RagingWire TX1 Data Center will be a new star in the great state of Texas.

James Leach

Vice President, Marketing