DataChambers threw its first party at its newly-renovated warehouse on Garner Station Road Wednesday as it readies to open shop. It will also be the last.
“After tonight, nobody gets in here unless they’re a customer, unless they’re authorized and meet certain security requirements,” said DataChambers CEO Nicolas Kottyan.
Appetizers, beer and wine greeted guests who ranged from partners and Garner civic leaders to potential customers of the company owned by North State Communications. The Greensboro-based company will offer data backup and cloud-based services at the site.
Garner Mayor Ronnie Williams welcomed the company, which has invested millions of dollars in renovating the 49,000-square-foot building. In addition to improvements to the building – and ultimately its tax value – further millions worth of new server equipment will be installed, adding to the tax base.
Garner Economic Development director Tony Beasley said the town was excited about the development, and at least four town leaders were present. He said not only would there be a tax base increase, but the addition would lend validation to the town’s infrastructure and electricity grid as other commercial businesses considered Garner.
Just four months ago, construction crews were adding girders to walls, replacing roofing and ripping out foundations to strengthen the anchoring of roof support beams in order to strengthen the core structure to withstand a Category 3 hurricane.
Flash forward to Wednesday, and representatives from Duke Energy, Time Warner and various other partners and potential customers chatted in the middle of a large, unfurnished, seemingly sterilized white room with two twin power source units at one end. The room will eventually hum with servers for an estimated 30-50 customers of the first phase of the facility’s development.
Kottyan said the market his company targets has grown.
“A lot more customers are saying ‘I don’t want to operate a data center; let’s take it to a third party,’ ” Kottyan said. “It’s inefficient to build a 100-sqare foot data center. It’s very efficient to come in here.”
Kottyan said his company offers economies of scale on high upfront costs like infrastructure, security and fail-safes. Regional vice president Brent Wall, who oversaw the project, said all power and cooling systems are redundant so that one can fail and the facility can remain fully operational.
“You can’t buy (these systems) on a small enough increment on your own,” Wall said.
The warehouse features high-tech security and perimeter fencing, which Wall called unique to the local server marketplace. The security, electricity and cooling systems allow the company to offer only as much space as needed for companies looking to outsource their data centers. Wall has also said confidentiality adds another layer of protection; few will know that a company keeps its data there.
Phase 1 of the project will consist of about 8,000 square feet of server space, and Kottyan said clients will start moving into the building in 30-60 days. As customers buy up space (they can do so with actual hardware from DataChambers or their own), the company expects more than $10 million in equipment to be installed.
Kottyan expects filling space for that phase to last three or four years. He says the company has experienced double-digit growth for seven consecutive years. Eventually two more phases are anticipated to fill 32,000 square feet of server space, with tens of millions of dollars worth of equipment. Every $10 million in real property is worth nearly $50,000 of revenue to the town of Garner in the form of property taxes.
DataChambers bought the building for $4.7 million in September 2012.