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DCN announced today at the State of Technology conference it will build a 14,000-square-foot Tier III data center in Fargo to meet growing demand from customers for secure, reliable data storage space. The new center will be located at 3901 Great Plains Drive and will be connected to DCN’s existing data center.

The annual State of Technology conference is hosted by the Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo Chamber of Commerce and Sen. John Hoeven.

DCN’s board of directors approved the approximately $5 million project, which will increase the center’s server floor space by 6 times. Work on the project is tentatively set to begin in August 2017 and is expected to be complete by the end of 2018.

Border States Electric has already signed on to be the newly expanded center’s first anchor tenant. “The complexity of designing and maintaining a redundant data center built to withstand all of the natural and cyber threats that exist in our world today is not cost effective, even for large companies like ours,” said Ryan Stall, senior vice president Strategy Enablement & IT at Border States Electric. “When we weighed the pros and cons, it was clear that colocation offered the most secure, efficient and economical solution to meet our data center needs.”

This is DCN’s second data center expansion project in two years, and its fourth data center project in the last 11 years. Every DCN facility is built in a hardened bunker format with redundant cooling and electrical systems, which protect the buildings against F4 tornadoes with winds up to 200 mph, and power outages, effectively ensuring the data centers will never be offline. To qualify as a Tier III building, the Fargo data center will also include two independent power feeds and two generators.

In addition to protecting its data centers from physical threats by adhering to strict construction specifications, DCN continuously invests in the most up-to-date technologies to provide top-level cyber security for its customers. Most recently, DCN partnered with security solutions providers A10 Network and Kentik Technologies to provide the latest DDoS (distributed denial of service) protection to its data center customers. The service allows DCN to continuously monitor data as it enters the client’s servers and quickly re-route suspect data.

“Cybercriminals are constantly inventing new methods to hack into customers’ data, so businesses must have access to the latest security measures in order to stay one step ahead of them,” DCN CEO Seth Arndorfer said. “As a data center operator, we can partner with the best security providers and pass that technology along to our customers, which, in turn allows DCN to better protect customers’ data.”