Ascent Corporation has opened its fifth commercial data center, located in the Dallas suburb of Plano, TX. The Dallas facility joins Ascent’s two facilities in Chicago, along with one each in St. Louis, MO and Minneapolis, MN, adding an additional 17,000 sq ft (1600 sq m) of data center space to its portfolio.

The Plano campus sits on 4.3 acres and the current plan is to take advantage of an additional 22,000 sq ft (2000 sq m) of expansion space, as customer needs drive the growth. The current space is designed to use only 2.7 MW of the almost 10 MW avaliable from three individual substations, leaving significant power for future expansion. There are also three separate fiber paths into the carrier-neutral building, giving customers their choice of providers while ensuring redundant pathways.

In case of emergency

The new DAS facility in Dallas

The most significant feature of the new facility is that it is hardened to handle tornados up to F5 in intensity (winds up to 360 MPH or 560 KPH). To achieve this, the data center has 15” thick walls with a 13.5” thick roof built from reinforced concrete as well as an 8,000 lb (3700 kg) blast door at the loading dock.

Phil Horstmann, CEO of Ascent, pointed out that the recent history of weather in the area had made the availability of the hardened facility a major selling point to potential customers.

He said that Dallas area was “a premier data center market and our hardened facility offers a different type of product that is well suited as a primary data center site for enterprise end-users as well as businesses seeking disaster recovery and continuity solutions in the Midwest.”

The Dallas area is one of the most competitive for data centers in the Midwest, with both privately-owned and commercial data center operators choosing it as a strong location for major investments in data center infrastructure. Ascent offers wholesale data center space as well as build-to-suit and sale / leaseback data center facilities.