Thursday, June 23, 2011

Co-location and Managed Services in Southeastern PA

By Lisa Huff

There is a building complex just off route 183 in Southeastern PA that many don’t realize is a gem for co-location and managed services. Long known for his entrepreneurial spirit, Mr. Albert Boscov (of Boscov’s department stores) saw its potential and seized it in 2005. The two buildings are 292,000 square feet and house two data center co-location facilities along with several other businesses. What is unique about this property is that it is served by seven (7) telecom carriers – not only important to potential clients, but rare in rural PA. The facility also has two main telecom rooms and two separate power feeds.

Directlink Technologies, one of the buildings’ tenants, is owned by Boscov (President) and CEO Arthur Quinlan. Its co-location data center is 110,000 square-feet of raised floor, half of which is currently occupied. The company boasts of being carrier-neutral, SAS70 Type II certified with network latency of less than 2 ms to New York City (Hudson) and less than 15 ms to Chicago.

IPR International is another co-location/managed services provider that decided to lease space in the Boscov building. With corporate headquarters in Wayne, PA (just northwest of Philadelphia) and its continuous computing center in Wilmington, DE, IPR opted for a disaster recovery (DR) data center in Bernville, PA. While IPR started out as mostly backup and DR services, it can now provide everything from co-location up through totally managed services.

Another company, Distributed Systems Services (DSS), has its own facility in Berks County. DSS started in IT services and later expanded into data center co-location and managed services. Its 15,000 square-foot data center is housed in a 350,000 square-foot building. It is considered a Tier 3 data center and has three telecom carriers for data center connection to “the cloud.”

Reading, PA may not be an Internet hub, but is centrally located between two Internet Exchanges (New York and Ashburn) and within three hours driving distance of four major metropolitan areas – Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and Washington DC. Compared to New York City, Berks county PA salaries for technical jobs are about 50 percent less, rental space is three to eight times cheaper and electricity costs about a third as much. These facilities could be just the answer for enterprises looking to outsource their IT – particularly those large healthcare and financial institutions in the northeastern US.

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