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BendBroadband’s Vault Under Way

Standing in an unfinished section of her company’s new data center, Amy Tykeson, BendBroadband president and CEO, talks to construction workers. The company hosted a lunch from Baldy’s Barbeque to show its appreciation for the workers’ efforts. Pete Erickson / The Bulletin

Bend telecom company hosts lunch to thank workers building new data center

By Tim Doran / The Bulletin
Published: February 17. 2011 4:00AM PST

To thank the construction workers building the data center it expects to open in April, BendBroadband provided lunch Wednesday from Baldy’s Barbeque.

BendBroadband touted the local impact of the data center — from the construction jobs now to the economic development benefits in the future.

“When I look at this building … it’s just obvious that we have excellent craftsmanship on this project,” Amy Tykeson, BendBroadband president and CEO, told the construction crews.

Of the 150-plus workers building the BendBroadband Vault, 80 percent, or about 120, have been Central Oregon residents, Leonard Weitman, project manager and vice president of technical operations, said in a news release. And 23 of the 27 companies have been local.

BendBroadband will spend $10 million to construct the data center, essentially a building housing racks of computers, in the 30,000-square-foot former home of Bend Tarp and Liner, near Northeast 18th Street and Brinson Boulevard in the Basalt Business Park. The company plans to have phase one, about 5,000 square feet of floor space, available when it opens.

Unlike Facebook, which is building a data center in Prineville strictly for its own use, BendBroadband plans to license the space to businesses, both small and large.

As examples, Weitman and Sean Handley, BendBroadband director of business services said, a small retailer might want to pay to house e-mail or similar services at the Vault. They would be accessible over the Internet, a setup often referred to as cloud computing.

A larger business might find it more expensive to dedicate a room to racks of servers than licensing them at the Vault, after security, power, climate control and other issues get factored in.

St. Charles Health System committed to using the Vault when BendBroadband announced construction in mid-2010. BendBroadband has signed up other companies, although Handley and others said Wednesday they could not disclose them.

For data centers, power can be one of the largest operating costs, according to the website Data Center Knowledge, so those who build and run them constantly seek to improve their efficiency.

BendBroadband chose a system from KyotoCooling, an international company that specializes in data center cooling systems.

About 25 percent of the Vault’s annual energy needs will be generated by 600 solar panels made by SolarWorld, a company with its U.S. headquarters in Hillsboro, sending energy to inverters made by Bend-based PV Powered and installed by Sunlight Solar Energy of Bend, said Paul Israel, Sunlight Solar founder and president.

The building previously had eight solar panels, which Israel installed some years ago. BendBroadband donated them to Habitat for Humanity for use on two homes in Prineville, he said, with installation donated by Sunlight Solar.

Economic development officials agree the Vault will help Central Oregon stand out to companies looking for places to locate their businesses.

Having data centers built by BendBroadband and Facebook helps the region become known for state-of-the-art projects built for high tech, said Eric Strobel of Economic Development for Central Oregon.

“The BendBroadband Vault is a marquee project for the city of Bend,” he said.

Tim Doran can be reached at 541-383-0360 or here.


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