Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

January 29, 2014


Host: Ted Simons

AZ Technology and Innovation: NextFort


  • We’ll show you a Chandler data center that has a unique approach to storing critical computer data. NextFort is geared at creating efficient next-generation data centers.
Category: Technology   |   Keywords: technology, innovation, arizona, chandler, data, center,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: We live in a world of digital information that has to live somewhere and has to be secure. Tonight's focus on Arizona technology and innovation looks at a data center with a bit of a different approach. As producer Shana Fischer and photographer Juan Magana show us, this new kind of data center is right here in the valley.

Shana Fischer: In the heart of tick knowledge row in Chandler sits a one-of-a-kind company called Nextfort.

Mark Towfiq: Nextfort is company is focused on design and building next generation efficient data centers.

Shana Fischer: It provides storage space for companies who handle sensitive digital data, everyone from credit card companies to medical corporations. CEO Mark Towfiq says his company is ahead of the curve.

Mark Towfiq: Commercial Data Centers that are most data centers out there right now are comprised of large white space, raised floor data rooms that basically companies put their racks and equipment on these large floors and are separated with cages. We have come up with a way to isolate each customer in their own very secure concrete and steel suites.

Shana Fischer: The 180,000 square foot facility has room for 200 private suites. Each one is about 400 square feet or roughly the size of a studio apartment. Each suite holds 20 racks that can handle up to 100 servers. It's energy efficient and employs Green technology.

Mark Towfiq: The data center is our big users of water. They use evaporative cooling to be able to cool things. We made sure that our data center does not use a single drop of water for cooling.

Shana Fischer: Instead Nextfort's suites have two aisles. One for eliminating hot air, one for providing cold air. As a result Towfiq says it's 40% more efficient than traditional centers. There are also backup generators in case of a power failure. Another bonus, customers can remotely access their suites from anywhere in the world.

Mark Towfiq: The customer has complete control over that environment. It can set the temperature, they can see who accesses the doors, who is inside.

Shana Fischer: As with most data centers security is of utmost concern.

Mark Towfiq: The entire facility is surrounded by 22 foot concrete walls that basically secures the competing suites that we have within the campus.

Shana Fischer: At Nextfort no one can enter the suite area without swiping a key card. There's even a bio metric reader at every suite door. He says to expect more data centers like this to pop up, especially considering the paperless society we have become.

Mark Towfiq: I think there's going to be a huge demand for this service. All the companies out there are going to be if they are not already in a data center like this they are going to be.

Ted Simons: Towfiq says he and his team picked Chandler because of the business-friendly environment, low cost of electricity and low occurrence of natural disasters.

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