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April 19, 2014

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Las Vegas tech company Switch announces new facility

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Courtesy Switch

Switch, a high-tech company that started 11 years ago in Las Vegas, now houses digital data for a number of Fortune 500 companies and the U.S. government in its expansive facilities.

Las Vegas technology company Switch announced plans Friday to build a new 300,000-square-foot data center campus in the northwest valley, enabling the company to offer cutting-edge data storage solutions to its roster of Fortune 500 and technology clients.

Switch currently operates two data center campuses in Las Vegas where it provides physical security, power and cooling, for thousands of racks of servers owned and operated by its clients, which include eBay, Zappos and the U.S, government.

Switch owns a fiber-optic network centered in Las Vegas that connects with the networks of more than two dozen major Internet providers. It provides companies unparalleled connectivity to access and transmit their data housed at Switch’s physical locations.

The construction of the new campus, which Switch has dubbed its North Las Vegas Campus, will coincide with an expansion at Switch’s west campus located off Decatur Boulevard near Interstate 215.

That project, which broke ground in October and is expected to cost about $400 million, is the largest active building project in the state and will create about 3,000 construction jobs and hundreds of permanent jobs.

Mendenhall said construction of the north campus will be similar in scope to the $400 million expansion, but the exact cost or number of jobs to be created hasn’t been calculated yet.

The new campus, planned to be built near Cheyenne Avenue and Buffalo Drive, will allow the company to create an “active-active” system that will help make sure its customer’s operations never go offline, said Jason Mendenhall, Switch’s executive vice president of cloud computing.

Switch already offers a 100 percent uptime guarantee that its servers never go offline due to lack of power or connectivity. But the software and applications run by companies on the servers at Switch’s facilities can still experience errors and outages, which the “active-active” system is designed to prevent, he said.

“Even though the data center is up 100 percent of the time, the code or software might have an issue,” Mendenhall said. “It’s different than having a backup. Active-active assumes you have two fully live systems running that are replicating in real time. If there’s a breakdown in one, the other one is ready to fill in.”

Switch’s unique fiber-optic infrastructure and far-reaching ties with national and international companies has generated talk among local and state leaders about the potential Switch can play in helping diversify Las Vegas’ economy.

Mendenhall said the new campus will allow Switch to implement innovative new technology that will continue to attract businesses to store their data in Las Vegas.

“It’s going to add value to our existing customers, and it’s also going to be able to draw other enterprise customers to the area,” he said.

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