Data outages happen — it’s a fact of life. But is your company ready to bounce back quickly in case it happens? dcBLOX has your back with their state-of-the-art, energy efficient modular centers that store your data safely and deploys it when you need it the most.
The team secured $15 million in funding this past May from Atalaya Capital Management LP to expand their Atlanta data center and open up a new facility in Chattanooga (coming online in November). With customers ranging from mid-size to Fortune 500 companies, dcBLOX’s reliability is what sets it apart from the rest.
“Where they might have a disaster recovery time frame that could be six or eight hours on paper and it might actually take me all day to really restore their operations in the event of a crisis — we’re offering something that provides recovery in minutes, if not seconds,” says co-Founder and CEO Jake Ring. “Sometimes you just can’t wait.”
We sat down with Ring to learn more about how dcBLOX is beating the competition, why your company should be ready for disaster recovery and the one lesson he learned when seeking funding.
Congratulations on the new round of funding! What are dcBLOX’s plans moving forward?
We closed on our funding in May. We waited for the release until we had gotten some things further in place with our facility in Chattanooga. It’s exciting nonetheless because it gives us the runway in order to start with these first two sites. We had our facility here in Atlanta at the Brookhaven location. Now we can add capacity here, and then also adding the second data center up in Chattanooga to provide a secondary site that provides some geographic diversity for customers that need that for disaster recovery or backup and storage requirements.
What problem did you set out to solve with dcBLOX?
The need for data availability. A product network is five-nines reliable. That’s two times more nines than you get from a standard carrier. What that means is that while standard carriers can be out for five days, our requirements are — out for just over three hundred seconds a year. You get greater availability for accessing your data, and because we have this high speed, high bandwidth network in place, it means that you’ll be able to retrieve the data, especially in times of a crisis.
It’s being able to provide that kind of big pipe, if you will. Then we can move the data quickly to allow customers to be able to access it and recover their operations. In addition, the OpenStack cloud that we’re running on this network is supported by the largest open source effort in the world. We basically are getting an enterprise-grade cloud system, but without having to pay the licensing fees that you would normally have to pay with a VMware or other type of configuration. With this OpenStack cloud, we’ve integrated software-defined networking into its operation or SDN.
What that means is we’re able to now, basically, access the stack at incredible rates and speed for customers that need storage or want us to replicate the data. Between here at Atlanta and in Chattanooga, customers will be able to basically have their data synchronously replicated in each of the locations and in additional locations as we add more data centers.
Where are you seeing high demand for these data centers?
We see it in second-tier cities, there’s a lot of demand, but not the capacity. Customers are having to go to Dallas or D.C, or New York or Chicago to be able to access large data center hubs. Now, we see that there’s a way for us to deploy our facility, add the networking capacity very quickly, and provide a resource to clients that want to take advantage of the hyper-scale benefits that companies like Google or Facebook are able to use. We’re bringing that to the retail market.
What do you feel will be the market impact if you guys expand through the Southeast?
We see that we will be bringing a level of service that other companies just can’t offer.
I used to work for GE, and then before that with Emerson Network Power. I’ve been associated with the industry on the OEM side for awhile, but I know what [outages] can mean. There’s so many more companies that are reliant on their data. We see the industry is moving away from being server huggers, “I need to have my equipment,” to millennials who are much more interested in, “Where’s my data? I want to hug my data and know where it’s located and know that I can get access to it.”
We’re providing a capability of being able to risk reduce the availability of data that other companies just aren’t able to address.
Why start your company in Atlanta?
One, being from Atlanta, we saw that there was still a need because of the old data center designs that still are enforced. Basically, designs from the ’90s are still being used in data centers here. There’s so much more software development and IT activity that is going towards the hyper-converged structures, that we’re prided that there are lots of customers that want to migrate or take advantage of these new architectures, but they don’t have any place to put them. It made sense for us to be able to do that.
What are some things that you know now that you wish you knew then?
Atlanta’s a fantastic market. It’s very active. Its VC and private equity market is very active, but really more focused on software development as opposed to the more capital-intensive market. We had to go to New York to be able to find funding for our enterprise. Had maybe we started sooner in that regard, maybe we might have been faster in doing it, but we had perseverance, because we really had a belief in the vision of what we’d be able to bring. My co-founder Josh has built data centers for major hyper-scale companies before, and saw that this is what hyper-scale companies we’re doing, but the need was still being unmet in the retail market. We had a belief that we could do this, and ultimately that perseverance has paid off.
What’s next for you guys in the next six to twelve months?
We’ll be looking at expansion into additional cities. We’re going to be, in 2017, looking to build at sites three and four, while adding capacity in the Atlanta and the Chattanooga facilities. We’ve got a strong pipeline of customers and are really excited with the growth potential. We’re looking, then, to go to two more sites that we’d hoped to be having those open by this time next year.