Virtualization Technology News and Information
New 420,000 Sq. Ft. Cloud Computing Campus Brings 500 Jobs and State-of-the-Art Technology to Region
A former AT&T facility that sat idle for 10 years is being brought back to life as a state-of-the-art cloud computing center by SHI International, a $3 billion woman-owned technology company based in New Jersey.

The new facility will also serve as the IT solution provider’s world headquarters, and will be home to nearly 1,000 employees. The building rehab, currently the largest interior commercial renovation in New Jersey, generated 500 construction jobs during the design and fit-out phase of the work, which has taken 15 months to complete.

SHI’s new headquarters and data center are part of a strategic investment by SHI to capitalize on the fast-growing cloud computing industry, which is projected to reach $9.4 billion by 2015, according to industry analyst International Data Corp. In preparation, SHI has been steadily adding staff despite the recent economic climate. Since 2008, the privately-owned company has created 700 new jobs globally, including over 100 highly technical positions based in New Jersey and over 200 sales and management positions in Austin, Texas to serve an expanding global market.

“We could have located our new industrial-grade cloud computing center anywhere, but we chose New Jersey because of our own history and the quality of the local talent we have enjoyed since our founding in 1989,” says Thai Lee, President and CEO of SHI International. Entering her 23rd year as CEO, Lee has transformed the business from a $1 million regional New Jersey-based VAR into one of the 100 largest privately-owned companies in America, and the largest woman- and minority-owned business in the country.

“Interest and investment in cloud computing is exploding, but most of that investment is focused on serving consumers or offering light-weight requirements. There is a huge, unmet demand for industrial-grade cloud computing services for private networks. Our new industrial-grade services allow IT organizations to logically extend their environment to the cloud, securely and reliably, to save money and improve business agility.”

One of the first companies to benefit from SHI’s industrial-grade cloud is LABVANTAGE Solutions, Inc., a provider of enterprise laboratory informatics software and the SHI Cloud’s first Beta customer.

“We heard about the cost and efficiency benefits of cloud computing,” says Jeff Ferguson, CEO of LABVANTAGE. “But when we looked at the offerings from major vendors, we found we had to re-build or reengineer our systems to move to meet our enterprise requirements. That’s a non-starter. With SHI, we could quickly move our existing environment to the cloud, and immediately start gaining the benefits of cloud computing, without rebuilding our applications or infrastructure from scratch. SHI’s approach is the one most businesses have been waiting for.”

The main building of SHI’s new campus is centered around two, five-story towers connected on the main floor, as well as a third ancillary building. Designed by the Cornerstone Architectural Group and engineered by Becht Engineering, construction was lead by Turner Construction and Unity Construction. The facility is three times larger than SHI’s current headquarters in Piscataway, N.J. and offers parking for nearly 1,900 vehicles. The interior workspaces follow LEED guidelines whenever possible and the roof is equipped with solar panels capable of generating 500 kilowatts of electricity annually. This could offset SHI’s power consumption by as much as 15 percent.

From a technical perspective, SHI’s new data center was built using a series of best-of-breed, high-performance components from manufacturers like HP, VMware, McAfee, Cisco, EMC, and more. Each is connected together with an emphasis on performance, resiliency, and redundancy. The basic building blocks of computation are racks containing high-performance HP blade servers, massive amounts of storage, and all required interconnects. Each blade server contains two Intel 6 Core CPUs with 96GB of ram and has 40Gbps of Ethernet uplink and 16Gbps of fiber channel uplink. The center is connected to the outside world using a private DWDM ring to provide capacity for future growth. This ring supports up to 42 wavelengths, each of which can support up to 40Gbps of bandwidth. This allows SHI to provision low latency, high capacity links to customers. Customer connections to the SHI Cloud are done through private lines that run over the DWDM ring and can take the form of connections such as T3, OC3, and MPLS-based VPNs.

Occupancy of the new facility will begin during the last two weeks of August, and will be home to nearly 1,000 of SHI’s 1,700+ member global workforce.

Published Monday, August 15, 2011 4:47 PM by David Marshall
Filed under:
New 420000 Sq. Ft. Cloud Computing Campus Brings 500 Jobs and … « ImpartMe - (Author's Link) - August 15, 2011 11:50 PM
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