Boston's New Data Center Provides Uninterrupted Service

July 6, 2011


Miles of copper ensure power reliability and power quality

BOSTON, MA— A data center serves as the memory of any commercial, industrial or government facility so that the reliability of the electric power and the power quality must be exceptionally high.

Such is the case of an 800,000-square-foot data center located inside the 70-year-old Macy's building at One Summer Street in Boston's "Downtown Crossing." The massive center occupies most of a two-and-one- half-acre, city-block-size building. The infrastructure is housed in the basement levels and multiple roof areas, supplying high-quality electric power to customers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The center delivers power to an extensive customer base operating in Beantown. It includes eight utility feeds from two substations and service connections to no less than 40 national and international communication carriers.

It is the largest and arguably the most significant data center facility in the entire New England region.

"Boston's new data center is truly a power hub for the community," said David Brender, National Program Manager for the Copper Development Association (CDA). "The businesses tapping into the power source depend on the electrical infrastructure being stable, maintaining the correct voltage and staying online without interruption."

The stability of the data center depends on the copper inside. The power density exceeds 400 watts per square foot, which is nearly quadruple the power density of typical units built 10 to 15 years ago. The robust copper wiring and grounding practices enable exceptional power reliability and power quality. Copper is also durable and so offers years of reliable performance. It won't lose the voltage levels required to run equipment efficiently.

The Boston data center has never experienced a utility outage but is fully protected should one occur.

The owner of One Summer Street is the Markley Group, a leading global data center developer with properties in the U.S. and Europe. It has invested more than $150 million to create the sophisticated infrastructure needed to operate such centers.

Data centers currently represent about five percent of the total electrical usage in the country. That number is expected to grow 15 to 20 percent in the next five to ten years.

For more information about the Boston Data Center project, please go to the case study.