How infrastructure and location helped create a world-class data center in Oklahoma City
When it comes to tech, many people think of “the cloud” as something floating around in cyberspace. But what many don’t realize is that when they are streaming “Stranger Things” or other Nexflix content from anywhere in Oklahoma, chances are it is streaming from RACK59.
Located in western Oklahoma City, RACK59 provides secure and reliable enterprise colocation data center solutions for large private and publicly traded companies. Founded in 2009, the company’s mission is to provide its customers with abundant secure space, robust uninterrupted power and unprecedented affordable bandwidth.
The building, part of the 7725 Connect campus, previously housed operations with Lucent Technologies and AT&T before becoming vacant. These past technology-focused tenants meant that the building was already fitted with impressive infrastructure. Today, RACK59 utilizes 15,000 of the campus’ 1.6-million square feet.
“The building had some of the infrastructure that is almost impossible to duplicate. Some of the facilities and equipment built here were the most expensive that AT&T ever built in the history of AT&T,” said Dusty Burchfield, partner, RACK59. “We saw that infrastructure and said, ‘we can refresh the new things and make them great and bring a new data center out of the ground.”
Finished in 1963, the building has had less than five hours of downtime ever – meaning the building has had 99.9997% of uptime. Burchfield cited that as a selling point for the facility and also what led to the company’s name – RACK59 (five nines).
While the technology-heavy business may seem complicated to many people, Burchfield said there are operations at the facility that are relevant to most Oklahomans.
“We have a couple of caching devices – that’s just a fancy word for saying it stores data for a short period of time,” said Burchfield. “When you’re home and going through your Amazon Firestick … many times the latest, greatest shows are actually housed right here and you’re sourcing them from our data center to your home.”
Burchfield and his RACK59 partners all hail from Oklahoma City, but he says there’s more to choosing Oklahoma City as the site of their business than it being home.
“Oklahoma City is unique for a few different reasons. You have I-40, I-44 and I-35 coming right through our state,” he said. “What many people don’t realize is that interstate rights of way are where a lot of fiber is right across the country. This fiber is what all of the carriers need to be able to connect to.”
As technology advances and logistics and transportation becomes more autonomous, Burchfield also sees a strategic advantage to Oklahoma.
“We think Oklahoma City has a strategic advantage in distribution and logistics because of the interconnections of those interstates,” he said. “As cars and trucks are becoming more autonomous, if we continue to have infrastructure at RACK59 and moving across the state, we can really support those systems.”