Data Center Design
Purpose-Designed Data Center
Purpose-Built: FORTRUST’s Denver Data Center
At FORTRUST, we’ve taken great care to design a future-proof facility that ensures safety and redundancy. FORTRUST is a “purpose designed” data center, not a renovated office complex or a commercial multi-use property.
The data center was originally built in 1946 as a Firestone tire warehouse, which provided for above code rated fire walls and significant structural attributes, which are beneficial to data center stability. A second addition was made in 1964.
When FORTRUST purchased the building, we completely renovated the existing shell and added a three-story structure to the data center in 2001, specifically to separate our mechanical and electrical plant from the data center. FORTRUST is a stand-alone building physically separated from other corporate facilities on the site.
The Building: Designed to Ensure Safety and Redundancy
The building is steel and masonry construction and sits greater than 3 feet above grade, encased within a 14” concrete foundation wall reinforced with #5 rebar, and a thickened edge on 6” slab. The facility has multiple down conductors, structural steel/rebar/ metal stud walls and has a HALO ring around the building built into the shielding design.
The building has column spacing of 26X55 feet, and above code rated fire walls separating individual colocation (raised floor) rooms and private rooms (vaults). The exterior and interior walls are 2 and 4-hour rated fire walls. There is a fire department and fire responder unit is located adjacent to the data center.
The materials used in the construction of the roof of the FORTRUST Denver Data Center are steel and metal decking with 3 inches of Poly Iso Cyanurate insulation, with an EPDM (rubber) membrane.
There are no windows or glass in the colocation areas. All windows within the office areas of our data center are treated with 14 mil bomb and bullet resistant safety film and equipped with glass breakage alarms.
Tier III Gold Certification of Constructed Facility
The Uptime Institute awarded FORTRUST Tier III Gold Certification of Operational Sustainability. This was proceeded by Tier Certification of Constructed Facility. Learn more about Tier III Gold.
Location: Weather-Proofing the Data Center
Location is often a key factor when it comes to selecting a data center, but the local climate can impact data operations too. FORTRUST chose to locate in Denver, Colorado. According to FEMA, Denver is located in one of the lowest risk regions in the U.S., which means a lower risk of disasters.
Our Denver facility was built outside both the 100- and 500-year floodplains, and is nearly 50 feet above FEMA’s maximum flood elevation. Although Colorado has a low risk for earthquakes — located in seismic zone 1 — FORTRUST’s Denver data center was constructed with seismic zone 4-rated mechanical system safeguards to provide maximum protection against such events.
FORTRUST’s Denver data center was designed to ensure safety and redundancy, creating one of the safest locations possible for mission-critical data.
WEATHER-PROOFING THE DATA CENTER: WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Inclement weather caused 10 percent of unplanned facility outages last year, demonstrating its importance to both facility operators and their customers. When seeking a robust, industry-leading colocation provider, it’s essential that the data center has specific safeguards in place to prevent damage and service outages that can be caused by storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, snow and other severe weather.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A TIER III GOLD DATA CENTER?
When choosing a colocation data center, it’s important to understand how it is managed and operated before placing your critical IT environment there. Uptime Institute, the global data center authority, is the only group licensed to rate and certify data centers around the world in a vendor-agnostic, third-party certification process designed to assess, rate and certify systems and operational sustainability. FORTRUST is the only Tier III Gold certified colocation data center in the United States.
BEHIND THE SCENES: EARNING UPTIME INSTITUTE'S TIER III GOLD
FORTRUST’s Denver data center became the only colocation data center in the United States to be awarded the Tier III Certification of Operational Sustainability. While this achievement involved considerable preparation from the data center’s management team and staff, planning and execution began long before Uptime Institute ever put its standards into place..