World-class data centre opens in Kamloops

Karla Karcioglu, Roving Editor Ω

Telus' Kamloops Intelligent Internet Data Centre is open and operational after one and a half years of construction. Karla Karcioglu/The Omega

Telus’ Kamloops Intelligent Internet Data Centre is open and operational after one and a half years of construction. Karla Karcioglu/The Omega

It took one and a half years and $75 million to construct, but Telus’ Kamloops Intelligent Internet Data Centre is finally up and running. On Friday, Jan. 31, Telus held a special opening allowing invitees a look inside the high security, advanced technology facility.

Among those in attendance were health minister Terry Lake, minister of transport and infrastructure Todd Stone, Mayor Peter Milobar and Coun. Donovan Cavers.

TRU president Alan Shaver, VP administration and finance Matt Milovick and VP advancement Christopher Seguin were also in attendance to accept a $100,000 donation to the university.

“It’s very symbolic of the kind of partnerships TRU loves to set up with local business and industries,” Shaver said. “It’s very important that a high tech company like Telus forms a partnership with TRU.”

“We hope that it will encourage other businesses and universities to get on the TRU bandwagon,” Shaver said. “We’re really pleased to welcome Telus to the TRU family.”

Telus VP of network transformation Lloyd Switzer said the project feels like his baby.

“We’re really proud to be here, we’re proud to have one of the most technically advanced data centres in the world here in Kamloops and the support of the community has been incredible,” Switzer said.

According to Telus, Kamloops was chosen because it is free of seismic activity, with access to clean and dependable energy, a central hub providing great connectivity coast to coast and it has a established and developed technical workforce.

Lloyd Switzer called the centre "his baby," at the opening press conference. Karla Karcioglu/The Omega

Lloyd Switzer called the centre “his baby,” at the opening press conference. Karla Karcioglu/The Omega

“This is the most environmentally sustainable, secure and reliable facility of its kind in the world,” Telus senior VP and CIO Bill Sayles said.

The Telus data centre is filled with state of the art technology. The centre focuses on redundancy by including two of everything, including transformers, generators and cooling systems, with each one capable of running the whole system independently in case of maintenance or an emergency.

The building has tight security including a vehicle trap at the property’s entrance with two gates which cannot be open at the same time. The building’s entrance has a two door system with the first door requires a smart card and the second requires a biometric fingerprint. The buildings entrance also features a 24-hour security office, bulletproof glass and a bulletproof layer underneath the drywall.

The centre has a computerized environmental system which monitors all building functions and can alert Telus staff via text message if something is not operating correctly.

Two telecom rooms provide direct contact with Telus’ central offices on the north and south shores of Kamloops.

During the tour, Lake asked about previous discussion regarding transferring the heat produced from the drive storage system to the university. Due to the timeline and logistics about transportation that initial suggestion did not become a reality. Currently the heat produced by the system is expelled from the building to outside.

Milobar looks forward to seeing the building’s anticipated expansion. Seven more modules are planned for the near-future.