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New MTS Data Centres Keeps Information Secure

Ryan Klassen MTS Data Centres Winnipeg

MTS’s brand new $53-million Winnipeg data centre is designed to keep your information safe and sound.

The state-of-the-art 64,000 square foot facility features a 25,000 square foot data hall that can hold up to 800 racks of information technology (IT) equipment. Layer upon layer of security and multiple back-ups for power, cooling systems and fire protection ensure data remains protected. 

On September 14, MTS officially opened the data centre, located just south of McGillivray Boulevard on Waverley Street. The facility is the culmination of 15 months of work.

“It does look a little bit inconspicuous from the outside, but I assure you this is one of the most advanced data centres in the province,” said Ryan Klassen, Vice President of MTS Business Solutions and General Manager of MTS Data Centres. “It is truly state of the art. There is no other in the province that rivals the scale and size of the facility.”

The new MTS Data Centres is the only Uptime Institute Tier III facility in the province. Uptime sets global standards for data centre design, construction and operation.

“A Tier III facility really means that it has the redundancy built-in that any piece of the critical power or cooling chain can be taken offline, whether for repair or maintenance, and it doesn’t impact the operation of the facility. It is virtually continuously operating 365 days a year.”

With the amount of data growing exponentially, security is paramount.

“Ninety per cent of all data that exists today has been created in the last two years,” said Jay Forbes, CEO of MTS Allstream and Manitoba Telecom Services. “With mobile data consumption alone expected to grow at sixty per cent a year for each of the next five years, the ability to safely and securely store that data is driving demand for centres like the one we’re in today.”

Cyber attacks are increasing in number, scale and complexity. Still, many businesses are unprepared for the attacks and don’t know how to defend against them or how to respond if there is a breach. Forbes says that in 69 per cent of data breaches the victim does not identify the breach themselves.

“The victims were notified by a third party or in some cases by the attackers themselves. That’s not a situation any organization can afford to find itself in,” Forbes said. “This MTS Data Centres facility is designed to meet the highest standards in reliability and security, providing our customers with much-needed and well-founded peace of mind.”

The site was selected with stability in mind. The location avoids all flight paths, is away from rail lines and is built three feet above grade to avoid flooding. The location also allowed the data centre to be serviced by multiple Manitoba Hydro substations in case of power failure at any one of them. Manitoba’s cold climate also adds to the stability of the centre, as cold outside air can be cycled into air handlers in colder times of year to boost efficiency.

“This facility is really designed around our customers,” Klassen said. “It’s designed to facilitate their mission-critical IT and to be a key enabler in their strategy as they start to look at adopting managed services and cloud-based services to support their businesses.”

“It’s also equipped with several linkages to telecommunications networks to be able to connect our customers and the customers of this facility to their offices, their customers, their employees, their suppliers; whether they be in Manitoba, Canada or the rest of the world.”

Manitoba Finance Minister, Greg Dewar, took part in the official opening and said the data centre positions the Province well to boost tech-related jobs.

“As private and public organizations continue to enhance the way they manage and protect the ever-growing amount of data in their organizations, MTS will be well positioned to meet the need while allowing organizations to leverage a variety of managed and cloud-based services to improve their operations,” Dewar said. “Having high-tech and high-security facilities such as these in our community, not only positions us well to attract new business opportunities for the Province, they also provide high-skilled jobs for Manitobans.”

Before he became Winnipeg’s mayor, Brian Bowman practiced as a lawyer in areas involving data and security.

“I know first-hand, as do many Winnipeggers and Winnipeg businesses, the importance and the relevance of the statement ‘information is power,‘” Bowman said.

“MTS and businesses that use MTS create important jobs that will help our growing economy, and this expansion really is a demonstration that our investments in advanced technology platforms and businesses’ needs attract more local, national and international business and encourage further innovation and collaboration in those organizations. The impact in our community is great and contributes to a growing, thriving and more modern Winnipeg.”

Take a virtual photo tour through the brand new MTS Data Centres:

MTS Data Centres

Data Hall Raised Floor Whitespace, Power Distribution Units and Overhead Cable Trays

Large capacities are key at the Waverley data centre, with expansive whitespace, high-capacity power delivery and diverse-path, multi-level overhead cable distribution tray system.

MTS Data Centres

Data Hall Centre Aisle Way

Here you see the line-up of floor power distribution units (PDU) along the centre aisle way of the data hall, as well as the backbone overhead cable trays.

MTS Data Centres

Colocation Cabinets

This is a line-up of highly secure colocation cabinets, which feature electronic access control and generous dimensions to accommodate 48U of customer equipment.

MTS Data Centres

Back-Up Generators & Secondary Transformers

An overhead view of the continuous-run 2.5 MVA engine generator units and secondary transformers, which are configured in a redundant N+1 configuration.

MTS Data Centres

Building Façade & Front Entrance

This exterior shot shows the front entrance to the massive standalone building, which is purpose-design and built as an Uptime Institute Tier III design certified data centre.

For more on how your business can benefit from data centres, read 5 Ways for Canadian Firms to Think Through the Data Centre Decision on the MTS Business Hub.

Jason Halstead

Jason is a Winnipeg-based journalist and photographer who has been published across Canadian media.

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