August 19, 2011

Immedion plans third data center

Brendan Kearney  /  Post and Courier

If all goes according to plan, Immedion LLC's third data center in South Carolina also will be the third such facility in North Charleston's Palmetto Commerce Park.

The Greenville-based information technology company announced the project this week and expects to open for business by early May 2012.

Greenville-based Immedion LLC opened this data center in downtown Columbia last fall.

Joining Charleston County's consolidated dispatch center and a future Roper St. Francis Healthcare data center at the Ladson-area site, Immedion aims to serve others with critical computer needs – and a healthy fear of disaster – within an hour radius.

"There hasn't been a real solution in Charleston up until now," Immedion chief executive Frank Mobley said Wednesday. With permitting the last step before breaking ground, Mobley said he is "kind of chomping at the bit" to get up and running before next year's hurricane season.

Founded in 2006, Immedion opened its first data center in Greenville in October 2007 and opened another 15,000-square-foot site in Columbia last October.

The North Charleston center, which will be the same size and serve the same functions as the other two, would complete the company's Upstate-Midlands-Lowcountry trifecta.

"When you're local, you have the advantage of being able to walk or ride out to where the data center is," Mobley said, "which we think is important."

Immedion offers clients extra server power and computer room space, as well as offsite data storage using what is known as "cloud" computing technology. Backup in the form of multiple diesel generators, large uninterruptible power supplies and several Internet connections safeguards customer data and ensures constant access.

"Those are redundancies that you don't normally see in a private computer room facility," Mobley said.

But they could be crucial to businesses in the Lowcountry, where flooding and hurricanes are a threat.

Palmetto Commerce Park, which is west of U.S. Interstate 26 and runs from Ladson Road to Ashley Phosphate Road, sits at 50 feet above sea level, which Mobley described as "a mountain in Charleston."

"We look to stay out of a 100-year flood zone, and it's outside any identified flood zone," he said. "That site has been looked at and has been pretty well investigated as a solid, safe site down in the Lowcountry."

A local development company, Applegate & Co. of North Charleston, will build the new data center on a nearly 2.9-acre wedge along Palmetto Commerce Parkway, next to Charleston County's 911 facility. Immedion will lease the building, said company spokeswoman Natalia Muska.

The company, which now has 25 employees, plans to hire 12 to 15 new staff for the local data center within a year of its opening.

Reach Brendan Kearney at 937-5906 and follow him at