The Windy City is becoming the Server City.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced last week that the “Data Center Express,” an initiative aimed at streamlining the startup process for data centers, is now a full program after launching as a pilot in September of 2012.
The program, a partnership between the City of Chicago, World Business Chicago and Commonwealth Edison, aims to build on the city’s geographic and natural advantages in providing data centers with a single point of contact in the city’s government to navigate the startup process.
The announcement came in conjunction with the opening of the fifth data center under the Data Center Express Program. It is run by Server Farm Realty on South Canal Street.
“Facilities like these highlight why Chicago is primed to be a technology and data capital for the 21st Century,” said Emanuel. “I am committed to laying the foundation for the new economy through initiatives like Data Center Express, which will make it easier for data centers to provide their vital services to Chicago’s businesses, creating jobs and economic opportunity throughout the city.”
Chicago currently has 29 active data centers, which are a part of Emanuel’s strategic plan to lure high-tech companies to the city. Of the advantages the city has, Emanuel lists: the stability of electricity prices, the city’s physical location at the center of the national fiber-optic system, an advantageous climate, and the relative rarity of catastrophic natural disasters in the Chicago area as compared to the coasts.
“Chicago is the ideal location for secure, low latency network infrastructure. It offers aggressive power rates with a low carbon fuel mix and efficient, free cooling and is unmatched in its capabilities for content distribution,” said Avner Papouchado, CEO of Server Farm Realty in a released statement. “Beyond its robust communications fabric, the city offers access to a well-educated high, work ethic labor while being centrally located, easily accessible to both the East and West coasts of the U.S.”