Chicago is known for its iconic food, music, and awe-inspiring architecture; it is a vibrant city that captivates residents and visitors alike, ranking in 2023 as one of the top cities in the U.S. to live and visit. However, beyond its allure as an attraction city, Chicago has carved a niche as an advantageous destination for businesses seeking to fortify their data center infrastructure. Strategically located in the Midwest, this bustling metropolis serves as the pivotal junction point for critical north-south and east-west domestic fiber routes, earing its reputation as a leading data center market city.
As a home base for key industries encompassing manufacturing, finance, technology, life sciences, and transportation, Chicago colocation plays an integral role in serving the diverse data needs of this hub for businesses. By harnessing unparalleled network connectivity via Chicago’s data centers providers, businesses can access scalability, security, and reliability for their ventures into the digitized world.
Netrality’s Chicago colocation data center is housed in the Swigart building, also known as 717 South Wells. Located in the center of the financial district, it is one of the most connected Chicago data centers and provides a gateway to the local fiber backbone in the Midwest and a primary access point for long-haul fiber in the region. Netrality offers businesses and network providers a host of solutions that include an ecosystem of carriers, cloud providers, cloud delivery networks, cloud service providers, and managed service providers.
From Telecom Hub to Data Center: The Historic Transformation of 717 South Wells Chicago Data Center
The building was constructed in 1923 and redeveloped into a state-of-the-art telecom carrier hotel in the 1990s. In 1993, AT&T joined the building as a tenant, solidifying its position as a crucial telecommunications hub. Subsequently, the building became a vital interconnection point for various carriers and service providers to further enhance the telecommunications landscape. In 2014, Amerimar Enterprises, Inc., a real estate, investment, and management firm, joined forces with Hunter Newby to acquired the carrier hotel. Amerimar was re-branded to Netrality Properties in 2015 and today the building is known by its owner and operator, Netrality Data Centers.
Expansion plans for 717 S Wells are well underway to add critical capacity via new data halls. These additions will fit a new electrical and mechanical system, adding three floors with new critical load. Phase 1 is currently in the works on the 9th floor, with the construction of a new power room and colocation space. In addition to scalable space, the data halls will include hot aisle containment pods to enhance cooling efficiencies. The electrical system in Phase 1 is 2N redundant and will be upgraded to two distributed redundant topologies in Phase 2.
Staying Ahead Of The Game: Chicago Data Center Cooling, Compliance, and Amenities
Entrusting servers and networking equipment to a specialized data center provider safeguards business uptime against potential disruptions because the facility is attended by dedicated operational experts whose core focus is on providing enhanced physical security, backup power systems and robust network connection without the cost of building or maintaining an on-premises data center. In addition to disaster recovery solutions, Netrality Data Centers’ 717 South Wells facility offers clients even more benefits.
Connectivity. With multiple points of entry (POEs) connecting to the Chicago fiber loop and pre-run cable conduit systems, redundant carrier paths throughout the building and fiber entries into the building ensure network uptime is resilient. 717 South Wells features a central Meet-Me-Room with a diverse group of IT service providers.
Infrastructure. The structure has ceiling heights of 11’ x 2” (slab to slab), column spacing of 19’ x 6”, floor loading of 125 lbs./square feet, freight elevators with a 4,000 lbs. capacity, and a secure loading dock.
Electrical. Compliant with Tier III standards, 717 South Wells is equipped with a N+1 generator and a 1,500 kW of backup generator power. The facility has diverse utility feeds from the LaSalle substation at 12,470v, with a fuel capacity of 3,700 gallons. Our colocation space features an A+B Starline Busway, a modular overhead power distribution system that allows power access at any location, providing our customers the flexibility and scalability to decrease or increase their power configurations when needed quickly.
Cooling. Our cooling system consists of 160 tons of N+1 condenser water capacity backed up by fully redundant generators, cold aisle containment, and five 30-ton Kyoto Direct Expansion (DX) CRAH units at N+1 redundancy. This all-in-one system eliminates the need for cooling towers and a chilled water system. The system is augmented in the summer by a freon AC system with advanced humidity controls.
Compliance and Security. The facility has SSAE 16 SOC 1 and SOC 2 Type 2 reporting, is HIPPA and PCI compliant, and provides our tenants and customers with 24/7/365 key card access.
Amenities. 717 South Wells data center features break rooms, a game room, a tech lounge, a touch-down space for clients to work in-house, office space for disaster recovery, secure on-site storage, and parking is available.
717 South Wells — The Nexus for International Networks
Chicago’s status as a midwestern fiber connectivity interchange offers businesses plenty of benefits – making the city a powerhouse metro for major industries and organizations advanced by improved network performance. 717 South Wells also provides reliable network interconnection infrastructure for carriers, service providers, and managed service providers. The data center’s ecosystem of IT service providers includes AT&T, Lumen, Cogent, Comcast, Crown Castle, Everstream, Hurricane Electric, MidwestIX, Packet Fabric, Windstream, and Zayo. Partners provide Netrality tenants and customers with ultra-low latency, reliability, scalability, security, and compliance, allowing businesses in the data center to compete in today’s digitized world. To learn more about 717 South Wells, contact us today!