Construction, Economic Development, and Technology

Comlink completes state-of-the-art data center in GR

The $5 million-plus investment is predicted to generate at least 100 additional jobs.

March 29, 2013
| By Pete Daly |
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Comlink has announced an April 24 grand opening ceremony at its new state-of-the-art data center on Sparks Drive off East Paris Avenue SE in Grand Rapids, which the company predicts will lead to the creation of 100 or more new jobs within the next five years.

Comlink is a division of East Lansing-based Great Lakes Comnet, a broadband network and telecommunications switching company providing infrastructure for a variety of voice, video and data processes.

The new data center, which already employs 20, cost in excess of $5 million to build, according to a Comlink spokesperson. It houses Comlink’s new Datasphere hosting and cloud service, as well as Medisphere, the company’s medical services division.

The new data center is part of Comlink’s expansion strategy and will complement Great Lakes Comnet’s 9,000-mile, six-state regional fiber-optic network and substantially expand the capabilities it can provide to customers nationally and internationally, according to Comlink.

“The data center will put Comlink on the map as a leading hosting and cloud services provider,” said John Summersett, COO of Comlink.

“The facility in Grand Rapids, combined with our fiber transport network, will allow us to provide our customers with truly high-availability cloud services which are integrated with the network as one ecosystem,” he added.

The Comlink announcement states the Grand Rapids data center is encased entirely in concrete and features backup generators along with active power dual flywheel UPS systems. The backup systems ensure uninterruptable power to every server cabinet, customer and application.

The data center’s capabilities are custom-designed to meet the high-performance infrastructure demands ranging from scalable co-location and hosting to private, public and hybrid cloud services. The company said its new data center provides services that extend the IT infrastructure of a client business into a more efficient “virtual” environment.

“The introduction of the data center and these facilities is an important milestone in the continued evolution of Comlink,” Summersett said. “With this new capability, Comlink will be able to provide unprecedented levels of business connectivity services throughout our footprint and extend the capabilities of our partners.”

Comlink said Clark Construction was the general contractor on the project, while Quality Air and Hedrick Associates in Grand Rapids were two other vendors involved.

The data center is expected to grow, necessitating the hiring of more employees in the years to come.

Comlink’s announcement states it will “also initiate technology-based programs within the community that will leave a lasting impression on the area as well.”

Businesses served by the Comlink data center will manage their own hardware, software and applications, maintaining control of it while realizing the efficiency and growth-potential benefits of co-location and hosting services.

Comlink said its data center capabilities can be leveraged by businesses that need to maintain flexibility, reduce risk, and stabilize capital and operating expenses. Comlink said it has data centers that host clients located in more than 100 countries and its own private fiber-optic network and multiple certified data centers, and is able to provide businesses with redundant (“hot”) servers, granular backup and restore capabilities, in the event of a disaster impacting a client’s onsite data.

The still expanding Comlink fiber-optic network is based in Michigan and extends into Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. The Comlink Network Management Center is staffed continuously to ensure the security of the network and the reliability of its services.

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