Storing corporate data has become an industry unto itself in Nevada and city officials in Las Vegas welcomed one of the newest entries to the market Thursday.
Cobalt Data Centers opened its doors to local business representatives and government officials with tours of its 34,000-square-foot, 5.5-megawatt facility on West Cheyenne Avenue in the center of a cluster of technology companies.
Cobalt CEO Mike Ballard said the facility, open since early January, houses data from an undisclosed number of clients representing the gaming, health care, cloud computing and telecom services sectors. The company does not disclose the names of clients, but Ballard said he is seeing significant demand from Chicago, Texas, and California-based companies and those seeking to serve those markets.
Cobalt is expecting to employ 20 people within its first year.
Ballard said several factors have resulted in Southern Nevada becoming home to data storage facilities, including its proximity to California, the absence of natural disasters here, the state’s stable tax rate, the relatively low cost of power and superior fiber-optic connectivity.
“We don’t have earthquakes here,” Ballard said. “In California, there’s a 99 percent chance there’s going to be an earthquake somewhere in the next five or six years. The insurance companies and the regulatory agencies have recommended that companies store their data off a fault line.”
Ballard and his principal partners, Joseph Gallagher, Russ Ketchum, Mark Hanson and Tom Harris, gave tours of the facility, the first of two Cobalt plans in the valley.
Cobalt controls an additional site for large-scale deployment and wholesale operation at the Las Vegas “carrier row” on Sahara Avenue.
Cobalt joins Switch Communications in the market. Switch has multiple facilities, including its “SuperNAP” operation, which industry leaders say is the 10th largest in the country and has the largest cooling and power system in the industry.
Another data storage company, ViaWest, is expanding its Southern Nevada presence and plans a similar grand opening event later this month in North Las Vegas.
ViaWest recently received state tax incentives from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development to expand its operation.