IT company goes underground to store data in cloud at new technology campus

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - LightEdge Solutions offers the commercial version of cloud storage for businesses. However to find them, you don’t look up at the sky, you look down…underground.

The Des Moines based company chose Kansas City for its fourth location in the new SubTropolis Technology Center. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and Chiefs owner Clark Hunt joined LightEdge Solutions CEO Jim Masterson for the ribbon cutting.

“It's a world-class facility that allows us to deploy and expand almost limitlessly,” Masterson said.

LightEdge stores data for mostly mid-sized companies. The 270 million-year-old limestone mine owned by Hunt Midwest provides the perfect setting. With five million square feet leased and an additional eight million available, SubTropolis gives tenants plenty of room to expand-- something that's not so easy with an above ground building.

“So if we've got a data center, say a Light Edge, who says 'Hey, my first phase is going to be 60,000 square feet, but we want the ability to expand, we can give them that endless ability to expand,” Ora Reynolds said, Hunt Midwest President.

The underground data campus offers other benefits as well, such as security to withstand any catastrophe, thanks to the strength of the mine’s walls. Limestone is six times as strong as concrete.

“The SubTropolis Center, which is underground or within the mines, you literally have no issue with any sort of wind issues associated with natural disasters,” Masterson said.

The Kansas City area adds other unique benefits such as great connectivity to fiber optics and affordable power.

“The power aspect of a data center is truly the magic that makes it work,” Masterson said.

With two power stations and a third coming, the redundancy allows LightEdge to provide its clients that all important uninterrupted service. Kansas City and the Midwest are also known for their lower rates when it comes to power and other utilities. Factor in how much these data centers consume and they say that's another reason Kansas City stands out when compared to the east or west coasts.

The new SubTropolis Technology Center is now working to attract other tenants: similar data centers like Light edge, larger enterprise companies who host their own systems and government agencies.

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