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Dakota Carrier Network expanding

From staff reports

Important work will continue over the course of 2018 on a significant expansion of Dakota Carrier Network (DCN) facilities in Fargo.  DCN is building a 14,000-square-foot Tier III data center in Fargo to meet growing demand from customers for secure, reliable data storage space. The new center will be located at 3901 Great Plains Drive and will be connected to DCN’s existing data center.

This will be approximately a $5 million project, which will increase the center’s server floor space by six times. Work on the project is expected to be complete by the end of 2018.

Border States Electric has already signed on to be the newly expanded center’s first anchor tenant. “The complexity of designing and maintaining a redundant data center built to withstand all of the natural and cyber threats that exist in our world today is not cost-effective, even for large companies like ours,” said Ryan Stall, senior vice president Strategy Enablement & IT at Border States Electric, a supplier of electrical supplies and related products to construction, industrial and utility customers. “When we weighed the pros and cons, it was clear that collocation offered the most secure, efficient and economical solution to meet our data center needs.”

This is DCN’s second data center expansion project in two years, and its fourth data center project in the last 11 years. Every DCN facility is built in a hardened bunker format with redundant cooling and electrical systems, which protect the buildings against F4 tornadoes with winds up to 200 miles per hour, and power outages, effectively ensuring the data centers will never be offline. To qualify as a Tier III building, the Fargo data center will also include two independent power feeds and two generators.

In addition to protecting its data centers from physical threats by adhering to strict construction specifications, DCN continuously invests in the most up-to-date technologies to provide top-level cyber security for its customers. Recently, DCN partnered with security solutions providers A10 Network and Kentik Technologies to provide the latest DDoS (distributed denial of service) protection to its data center customers. The service allows DCN to continuously monitor data as it enters the client’s servers and quickly re-route suspect data.

“Cybercriminals are constantly inventing new methods to hack into customers’ data, so businesses must have access to the latest security measures in order to stay one step ahead of them,” DCN CEO Seth Arndorfer said. “As a data center operator, we can partner with the best security providers and pass that technology along to our customers, which, in turn allows DCN to better protect customers’ data.”

DCN, created in 1996, is owned by 15 North Dakota-based independent telecommunications companies representing 85 percent of all telephone exchanges in North Dakota and more than 90 percent of the state’s total surface area. They serve more than 164,000 customers in approximately 250 communities. The DCN companies currently have more than 40,000 miles of fiber optic cable in service. DCN’s corporate headquarters is located in Fargo, and its Network Operations Center (NOC) is located in Bismarck.

DCN owner companies include: BEK Communications, Consolidated Telcom, Dakota Central Telecom, Dickey Rural Telephone, Inter-Community Telephone, Midstate Communications, MLGC, North Dakota Telephone, Northwest Communications, Polar Communications, Red River Communications, Reservation Telephone, SRT Communications, United Communications and West River Telecommunications.