Published On: Mon, Sep 30th, 2013

Latin America And The Caribbean’s Most Advanced Tier-IV Datacenter Enters Final Commissioning Phase

CTEXWILLEMSTAD - Somewhere deep in the Southwest Caribbean, right in front of the Latin America coastline, the world’s newest and most advanced datacenter enters final commissioning. Curaçao Technology Exchange (CTEX), together with Schneider Electric, CISCO Systems and others for close to two years has pursued one of the most ambitious technology projects in Latin America and the Caribbean.

CTEX is turning on the first of four 72,000 square feet Uptime Institute certified Tier-IV datacenter. The CTEX datacenters have already been recognized for several industry awards including the 2012 LATAM Datacenterdynamics award for incorporating the most advanced design and engineering standards throughout the region.

Industry veterans with significant experience in the datacenter space direct this young and innovative company. Their CEO, Anthony de Lima and the rest of their team with noted track records at companies such as Telefonica, KPMG, Google, Terremark, Global Crossing, and others is slowly gaining prominence throughout the region. CTEX’s vision from the start was to create the most advanced and reliable datacenter in Latin America and the Caribbean, leveraging years of lessons learned from datacenter projects across the world. Too, the company was committed from the start to obtain Tier-IV certification, which they achieved in June this year together with the ISO9001:2008 certification. While many datacenter providers talk about being at a particular Tier level, few are certified. Certification by the Uptime Institute requires an immense level of design detailing and in the case of a Tier-IV certified facility, this means that nothing is left to chance and that all critical parts in many ways incorporate double redundancy. Downtime is not an option. This October the company will undergo final inspection of CU-1, the first of its four facilities. Successful certification will make the CTEX datacenter one out of 13 datacenters worldwide to be certified at the Tier-IV level for design as well as constructed facility and the first of its kind in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The selection of the island nation of Curaçao as the host country for the region’s most advanced datacenter seemed initially to be an unconventional choice. However, Curaçao may very well have the best mix of ingredients to support such a high-end technology project. For starts, the island is located outside the traditional hurricane belt and major seismic zones. Being part of the Dutch kingdom means Curaçao benefits from European privacy laws, with a court of highest recourse located in The Hague, the Netherlands. The island is not a fiscal paradise and conforms to strict transparency regulations by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). For international companies Curaçao offers excellent fiscal benefits through its EZONE ruling, which means international companies establishing computing infrastructures at the CTEX datacenter, are exempt from import duties and VAT taxes. This alone can be a huge benefit when compared to similar fiscal conditions in neighboring countries. Curaçao also has five major submarine cables connecting the island to the rest of the world, with two additional cable systems planned for the first half of 2014. The island also boasts a multi-cultural and multi-lingual workforce. Finally, by being part of the Dutch kingdom, companies leveraging the CTEX datacenter to conduct business worldwide benefit from over 95 bilateral investment treaties, providing added peace of mind when delivering services across international boarders.

CTEX’s datacenters incorporate some of the most sophisticated technology design principles, including the ability to accommodate computing platforms with varying operating characteristics ranging from low to high-density in specialized zones. Each zone incorporates the appropriate power and cooling infrastructure for the relative computing density within a rack. An innovative power distribution system for powering server racks provides specific power metering details for a customer’s computing instance. CTEX has also incorporated an advanced intelligent building management system (BMS), which automates many of the tasks traditionally managed by datacenter personnel. The system also provides advanced web portals through which customized views can be provided to customers to monitor their equipment located in the CTEX datacenter. The company takes security very serious. While they were apprehensive to talk about their physical and logical security fabric, a high-level view of the facility’s schematics shows a comprehensive layered security approach that is typical of a major top-level security installation.

Aside from delivering traditional datacenter services, the company last year partnered up with VCE™ and is running advanced private cloud solutions for companies throughout the region. VCE’s VBLOCK platform supported by CISCO Systems, EMC®, and VMWARE is recognized as one of the most redundant and fault tolerant Cloud platforms in the world. And indeed CTEX boasts a zero down time service log for its Cloud platform. Customers run their critical application on CTEX’s Cloud platform without making capital expenditures in technology. Billing for infrastructure, software and platform services is based on a subscription model.

Tier-IV datacenters aren’t for everyone. But if your critical business systems just cannot go down, ever, then you may want to take a close look at this brand new datacenter.

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