Securing Digital Assets

Critcal data and server storage site ties in top security technologies to protect its clients

Accessing the data center requires two forms of ID. Once the expansion is finished, the center will feature six generators and nine uninterruptible power supplies. The generators will be fueled by two 15,000-gallon underground tanks of diesel fuel. A fire-suppression system expels a special chemical that quenches flames.

TierPoint's owners foresee expanding the company's range of services, including those for IT security and compliance with federal regulations. Requirements of the credit card industry and federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability and Sarbanes-Oxley acts are driving growth by increasing security and other requirements for businesses, said TierPoint sales manager Chris Walter.The company will look to provide simple solutions to clients to make sure they are in compliance.

TierPoint executives have been active in local initiatives aimed at economic development through data networks, Simmons said. TierPoint participates in the Virtual Possibilities Network, the local fiber-optic network that connects area hospitals and educational institutions. The company also recently participated in bringing the Inland Northwest Gigapop, a $2.5 million project to link Spokane to Seattle and international high-performance networks through a fiber-optic connection.

"They are very well-connected throughout the community, both in Seattle and Spokane, so they see what's out in the industry, what other people are doing, and that's vital as well," said Schafer, the OneCall IT director.

Initially, the Gigapop, administered by a nonprofit run by the University of Washington, is slated for research use, not business. But Walter said having that fast connection could lead to new business possibilities. Daines still floats the idea of a cluster of high-end computers to crunch data -- an idea he proposed as a lower-cost alternative to supercomputers in 2005 but which didn't get off the ground."I haven't seen anything like it," Simmons said of TierPoint. "The secret is that Bernard Daines is such a pioneer of network technology that he is usually ahead of his time by a certain amount of time."

Copyright (c) 2007, The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Wash. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.