At Expedient in the North Side, 'This is where the cloud actually lives'
The sound of the cloud is deafening.
Inside Expedient's packed data center, rows of servers and computers whirl and hum.
Fans spin to keep the hardware cool. Air conditioning is pumped up from the floor.
"Without it, this place would be an inferno," said Jon Rosenson, senior vice president of strategic initiatives at Expedient.
Small green, blue and red LED lights blink. Hundreds of miles of cable connect machines and crawl along the ceiling and under the floor.
All of this to keep data, photos, videos, games, applications and anything else uploaded to and downloaded from the cloud at our fingertips.
It sounds like a dentist's drill when it's held close to your ear. And it sounds like this 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
"This is where the cloud actually lives," Rosenson said during a tour of Expedient's facility inside Nova Place on Pittsburgh's North Shore.
As more companies turn to the cloud to store data and run applications, the demand for servers and the space to house them has increased. Expedient, headquartered in Pittsburgh, has 11 data centers — including the one at Nova Place and one in Green Tree — around the country. The company has more than 350,000 square feet of space, more than six football fields, for servers nationwide.
It opened its Nova Place facility in 2008, expanded once already but is out of room.
Expedient's 16,000 square feet is full or already spoken for, Rosenson said. The company this week will open an additional 10,000 square feet of space, about the size of a baseball infield. The $14.5 million expansion goes online Thursday, and customers are already lining up, Rosenson said.
Expedient is hosting an open house Thursday to show off its new space and give tours of the data center. People can register here .
More than 350 companies and institutions from the Pittsburgh area use Expedient, including Sarris Candies. Rosenson couldn't name other companies using Expedient but they include universities and college, health care systems, clothing stores, banks and consumer appliance manufacturers.
Aaron Aupperlee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-336-8448 or via Twitter @tinynotebook.