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rastructure is not just of your business... Copper Systems

al to your business

Fiber Systems

SERVING LOCALLY, CONNECTING GLOBALLY Cabling Support Solutions

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heelHouseÂŽ Advanced Data Center Solutions

ustomer-driven solutions to support any size and ter, including high-performance computing, cloud, LAK E SHORE enterprise data centers. E L E C T R I C C O R P O R AT I O N

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DC BLOX: SERVING LOCALLY, CONNECTING GLOBALLY


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DC BLOX

JEFF UPHUES, CEO OF DC BLOX, DISCUSSES THE COMPANY’S GROWTH IN UNDERSERVED MARKETS AND HOW IT EMBEDS ITS TIER 3 DATA CENTRES INTO THE LOCAL COMMUNITY

D

C BLOX was established in 2014 to provide data centres to markets with a distinct, but unfulfilled, need for them.

“I’ve been the CEO of DC BLOX for about three years now,” says Jeff Uphues. “I originally joined as 04

a supervisory board member and then was asked by the board of directors to come into the role and lead the company in its expansion, placing these data centres in underserved yet growing markets throughout the Southeastern United States.” Fulfilling this vision has required a focus on a few core fundamentals. “There’s three things that we do and stay focused on,” he says. “One is providing in-market colocation, meaning the housing in a safe, secure environment of servers as well as other technology infrastructure. We provide robust connectivity across our platforms with connections to other cloud service providers, connections to the internet, connections to other major markets. Then we provide cloud services ourselves. Not all data is created equal, and it’s critical to be able to store it close to where it’s actually being consumed.”


05

2014

Year founded

HQ

Atlanta, Georgia USA

35

Number of employees w w w.dc bl ox. com


DC BLOX

“WE HAVE ONE VISION WHICH IS TO SERVE LOCALLY AND CONNECT GLOBALLY” 06

— Jeff Uphues, CEO, DC BLOX

There are currently four such locations of consumption catered to by DC BLOX, with data centres in Chattanooga, Tennessee; Huntsville and Birmingham, Alabama; and Atlanta, Georgia. All are growing markets, as Uphues explains. “We see a significant migration of population and businesses in the US from northern cities down into the Southeast. What’s driving them there is the cost of living or quality of life and just good weather.” What these diverse cities share, apart


DC Blox: Connected datacenters for digital business CLICK TO WATCH

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1:19

07 from a relative geographic proximity, is a burgeoning technology scene. “Many of these markets are not known as technology hubs, but they see the benefits of the growth and they need the core infrastructure such as the data centres and network services which we provide. Generally, our target markets are below the radar of some of the major national markets where you find a lot of competitors, so they really embrace us.” DC BLOX’s data centres are all built to Tier 3 standard, signifying a high level of reliability. That’s achieved firstly w w w.dc bl ox. com


DC BLOX

08 with quality infrastructure. “Our data

connectivity, it’s a question of how we

centres have to be highly resilient in

build these facilities to be Tier 3-rated.

terms of network architecture and the

It comes down to being concurrently

type of equipment that we use. We use

maintainable, meaning that if any one

premium products, driven by premium

system in the building fails, there is a

service level agreements. We build

backup system that can take over. It’s

our own private network across the

part of the design, it’s in the materials

Southeastern US and then we connect

and the type of vendors that we use.

that back into exchanges and public

It’s in the architecture for how we con-

cloud providers. We really look at that

nect them together.”

connectivity and the uptime of our

The pace of DC BLOX’s growth has

facilities as the core value that we bring

been steady, having launched a data

to our markets.” Achieving DC BLOX’s

centre each year since 2017. That’s

high standards also requires a high

not engendered any complacency,

standard of construction. ”Beyond the

however, with the organisation looking


to accelerate its growth. “We’ve spent a lot of time looking at where we can expand and how we can grow even faster. There are 16 markets we’ve identified, and we’ve lined up roughly the next five to six locations. We’re picking up our pace to put in at least two to three data centres per year.” The choice of a new location is only arrived at after significant investigation, however, as Uphues explains. “To help us determine the size and scope of the facility we’re looking to build, we look 09 E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Jeff Uphues Jeff leads DC BLOX as a proven C-Level executive with deep expertise in data centre infrastructure, hybrid cloud services and the operation of communication networks. He is responsible for setting and leading the company’s strategy in driving the growth and profitability of best-in-class infrastructure for digital services. Prior to DC BLOX, Jeff held numerous C-suite leadership positions in sales, marketing and operations for Liquid Web, Cbeyond, Bandwidth, ACSI Network Technologies and MCI. Jeff graduated from the Harvard Business School, Rice University’s Jones School of Business Executive Education program and completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Texas at Arlington.

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LA KES H OR E E L E C T R I C C O R P O R AT I O N

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Since 1922, Lake Shore Electric has designed and manufactured custom electrical equipment. From cabinets to controls, switches to switchgear, Lake Shore provides mission critical equipment designed around your needs. Global. Dependable. Since 1922.

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“IT’S CRITICAL TO BE ABLE TO STORE [DATA] CLOSE TO WHERE IT’S ACTUALLY BEING CONSUMED” — Jeff Uphues, CEO, DC BLOX

at the size of the market, the amount of fiber, the number of businesses headquartered there. Then we look at markets that are underserved but growing. What does the competitive landscape look like? How well would we be received with our vision of serving locally and connecting globally? And then, finally, we work with state and local governments and corporate leaders to confirm the need for and the advantages of what we do. Each market takes us about a year and a half to really get to understand it.”

DC Blox holds Birmingham grand opening CLICK TO WATCH

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3:38

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DC BLOX

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“WE LOOK AT MARKETS THAT ARE UNDERSERVED BUT GROWING” — Jeff Uphues, CEO, DC BLOX


13

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DC BLOX

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It’s not just its technological capabili-

we’re serving the community and

ties that have led to DC BLOX’s growth.

understanding their challenges and

The company also prides itself on its

their needs. We’re a part of the fabric

integration with the local community.

of the community when we come in as

“The one thing that I know sets us

well as contributing to the technology

apart, because I hear it all the time, is

environment.”

our community focus,” Uphues empha-

For the industry as a whole, Uphues

sises. “When we come into a market,

anticipates the importance of edge

we have one vision which is to serve

computing, where facilities are built

locally and connect globally. That

close to where they’re needed, to only

means we’re serving local businesses,

increase. “For us, the edge is where

we’re serving with our time through

the application meets the network.

volunteering, we’re serving nonprofits,

Trends like 5G, IoT and gaming mean


15

we need to push compute closer to

business. It’s a great time to be doing

consumers. That’s going to require

this across underserved markets. We

more local and regional data centres to

can become a strong partner for the

handle all the data and best connect it

community, both in our ability to serve

to the network.” As for DC BLOX itself,

locally and connect globally as DC

the focus has been on edge markets

BLOX continues to expand across the

and the goal is to increase the pace.

Southeast United States.”

“We know that gets harder and harder as you get bigger,” Uphues says, “but we’re a company that is doubling revenue every single year and doubling the size of our footprint of where we go. It’s a great time to be in the data centre w w w.dc bl ox. com


DC BLOX 6 West Druid Hills Drive NE Atlanta, Georgia 30329 USA T 877-590-1684 www.dcblox.com

Profile for Business Chief USA

DC Blox – March 2020  

DC Blox – March 2020