Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Cavern Technologies: Digital Age Batcave

Cavern Technologies take the word "Batcave" to a whole new level!

You don't have to live in Gotham City to experience the technological advancements in keeping the city safe from jokers who want to steal your data. At Cavern Technologies, KC has their own modern day Batman, John Clune, who is focused on protecting and securing the most important information out there. I had the pleasure of visiting this underground futuristic environment recently. Here are the amazing things I learned about this incredible company...

"Bam Pow Zap!"

1.      Why underground? Is this something sweeping the country? How and why does this set you apart?

Under 125 feet of limestone in Lenexa Kansas is the beating heart of the silicone prairie. Over 100 of the country’s leading banks, hospitals, law firms, and technology companies run their highly sophisticated mission critical data center operations from what was once a limestone mine. Cavern Technologies was founded in 2007 by John Clune his father Pete Clune Jr.

Located in a 3M square foot Energy Star Rated, GSA approved underground at 95th and Renner, Cavern has become the largest Data Center Colocation provider in the Midwest with 125,000 square feet of purpose built, state-of-the-art Data Center space.

 John’s vision was to design and build the most secure, reliable, efficient infrastructure possible, and give customers the peace of mind of knowing their Data Center is protected and connected with all the cooling and electric redundancies to handle any scenario, including a Zombie Apocalypse. Beyond protection from Zombies, Tornadoes and Ice Storms of the Midwest, customers come to Cavern for their low cost, abundant and reliable power through KCP&L, and the multitude of telecom network providers that connect Kansas City at light speed to the rest of the world.

The planets must align for an Underground Data Center to work.  Rock strata must be stable, and a safe distance from fault lines. Locations must be above the flood plains close to an urban core and have access to abundant power from multiple substations.  Redundant bandwidth providers must be built into the facility, and enter the location from multiple entrances. Other large players in the underground Data Center Space are Iron Mountain in Pennsylvania, and Green Mountain Data Center in Norway.

Cavern’s specialty in the market is giving customers private data center suites.  While most colocation tenants are expecting huge, anonymous, cage filled rooms, Cavern gives their customers (large and small) their own custom room, with their own 4 walls, their own biometric access controls and surveillance cameras.

"Holy cooling caverns, Batman!"

2.      How specifically is better for the environment?
With an ambient temperature of 68 degrees, Cavern’s cooling systems have a distinct advantage over cooling systems that are battling the extremes of weather (-10 to 100+).  Customers typically see a 30% saving on their cooling costs.

With an adaptive reuse of underground space Cavern does not take up space on surface.  Cavern is one of the few data centers in the world with trees, grass and deer on their roof.

"Riddle me this..."

3.      I'm obsessed with the finger and face recognition, how does that work? Why is it important?

“Every face has numerous, distinguishable landmarks, the different peaks and valleys that make up facial features. Each human face has approximately 80 nodal points. Some of these measured by the Facial RecognitionTechnology are:
  • Distance between the eyes
  • Width of the nose
  • Depth of the eye sockets
  • The shape of the cheekbones
  • The length of the jaw line
  • These nodal points are measured creating a numerical code, called a faceprint, representing the face in the database. “ 
Cavern’s customers have multiple options for access control of their private data environment. Some customers utilize thumbprint biometrics, retina scanners or facial recognition. By only having approved personnel with access to their private data is essential for insuring the integrity of their private Data Center’s integrity.

 "To the Batcave!"

4.      Is this future? How do you know? What is to be learned, tech wise about how you operate in this unique way.

Technological advances drive the evolution of the Data Center.  Moore’s Law states that processing speeds and data densities should double every two years.  While footprints have shrunk, the power and cooling needs have grown as our creation of data reaches mind boggling proportions.

Eric Schmidt of Google stated an astounding statistic. “Every two days now we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization up until 2003. That’s something like five Exabyte of data.”

We are still in the early years of the Data Center.  (Although some teenager, tinkering in her garage could change the world of data storage as we know by discovering a way to put all the data in the world onto something the size of a dime.)

Cavern is bullish about the future.  They are not everything for everybody, but instead focus on becoming the facilities partners for the most technically savvy customers who want to manage and grow their IT resources in house. More and more companies are getting out of the construction business or selling their data centers and moving their private clouds to colocation facilities and sometimes moving their cloud underground.

"The Batsignal goes on, he shows up."

5.  How do you give back to the community?

Corporate citizenship is important at Cavern.  Giving Back is KeySome of the organizations that Cavern Supports on an ongoing basis include: Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Children's Mercy, Ozanam, Bishop Sullivan, Spofford¹s Horse Power Program, F.I.R.E.,  Sisters of Charity in LeavenworthFather Waris's Romero Community Home Building Initiative in El Salvador, and Cristo Rey Corporate Work Study Program.

The planets have aligned for Cavern, and John.  Beyond the well designed and built infrastructure, John continues to see amazing annual growth by giving his customer’s world class customer service, and never compromising on his mantra of “Operational Excellence.”  

The proof is etched in stone:  In his 8th year in business, Cavern has 100% uptime and 100% client retention.

See for yourself what Cavern Technologies is all about:

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