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Data Storage A look inside the Vault

Oregon tech partnership delivers best-in-class healthcare data security. By Jenny Furniss

has become more of an Oregon concern. Whereas Portland is in a zone that could experience major damage in the event of an earthquake (and scientists from the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries say when, not if), Central Oregon is in a relatively safe part of the state. In fact, Apple is building a data center and Facebook is building its second data center in Central Oregon.

Located in Bend, Ore., the Vault has an electrical room (designed by HP Design Services/MEP) that supports the 2N power capability of the data center.


he aftermath of an earthquake is something most businesses hope to never face, but to avoid getting caught off guard, or offline when disaster strikes, many businesses are realizing they need secure, reliable ways to store their sensitive data. For St. Charles Health System, based in Bend, Ore., an earthquake was only one of a myriad of issues, a tangled knot the information technology team wanted to smooth out. In the process of partnering with telecommunication company BendBroadband for its data storage solutions, St. Charles discovered that sometimes if you want it done right, you don’t always have to do it yourself. Part of St. Charles’ problem was location: Nestled in the high desert of Central Oregon, bordered by mountains, Bend is somewhat cut off from Portland, where its data was located. One of the reasons it co-located its data in a different city was to prevent its compromise in the case of a regional disaster. Another reason was that, until recently, Bend was a relatively small town, and was not known for IT brainpower. But St. Charles discovered that co-locating its data in Portland put its computer assets and data out of easy reach. The Portland location also required redundant network circuit routing, and placed it in a facility next to an interstate freeway that posed the risk of hazardous material transports, fire and traffic accidents. Also, Portland is located in a zone that could be devastated by an earthquake.

Once considered a California problem by many Orego- nians, the subduction zone just offshore from the west coast

6 August 2012

Given all of these concerns, and the advantages to actually siting its data close by, St. Charles decided it was time to bring its data back home. The company considered building its own data center right in Bend to cut out the middleman and do it itself. This idea was appealing in many ways, particularly the financial boost it would give the local economy. Though the idea of building its own data center was appealing in some ways, it brought up

Jenny Furniss is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore. ( For more on BendBroadband and the Vault:

another set of problems. St. Charles would be investing time, energy and resources into the ongoing management of a physical data center.

“Our business, if you will, is serving our patients, not investing and building out data center capability,” says Steve Janego, St. Charles’ chief technology officer. So St. Charles sought an outside partner to host its data and discovered that its neighbor, BendBroadband, a locally owned telecommunications company, was in the process of planning a data center right in Central Oregon to be named the Vault, featuring cutting-edge security systems and green technology. BendBroadband, in turn, was searching for an anchor tenant.

Janego describes BendBroadband as “a local dog that has gained national attention as a technology innovator in a region that is not thought of like Silicon Valley.”

If St. Charles partnered with BendBroadband, it would have the unique opportunity to significantly influence security and design decisions, eventually resulting in a facility that was purpose-built for healthcare, from the ground up. St. Charles decided to trust BendBroadband to carry through on its lofty goals: to build a data center facility with best-in-class security, redundancy and reliability that would be as sustainable and green as possible, while delivering a 30 percent reduction of St. Charles’ data storage energy costs. This would provide a return on investment over a five-year period of $7.1 million.


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