BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - It was a brutally hot and sunny day in July when DC Blox announced what it was building in Birmingham’s Titusville community. On a cold and rainy day in January, the shell of it’s flagship data center was preparing to house a piece of Birmingham’s future.
The Atlanta-based technology company is building a data center - it’s flagship facility - on the grounds of the Trinity Steel plant that was dormant for decades.
As he walks through the shell of the building, DC Blox CEO Jeff Uphues explains the literal layers of security - from 10-inch thick insulated cement walls to doors that will require passcodes and fingerprint authentication to enter. The goal is to protect rooms capable of housing 250 or more computer servers that will protect information from companies whose names he suggests you would likely know.
“I can’t name names of the companies that would come in here,” says Uphues, “but they would be high profile banks, high profile hospitals and medical systems.”
Uphues says his job is to attract companies who want to move their data between, say, Atlanta and Dallas. “You don’t have to be a company headquartered here to be interested in putting things into Birmingham,” he says. “Bringing customers in from Atlanta, bringing customers down from Huntsville, bringing customers from Mississippi, bringing customers from Mobile and other areas of the coast are real possibilities and we’ve been seeing a really strong demand.”
The company has a smaller campus in Huntsville where Facebook also announced a data center last summer with Google also working on a facility in Jackson County.
Uphues suggests the activity of UAB, Innovation Depot, and home-grown companies like grocery-deliverer Shipt point to a bright tech future for the city whose skies were once filled with the belching of smokestacks.
Birmingham, Uphues says, “is doing a great job of incubating companies, finding ways to teach people to code, finding ways to embrace how do you become the crossroads of the network between Dallas and Atlanta. It runs right through here.”
Uphues says he expects the first phase of the Birmingham campus to open in June.