Local Data Center Spurs Economic Growth, Part of the Cloud Located in Murfreesboro


Whenever someone tells you to “back your data up to the cloud,” have you ever asked yourself, “where exactly is the cloud?”

Now, part of that cloud is right here in Murfreesboro.

The question has scrambled our brains for years: What came first, the chicken or the egg? Although the world is still debating this question, there is no debate that in order for many large companies to invest in a community, having a data center in the city or its proximity must come first.

But what is a data center? A data center is a network of computing and storage resources that enables the delivery of shared software applications and data. These centers can house large amounts of critical data and are vital to the daily functions of companies and consumers alike. As a result—whether it is a cloud, co-location or managed service—data center real estate will have increasing importance worldwide.

As of September 2023, the United States, by far, has the most data centers in the world at 5,375, followed by Germany with 522 and the U.K. with 517, according to data compiled by Statista.

Murfreesboro now has one of those data centers. Ranked as one of the fastest-growing cities in America, the city once struggled to attract companies to the area.

“Companies that were moving to Nashville looking for sites to host their data and data center equipment overlooked Murfreesboro and Rutherford County due to those services not being available,” said Jon Hoscheit, Chief Technical Officer of Data Suites Murfreesboro, a Tier 3-ready co-location data center. Built in 2015, Data Suites Murfreesboro provides primary data security for enterprise to small business users in Middle Tennessee and secondary data security for enterprise users across the U.S.

Having one of the largest data centers in the area by power and consumption is an asset.

“Soon after being built, we started seeing rates dropping more than 50% in the following years due to having a good connection point. The amount of fiber and carriers coming to the area improved and made the entire county more competitive as a result,” Hoscheit said.

One of the fiber carriers who came to Rutherford County is United Communications. In 2023, United Communications, a subsidiary of Middle Tennessee Electric that provides internet and phone services to businesses and residential customers in Middle Tennessee, announced an investment of $85 million to expand its fiber-based broadband service to an additional 77,000 MTE members in Murfreesboro.

Although it has been around for years, “artificial intelligence is the latest buzzword,” said Hoscheit. “The future of the data center will be a transformative hub for AI. AI is the obvious future of technology and a key driver for change and human evolution. AI is only as good as the system that delivers it. It needs proximity to the people using it, positioning us to be that delivery point for AI and the community.”

Hoscheit added that part of the mission of Data Suites is to invest in the community and to remain instrumental in the Murfreesboro and Middle Tennessee Tech Councils, in part by “helping local schools in our region and in Haiti by providing opportunities to send computers to places we can teach the next generation of minds to leverage technology and help the workforce.”

Data centers host servers, systems and data. Data centers are the cloud.

“The core foundation of what we do is provide uptime availability,” Hoscheit said. “There is enough resiliency that your data availability is always there. We have multiple megawatts of power available for consumption at any time, redundant. If something went wrong on the grid, we have generators to back it up and weeks of fuel.”

As Murfreesboro’s population continues to grow, opportunities grow with it, and having a data center increases the opportunities for technological advancement for small businesses in the rural areas that need internet connectivity to run, for employees being able to work from home and for kids completing their homework.

When it comes to your data, Hoscheit said that the way to protect it from being lost is to back it up.

Jon Hoscheit also serves as the president of the Murfreesboro Technology Council. The group meets on the last Tuesday of every month. To find out more information about the Tech Council, visit murfreesborotechnology.com. For more on Data Suites Murfreesboro, visit mydatasuites.com.

About the Author

Byron Glenn is the Sales & Marketing Manager with Business System Solutions: he is a speaker, business consultant, nonprofit co-founder, and Murfreesboro Tech Council board member. Looking for IT-managed services for your business, you can visit https://www.bssconsulting.com or call (615) 400-8595.