A while back, Amazon announced it would invest over $1 billion to set up a cloud data center and other facilities in Ohio. The move, which was supported by two state tax credits worth over $81 million, drew national attention to Ohio and furthered its reputation as a prime location for large-scale data center construction.

Vadata, Amazon’s data center affiliate, is one of nine such projects to benefit from the incentives offered by the Ohio Tax Credit Authority. Others include Standard Technologies and Dole Fresh Vegetables. Technology giant IBM is also setting up shop in the state.

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More and more Fortune 500 companies want to set up Ohio data centers. It’s a distinction that can be credited to three prominent industry thought leaders and the leading-edge services they provide to encourage data center activity.

Emerson Network Power

Located in Westerville, Emerson Network Power supplies power, thermal management, and equipment monitoring services to nationwide data centers. Scott Barbour, the company’s business leader, confirmed that practically every large data center in North America deploys its systems.

Emerson Network Power services cloud providers, commercial operators, and data centers belonging to Fortune 500 companies. Its ability to provide top-notch services and equipment makes Ohio an appealing prospect for data center operators.

American Electric Power

For companies that do business online 24/7, continuous power and strong redundancy are a must. American Electric Power, which is based in Columbus, boasts more transmission lines with extra-high voltage than any other provider of its type in the US.

In 2012, AEP established its Qualified Data Center Site certification program, which analyzes several factors to locate potential sites for data centers within the 11 states it covers. Mark James, AEP VP of economic and business development, told Columbus CEO magazine that data center managers in major commercial hubs like Chicago and New York call the power infrastructure servicing Columbus “one of the stiffest they’ve seen anywhere.”

AEP’s central Ohio presence offers attractive redundancy levels because the power supply is available from more than one substation. If one encounters a problem, the data center can still receive service from another.


Established in 1987 to connect the Ohio Supercomputer Center with other research institutions throughout the state, OARnet continues to be a key player in technology development and commercialization.

Executive director Pankaj Shah states that the company is the nation’s broadband leader. Its 100-gigabit-per-second network can send smartphone data 50,000 times faster than regular mobile data, download digital textbooks for the 1.8 million schoolchildren of Ohio in less than two minutes, and transfer the digitized contents of 80 million file cabinets on a daily basis.

A few years ago, data centers weren’t common in the state. Today, the market has grown substantially, and one reason is the access to lightning-fast networks that OARnet provides.

The Bottom Line

Technology and data transmission continues to be more and more important. Thanks to these prominent data center thought leaders, Ohio has the tools and infrastructure to handle all the data that’s needed on a daily basis.


Does your Ohio data center benefit from the resources of these prominent thought leaders? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments box below.

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