Sabey Data Centers Blog

Energy efficiency is the holy grail for data center owners and operators seeking low operational expense and minimal environmental impact. However, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council, data centers in the U.S. alone are projected to consume 139 billion kilowatt-hours by 2020, placing potential strain on the environment as well as facilities’ bottom lines.

We recently had the opportunity to sit down with John Ford, Sabey Data Centers’ Vice President and General Manager of Intergate.Seattle, to learn more about the various strategies employed at the facility to conserve energy and reduce cost. During the interview, John shared information about the history of Sabey Data Centers and its position on energy conservation and environmental responsibility, as well as how today’s trends affect data center energy consumption.

Insider Perspective

Though many are quick to blame data centers for consuming excessive amounts of power, John strongly believes that they are the most energy-efficient option for data storage:

It’s an interesting paradox because there is so much data being generated and there’s an awful lot of concern about how power is being utilized to store this information. Data centers function as central repositories for the copious amounts of data produced by burgeoning industry trends such as the Internet of Things and Big Data.

While it is undisputed that these colocation facilities use a great deal of power, this approach is much more energy-efficient than dispersing data across a wide range of smaller buildings. Simply put, it is the best and most energy efficient way to store information.

Renewable Energy

When exploring the possibility of straining available energy resources, John says it’s important to turn to renewable sources and use them in a wise and effective manner:

There are so many renewable resources available that there’s no shortage of energy, and there won’t be for the foreseeable future. However, using that energy efficiently is incredibly important. It’s paramount that we take care to ensure the energy we have is being used in smart and effective ways.

Luckily for Intergate.Seattle, its proximity to multiple renewable energy resources in the Pacific Northwest places it in a prime position to take advantage of “free” cooling techniques:

In the Northwest, we are blessed with having a lot of hydro power, which is a low cost, renewable, energy alternative. However, just having the power available isn’t a positive thing unless you’re using it conservatively. To achieve this, we have implemented multiple energy conservation techniques and use more efficient cooling and UPS systems that run on the least amount of fuel possible.


Sabey has always approached data center power consumption from a place of innovation and environmental responsibility.

Our construction company started out building pretty unique facilities ever since the 1970s, and Dave and John Sabey have always looked for new ways to build infrastructure that is more efficient and has less of an impact on the environment. Sabey Data Centers also pioneered cooling research in the early 2000s as the industry discovered that many facilities were in fact being over cooled utilizing inefficient methods. By developing and implementing new cooling techniques that use thermodynamics to their advantage, we maintained the design philosophy of keeping it simple.

Intergate.Seattle is the largest, privately-owned multi-tenant data center complex on the West Coast and Sabey Data Centers’ flagship data center property. The facility comprises two campuses, eight buildings and more than 1.3 million square-feet of data center space.

As the industry continues to develop and utilize more innovative technologies and techniques that improve the energy efficiency of data center facilities, the future is looking bright.

This really is an exciting time to be involved in the data center industry. I look forward to seeing what the future will hold as new trends and technologies emerge.

A small farming town on Washington state’s high prairie is buzzing with life: restaurants are busy, businesses are growing, infrastructure is modernizing, and ground was broken last month for a new high school. The regional airport will soon feature a daily flight to and from San Francisco.

Welcome to Quincy

Founded as a railway station in the late 19th century, Quincy (and Grant County at large) was transformed into an agricultural center upon the completion of the Grand Coulee Dam in 1942. Decades later, Quincy had little reason to take note of technology as an internet was born, a dot-com bubble grew and burst, and smartphones took up residence in every pocket.

With the rise of data centers in recent years, however, technology took note of Quincy.

Today, it’s difficult to throw a rock in Quincy without hitting one of the dozens of impressive data centers that have been built in the last decade. Enterprises and colocation providers alike have made strategic decisions to build data centers in central Washington – but why?

In 2011, Sabey Data Centers opened the door to its own Intergate.Quincy data center campus, and it has remained one of our most successful properties to date. After seven years in the region, we’d like to share what we’ve learned, and what makes central Washington such a special place for data centers.

Central Washington Energy

Clean and inexpensive hydroelectric power is a hallmark of central Washington, with prices as low as $.027 driving the total cost of ownership (TCO) for data centers to among the lowest in the country.

It’s been said that with great power comes great responsibility, so sourcing natural, renewable, and reliable power is only half of our commitment to sustainability; using that power as responsibly as possible is the other half. As a testament to our commitment, Sabey Data Centers was recently cited by the U.S. Department of Energy as having achieved the highest level of energy savings among data centers in its 2017 Better Buildings Progress Report, due in part to the unprecedented 41% energy savings at Intergate.Quincy.

Saving 6 million kW of energy annually, the campus was also awarded the highest-ever Power Players Award from the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA).

Central Washington Geography

In addition to inexpensive, renewable energy and peerless efficiency, our tenants at Intergate.Quincy (and the nearby Intergate.Columbia) also enjoy benefits of the region, such as seismic stability and a moderate climate that allows for 90% free cooling.

Available rural real estate also lends itself well to the large footprint of data centers, and central Washington has plenty. Intergate.Quincy provides 420,000 square feet of purpose-built colocation space across three strategically-designed buildings, offering modular efficiency for users of virtually any size. Built-to-suit powered shell, hybrid configurations, and wholesale turnkey colocation module options exist, all managed by an award-winning critical environment management team.

Quincy’s proximity to nearby, bursting-at-the-seams Seattle has also been a boon for its data centers, as skilled workers are all too eager to leave the rain and traffic jams behind for a smaller community and a lower cost of living. A short drive over the Cascades (or an even shorter flight from SeaTac airport) also makes central Washington data centers easily accessible by every company across the country.

As it turns out, what’s good for data centers is also good for people! Our employees, and those of our tenants, enjoy a small-town, mountain lifestyle in central Washington. Summer brings fishing, camping, and water recreation, while cold-weather sports such as skiing and snowmobiling round out the year. Data centers have breathed new life into the countryside, helping give rise to wineries, restaurants, cultural events, and conveniences that have in turn reinvigorated tourism in the region.

Central Washington Connectivity

Intergate.Quincy offers access to multiple network carriers, including Frontier Com­munications, CenturyLink, NoaNet, Noel Communications, and StarTouch. The facility also provides access to dark fiber providers such as Zayo, in addition to the SDN Next-Generation Network Platform, PacketFabric. To support the diverse connectivity requirements of tenants, Intergate.Quincy delivers multiple telecom services, diverse Points of Entry, dark fiber, Dedicated Internet Access (DIA), point-to-point, and on-ramps to the cloud.

Our remote hand services are available 24×7, providing customers with various services including cable and loopback testing, device reset, standby support, rack audits, and short- and long-term material storage.

About Sabey Data Centers

Leveraging 45 years of innovation, Sabey Data Centers has developed a wide footprint of multi-tenant data centers across North America, each designed to deliver performance, flexibility and scalability. A family-owned organization headquartered in Seattle, Sabey Data Centers boasts a portfolio of data centers from coast to coast.

If you’re interested in learning more about colocation at Sabey’s Intergate.Quincy facility, please click here or contact us.

How Hydroelectric Power Provides The Best Of Both Worlds

If you’ve ever stood along the shore listening to the persistent crashing of waves during high tide or marveled at the beauty of nature at the foot of a cascading waterfall, you’ve experienced the raw power that is water in motion.

Among the most notable innovations in history, humans have been harnessing the power of water to perform work for thousands of years, dating back to ancient Greece. This form of energy, known as hydropower, has grown and evolved over the course of time, resulting in modern-day hydroelectric power plants that harness the energy of flowing water to create electricity.

Why California-Based Companies Are Moving Their Data Center Operations To Washington State

Silicon Valley. It’s a name that conjures up tech giants such as Google, Apple and Facebook residing side-by-side in a magical, if somewhat vacuum-sealed, locale. It’s also a region where hyper- scale businesses and innovative start-ups alike base their operations in the hope that its tech-friendly environment will help drive major success. Despite its allure among technology-driven industry sectors, many California-based enterprises are beginning to realize that perhaps there’s a better place than Silicon Valley to host their data.