Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and U.S. House Rep. Mike Rogers were among some of the state and local leaders in attendance for the grand opening of AUBix on Monday. The $120 million mission-critical data center will help bring technology uniformity to under-served communities in Alabama.
“It is days like today that prove Alabama is leading the way in innovation,” said Ivey during the grand-opening ceremony. “This data center, which is one of only a handful in Alabama, will give more businesses a technological edge and help our already innovative state take yet another step forward while also providing support for academic research.”
Many data centers are found in high-population areas such as Atlanta or Nashville. AUBix, instead, brings those same services closer to rural communities, where the outcome will be revolutionary to some areas that have had slow internet connection or no access at all.
“When a data center comes into town, customers can move to the data center and then have a broader choice of internet services through the fiber networks that are built in,” said Andrew Albrecht, co-founder and CEO of AUBix. “We have five networks built in today, and we’re expecting another seven networks to come in very shortly.”
Albrecht discussed the advantages these networks bring to clients — from healthcare companies, financial services, digital manufacturing, state and local governments and academia — when partnering with AUBix.
“They’re in a physically secure and logically secure building, meaning cybersecurity. This allows them to have more access to global networks directly on their backbone," said Albrecht. “Analogous to sitting on a well, if you will. You can draw as much as you want on that backbone. And generally, it’s lower cost and higher quality.”
Auburn University President Jay Gogue, who also attended the event, spoke of his excitement for the collaboration efforts between the university and AUBix, especially in the field of cybersecurity.
“Auburn does about $200 million a year in federal contracts, not counting the grants we receive, a couple of years ago a new federal requirement was released that had to do with data security,” said Gogue. “So, for us to be able to partner and link and do a better job growing our research, particularly in the contract period, it’s absolutely critical for us.”
“Anytime you get the private with the public, as I call it, that’s the partnership you are looking for, because the academia is going to test and test and test, and we're going to bring massive quantities of data,” added Albrecht. “Cybersecurity analysis, the CARS platform we just announced, is cyber analysis and range simulator. We’re going to be capturing, with all these networks, a whole lot of bad actors on the internet. And that’s a massive data set that we will be analyzing. We’ll invite the McCrary School of Cybersecurity focused on infrastructure, to come be a part of that. Now, they can write grants federally to figure out how they can create ways to build new cybersecurity platforms. There’s the partnership.”
The 40,000 square-foot state-of-the-art facility is located on Samford Avenue just minutes from Auburn University’s campus. Auburn Mayor Ron Anders touched on the importance of the data center being centered here in Auburn.
“We’re grateful to have such an impactful project in our community and the tax that it will generate for all of Auburn, including our school system,” said Anders. “We appreciate Governor Ivey’s leadership in supporting this project. And I’d like to thank the AUBix team for their hard work establishing mission-critical digital infrastructure and increased connectivity here in Auburn.”
“When fully operational this year, AUBix will be the most interconnected compliant data center infrastructure in the state of Alabama,” added Albrecht.