Request for proposals: New datacenter in the continental US

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The Wikimedia Foundation’s Technical Operations team is seeking proposals on the provisioning of a new datacenter facility.
After working through the specifics internally, we now have a public RFP posted and ready for proposals. We invite any organization meeting the requirements outlined to submit a proposal for review. Most of the relevant details are in the document itself, but feel free to reach out to myself or anyone on the Technical Operations team should anyone have any questions.

Please, feel free to forward this link far and wide; have colleagues, contacts or friends in the datacenter sector? Then please, forward it on! 🙂
Below are the primary requirements, excerpted from the RFP:

Primary Requirements

  • The data center location must be in the midwestern/western continental US (i.e., Chicago westward).
  • The capacity for at least 32 enclosures initially; expansion possibilities (first right of refusal in contract on adjacent or nearby cage area) for another row of 8.
  • We will utilize enclosures that are 1050 mm deep, and request pricing for (footprint for) enclosures both 600 mm and 800 mm wide.
  • The capability for redundant 30A * 3 Phase 208V circuits in each enclosure, with a usable power density of 8.6kW per enclosure.
  • Additionally, redundant cooling is required, with a maintained inlet / cold aisle temperature of 65-80F, and 40-60% relative humidity.
  • Secure cage(s) are preferred, versus shared row access. Enclosures, if provided, must be lockable, and only WMF employees or direct employees of the data center provider should have access.
  • The site should have power redundancy systems that are adequate and well maintained at a minimum of N+1.
  • We seek a contract with the direct maintainer of the data center to avoid future complication. No resellers.
  • We request an equipment storage area: We will require on hand spare hardware, and a location to store this equipment. A minimum storage area of 5 cubic feet is required.
  • We require a significant number of diverse carriers available within the center.
  • We require the data center to be “carrier neutral” and able to provide equal access to all carriers without preferential treatment.
  • For remote work, we require 24/7 availability of onsite smart hands via data center staff.
  • Additionally, 24/7 on-site security is also required.
  • For access, we require 24/7 unescorted facility and cage access for WMF staff and pre-approved third parties.
  • We ask that you maintain a functional, well-designed portal for ordering/provisioning and ticket requests.
  • The environmental impact of the facility (cooling efficiency, reclaimed water, etc) will be an important consideration for final site selection.

For more information, see the full RFP. This RFP is currently expected to be open until November 8.
Ken Snider, Director of Technical Operations, Wikimedia Foundation

Archive notice: This is an archived post from, which operated under different editorial and content guidelines than Diff.

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Have you _not_ been reading the papers or watching the news? Putting a datacenter in the US is paramount to directly handing the US government details on whatever it is that anybody searches Wikipedia for. And if the thought of that does not set off alarm bells in your head, you or whoever gave you this task are not suited for this task.

As you can imagine, the legal landscape – just about everywhere – is privacy-hostile at the moment. Places that one might have considered “safe” (the UK, Australia, etc) have recently shown themselves willing to put privacy and security concerns second when it is in the national (or political) interest of those in power. Clearly, to satisfy our mission of reaching every human being, we will need additional datacenters, and those decisions will need to be made on technical, political, and legal grounds. But this particular project is a technical one – we are in need of a second, modern facility… Read more »

Just come to Romania, the highest gigabit speed from 3 providers , lots of power , sun for solar power, cheap prices and world famous IT people . Ask IC3 Romania if you don’t know them . Or microsoft, the romanian language is the 2nd only to english there

The reason for wanting a datacenter in the US is obvious if you think about it: they want (need) to better serve US visitors, specifically in or around the area they want to put the datacenter. When you’re a site this large, you don’t just pick somewhere random that has better privacy for a datacenter – you pick somewhere that’s going to give customers what they want, which is a fast, reliable service. People (in general) don’t care about privacy, and if they did then that would impact the decision of where to put a datacenter.

demize, although you say it’s true, WMF should know that there is a whole world outside of United States, and USA is not the centre of the world
Furthermore, they also should consider the privacy issues with the US goverment before take an action.

In order to be helpful I thought you should know carrier limits exist in Colorado to that of Quest Communications. Texas used to be deregulated, but appears to have legislated to one with that being AT&T.

the state and city is wrong I live in MILWAUKEE WI I would like it to be corrected thank u