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50 Most Admired Companies of The Year 2017

The leader in data center compliance, uptime and innovation: Lifeline Data Centers, LLC

thesilioconreview alex carroll rich banta co founders lifeline data centers llc 17As more efficient use of IT assets becomes a clear and pressing priority for IT organizations, the need to align the data center’s facilities and IT processes becomes greater to maintain uptime, coordinate complex integrated systems and deploy shared resources reliably. In addition, rapidly changing data processing requirements demand that data centers remain flexible and support greater rack densities. Therefore, enterprise data centers must evolve to provide the agility and efficiency that accelerate business growth. And Lifeline Datacenters, LLC can help achieve that by providing actionable intelligence for an ideal balance of high availability and peak efficiency throughout the entire data center life cycle.

Lifeline Data Centers, LLC is a privately owned, debt-free company which is involved in business and technology operations. Lifeline’s facilities are built for and used by Fortune 500 corporations, but are priced within the reach of SMB users faced with arduous uptime and/or compliance requirements. The company was originally formed in 2001 to provide a world class colocation and cross-connect facility for Central Indiana. At that time, the IT community in Indiana only had Chicago and Atlanta as colocation and hosting resources.

Ensuring the highest levels of efficiency and value for clients

Lifeline has organically grown from a small 3,000 square foot local data center and application hosting provider to the largest provider in Indiana. When Lifeline completes its current data center build, it will have 180,000 square feet of data center space and be the only company in the USA to fully provide and manage an EMP protected, highly secure, extreme uptime, colocation and cloud hosting. The company already has additional plans and resources to allow a clear path to create a total of 500,000 square feet of data center space.

 Also, as Lifeline built on the success of its early years, it has now become FedRAMP-Ready which allows Lifeline to begin discussions with any government agency, or private company to host top secret and other sensitive data. The owners of Lifeline Data Centers have long held to the goal of providing the very best colocation and hosting services available. At this time, Lifeline is pursuing public and private cloud Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings which include OS hosting, Hadoop hosting and hosting certain database platforms.

Factors that have optimized data center operations

  • Innovation – Lifeline Data Centers has developed new methods for power and cooling delivery that allows extreme system redundancy and tolerance to mechanical failures in the data center.
  • Compliance/Auditing – In 2004, Lifeline Data Centers started investing in business/security standards that were acknowledged as best practices in the public sector. Since that time, Lifeline has become FedRAMP Moderate compliant. Over the course of this time, Lifeline has monetized its compliance with these standards by providing the benefit to corporate America. This action has been very well received in the corporate governance and risk management sectors, which is driving a lot of IT decisions.
  • Customer Service – One of the hallmarks of Lifeline is its dedication to helping the customer. The owners of Lifeline have been on the IT side of the table and they fully understand the daily problems that IT professionals encounter. Lifeline, as an entire organization, works continuously to remove barriers for its customers, so they can successfully run their businesses. 
  • In-sourcing all operational tasks – A big problem that exists in today’s business environment is the outsourcing of critical operational tasks. Lifeline directly employs people to execute on all tasks required to successfully run a data center and cloud hosting environment. This ensures a consistent response to customer needs and allows Lifeline to provide the highest level of response.  
  • Internal staff education and team building – Lifeline focuses on the need to have all employees on the same page and empowers them to perform their duties.

Comprehensive data center facilities management solutions

Lifeline is introducing EMP/CME (Electromagnetic Pulse/Coronal Mass Ejection) protection as standard to all of its new data center build outs, which also provides a relatively quick and easy path to TEMPEST and SCIF rated facilities. Lifeline’s CISO works closely with the FBI, NIST, and MITRE. It is because of Lifeline that EMP protection is being written into nationally mandated NIST standards.

Lifeline has also built a 4 MW solar farm, which effectively means that Lifeline Data Centers is powered with renewable energy. Lifeline captures and recycles condensate water, which it innovated into a new method of reducing the power required to cool the data center.

The roadmap ahead

Lifeline is now providing PaaS with Windows and Linux OS’s, Hadoop and certain database platforms.Lifeline will open its next data center in 2018, which will be the FIRST data center in the country to offer Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) protection as a standard offering.  This is a large and upcoming protection requirement for certain types of data under nationally mandated NIST 800-53 R5 controls.

Lifeline is becoming the standard of how a data center and cloud provider must operate if data is secure and always available. Over the next few years, Lifeline sees significant progress in on boarding a large number of new customers with the high-end needs that only Lifeline Data Centers can provide.

Knowing the leaders behind Lifeline Data Centers

Alex Carroll, Co-Founder: Alex is responsible for finance, business development, real estate, design/construction and mission critical facilities: hardened buildings, power systems, cooling systems, fire suppression, and environmental. Alex also has an extensive background in IT infrastructure administration/support, database administration & programming, and software design and development. Alex is hands-on every day in the data center. He holds many certifications, including: RCM Professional, Master Electrician License, EPA 608 Universal, EPA 609, PM Tech, Indoor Air Quality.

Rich Banta, Co-Founder: Rich is responsible for Compliance and Certifications, Data Center Operations, Information Technology and Client Concierge Services. Rich is the Chief Information Security Officer and holds the following industry credentials: CISSP, CCSP, CISA, CRISC, CFCP, CDCDP, CTIA, and CTDC, which makes him far and away the most credentialed data center and Cloud Service Provider owner/operator in the United States. Rich serves on several cybersecurity working groups and task forces, including the Indiana Governor’s Executive Council on Cybersecurity. Rich is an Air Force veteran and the former CTO of a major health care system. Rich is hands-on every day in the data centers.

“Lifeline’s path has been set by providing system uptime and compliance for customers that require third party audits to stay in business. This will continue to take shape and change as the corporate world continues to drive their data into a more secure environment.”