The folks at Expedient have been busy protecting data, and this week they’re offering to show you how at their newly expanded facility.

From private medical records and corporate files to the numbers on your credit card, data security is always at risk. Protecting data from malware and natural disasters is essential. So from noon until 6 p.m. this Thursday, Jan. 25, Expedient will host an open house to show visitors how their business works and where it happens. (Expect food, drink and networking, as well.)

The company offers cloud computing, disaster recovery and backup services at 11 data centers in seven cities, including sites in Green Tree and at their recently expanded Nova Place facility on the North Side — all connected through a private, multi-gigabit network.

It’s complicated work and hard to visualize, but increasingly vital for businesses and consumers to understand.

“I would compare what we do to a utility service,” says Jon Rosenson, senior vice president of strategic initiatives at Expedient. “Just as homes and businesses have cable, electricity, natural gas and water, data services are becoming more and more of a standard requirement.”

Beyond showcasing their own services, Rosenson says this week’s event will also highlight Expedient’s key partners, including Commvault and Zerto.

“These folks will tell our visitors what they do and how it supports what Expedient does,” he says. “We’re interested in having people in tech and leadership roles throughout the region come out and see what an asset our data centers are for them, whether they need anything now or just to see that it’s there for the future.”

Their recent Nova Place transformation — growing from 10,000 square feet to a total of 40,000 — was no small feat. A team including Etzel Engineering & Build, GBBN Architects and power equipment experts Donwil supported the project, which took 18 months and created 20 jobs.

“There had to be special engineering done to get a lot of equipment in since it’s a tight space and to avoid interruptions to service for our existing clients,” says Rosenson.

Beyond added space, the priorities were power and cooling capacity: “Even when it’s two degrees outside,” he says, “we need air conditioning.”

The expansion enabled Expedient to add a separate power plant, including the uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), switchgear and emergency generators necessary to deliver highly-available IT services.

The A-side power room at Expedient. The two power rooms are color-coded down to every wire. Photo courtesy of Nick Leaf.

Rosenson says these services are vital to Expedient’s clients across industries — including healthcare, retail and finance — that often need to comply with stringent regulations around consumer privacy (think HIPAA). With their hosting needs fully handled, these clients can focus on their own strategic initiatives.

“If I’m a health care provider, I want to focus on patient care,” Rosenson says. “If I’m in retail, I want to focus on selling stuff.”

The corridor along the operations support center at the newly-expanded Expedient space. Photo courtesy of Nick Leaf.

Black Box Network Services, for example, is currently migrating its data center environment into the Expedient platform after hosting data in Pittsburgh, Memphis and Cleveland for several years. According to Jamie Alberts, director of IT infrastructure at Black Box, geographically diverse data centers are essential to his 24-7 business.

“With Expedient’s solution, Black Box is able to leverage a ‘push-button’ disaster recovery configuration that takes a fraction of the time to recover compared to current conditions,” he says.

He believes that the Expedient expansion will help solidify the partnership between the firms and bring attention to their services at a time when Pittsburgh’s tech profile is being noticed around the world.

And it doesn’t hurt that the expanded data center is located in Nova Place, which Rosenson calls “essentially the telecommunications hub for the Pittsburgh region.”