A Canadian telecommunications company is moving ahead with plans to build a small data center in Bend.
Officials with Cascade Divide Enterprises filed planning documents with the city last week, outlining a proposal to build four, 5,600-square-foot data pods, or wings, attached to the building at 213 S.W. Columbia St.
The company, formerly called Navigata, bought the building in July 2012. The building used to house biopesticide company Suterra, before it moved to northeast Bend's Juniper Ridge in 2010.
Cascade Divide offers data storage for companies and government agencies that want to store large amounts of data in remote locations, a process called cloud computing. In the past, Cascade Divide has stored data for large Canadian organizations like the Province of British Columbia and energy company BC Hydro, the company has said.
But it has pushed into the United States in recent years, said John Warta, Cascade Divide's chairman. Earlier this year, the company opened a 25,000-square-foot data center outside of Roseburg. The idea behind building in Oregon is to offer data storage for companies across the West Coast, with equal access to California, Oregon and Washington.
But it's also meant to give data storage options for startup companies that want to locate in Bend, Warta told The Bulletin in an email.
He said the first data pod in its Bend building could be operational as early as April.
Eventually, Cascade Divide could install 10 to 12 data pods in the Columbia Street building, each filled with data racks and servers.
“We will build them based on demand,” Warta said, “so as we fill one up, we will start another one.”
Managing the data center will create several information technology jobs, though Warta said it was difficult to tell how many at this point.
“We expect to have several new employees in Bend,” as the data center pods come online, he said.
Navigata was operating five data centers across Canada before rebranding as Cascade Divide earlier this year.
Company officials are set to meet with the city on Nov. 7 to discuss the proposal.