DC BLOX donates colocation services for COVID-19 research in Alabama

June 24, 2020
DC BLOX is supporting North Alabama Charitable Computing (NACC) for COVID-19 research by donating colocation space and power, as well as providing dedicated Internet access for NACC’s compute infrastructure.

DC BLOX, a provider of interconnected multi-tenant data centers, today announced its support of North Alabama Charitable Computing (NACC), a non-profit organization that provides distributed computing resources for scientific research, including computing power for COVID-19 studies.

DC BLOX is donating colocation space and power, as well as providing dedicated Internet access for NACC’s compute infrastructure in the fight against the pandemic. Founded in Huntsville, AL by Timothy Mullican, NACC provides compute and storage resources in support of academic and scientific research.

NACC resources are pooled via distributed computing platforms, as well as internally-managed clusters, and are currently provided at no cost to research organizations. In 2018, Mullican began participating in various distributed-computing scientific research projects through the BOINC platform (Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing), an open-source software platform for computing using volunteered resources. Recently, most of the organization’s computing power has been used to support COVID-19 research.

In just a few short months, NACC has provided 40 years of computer run time and returned 103,665 modeling and simulation tasks in support of COVID-19 research via the IBM World Community Grid OpenPandemics – COVID-19 project.

As NACC has grown, power and maintenance costs have continued to rise, and the limitations of the organization's "garage-based solution" was compromising its mission. Further, NACC was looking to expand its charitable computing work by forming partnerships with local and national universities, but its reliability and power constraints needed to be addressed first.

DC BLOX recognized the value for NACC in migrating its infrastructure to a reliable, commercial data center. In donating racks and power to support these efforts, NACC can now deliver the reliability, security, bandwidth and speed that enable new partnerships across the academic and scientific world.

“Serving locally is at the core of DC BLOX’s ethos, and we couldn’t be more proud and excited to provide North Alabama Charitable Computing with a firm foundation for success,” commented Kurt Stoever, DC BLOX chief sales and marketing officer. “NACC is doing important work and we share their goal to improve our lives through research and technology. We look forward to seeing NACC grow and become an even greater resource for the research community.”

Specifically, DC BLOX is providing NACC with 100Mbps of highly available Internet access backed by multiple providers, as well as a range of colocation services including redundant power, cooling, high-speed and high-capacity networking, and physical security. DC BLOX infrastructure provides the reliability, performance and security required by NACC and its clients.

“The need for computing power across today’s research landscape is huge, and it didn’t take long to realize the need for a highly available and cost-efficient professional environment that would eliminate cost, space, power and reliability limitations,” said NACC's president and founder, Mullican. “DC BLOX gives us the credibility and infrastructure capabilities we need to establish new partnerships with institutions at the regional and national level, and NACC thanks them for their support.”

To learn more, visit www.dcblox.com.

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