MCI Canada to expand Toronto data centre

MCI Canada is making room in its data centre for new customers of its hosting, colocation and session initiation protocol trunking services, the company said Monday.

Executives were offering tours of the facilities, whose expansion is still underway, at its data centre located at Don Mills and Eglinton in Toronto. The company also launched VoIP trunking service, which uses the session initiation protocol for call control and routing, allowing enterprises to create a single, pure IP connection to carrier services. It can be used, for example, to more easily add local voice services to an IP-based private branch exchange (PBX).

MCI Canada, which was founded as UUNet Canada in 1991 and later renamed WorldCom Canada, began shifting its focus from Internet access and hosting to IP-based applications, including VoIP, Web conferencing and streaming.

Robert Quance, MCI Canada’s president, said the expansion represents a seven-figure investment and will primarily be aimed at new customers, including those who have grown dissatisfied with MCI Canada’s competitors or who are struggling with their own in-house problems.

“Companies grow and build up multiple servers, then find that the cost of maintaining that infrastructure is not trivial,” he said, adding that the demand for data centre outsourcing and collocation has stayed on an uptick for the last decade. “They quickly find out through pain the value of multi-UPS generator cooling and redundancy.”

MCI Canada’s more recent customers include Resolver Inc., a Toronto-based firm specializing in compliance software which is using MCI Canada for firewalls, Web servers, databases, network management and security functions.

Jim Holleran, Resolver’s vice-president of sales, said MCI is the third hosting company which the company has used. As Resolver has grown, he said the company has realized how important it is to have a partner that can instantaneously deal with critical issues as they come up. MCI Canada, he said, has already been put to that test.

“We brought on one customer where they misjudged their own needs –  they went to 200-plus users overnight,” he said. “We had degradation in performance, and we had to work with MCI to recraft an individual network and hardware for this customer and move them in one business day into one managed solution. The customer noticed nothing.”

MCI Canada offers data services such as Frame Relay and private IP networks to offices in other countries. 

“Our roots are in IP,” said Quance. “Customers used to need private network, or they used FedEx or UPS to get stuff around . . . the value of putting all that connectivity in one location is growing. The notion that data is centrally stored becomes more important.”

The strength of the hosting and collocation market has improved the fortunes of several providers. Q9 Networks, Fusepoint Managed Services and Peer 1 Networks have all grown their data base operations considerably within the last five years.

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