Cisco Systems, one of the region's biggest employers, is set to unveil a new $100 million data center in Research Triangle Park that was touted by CEO John Chambers on his visit here over a year ago.
The two-story facility will showcase a lab where Cisco will develop and test software applications as well as a data recovery site for use during emergencies.
Cisco, the nation's largest computer networking company, hopes to sell its customers on buying routing and switching equipment to build similar data centers. The Silicon Valley company, which employs 4,800 in RTP, is so high on the data center it's hosting an open house next week to show off the facility.
The company says the dual function -- R&D lab and disaster recovery -- are unique in the industry.
"It's not the biggest data center, or the baddest or the greenest," said Cisco spokeswoman Lee Davis. "It's just a humble data center but this dual nature is really unique. It's a way of using the plumbing in a new way that no one has been able to do."
The new data cener did not require hiring employees and its workforce is distributed throughout Cisco's global office network. Cisco last month laid off 170 in RTP as part of a company-wide reorganiation that will result in the elimination of about 6,500 positions in a bid to cut $1 billion in annual operating expenses.
The RTP center is one of six data centers in the Cisco archipelago, but the only one that can switch to disaster recovery mode.
Cisco will use the center to develop software it uses for its own business to automate such functions as billing, shipping, product orders and human resources.
It's located in Building One on Cisco's RTP campus, the first building the company occupied here in the 1990s.
The 18,500-square-foot site will use 2.8 megawatts of power when fully operational.