Raymond James moves data center to Denver

Weather worries trigger move away from Florida headquarters

Feb 13, 2014 @ 6:35 pm

By Joyce Hanson

Concerns about increasing hurricane frequency prompted Raymond James Financial Inc. to move its data center to Denver from its headquarters in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Plans for the relocation have been under way since mid-2012, but the most extensive data move occurred over the three-day Presidents Day weekend.

The Denver facility will have 30 employees. Globally, Raymond James employs 10,000 people, with approximately 3,500 at its home office.

The decision to house Raymond James' primary technology hardware in a 50,000-square-foot facility in Denver was triggered by concerns about the weather and potential natural disasters, according to company officials.

The new center will feature feeds to multiple power grids, expanded Internet capabilities and additional redundancies, said David Allen, chief technology officer.

Before selecting Denver, the company studied a handful of geographic locations across the country, according to Mr. Allen.

“Denver was most immune to natural disasters,” he said. “We are at the scale and failure capabilities of a world-class data center.”

Raymond James' operations, information technology and other support functions continue to be located in St. Petersburg, as well as in Memphis, Tenn., and Southfield, Mich.

David Shepard, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Fortrust, a large data services provider with offices in Denver, Phoenix and Edison, N.J., said that risk mitigation is a primary reason why financial services firms move data centers.

“Denver is an ideal location for a data center because of its central proximity and low geographic risk,” he said. “For financial services, the Denver location provides access to a low-cost power grid and a strong employment base because of tech sector investment by the state of Colorado as well as colleges with computer engineering programs.”

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