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‘Cloud’ Data Center Closes Because Federal Agencies Prefer Earth

• Caleb Garling via

Harris Corporation — an outfit that provides computing infrastructure for government agencies — is selling its super-secure data center in Harrisonburg, Virginia and leaving the “cloud computing” business, saying that both its government and commercial customers prefer hosting “mission-critical information” on their own premises rather than in the proverbial cloud.

The company tells Wired there is still a “strong market” for cloud computing services — which give businesses access to virtual computing resources across a network — but its facility outside of Washington, D.C. just didn’t suit the bottom line. “This is strictly a case where owning and operating a data center simply wasn’t efficient,” says Jim Burke, Harris vice president of corporate communications.

Harris opened its 100,000-square-foot facility in May of last year, and it was the company’s first and only cloud data center. While the company says that it has a number of commercial customers in the area, Harrisonburg’s proximity to major government agencies was a big reason for building there. In closing the data center, Harris will exit the cloud computing market completely, focusing on situations where it builds dedicated infrastructure for its customers.