SkyBox Cloud LLC Is Moving Headquarters to Grand Rapids to Expand Midwest Presence

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SkyBox Cloud LLC, a provider of offsite server and application hosting and cloud backup for small to enterprise-sized companies, is moving its headquarters to Grand Rapids to expand into the Midwest beyond its customer base in the western United States.

Tim Averill and Shelly Averill are expanding SkyBox Cloud into the Midwest market.

Tim and Shelly Averill are expanding SkyBox Cloud into the Midwest market.

We definitely don't take a cookie cutter approach to open source cloud storage and data -- SkyBox CEO Shelly Averill.

SkyBox Cloud LLC, a provider of highly secure and reliable offsite server hosting, application hosting and cloud backup for small to enterprise sized companies, is moving its headquarters to Grand Rapids to expand into the Midwest beyond its customer base of companies primarily in the western United States.

SkyBox owns server farms in Tier 4 data storage facilities in Sacramento and Dallas that have several levels of entry security and redundancies that prevent interruptions due to loss of electricity, internet connections and cooling, said Tim Averill, the company’s chief technical officer. Established five years ago, SkyBox has seven full-time employees at offices in Reno, Nevada, two locally, and a team of about 20 subcontractors in the United States and internationally.

“While our rates are geared to be affordable for small- and mid-sized businesses, we definitely don't take a cookie cutter approach to open source cloud storage and data," said SkyBox CEO Shelly Averill, who previously held chief financial officer positions at Summit Engineering Corp. and American Ready Mix in Reno. SkyBox currently services businesses ranging from an Italian producer of premium olive oil to a design-build contractor of industrial/commercial buildings nationwide.

While SkyBox’s customer base is spread across a wide range of industry sectors, one common element is the absolute need for mission critical servers and email services to remain secure and never be interrupted, Shelly Averill said. A number of SkyBox customers once owned their own server systems, then switched over to SkyBox’s monthly service plan when they understood the hidden costs of power, cooling, hardware and software maintenance, floor space, personal property taxes and obsolescence.

“And that didn’t even include the likely probabilities of power outages, failures of their HVAC systems, and the cost of employee downtime,” she said.

Tim Averill said SkyBox farms of servers, storage arrays, switches and firewalls are located at the 500,000-square-foot RagingWire data center in Sacramento and the 670,000-square-foot CyrusOne data center in Dallas/Carrollton. The Tier 4 facilities have N +2 levels of redundancy, meaning that they have more than two separate systems that will respond to instances of outages in electricity, network connections and facility cooling.

“We've consciously selected bullet-proof facilities to house our farms, which addresses the physical care and security issues,” he said. “The other side of the equation is the planning, design and implementation of database/email systems."

“We want it to look easy – seamless – to the customer, but it’s more than just flipping a switch. We need to know a customer’s strategy, then apply our experience in system integrations and data communications to create a plan within the customer’s budget. Not many people use the word ‘creative’ when they are talking about data management, but it really is a creative exercise because there are both awkward and elegant solutions to every problem.”

SkyBox also can counsel customers on other problems they may experience, such as catastrophic network system failures and preferred software packages to achieve desired outcomes, Shelly Averill said.

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