You trust your data centre provider with your most critical IT equipment. But how well do you know the components which make up a state of the art data centre?
Data centre service providers are experts at keeping your IT systems running smoothly and efficiently, and below are a few of these high tech components that ensure security, uptime and connectivity.
Not only are data centre providers responsible for keeping your IT running, they also take every precaution to ensure the security of your equipment. Along with 24/7 security guards, cameras and restricted access badges, man traps are a standard part of our security offering. Mantraps work by detecting mass upon entering the data centre and ensure that mass is the same upon exiting, meaning goods are never removed without authorisation.
The UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) units are the first to detect if there is an issue with power feeds. They monitor the power feeds from the grid, such that any interruption in quality of supply is supported via direct current batteries during the startup of our diesel generating sets. Whether the outage from the utility is 2 minutes or 2 days, the UPS ensures customer equipment is available and running and manages successful switchover back to the grid once power is stable.
A key component of data centre infrastructure supporting IT is availability and power resilience. The generators start automatically in the event of a power outage to ensure your IT systems continue to run without disruption. The generators (or ‘gensets’ as we call them) are capable of handling the same power load as that contracted from the local power supply. We regularly test our generators to make sure they are ready to start at a moment’s notice.
PDUs (Power Distribution Units) distribute power to the individual rooms within the data centre and provide a point of electrical isolation. Load monitoring and individual power socket control ensure your equipment is fed the appropriate amount of power as agreed within the contract.
Cross Connect Cabling
Cross Connects connect your equipment to customer-space patch panels that are wired to the data centre’s Meet Me Room (MMR), where direct connections between you and your network provider are created. They provide cost-effective, reliable business connectivity for a range of applications, including connecting to carriers and Internet exchanges, private peering, cloud services and connecting to private WANs.
Meet Me Room
The MMR is the centre of connectivity in the data centre. These carrier handover points are where internet exchanges come together to exchange traffic, or peer, without having to make separate physical connections to each individual network provider.
Hot/Cold aisle containment
The first line of defence in keeping your equipment operating in peak condition is the environment, uppermost in this regard being the temperature and humidity control. Instead of having each aisle of racks facing the same direction, the aisles are aligned so that the front of the servers in one row faces the front of the row of servers across from it. This allows for conditioned ‘cold air’ aisles to protect servers while hot air is filtered through the back of the servers, creating ‘hot air’ aisles. This ensures that the cooling operations are both energy-efficient and predictable.
This image shows a raised floor, exposed ceiling data hall with pods of cabinets, contained aisle arrangements, high level IT cabling and power circuits, and pipework at the lower level.
Located on the roof of the data centre, the role of the chillers is, as their name suggests, to ensure that the right amount of cooling get to the right spaces in the data centre. Have you ever felt your laptop after it’s been on for several hours? Now imagine the heat produced from thousands of servers in a large data centre. Cooling is a core offering of data centre providers and the chillers that transport heat away from the equipment are vital components.
Chillers are made up of several components, this image shows the air cooled evaporators and the chilled water pipework.
So there we have it – each of these components is absolutely critical to the effective running of IT equipment. Together they provide a system designed and operated to ensure a smooth and reliable environment into which customers place their IT assets.