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Top tags: Date Centre  Datacentre  efficiency  EMKA UK  central  Cooling  data  data centre  London  cloud  data centre security  Location  pue  swinghandles  connectivity  EMKA  energy-efficient computing  LDeX Group  air management  anti contamination  BioLock  data centre cleaning  data centre security;  disaster recovery  EU CODE of Conduct  infrastructure  planning  power  university of east london  building 

Air-side free-cooling: direct or indirect systems and their impact on PUE

Posted By Robert Tozer, Operational Intelligence Limited, 01 October 2015

There is a general perception that direct air systems are more cost efficient and hence the default option. However, providing the design incorporates good air segregation, recommended ASHRAE equipment environmental conditions and adiabatic cooling of the outdoor air, for most cities warmer than London, the indirect air systems are considerably more efficient than the direct air systems. This is because many more hours of free cooling can be achieved with adiabatic cooling without affecting the indoor conditions. Furthermore, zero-refrigeration in most of the world is possible with this solution. For cooler climates, direct systems are only marginally more efficient.

Often when data centre free cooling is discussed, people assume this means direct fresh air cooling. However, in climates warmer than London, indirect air systems are more efficient than direct air systems and can allow refrigeration to be eliminated and considerably reduce the electrical plant sizing requirements. Use of adiabatic evaporative cooling on the outdoor airstream allows free cooling to be achieved for many more hours in the year when there are hot, dry conditions. Further detail on the application for free cooling in data centres is available in our technical papers.

 

Tags:  air management  Cooling  Date Centre  Location  London  pue 

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Disaster Recovery Q & A with Patrick Doyle, Director at LDeX

Posted By Anne-Marie Lavelle, LDeX Group, 08 July 2014

Disaster Recovery Q & A with Patrick Doyle, Director at LDeX

Patrick Doyle, COO at London based colocation and network connectivity provider LDeX, shares his thoughts about why organisations should opt for colocation over keeping their disaster recovery in-house for business continuity purposes.

First of all, what do you see as the main reasons for organisations opting for colocation over having an in-house facility which caters for its disaster recovery needs?

There are many reasons for choosing colocation over keeping disaster recovery in-house:

1)    Scalability

Businesses opt for colocation based services due to the scalability benefits of having a datacentre facility which caters to the client’s expanding customer base. Datacentres have extensive capacity to be able to cope with large increases in the number of servers, infrastructure and systems which need to be installed, connected and maintained at a moment’s notice. This is something which is not always feasible in an in-house facility.

2)    Stronger bargaining power to negotiate energy pricing

Datacentres have stronger bargaining power to negotiate prices on energy pricing for power, cooling and critical load protection. LDeX for instance has recently fixed prices for a three year period so that customers are able to obtain colocation without the heavy price tag which would usually go hand in hand with data storage.

3)    Security and 24×7 support

Having your systems stored on site poses a tremendous risk to the organisation in that if the systems go down or there is a fire in the building, the business may be offline for a substantial period of time which would lead to decreasing revenues and profit margins. By storing your systems offsite in a location which is away from a flight path or a flood plain which is safe, robust and secure with perimeter control, companies can be assured that there will be 100% uptime and that there are datacentre engineers and security measures such as facial recognition monitors and mantraps to ensure your company’s online presence is protected at all times. LDeX owns its own datacentre facility which is situated on Staples Corner, beside the M1, giving customers access to the site without being in the centre of London.

4)    On hand expertise

Datacentre specialists are on hand 24 x 7 to provide support when needed within a timely period so that in the unlikely event that something does happen, it is being dealt with by engineering experts. At LDeX, the data centre, network engineering and senior management team are on hand on a 24x7x365 basis giving clients reassurance that their business is our priority.

These services are critical and clients like to have that extra support to have advice about how to mitigate against potential network attacks such as DDoS attacks. Having that specialist expertise at the right moment is priceless when you compare it to how much your company would lose if something happened to your business which affected your revenue stream.

5)    Full control over your systems

Colocation offers the business a way of installing its equipment into a resilient datacentre with the ability to have full control over its IT systems. It means that the business can focus on what it does best while the datacentre provider looks after the backend and its business continuity.

6)    Minimal risk of construction charges

Finally, locating your infrastructure within a carrier neutral facility such as LDeX means that the business has an array of network providers to choose from which minimises the risk of excess construction charges.

With over 20 years’ experience in the industry, what do you see as the specific considerations for choosing a colocation provider for disaster recovery?

Access to the support team

Having a support team which has the experience and knowledge to cope with any situation which may arise in a calm and reasonable way is paramount in being able to deliver on tight SLAs. When disaster recovery is required, the onsite data centre support team should be able to react on behalf of the client in a promptly manner. Clients often appreciate that the advice that we offer on how this problem should be dealt with and give updates on what work is being done as and when it happens.

As mentioned, datacentre operators have rigorous physical and network support using a multi-tiered approach in order to mitigate any breaches which might arise otherwise on an onsite location. Datacentre facilities are not only monitored on a 24×7 basis via an offsite security company, but security staff on hand would have set procedures to follow to alert police automatically. Facial recognition monitors, tags, mantraps and laser trip wires are just some of the additional measures which are in place acting as a deterrent to intruders.

Proximity to the client’s site

Clients often have different preferences and requirements with regards to how close they would like to be in proximity to the datacentre which they use for their business services. Some clients prefer to be a reasonable distance away from the client’s site in order to provide protection from a major disaster. You also get clients who like to be in proximity to the colocation facility for ease of access.

Are there any hidden costs associated with colocation that users need to be aware of?

The norm would be that all colocation related costs which arise post contract are usually well documented. From time to time, there are usually some services which arise on an ad hoc basis such as remote hands or scheduled engineering, copper and fibre cabling work which needs to be availed of when the client cannot get to the facility within a specific time period. Although this is charged on top of the standard service, the client is always given options in these instances.

Is there a certain point where enterprises are basically too big to use a colocation provider for disaster recovery?

At the moment, there is a lot of consolidation taking place in the market place where large global companies are consolidating their regional disaster recovery from multiple data centres into one large datacentre. LDeX has recently signed contracts with a two US based clients which are currently doing this.

Do colocation providers offer visibility into systems remotely? Or is that just something you have to set up on your own, or assign staff to work at the remote location?

Datacentre providers typically offer visibility into power utilisation per power feed so a client can see how much power they are using at any given time. The clients IT systems are usually managed by the client which is one of the main unique selling points of colocation.

Patrick Doyle, COO at LDeX Group

Tags:  connectivity  Datacentre  Date Centre  disaster recovery  LDeX Group  London 

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From Fantasy to Reality

Posted By Michelle Martin, Geo Networks, 24 April 2014

Adventures in Subterranean London - a guest blog by Ian Livingstone CBE

In East London overlooking the Olympic Park I am waiting in line for my turn to venture down the dark tunnels of an underground infrastructure that has been in place for over a hundred and fifty years.

As I watch my fellow fortune seekers take their turn to climb slowly down the iron ladder which runs the length of the brick-lined shaft of this eerie Victorian structure, I feel somewhat unprepared for a challenging quest with no sword or shield or even potions of strength or healing to protect me. I am convinced a horde of Zombies is lying in wait in the murky depths below.

As I approach the ladder I take a couple of deep breaths of fresh air, unsure of what the air will be like in the subterranean tunnels. I descend slowly and inhale my first lungful. It’s not a bad as I had imagined. I reach the bottom of the ladder where it disappears into slow-moving brownish water. The air is dank and mildly unpleasant, but at least there are no Zombies. I step down into the foul water, thankful for my long Wellington Boots, feeling them sink into the silt-covered floor. For a moment I worry my boots are not high enough to keep the dark liquid at bay.

My eyes soon adjust to the semi-darkness. Peering into the gloom, I imagine a hideous creature from my own Deathtrap Dungeon to leap out of the shadows. Around the corner in a narrow section of the tunnel, I half expect a Bloodbeast to rise up from the foetid waters to attack me with its stinging tail.

Luckily for me, nothing that dramatic happens on my tour of the Victorian sewers. My footwear was leak-proof and there were no man-eating creatures stalking the tunnels.

I began this adventure as a result of speaking at a conference on the subject of broadband. I referred to the genius and forethought of Sir Joseph Bazalgette who in the 1860s ignored all his critics when building London’s sewers. He insisted on making the sewers six times bigger than required for the anticipated demand. I likened his visionary decision about sewage pipes to those that must be made today about building super high-speed broadband pipes for the digital world to ensure there is enough future capacity for the exponential growth in data consumption.

What I didn’t realise when I was giving my talk was that there was one organisation coincidentally using Bazalgette’s 150 year-old Victorian infrastructure to house its own future-proofed fibre optic network. After my talk I was invited by Geo Networks to see for myself how these two impressive feats combined; one in construction engineering and the other in high technology.

I’ve been privileged to work in the games industry for nearly 40 years. I co-founded Games Workshop in 1975 with an old school friend Steve Jackson with whom I also co-created Fighting Fantasy gamebooks in the 1980s. I made the leap into video games in the early 1990s, and as Chairman of Eidos launched Tomb Raider in 1995. These days my business interests lie in helping new digital games developers such as Playdemic and Midoki to become the world’s best games makers. The video games industry is big business. Annual global revenues from software are $50 billion and forecasted to rise to $90 billion by 2016. With console games, PC games and mobile games, there is something for everybody to play these days, both for men and women, and young and old. Games have become part of mainstream culture and are socially, culturally and economically important as music and film.

The games industry is in constant transition due to constant changes in technology. Moving away from boxed products sold at retail to digital services online, one thing in common that most new games have today is the need for big bandwidth.

The cloud computing phenomenon that is taking place right now is certainly helping the growth and profitability of the video games industry. Super high-speed broadband is a must-have requirement. Cloud Gaming is the streaming of game play whereby players download a small client to gain access to the game running on a separate server. Server-based games also help solve piracy issues which were so prevalent in the boxed product era of video games.  With cloud gaming it is vital that bandwidth and latency issues are resolved to allow games to run at optimum speeds to keep players happy. Bandwidth affects the quality of play, and big bandwidth is needed so that people can enjoy the full experience. Also on hand are data compression solutions such as technology developed by Tangentix Ltd which compresses games ~ 3x. Bandwidth and connectivity should be a given so that game developers can concentrate on creating the best gameplay experience rather than worry about latency issues.

After surviving my fascinating tour of London’s sewers, I exited the impressive Victorian infrastructure via the same ladder that I used to begin my quest. As I stepped back out into the sunlight there was no crowd of cheering people awaiting my return to the outside world or the infamous Baron Sukumvit of Fang there to hand me a purse of 20,000 gold pieces for surviving his cruel dungeon. Although, let’s be honest, it was a safe bet that under the watchful eye of the brilliant Thames Water team I was always going make it out alive and well, Bloodbeast or no Bloodbeast! 

Follow Ian on his adventures by following him on Twitter @ian_livingstone

Tags:  connectivity  infrastructure  London  network 

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Access to Data Centres: more than just an afterthought in times of crisis

Posted By Anne-Marie Lavelle, London Data Exchange, 27 March 2014
Updated: 27 March 2014

Access to Data Centres: more than just an afterthought in times of crisis


We are all hoping that the severe floods experienced recently in parts of the UK are now behind us. However damaging they may have been to the public and businesses alike, they should have acted as a wake up call for business planners & those responsible for running critical infrastructure to revisit their approach to business continuity and disaster recovery planning

As media reports have highlighted, the importance of the right disaster recovery plans in the advent of a natural disaster is even more crucial with the ever changing unpredictable weather patterns we now seem to be faced with .

The recent floods should have also prompted a further consideration for business planners, namely as to where to their locate their data centre resource, and how accessible it will be during a natural disaster.

 

The floods were especially severe along large swathes of the Thames Valley region, including Slough and other locations along the M4 corridor, which are popular data centre locations. Staines and Egham for example were particularly hard hit because of their proximity to the River Thames, and were at times completely inaccessible.

Physical access to data centres is therefore a vital element that can often be overlooked or ignored by business planners. Because if you cannot access your data centre physically, then how can engineers access the data centre to ensure it remains operational or repair faults, or even to top up the diesel for the backup power generators? Diesel generators can only operate as long as they have the fuel to run them. If a server running mission critical applications for your business went down due to a fault, what would happen if one your engineers tried to visit the Data Centre to replace a faulty machine and they simply could not get to the facility because of road closures due to flooding making access impossible?

This last point was starkly illustrated when Hurricane Sandy hit New York in late 2012. When it hit the ‘Big Apple’, a lot of websites were knocked offline as local data centres became flooded or lost power. One data centre (Lower Manhattan’s Peer 1) managed to remain operational because physical access was still possible. This allowed volunteers to carry diesel fuel in buckets after flooding had shorted out a basement fuel pump.

Thus physical access is a vitally important consideration for business planners, if data centres are to remain operational in times of crisis. It is not just a question of having the appropriate disaster recovery plans and flood defences.

Business planners who are choosing a data centre location need to consider the following factors. Is the facility on (or near) a flood plain? Are there major roads nearby that are likely to remain open? What are the public transport links like? Not all data centres are created equal in this regard. But some have much better accessibility options than others. Many Data Centre operators will state that their facility is not on a flood plain and this maybe the case, but what business planners should look more carefully into is the proximity of the facility to areas that may be prone to flooding that could impact accessibility to the Data Centre they are hosted in.

LDeX for example has a 22,000sq ft carrier neutral colocation facility located at Staples Corner (North West London). The facility is not on a flood plain and it is elevated 65 metres above sea level which is one the highest points in London. Accessibility is guaranteed because it is situated at the convergence of a major road network (the M1 motorway and A406 London Ring Road) and in close proximity to the A40, M40, M25 & M4. It also well within the boundaries of the M25, meaning that public transport links are also plentiful.

Therefore business planners need to reassess their disaster recovery plans following the recent floods, and factor in some new considerations. They need to factor in the physical accessibility of their chosen data centre in any future plans.

Data Centre operators whether corporate or multi-tenanted should also be considering these issues when planning investment and doing feasibility on their next Data Centre build

After all, it is worth remembering that yes, network connectivity is very important, power always on paramount, but physical connectivity is equally crucial and should not be ignored.

Arpen Tucker, Group Commercial and Strategic Director at LDeX Group

 

Tags:  Datacentre  Date Centre  disaster recovery  Flooding  LDeX Group  London 

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Senior Management Team key to datacentre success

Posted By Anne-Marie Lavelle, London Data Exchange, 27 March 2014

Senior Management Team key to data centre success 

I am often asked what the key ingredients to running a successful company are. Particularly one which operates world class carrier neutral data centres in the UK. My answer is simple – having a well-oiled Senior Management Team (SMT).

Having seen data centre operators come and go over the last two decades, those that stick around or have been acquired are generally those that have a solid SMT-a leadership function that Winston Churchill would be proud of.

Since we hit the financial crisis of 2008, increasing pressure has been put on our FD’s and CFO’s to ensure that supply chains are as robust on the inside as they appear on the outside. Credit scoring and financial due diligence is becoming par for the course and general procurement pessimism is at its peak.

This “procurement pessimism” is felt throughout the industry with protracted sales cycles and longer than ever lead times on contract completions following months of contract negotiations on “what if…” scenarios and clauses. Everyone is cautious  not to expose their company to potential unnecessary liability and  prudent not to put their job at risk…knowing oh too well such things like jobs are like rocking horse manure in times of austerity.

This is why it is imperative at this crucial time to ensure you have your ducks in a row. A quality SMT comprised of professional, dedicated and highly experienced individuals is essential in order to  ensure that  all aspects of a well-oiled machine; remain well-oiled and regularly serviced.  The highly geared asset rich nature of a data centre operator requires a keen balance between cash flow and debt.  One doesn’t want to starve the business of cash to allow for the next phase of construction to begin, however one also doesn’t want to overly expose the company to mountains of debt that is unserviceable. One also needs to keep a keen eye on the company’s order books to ensure whichever route the CFO decides to take to fund the next phase, there is sufficient technical space available to furnish the new orders, on time.  This is a prime example where the COO and CFO need to work in harmony.

Finally, a well-oiled SMT needs to know how to delegate.  There isn’t much point in being well-oiled, if the SMT are the ones applying the oil, and for this reason, delegation is another key skill which is  crucial to a successful SMT and the successful operation of a data centre.  Having the ability to communicate the key objectives as well as being able to articulate the  company’s ethos and message statement down the chain is an important attribute to have.  Your staff will look to you for leadership and how the SMT is portrayed in their day to day roles will rub off on them.  Remember, whatever message you are putting out to your team will eventually filter all the way down to your customers…so make it a good one!

It takes years to gain the relevant experience within an SMT to orchestrate this fine balancing act required within a data centre operator.  Procurement managers and CFO’s will no doubt look to the balance sheet to give them comfort that their preferred supplier of data centre services will be here not just today, but tomorrow as well.  Secondly, however, if not at the same time, the SMT will be interrogated on experience and their ability to gel well together as a leadership function and share the same company direction and ethos and its ultimate goals.  They will look to the SMT for a team of sensible, responsible individuals who have the company’s best interests at heart and who can steer the ship through bumpy waters and come out of the other side relatively unscathed.

What does all this mean - well get it right and it could mean more golf, which is good for all of us. Get it wrong and the consequences could be disastrous.

Rob Garbutt, CEO at LDeX Group

Tags:  Datacentre  Date Centre  LDeX Group  London 

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A Day in the Life of a Data Centre Supervisor

Posted By Anne-Marie Lavelle, London Data Exchange, 27 March 2014
Updated: 27 March 2014

A Day in the Life of a Data Centre Supervisor 

If you’re reading this blog, you are probably somebody who follows the data centre industry closely and are use to reading about the data centre trends and developments. With all this in mind, I thought I would give you a high level insight of a day in a life of a data centre supervisor with some of our best practices that we follow in our facility.

I am responsible for the day-to-day operations at our North West London facility that include, managing the team of data centre technicians, supporting our clients, maintaining the high operational standards, as well as following our PPM plan.

As the data centre supervisor I have a number of tasks every morning as well as a checklist that our on-site data centre technicians would carry out. I have listed the 4 key points from my checklist below:

1. Data Centre Security

When my day starts at 07:00 I have to make sure all of our security cameras are running effectively as well as checking the security night report, this can be obtained by on site security or from our third party monitoring centre.

2. Data Centre Cooling

Also included in my morning checklist is to check the facilities temperature and humidity graphs that are retrieved from a number of probes placed within the data halls. I have to make sure we stay within our data centre service level agreement (SLA) and this is carried out by a number of alarms in place that will alert us 24 x 7 of any fluctuations.

3. Data Centre Operations

As you know the data centre needs 100% uptime. Firstly I would check our on-site power generation and then move onto our three string UPS system to check for any unusual activity.

4. Data Centre Cleanliness

I believe a clean data centre is a happy data centre. My team of data centre technicians are always making sure the data halls are clean, dust free and well presented.

If you are looking for any more in depth information on the above click here

As a data centre supervisor, I believe everything is your business and this is exactly why I go that extra mile to make sure all our customers are always fully supported and comfortable with every aspect of our service.

Jesse South - LDeX Group Data Centre Supervisor 

Tags:  data centre cleaning  Date Centre  London  operational best practice 

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Energy Efficiency & Sustainability Workshop Reminder

Posted By Kelly Edmond, 17 February 2014

 

 

A reminder to all members that the DCA are holding an Energy Efficiency & Sustainability Workshop which is being held at the University of East London. This will be on Tuesday 25th February. 

 

The purpose of this workshop is to discuss/review the following ISO standards and EU Code/EN updates. All members are welcome to contribute.
 

If you are interested in attending please go to our Event Calendar for more information and RSVP. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding this. We hope to see you there!


Kelly Edmond

DCA Membership Executive

kellye@datacentrealliance.org 

Tags:  efficiency  London  university of east london 

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Safehosts London - Launch Event

Posted By Dave Cartwright, Safehosts, 30 August 2012

 

We'd like to invite you to join us for the launch of our new Datacentre, at 190 Great Dover Street, London SE1 on the 12th September.

Our new Central London site offers 880 rack footprints, which can be configured as single racks, private suites, and private floors.

RSVP here: http://safehosts.eventbrite.co.uk - if the date and time aren't convenient, do get in touch with me directly - dave@safehosts.co.uk - and I'll arrange a private tour for you.

 

 

 

Tags:  Datacentre  Launch  London 

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