We often hear people complaining when it rains – great weather – if you’re a duck. Well it’s stopped raining here in Newark although I understand the river Trent is still running high and I see from Facebook that trains are delayed due to flooding.
It’s bloomin’ cold out though. Staff arriving for work are wrapped up well, scarves around their faces, hands thrust firmly in pockets. It may come as a surprise to many of you that in this freezing cold weather the old “duck” saying has a modern day equivalent which is “great weather – if you’re a data centre”.
I will explain.
Our data centre in Newark is a super dooper up to the minute facility one with many energy saving devices. One of these is what we call “free air cooling”, where you use the ambient outside temperature to cool the inside of the data centre to the desired temperature. In Newark this means that for at least 7 months of the year we can cut down on the cooling costs.
This time of year, running into the frigidity that is the British winter, effects of global warming perversely kicking in big time: snow, ice and wind blasting in from the remote Siberian tundra, is a great time for a data centre. Not all data centres but certainly for our data centre.
I happened to be standing behind our Engineering Manager Will Curtis who was checking the plant monitoring and saw some very interesting stuff1.
If you click on the header photo you will see a larger representation of what we monitor on our cooling units. The cooling demand is only 2.1% which is a wonderfully low number. That data centre hall isn’t full yet but this is still a good stat. The green buttons represent actual readings and are all clearly good. Purple blocks are settings for various parameters such as thresholds for alarms.
The first inset photo on the right represents Data Hall 1. This has three out of four pods in place and shows nicely stable temperatures and humidity (RH = Relative Humidity). Pod C is clearly not there yet as the 0.0DegC temperatures reflect the absence of sensors.
The second inset photo shows the plant room monitoring. Less to see here but you can see the air temperature being fed from the outside into the interior of the Data Centre in this case 12.3DegC.
Aside being of casual interest what all this is actually telling us is that the modern data centre is an extremely high tech place. The software and control systems are very sophisticated and reflect a level of investment commensurate with the importance and value of the equipment and customer resources housed within.
If anyone wants a tour of our DC and Network Operations Centre drop me a line and I’d be happy to organise something. And as for ducks. They are best served crispy with hoisin sauce, cucumber and spring onion in a pancake wrap.
1 ok well I think it’s interesting – you don’t have to read this.