Photos: How to build a datacentre in 80 days

 

Half price racks on offer as new WA facility goes live.

View larger image View larger image View larger image

See all pictures here »

West Australian start-up HPC datacentres has built a functional, high-density co-lo centre capable of holding 120 racks in the Australian Marine Complex, just south of Perth.

The construction of the AMC data centre - shown in graphical detail in the gallery (top right) - saw HPC turn a concrete shell into an operational server room in just 80 days.

With a few redundancy features yet to be installed, the owner-operator has offered rack space at half price until September.

Design, cooling, connectivity

The AMC data centre features a raised floor and fake ceiling and offers to house customers' servers and networking equipment in Chatsworth cabinets.

Services will be sold per powered rack rather than per square metre, with the facility offering 12 kW per rack on average and up to 30 kW per rack on request. The base offering is 4 kW per rack.

HPC managing director Justin Thomas told iTnews that the young company could afford to chance new ideas from equipment vendors such as Chatsworth.

"We didn't have any pre-conceptions around using X or Y products," he said. "We didn't have that baggage, that comfort zone."

The cabinets are designed with a perforated front door, a solid back door and a chimney-like exhaust at the top, so that hot air from the rear of racks is separated from the cooler air at the front.

The hot air rises and is funnelled through the chimney into a plenum above the fake ceiling. From there, the hot air is pushed back into the cooling units and then, recirculated.

It's not hot aisle containment, since hot air never gets the chance to mix with the cold air, Thomas said.

"If I don't want to work in a thirty degree hot aisle, I wouldn't expect my staff too either," he said.

The facility is connected to fibre provided by both Telstra and Optus, plus a fibre link to a HPC point of presence within the Perth iX data centre, which interconnects with several national and international internet service providers and carriers.

AMC is fitted with Juniper EX4200 edge switches and SRX650 carrier-grade routers, with upgrades to MX series routers and EX8200 switches planned within six months.

In September, HPC also plans to introduce a microwave link, connecting the AMC data centre to facilities in the Perth CBD, as an additional layer of redundancy.

The facility uses Eaton Blade-Up UPS and Proniert gas for fire suppression.

Redundancy features on the way

Thomas told iTnews that rack space will be sold at half price at AMC until September to reflect "the lack of redundancy at this point."

A diesel generator is on order, and arrives in early September, as does the extra microwave link.

HPC is also planning to build a plant room adjacent to the facility.

At present, the data centre's UPS systems are located inside the server room and the main distribution board is sitting on the server room floor. But as more rack space is sold, HPC will finish off the plant room and move the plant equipment away from the racks.

Thomas said there would be no downtime during this transition.

"We are anticipating none," he said. "We have spent hours planning change management."

One key element to this modular approach is the use of Starline bus bars, manufactured by Universal Electric - which Thomas said was the same power distribution system used by Facebook, eBay and Sun Microsystems.

This system allows the data centre administrators to add or change power requirements "almost on the fly" without dropping power to a rack.

"The whole data centre is modular in design, you can plug and play and add and change infrastructure easily," Thomas said. "The facility is over-engineered for today, but ready for tomorrow."

Demand

Thomas expects the AMC's first customers to be those with one or two racks hosted elsewhere and wish to consolidate in a more modern, higher density facility.

He also expects demand from West Australian companies currently hosting with facilities on the East Coast. 

HPC eventually hopes to attract customers seeking 10-50 racks at a time, such that the company can start taking orders to build larger data centres.

The Australian Marine Complex is a large industrial with an adjoining technology precinct, which in itself could attract a number of customers for the data centre.

Thomas expects the AMC data centre to be the first of many data centres the company will construct.


 
 
 
Top Stories
Frugality as a service: the Amazon story
Behind the scenes, Amazon Web Services is one lean machine.
 
Negotiating with the cloud email megavendors
[Blog post] Lessons from Woolworths’ mammoth migration.
 
Qld govt to move up to 149k staff onto Office 365
Australia's largest deployment, outside of the universities.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...

Latest VideosSee all videos »

The great data centre opportunity on Australia's doorstep
The great data centre opportunity on Australia's doorstep
Scott Noteboom, CEO of LitBit speaking at The Australian Data Centre Strategy Summit 2014 in the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. http://bit.ly/1qpxVfV Scott Noteboom is a data centre engineer who led builds for Apple and Yahoo in the earliest days of the cloud, and who now eyes Asia as the next big opportunity. Read more: http://www.itnews.com.au/News/372482,how-do-we-serve-three-billion-new-internet-users.aspx#ixzz2yNLmMG5C
Interview: Karl Maftoum, CIO, ACMA
Interview: Karl Maftoum, CIO, ACMA
To COTS or not to COTS? iTnews asks Karl Maftoum, CIO of the ACMA, at the CIO Strategy Summit.
Susan Sly: What is the Role of the CIO?
Susan Sly: What is the Role of the CIO?
AEMO chief information officer Susan Sly calls for more collaboration among Australia's technology leaders at the CIO Strategy Summit.
Meet the 2014 Finance CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Finance CIO of the Year
Credit Union Australia's David Gee awarded Finance CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards.
Meet the 2014 Retail CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Retail CIO of the Year
Damon Rees named Retail CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at Woolworths.
Robyn Elliott named the 2014 Utilities CIO of the Year
Robyn Elliott named the 2014 Utilities CIO of the Year
Acting Foxtel CIO David Marks accepts an iTnews Benchmark Award on behalf of Robyn Elliott.
Meet the 2014 Industrial CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Industrial CIO of the Year
Sanjay Mehta named Industrial CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at ConocoPhillips.
Meet the 2014 Healthcare CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Healthcare CIO of the Year
Greg Wells named Healthcare CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at NSW Health.
Meet the 2014 Education CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Education CIO of the Year
William Confalonieri named Healthcare CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at Deakin University.
Meet the 2014 Government CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Government CIO of the Year
David Johnson named Government CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at the Queensland Police Service.
Q and A: Coalition Broadband Policy
Q and A: Coalition Broadband Policy
Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott discuss the Coalition's broadband policy with the press.
AFP scalps hacker 'leader' inside Australia's IT ranks.
AFP scalps hacker 'leader' inside Australia's IT ranks.
The Australian Federal Police have arrested a Sydney-based IT security professional for hacking a government website.
NBN Petition Delivered To Turnbull's Office
NBN Petition Delivered To Turnbull's Office
UTS CIO: IT teams of the future
UTS CIO: IT teams of the future
UTS CIO Chrissy Burns talks data.
New UTS Building: the IT within
New UTS Building: the IT within
The IT behind tomorrow's universities.
iTnews' NBN Panel
iTnews' NBN Panel
Is your enterprise NBN-ready?
Introducing iTnews Labs
Introducing iTnews Labs
See a timelapse of the iTnews labs being unboxed, set up and switched on! iTnews will produce independent testing of the latest enterprise software to hit the market after installing a purpose-built test lab in Sydney. Watch the installation of two DL380p servers, two HP StoreVirtual 4330 storage arrays and two HP ProCurve 2920 switches.
The True Cost of BYOD
The True Cost of BYOD
iTnews' Brett Winterford gives attendees of the first 'Touch Tomorrow' event in Brisbane a brief look at his research into enterprise mobility. What are the use cases and how can they be quantified? What price should you expect to pay for securing mobile access to corporate applications? What's coming around the corner?
Ghost clouds
Ghost clouds
ACMA chair Chris Chapman says there is uncertainty over whether certain classes of cloud service providers are caught by regulations.
Was the Snowden leak inevitable?
Was the Snowden leak inevitable?
Privacy experts David Vaile (UNSW Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre) and Craig Scroggie (CEO, NextDC) claim they were not surprised by the Snowden leaks about the NSA's PRISM program.
Latest Comments
Polls
Which bank is most likely to suffer an RBS-style meltdown?





   |   View results
ANZ
  20%
 
Bankwest
  9%
 
CommBank
  11%
 
National Australia Bank
  17%
 
Suncorp
  24%
 
Westpac
  19%
TOTAL VOTES: 1493

Vote