When selecting a data center it is important to
understand how the design aspects of this can be used to benefit your
organization. The Data Center is a Class A enterprise level data center that
features high availability in one of the safest locations worldwide.
Features of the Data
Reduced risk of natural disasters such
as earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes.
- Reduced risk of terrorism threats.
An ample supply of clean and stable
power that meets our 100% Uptime guarantee.
Fast fiber optics with direct peers to
major network access points with mass volumes of reliable bandwidth.
N+1 redundancy on power and cooling
within the data center facility.
Remote location with a minimum of 250
miles from the nearest major airport or metropolitan area.
- Fully redundant GE Power Generators
Carrier grade 48VDC power and
Highest level of security to meet the
high demands for compliance hosting (HIPPA, SOX, SAS70).
Redundant Liebert Air handlers and
Dual FM-200 gas and VESDA early smoke
Video Surveillance, card and biometric
access control systems and proximity/motion detectors.
in Cedar Falls, Iowa, the Data Center immediately met the criteria of being in
a remote location geographical region free of earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes.
- Over 500 feet above any flood level.
Low concentration of population and
over 250+ miles from any major city or airport.
Elimination of natural disaster
threats by positioning the data center in a flood, hurricane and earthquake
A hardened structure able to withstand
Architectural Design Benefits
The outside of the Data Center naturally blends in with
the surrounding buildings in the office complex. It has no distinguishing
feature that would identify it as an Enterprise Data Center. Once you have
entered the Data Center you will begin to see the major differences between a
standard office building and a secured enterprise data center. Cameras record
all visitors 24×7 and the videos are archived for 45 days. Secured areas inside
the data center are protected by key cards and biometric hand scanners.
The Network Operation
Security and monitoring of the data center takes place in
the Network Operation Center.
From this location, data center engineers monitor
security, cooling, power, and network subsystems.
The Underground Bunker
The underground design of the Data Center is for
additional safety. A 400-ton coolant system in the rear of the data center
provides enterprise level cooling and fresh air distribution throughout the
Entry into to data center is protected by a "Man
Trap" that requires key card and biometric hand scans for entry. The Man
Trap is protected by bullet proof glass and monitored with security cameras.
There are 2-foot cast concrete walls that surround the
data center. These walls are built with dual reinforced rebar and a rubber
membrane to protect it from water sources. Utilizing specifications from the
Department of Energy, this data center meets requirements of highest standards
and compliance. It is designed to withstand F4 tornadoes and wind speeds of up
to 200 Miles per Hour. Since the data center is built securely underground, a
special design was used for the ground level. The top floor of the data center
has the ability to collapse inwards without damaging the underground data
In the event of a F4 Tornado, the upper story of the
building is designed to collapse. If that does not happen, the energy will blow
out the building including the internal walls that are the support structure
for the top level.
In order to protect the underground area from the
collapse of the ground floor level, the ceiling of the data center is a
concrete court deck that features layers of rubber and fleet. The Data Center
is a true underground bunker protecting your managed hosting and is considered one of the Top 10 safest data
center locations worldwide.
Data Center Cooling
Cooling inside a data center is one of the most important
aspects of maintaining reliable managed hosting servers. Maintaining a 70
degree or less temperature inside the data center allows servers to run cooler
and perform faster at higher availability. Specifically, cooler temperatures
reduce the risk of overheating and hardware failure.
Raised floors have traditionally been used in data center
rooms for cable management, but they reduce air flow making it harder to
maintain consistent cooling. This data center was built without "raised" floors
and the cabling is neatly run overhead. With a ceiling almost 15 feet high,
large ducts provide direct cool air from above the racks of servers inside the
The aisles of the data center are designed with optimal
air flow in mind as well. Each aisle is hot or cold in an alternating pattern
according to the direction the servers are racked. Using this alternating
scheme and hot and cold aisles, cold air from the cold aisle is vented through
the front of the server and exited via the rear of the server to the hot aisle.
Warm air from the hot aisle is pulled back into the cooling system to be circulated.
This design allows your server to enjoy a cool 70 degrees 24 hours a day, 7 days
The Data Center Power
By developing special relationship with the public
utility company we were able to secure a reliable power source capable of
simultaneously powering up to 25,000 servers. The data center was designed with
N+1 power redundancy, which means not only all the power subsystems have
automatic failover, but a 3rd unit is kept onsite as a cold spare.
The Data Center utilizes a special cabinet design built
for enterprise level service. Standard rack units are 40U in size, but the
additional need for cooling and spacing resulted in custom built 45U cabinets.
Two 20AMP circuits are provisioned to each cabinet, each coming from a
divergent power source. On the end of the every aisle you notice these strips
terminate inside of the overall breaker box. Each one of these power strips are
fed by an individual breaker, each one of these breakers is on a different bus
on either end of the row.
The Data Center network provides 100MB (Mega Bit) service
to each of our managed dedicated servers. This 100MB connection is directly
connected to a full GIGABIT core network. Cabling, fiber optics, and power are
all run overhead, utilizing best practices in a telecom system data center.
Every room in the Data Center is fed by to unique transformers which are also
part of a redundant power supply chain.
The Core Network
Access to this room his prohibited to only advanced
engineers. Fiber optics enter this room to feed the Cisco 12008 GSR router that
powers the network. This room maintains the same 70 degree temperature and
ultra redundant cooling and power units. Keycarded caged areas provide
additional Multi Level security; allowing the equipment to be separated
securely on a vendor by vendor basis.
The network is fed by dark fiber directly to Level 3 in
Des Moines, Iowa. From Des
Moines, Level 3 provides us a virtual E-WAN service to
the Equinix building in Chicago.
This virtual E-WAN service allows direct connectivity to
our bandwidth provider Hurricane Electric. Powered only by the top transit and
IP providers, The Data Center is able to provide low latency worldwide.
The network is also fully redundant, featuring divergent
paths that never exceed over
50% network utilization to the internet. Divergent paths
include dark fiber, OC-48 Sonet Connections, and multiple high speed
connections to different providers.
The Power Room
Located in Room 3 of the data center are the major power
systems that power the data center. Inside this room Dual UPS units act as
backup power in the event of a primary failure. These units also have the N+1
method applied with a cold stand-by available in the event of failure. You
notice over head that even this power room has air protection or air
conditioning. For the power room, we even have dual, air conditioning systems.
UPS inside the data center is built to maintain up to 120 minutes of supported
power. UPS units are automatically configured to switch over to the diesel generators
if more time is needed. By utilizing the N+1 on every component of the data
center we are able to offer a financially backed 100% uptime guarantee. This
data center has been rated to have less than a 1% chance of complete power
failure in a 20 Year period.
Diesel generators make up the third major power component
of the data center. They provide an alternative method that can produce power
in the event of loss of power from the utility company. The Data Center is
equipped with 2 750 KVA diesel generators that have the ability to be up and
running in less than 15 seconds. Contracts with 4 local fuel companies allow
for an unlimited amount of fuel to run these generators, indefinitely if
needed. 1000 Gallons of diesel fuel is maintained inside the generators.