Data Foundry Blog

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler Tours Data Foundry’s Texas 1 to discuss the open Internet

Texas 1 Tour Group
FCC Chairman Wheeler Visits Data Foundry Texas 1

Yesterday, Data Foundry was privileged to host FCC chairman Tom Wheeler at our Texas 1 data center in Austin, Texas. We were anxious to thank the Chairman for his courageous work in standing up to the monopolistic ISPs and leading the FCC to adopt new open Internet rules earlier this year. To our delight, the Chairman led off the meeting by thanking Data Foundry for its support in fighting for an open Internet for many years.

While the Chairman was at the data center, we discussed the difference between the competitive commercial Internet that runs through Texas 1 and the monopolistic residential onramp to the Internet that consumers are stuck with. Data Foundry currently has 18 fiber carriers “on-net” at Texas 1, and the competition means prices are competitive and our customers have choice. We told the Chairman, we’d love to see consumers have that kind of choice as well.

Neutral Fiber Room
FCC Chairman Wheeler with Ed Hennigan in Data Foundry’s Texas 1 Carrier Neutral Fiber Room

Data Foundry, CTO Edward Henigin noted that absence of competition, regulation is necessary, but that competition is the ultimate form of regulation.

We also talked about the FCC’s role in the fight for online privacy as they will in the near future evaluate Verizon’s “supercookies” program. They’ll also hold an upcoming workshop on broadband consumer privacy. We are pleased to see the FCC will fight for consumer online privacy.

Finally, though the Chairman has toured many data centers, we took him through Texas 1, to showcase the redundant power, cooling and robust physical security of a state-of-the art facility. We also took him into the Fiber Room, where our 18 carriers connect into Texas One. That’s where the open Internet starts!

SXSW Take Back Your Internet Panel and Party Recap.

We had an incredible time sponsoring the 3rd Annual “Take Back Your Internet” Panel and Party. The evening started out with an All-Star panel discussing “Is Net Neutrality Really Open Internet” with our CTO Edward Henigin on the panel. It was followed by an evening of networking and socializing with many people close to the issues. View the party photos and watch the panel from the event.

View the full transcription of the panel

ABOUT THE PANEL

Is Net Neutrality Really Open Internet?

Unless you work for a monopolistic ISP (hint: Verizon, AT&T, Comcast), most of us agree that an open and competitive Internet that respects user privacy is essential to continue the economic growth and societal benefits made possible by the Internet. There is, however, considerable disagreement over how these goals can be best achieved in response to actions by powerful interests – both governmental and private – that threaten the open Internet.

This panel will analyze and help make sense of the net neutrality and open Internet issues that have captivated and polarized the technology industry over the past year. The panelists, all with a deep understanding of the Internet, will examine what the recent proposals by the FCC and Congress (see hint above) mean for the future of the Internet. They will discuss the validity of Title II and Title X re-regulation, the privacy concerns of paid prioritization, and how to best align service provider and consumer priorities. In spite of what you may have heard, the Internet is not broken – at least not yet! Let’s figure out how to keep it that way.

  • Edward Henigin

    Edward Henigin

    CTO OF DATA FOUNDRY

  • Marvin Ammori

    Marvin Ammori

    AMMORI GROUP AND AFFILIATE SCHOLAR AT STANFORD LAW SCHOOL CIS

  • Chip Pickering

    Chip Pickering

    CEO OF COMPTEL

  • Gigi Sohn

    Gigi Sohn

    FCC SPECIAL COUNSEL FOR EXTERNAL AFFAIRS

  • James Waterworth

    James Waterworth

    VICE PRESIDENT, CCIA EUROPE

  • MODERATED BY

    Rob Pegoraro

    Rob Pegoraro

    TECHNOLOGY COLUMNIST

“Take Back Your Internet” Panel and Party at SXSW 2015

We are a proud sponsor of Golden Frog’s 3rd annual “Take Back Your Internet” Party during SXSWi 2015 in Austin, Texas! There will be an expert panel to discuss the Open Internet followed by music, drinks, and more. If you have not RSVP’d yet, please do so now!

WHAT

The 3rd annual “Take Back Your Internet” SXSWi party featuring a panel discussion asking “Is Net Neutrality Really Open Internet?”, drinks, and music

WHEN

Monday, March 16th, 6pm – 12am

WHERE

Palm Door on Sixth, 508 East 6th Street, Austin, TX

SCHEDULE
  • 6pm – 7pm Doors Open and Networking
  • 7pm – 8:30pm Panel Discussion
  • 9pm – 12am Music, Party and Networking

IMPORTANT INFO: RSVP DOES NOT GUARANTEE ENTRY. Please PRINT and bring your ticket(s) to the event or have it ready to show us on your phone. Early arrival is recommended to ensure you get in, if we reach capacity their will be a waiting line.

Check out the full details and RSVP now.

Hope to see you there,

The Data Foundry Team

Houston 2 Update: The Data Center is Humming

Houston 2 Data Center

What a year it has been at the Houston 2 construction site. Since breaking ground early in 2014, we’ve been making steady progress and are on track to have the data center open for customer tours in early 2015.

Our latest milestones are to get all of the electrical and mechanical gear installed to ready Houston 2 to be commissioned. This means our UPS’s, backup generators, computer room air handlers, and electrical switchgear are all in the process of being installed for testing.

Current time lapse video

Dual Power Feeds – Concrete encased

Houston 2 ‘s dual power feeds are now live and powering the data center for construction and testing. Each power feed enters the Houston 2 campus via diverse paths and are underground encased with concrete.

Power feeds

UPS and Electrical Switchgear

Eaton Powerware UPS modules and electrical switchgear are physically installed. The electrician team is currently cabling and preparing the equipment to be energized.

Switch room

Cummins Generators Installed

The N+1 Cummins diesel generators each hold 7,600 gallons of fuel and provide power for up to 48 hours per generator. They are configured in an isolated-redundant fashion, preventing a cascading failure from affecting the entire system. With N+1 redundancy, if one generator fails, the remaining ones will carry the load without interruption. Furthermore, the generators are enclosed for protection against severe weather.

Generators

CRAHS (Computer room air handlers) Installed

Houston 2 utilizes a highly efficient chilled water cooling system that supports most any power density. With cabinet density options of up to 50kW, Houston 2 is designed to support standard or High Performance Computing (HPC) deployments. It also carries N+1+1 design so at all times Houston 2 will have a redundant chiller for any maintenance.

CRAHS

What’s Next?

Shortly after the new year, the data center white floor space will be installed and the front office and conference center will be completely enclosed. The parking lot and driveway will be poured and tours will start. Please contact us now to schedule your January tour of Houston 2 and see how we can meet your future needs.

Data Foundry Teams Up with Canonical to Offer Fully Managed Openstack Cloud Services

We are thrilled to announce a new partnership with Canonical to offer private cloud services to our customers.

This offering combines our data center services experience with the BootStack service from Canonical, a managed private cloud service based on its reference architecture. The result is a fully managed Private Cloud service that is powered by OpenStack, managed by Data Foundry and hosted in our state-of-the-art data centers.

We diligently researched the best way we can add cloud to our offerings, and found that Canonical’s BootStack will allow us to immediately add value for our customers.

“Canonical’s BootStack service will allow us offer very reliable and mature cloud services to our customers with the same excellence that we currently provide data center and network services,” said Edward Henigin, CTO at Data Foundry. “OpenStack is a fast-developing cloud management platform, and we wanted to partner with a team who not only knew it inside and out, but who had assembled a DevOps architecture around it to make it sing. Canonical does just that, and we couldn’t be more pleased to offer OpenStack to our customers.”

Data Foundry builds and operates the best data centers and networks in the industry. The partnership will expand upon our well-known colocation, disaster recovery and managed services.

We’ll have more information on our website shortly. In the meantime, please contact sales@datafoundry.com for more info.

The Battle for the Internet Came to Texas

Earlier this week, we had the pleasure of traveling to Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas for an FCC panel discussion and open forum. It was hosted by FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, and featured Edward Henigin, Data Foundry CTO, on the panel. Read Edward Hennigan’s testimony on Internet regulation and maintaining an open Internet, or watch the live recording of the panel and forum.

Commissioners rarely leave Washington to meet with the public, and as of now, this event was the only one of its kind on the calendar. It was complemented by a rally organized by our friends at the Free Press that drew media attention and many folks in favor of an open Internet.

During the discussion, Ed strongly argued that the as part of promoting an open Internet, the Commission should promote open access by reclassifying the broadband transmission component of “last-mile” networks as a Title II telecommunications service.

Although some on the panel have joined with the large telecom and cable companies to resist the push for Title II reclassification, almost everyone in the audience agreed!

Ultimately the discussion goes far beyond the need for Title II reclassification. Unfortunately, the proposed Open Internet rules currently being considered by the FCC will allow providers such as AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner to manage their networks to a “commercially reasonable” standard. This would include allowing them to charge content providers for “fast lane” access. While this might make Netflix stream a little faster, it effectively ends any hope of a truly open Internet. For example, the proposals would not prevent ISPs from blocking encryption or other privacy-enhancing technologies. This will allow ISP’s to snoop and track their Internet users habits to provide “context-relevant” ads and assist in government surveillance. The proposed rules will leave us with the same broken Internet where users do not have have options, and where ISP’s will not have to compete on pricing, quality of service and overall customer service and satisfaction.

Data Foundry opposes the telecom and cable companies because the simple fact is that broadband Internet access in the United States is currently not subject to any real competitive forces and abuses have in fact occurred. Data Foundry does not support the proposed Open Internet/”Net Neutrality” rules because they would eviscerate Internet users’ privacy rights. The “non-discrimination” rule presented by some advocates would actually require discrimination, and they are decidedly not “neutral.”

We believe an open and free Internet means all traffic should be transmitted without special treatment except when the user has expressly requested priority treatment for a given application or service. We strongly disagree that telecom and cable companies should be able to charge special fees for “prioritized” delivery. We certainly disagree that they should be allowed to make you waive all privacy and effectively ban encryption so they can inspect your traffic – which is the only way they can implement their scheme.

Houston 2 update: FM 1-120 Roof and Depressed Concrete Slab

Purpose-built Data Center with Structural Integrity

Almost all data centers in the Houston area are retrofitted facilities – frequently old warehouses or other large, open buildings that have been converted into a data center. Retrofitted facilities make compromises in critical data center design elements, which expose companies to unnecessary risks that can result in downtime of mission-critical IT systems.

From the very beginning, we knew the only way to satisfy the increased demand for colocation and disaster recovery services in the Houston area was to build a premium, purpose-built data center. The advantage of designing a purpose built data center (rather than retrofitting an existing facility) is that Data Foundry can control the design and quality of the power, network, cooling, security and structural integrity to ensure 100% up-time of the facility.

Data Foundry’s 20+ years of experience as a data center owner/operator contributed to every detail in the design and construction of Houston 2. The structural design of a data center is a key component in its overall reliability and security. In this construction blog update, we will explain two key structural elements of our Houston 2 data center; the FM 1-120 (185mph winds) rated roof and the unique design features of our depressed concrete slab.

Current time lapse video

To view the full time lapse from April 2014 to August 2014 click here.

185 MPH Rated Data Center Roof

Over the past week, our construction team reinforced and waterproofed the steel roofing structure for Houston 2. We utilized a fleece backed reinforced roofing membrane to provide a stronger waterproofing barrier on the data center roof. This will allow Houston 2 to withstand wind speeds higher than Category 5 hurricanes and it is rated to handle wind up to 185 mph. Also, independent of the wind rating, the roof is Factory Mutual (FM) 1-120 rated.

Roof is composed of five layers of material
Five layers of Factory Mutual approved roofing material staged and ready for application
Installing waterproof material on the roof
Crew installing material to waterproof and reinforce the Houston 2 data center roof
Southwest Roof
The Houston 2 roof is laid and is FM 1-120 rated with a wind rating of 185mph

Purpose Built Data Center Slab

It’s what you can’t see under the slab that really separates a purpose-built data center apart from other retrofitted data centers. In preparation for the concrete slab, conduit for electrical and telecom cabling were laid down and the sub-foundation was leveled. By laying the conduit underneath the slab, it adds both additional protection and reliability for the conduit. Even though the Houston 2 facility is located outside of the 500-year floodplain, we added an additional 4 feet of select fill to raise the foundation level 3 feet above street level for further flood protection. A thick waterproof membrane was then applied on top of the compacted select fill for increased waterproofing. The last step was to pour the concrete on top of the waterproof membrane. The final result is a uniquely designed depressed slab, which means zero ramps or steps from the loading docs to the data center white floor space.

Waterproof membrane installed between sub-foundate and slab
Illustration of waterproofing membrane between the sub-foundation and the concrete slab
Waterproofmembrane installed in hall
Thick waterproofing membrane laid down in the data center hall prior to concrete pour
Concrete slabs along main trench for chilled water pipes
Concrete slab in data center with temporary plastic covering to help prevent cracking. You can also see the main trench for the chilled water pipes.

Our grand opening celebration in Q1 of 2015 will be here before you know it! Stay tuned as we continue to update you on the construction of our largest data center project to date. UPS installation, data center raised flooring and interior walls are next on the project list.

How to Avoid DDoS Annihilation?

Guest Blog by Carl Herberger, VP, Security Solutions, Radware (a business partner of Data Foundry)

According to US Gov’t statistics, 60% of Small Businesses fold before a one-year anniversary of a cyber-attack.

Not even 18 months ago, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Small Business Subcommittee on Health and Technology Chairman Chris Collins (R-NY) led a hearing to examine the increased volume and complexity of cyber-attacks on small business. The concern was that new attack technologies and techniques present new challenges and threats and the interest of the committee was to investigate the role of the federal government in helping address cyber-security issues.

Read More ›

Join Data Foundry and Alert Logic for a Webinar On Infrastructure Availability

Alert Logic Webinar

Your business demands 24x7x365 infrastructure availability – but security incidents can halt your continuity for days, or even weeks. With the ever-increasing volume of security threats being launched, adopting a security management solution has become a requirement of doing business.

How do you integrate an affordable security plan that will deal with these concerns effectively, and allow you to spend most of your time doing business, not constantly reacting to security threats?

We invite you to join Data Foundry and our partner Alert Logic, to learn how our security management service can be the cornerstone of your availability strategy. This free web session will bring you up to date on:

  • The real costs of security-related downtime
  • Security at the infrastructure and application layers
  • Proven best practices to use as you formulate prevention and recovery strategies

Webinar Details

When: August 27th from 1:00pm – 1:45pm

What: “The Security Hole in Your Availability Plan”

Who: Wade Walters, Solutions Architect – Alert Logic and Thomas Adams, Director of Managed Services – Data Foundry

We hope to see you there!

Register Now

Presented by:

  • Data Foundry
  • Alert Logic

Houston 2: Cooling System Construction is Underway

Near record rainfall in the Houston area hasn’t slowed down our construction of the Houston 2 data center. We have now completed the western tilt walls, which means the front and back of the colocation pods are now finished. Also, the structural steel is nearing completion for 40,000 SF of of dedicated office space for customers.

Construction of one of the key features of the Houston 2 data center cooling system is underway. We have completed the main trench that will house the chilled water pipes that will feed the Computer Room Air Handler (CRAH) units. Illustrating one of the key benefits of a purpose built data center, we are able to deliver chilled water through a below slab trench. A below slab trench provides two key benefits: (1) in the event of a leak in the chilled water system, the trench will ensure no water enters the data hall; and (2) the chilled water piping will not interfere with the efficient flow of chilled air to our customer’s cabinets and high performance servers located on the raised floor.

Time-lapse video

Western Tilt Wall
Western tilt wall is complete!
Steel frame for office space
Structural steel frame for 40K SF of dedicated office space for customers.
Trench for chilled water pipes
Setting the stage for the trench that will hold chilled water pipes. These pipes will feed the Computer Room Air Handler (CRAH) units.
Adding dirt to raise elevation
Dirt is being added to raise the internal elevation for the entire pod enclosure by more than 4 feet. Illustrating where the finished floor height will be.
Roofing material
Materials are in order for strengthening and sealing the roof over the pods.

Next on the long list of projects will be sealing the roof, finishing slab work in the pods, and then closing off the east side of the pods. Be sure to check back for our next update in a couple of weeks!

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