Data Foundry Blog

The Data Center: Your New IT Partner

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Data centers that provide colocation, also known as multi-tenant data centers or MTDCs, have evolved to offer much more than just space for rent and installation assistance. As an Internet Service Provider and an operator-owned company, customer service has always been at the forefront of Data Foundry’s offering. We have always provided a consultative approach to guide our customers toward an infrastructure setup that is in their best interest. As organizations large and small shift to the cloud for storage and the use of applications, there is a greater need for interconnectivity, network management and security services on behalf of the data center. We have evolved to offer services in all of these areas, and we consider ourselves our customers’ IT partner.

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Why You Should Pay Attention to Data Center Contamination Control

The dangers of dust, data center contamination

There are a number of best practices data center operators should follow to maintain the ideal environment for IT equipment, such as monitoring humidity levels and atmospheric corrosion, replacing dust filters in a timely manner, using chemical filtration systems, limiting foot traffic and using tak mats or sticky mats. In addition to following these best practices, data center operators should conduct an annual contamination assessment and do a thorough cleaning to ensure that data center clean room standards are met.

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REITs vs Privately-Owned Data Centers

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Data center ownership is not usually something companies consider when they are looking for colocation or disaster recovery services. Security, redundancy and construction are often discussed. These are indeed important factors to consider when making a decision, but the type of ownership a data center is under can sometimes determine these important deciding factors and others, such as the quality of managed services offered.

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It’s Time to Get Your Servers out of the Closet

server room energy efficiency kwh

Environmentalist organizations often negatively target data centers because of their high energy usage. While it may be true that data center operators have a “responsibility and an opportunity to drive growth with renewable energy,” (Gary Cook, IT analyst at Greenpeace via The Atlantic) environmentalists should actually support data centers due to the fact that co-locating is much more efficient than operating equipment in a server room or IT closet in a corporate office. Furthermore, unlike many corporate offices, data center companies take it upon themselves to operate as efficiently as possible because it is in their best interest financially to do so.

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Colocation Moves: 9 Common Mistakes to Avoid

AFCOM colocation move best practices panel

Last Thursday, Houston area data center professionals assembled on the club level of the University of Houston’s TDECU stadium for AFCOM’s Houston chapter meeting to hear a panel of local data center experts discuss The Good, Bad and the Ugly: Best Practices for a Successful Colocation Move. On the panel was Data Foundry’s Houston Network Operations Manager (NOC), Joshua Acevedo, to impart his data center migration expertise.

The key to a successful colocation move is planning ahead. Most of the time, companies compile a comprehensive inventory list to pass on to their colocation provider in advance. However, in our experience, many think they have thoroughly plotted out their move when important tasks have been overlooked. The devil is in the details.

Here are 9 common mistakes to avoid when planning a colocation move:

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How True Dual Power Feeds Prevent Unexpected Downtime

In 2007, a truck crashed into a utility pole at a Rackspace data center in Dallas, causing power outages and downtime for several major websites. In 2010, a squirrel chewed through power lines near Yahoo’s data center in Santa Clara, taking down half the data center. Apparently these “frying squirrel” incidents are somewhat common in the data center industry. Back in February of this year, a car crashed into a utility pole near our Texas 1 data center in Austin, causing a transformer to blow and the loss of one of our power feeds. However, because our facility is fully-redundant with dual power feeds, we experienced no power outage or downtime at Texas 1.

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Houston 2 Data Center – Open for Business

Houston 2 Facade

The Data Foundry team is excited to announce that we have finished construction of Houston 2 and it is now open for business. We broke ground last April, and we are excited to be able to open up the white floor space of this purpose-built data center to a waiting list of customers ready to deploy their critical IT infrastructure.

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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.

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Reinforced Concrete Walls Go Up at Houston 2

Our Houston 2 concrete tilt walls are moving into place – 16 of the 119 site cast reinforced concrete wall panels are up and will act as the “skin” holding the facility together. The use of concrete wall panels is one important feature that differentiates a purpose-built data center, such as Houston 2, from one that has been retrofitted to an existing building or warehouse. The concrete wall panels do not have windows and minimal doors to maximize the structural integrity of the 185 mph wind rated facility.

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Houston 2 Data Center Is Taking Shape

Construction of Houston 2 is moving forward extremely well! Over the past couple of weeks, crews made significant progress as the structural steel has been put in place, additional conduit has been positioned and the site cast concrete walls are set to be put in place at Houston 2. Construction of the structural steel is a major milestone because it acts as the “skeletal system” of the data center. It’s now getting easier to visualize exactly how massive this premium data center will be.

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