Bytemark data centre build: part 1

The Bytemark data centre build is underway. Here’s some more about the project, and the first of several progress updates.

First, the specification: it will house around 80 racks in cold-aisle contained pods, with at least two power feeds to each rack.

We’re supplying the building with ample power through a new dedicated substation providing a 1MVA supply, backed up with SDMO diesel generators – initially at 550kVA, which we will scale with demand.  From there we can provide power to the racks via the scalable and resilient N+1 UPS  system, or a direct filtered mains feed, or a combination of the two.

To keep the temperature under control, we are installing a resilient cooling system from Leeds-based manufacturer Airedale that will take advantage of our bracing Yorkshire climate. The system passes fresh air directly under the raised floor without using energy-hungry compressors, until the outside temperature reaches 16°C (60.8F). At that point it reverts to more energy-hungry air conditioning. According to our calculations, that was only 15% of the hours last year!

We’re connecting the building to the rest of Bytemark’s network through two fibre paths, diversely routed to, and within, the building.  One is going down the railway via Level3‘s network to our PoP in London, running at 10Gbps. The other will be going via Leeds to our existing Manchester sites. This completes a national ring that will be running at 10Gbps by the end of 2013 (just the York to Leeds section will be at 2Gbps to start).

So that’s the plan. After only two weeks of work Sudlows have nearly finished the first-floor fit out to allow us to move our office in; we have a meeting room, and power & network sockets everywhere. Downstairs they have finished stripping out the vendor-supplied fittings, and are lining up the lighting to where our aisles will be:

The shaft of light on the far wall is unfortunately going to be bricked up, so there’ll be no views of the East Coast Main Line – cooling and security concerns means this is the simpler option.

That’s all for now – we’ll be back in 1-2 weeks with our camera and more details on each part of the build as it happens.