Bytemark data centre: Will you start the fans, please!

Mum always said I should get out from behind a computer and get some fresh air. I remember thinking surely I can do both? And now I can! Behold our first pod:

This has 14 racks, enclosed on all sides.There are blanking plates as a matter of policy up the whole rack, so that empty units don’t disrupt the air flow.On a chilly day like Friday, the pod is absolutely blasted with fresh Yorkshire air, keeping the temperature at 22 degrees and exposing the occupants to a healthy outdoor feeling without the risk of sun burn. Last week, Peter switched on some load banks (big space heaters) to simulate the rack being full of servers:

Our Power Usage Efficiency on that load test was 1.13, i.e. we are using only 13% more energy to power the UPS system and cool those racks than the equipment in them were drawing (which broke down as IT Load 95kW, cooling 6kW, UPS Loss 6kW). On the down side we’d expect to be using traditional, hungrier air conditioning for some of the year, any time the outside air is more than 17 degrees. So we need a bit of a longer run to see exactly how green this place is going to be. But it’ll be way better than the cavernous shared rooms where we currently rent space.

We’re going through the commissioning & testing phase now, but we are only 2 weeks away from installing the first customer servers here – we’ll be sure to send that first customer a nice bottle of champagne.