Uptime Institute Tier-Certified Colocation Provider Bend Broadband

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Bend Broadband was recently awarded Uptime Institute Tier III Certification for its new collocation facility in Central Oregon called The Vault. This 30,000 square foot facility is the family-owned cable company’s first foray into the hosting business and will serve the communities of Bend, Madras, Prineville and LaPine, Oregon.

Bend Broadband joins an elite group of colocation facilities worldwide, and is the first Tier III facility on the West Coast. This award distinguishes BendBroadband from the claims of self-certified data center service providers, which are often inaccurate. It also demonstrates Bend Broadband’s commitment to delivering the highest levels of availability.

Leonard Weitman, VP of Technical Operations at Bend Broadband explained the company’s business driver for pursuing Tier Certification. “Our target market is the medical industry, financial industry and telecommunications industry. They all require a high degree of reliability and security. We knew in order to market successfully to those industries, we would need to have Tier Certification.”

Uptime Institute Tier III Certification requires the data center infrastructure to be Concurrently Maintainable, meaning that each and every capacity component and element in the power and cooling systems can be removed from service on a planned basis without impacting any of the IT equipment.

In the first phase of Tier Certification, Uptime Institute Professional Services consultants work with the data center owner to identify a Tier objective and verify that the design team meets the criteria. This process starts with review and Tier Certification of the design documents.

Bend Broadband turned in an interim design deliverable over a year ago, which is a good practice, as design changes are less expensive early in the design phase. Uptime Institute consultants made a site visit in April for Inspection of Constructed Facility and worked with the design team to make sure that the design topology confirms the owner’s objective of Concurrent Maintainability. Bend Broadband earned Tier III Certification in June.

In addition to being Uptime Institute Tier III Certified, Bend Broadband is pursuing the US Green Building Council’s LEED Gold rating.

LEED Specific features include recycled dry wall and insulation, a solar photovoltaic array for energy offset and peak shaving, daylight sensitive lighting controls and LED lighting. The site also includes environmentally friendly landscape features. Bend Broadband is also purchasing 100% hydropower and wind through Pacific Power’s Blue Sky program.

Also , there are no batteries used in the facility. All backup power is fly-wheel based. Rotary UPS systems provide 35 seconds of ride-through on flywheel UPS systems, and it takes nine seconds to get backup generators online.

While LEED Certification is an indicator of a company’s environmental commitment, the bigger concern for the data center owner/operator is the energy consumption. Weitman explains BendBroadband’s efficiency intitiative:

“Data centers traditionally haven’t been very energy efficient. In fact, they’ve probably rightfully been tagged energy hogs. Computer equipment in general has been tagged that way. One of the things we wanted to do in our design was to make this as energy efficient as possibly can be. One of the measures of that really was this so-called PUE use efficiency metric. It’s a ratio of comparing how much is consumed by the computing equipment and how much is consumed by the total building. How much over and above the power of the computing equipment does it take to run the building. Historically, the number runs around 2. It takes twice as much power to run the building as it does to run the computing equipment. We wanted to run a building that was much better than that. We know what the design and modeling says to how well we’ve achieved our design. It looks like we’re going to run around 1.2… As far as efficiency or green, the true measure is the power you’re consuming.”

This is the first Tier Certified Facility using a Kyoto Cooling system.

Congratulations again to Bend Broadband for earning Uptime Institute Tier III Certification.



Posted by mstansberry on 19-07-2011
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Dealing with cloud computing creep in the data center

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Many data center managers and IT execs will be dealing with cloud computing creep in the coming months — line of business managers provisioning cloud, IaaS, or SaaS outside of IT management corporate credit cards. Many IT managers may not even know about it until users call Helpdesk asking about support for an application that’s not in the enterprise IT portfolio.

According to Doug Toombs, Senior Analyst with Tier1 Research, the cat is already out of the bag. There’s not much IT and Data Center execs can do to stop the consumerization of IT. But there are ways to track down “Expense Report IT” and help users deploy cloud services with IT management’s oversight and guidance.



Posted by mstansberry on 12-07-2011
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Matching applications to data center Tier Level

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In this video from the Google 2011 Data Centre Efficiency Summit, eBay’s Dean Nelson discusses his organization’s approach to data center efficiency, and specifically in regard to matching applications to data center Tier Levels.

Nelson said when he joined eBay, all of the company’s data center assets lived in a self-assessed Tier IV facility, which he described as a “very expensive bucket.”

Luckily, the eBay IT and Facilities teams operated under same budget, with same margins, allowing Nelson and his partners look holistically across the applications to determine what resilience level was required.

“Search doesn’t need to be in a Tier IV. You can point it to a different data center. Databases, network backbones, those need to be in a Tier IV. But when you break it down, 80% of our equipment could live in a Tier II. But it was all in a Tier IV.”

Nelson said matching application to Tier Level cut eBay’s data center Cap-Ex and Op-ex in half.



Posted by mstansberry on 05-07-2011
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Optimizing data center utilization

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In this video, Shawn Novak, a consultant with Uptime Institute’s Digital Infrastructure Services, discusses how his team applies Uptime Institute’s Digital Infrastructure Roadmap to help companies optimize data center utilization.



Posted by mstansberry on 05-07-2011
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Wildfire shuts down Los Alamos data center in record fire year

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Computerworld reports that the Los Alamos National Lab has shut down two of its largest supercomputers, as wildfires continue to burn near this sprawling New Mexico facility. According to the National Climate Data Center, there were 6,625 fires which burned approximately 1.1 million acres in May — the most acres burned during the month of May on record.

Terry Altom, Uptime Institute Professional Services consultant said smoke from wildfires could impact a data center. The filtration system may not remove all of the particulates. Therefore, smoke will reach the interior of the data center. Data center cooling units typically have smoke detectors within them to shut them down. If smoke has infiltrated the building, the smoke detectors will shut the units down.

Computerworld quoted Uptime Institute’s Vince Renaud, “Once the cooling systems are shut down you are kind of done.” Meaning that once cooling systems turn off, the IT equipment will hit their temperature thresholds rather quickly. At that point, systems have to be shut down, he said.

For buildings with VESDA systems, the problem could be worse because VESDA systems are more sensitive.



Posted by mstansberry on 30-06-2011
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