The opening line says it all: "An empty room, a signed lease, a crazy deadline and the dream to build Brisbane's newest data centre ..."
That was a post written April 16 by Pipe Networks Ltd., a five-year-old hosting company with headquarters in Brisbane and facilities in five locations, including Sydney and Melbourne, on its "Zero to DC3 in Sixty" blog. The company's goal was, and is, to build a fully functional, ready-to-go data center in 60 days and to document the entire process online with text and plenty of photos. The official deadline is June 14.
"When Pipe was founded four years ago, we were set the challenge to build a data center in around 100 days," wrote Bob Purdon, the company's operations manager for managed infrastructure, in an email. "The stakes were high. If we failed, we'd lose our first substantial customer. At that time the two founders of the company built the data center from scratch themselves and managed to just meet that deadline. Now our two directors love setting the challenge down for staff, and our networks team has accepted. This time, because of experience and resources, we're aiming for a shorter turnaround of 60 days and testing just how much we can accelerate the build process."
And it is a quick process. When it began almost two months ago, there was just an empty room:
Now with about a week to go, the data center webcams are showing some serious progress:
As of a post just a few days ago, it seems that Pipe is confident the work will be done on time: "With such recent progress here at DC3, we are confident we will meet our 60-day build target!"
The task was initially set down by Bevan Slattery, the managing director and a co-founder of Pipe. Purdon said the company hosts about 170 server racks in those locations, although some of them still have room for more servers to be hosted.
Pipe's new data center in Brisbane is expected to double the company's capacity. It will be 450-square meters (about 4,800-square feet) and hold 170 server racks in a hot-aisle, cold-aisle design. Purdon said the servers going in the racks will depend on what the customers want. Some other details:
- Raised flooring with six CRACs.
- Power of 800 watts per square meter (74 watts per square foot) with the ability to scale to 1,500 watts per square meter (139 watts per square foot).
- Four 200 kVa UPS devices and a 750 kVA genset.
- The ability to consume as much power as 3,000 average Australian households.
It's a lot to build in 60 days, but like Ernest Hemingway's iceberg theory, there was a lot that went into it beforehand. The 60-day blog is just the visible tip of the iceberg.
"Because we had foresight, most of the design work and equipment research happened months ago," Purdon said. "It's only the assembly phase that is taking 60 days. I'd say that data centers definitely require a lot of thought and planning -- we were just lucky that we'd done almost all of that prior to 'day zero.'"
Let us know what you think about the story; e-mail: Mark Fontecchio, News Writer.