, Aug 4, 2014

Logicalis completes a turn-key LEED-certified, cloud-ready data centre for BendBroadband—A showcase of integrated design and energy efficiency.

BendBroadband is a family-owned, Oregon-based business that has been serving Central Oregon for more than 50 years. BendBroadband is nationally recognised as a leader in the cable/broadband industry. The company maintains a network of more than 2,000 miles of fiber and coax cable and provides secure and reliable data, Internet, phone and video services and IT engineering to regional commercial and residential customers.

BendBroadband’s business sales director, Sean Handley, says his company was interested in upgrading its network operations facilities and expanding collocation and managed services offerings when he was contacted by Logicalis Technology Consultant Bob Mobach. Mobach was calling on behalf of a major hospital complex in the Northwest that needed to upgrade and expand its data center. He wanted to know if BendBroadband could provide the collocation services needed by his client.

As a result of that initial telephone call, BendBroadband enlisted Logicalis to design and implement the BendBroadband Vault, a state-of-the-art, cloud-ready, 30,000-square-foot, SAS-70/SSAE 16 reviewed data centre. The Vault has qualified for Uptime Institute TIER-3 Design certification, and has implemented safeguards that are in line with HIPAA guidelines.

More than just another data centre, the Vault has applied for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED certification provides third-party verification that a building is designed and built using responsible strategies for energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emission reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.

The Vault succeeds on many levels. It provides an expansive new line of business for BendBroadband, a new home for the data centre requirements of Logicalis’ hospital clients and other businesses in the Northwest, an environmentally sustainable data centre showcase and a mutually rewarding ongoing partnership between Logicalis and BendBroadband.

Logicalis has earned a national reputation as a leader in the range of skills required for the design, engineering and development of LEED data centres. Mobach, in particular, is a recognised authority in the field.

A veteran designer of data centre facilities, Mobach is acutely aware of the environmental and financial impact of the escalating amount of energy they consume. Studies show that data centres currently consume up to 5 percent of the world’s energy—as much energy as all the airlines combined. As a result, Mobach says, pressure is increasing on the IT industry to reduce its energy footprint on its own initiative or face government regulation.

A Better Way
The Vault is an example of the high levels of energy efficiency that are possible when data centres are designed with the innovative use of existing technologies. Logicalis took responsibility for the entire process, including the design, engineering, integration and overall management—including selecting, writing RFPs and coordinating construction.

The Vault is a showcase of sustainable energy technologies. Key components include:

  • A 900kW Kyoto autonomous air-to-air heat-exchange cooling solution. The largest installation of its kind in North America, the Kyoto system for the Vault requires no water and takes advantage of cool desert nights to contribute as much as 85 percent of required cooling.

  • On-site Solar Generation plant. With 320 sunny Central Oregon days per year, the Vault array produces 152kW. The photo voltaic array is the largest in the region and produces enough energy to support all ancillary—non-IT—energy demands.
  • Flywheel-driven uninterruptible power supply (UPS) technology is battery free.
  • Smart LED lighting throughout automatically adjusts to take advantage of daylight. Sensors respond to activity within the center and automatically shut off lights when they are not needed.

No detail was overlooked, and where possible, every feature in the data centre design serves complementary purposes—even the server enclosures. Instead of the conventional black cabinets, white cabinets were chosen that reflect light on the outside and make it immeasurably easier to install and maintain the equipment on the inside.

"Inspired Simplicity"
"There is an inspired simplicity in the design and integration of all these technologies," says BendBroadband Vice President and Project Manager Leonard Weitman.

Simplicity works. The standard measure of the energy consumed by a data centre is the power use efficiency (PUE), a measurement of how much power is consumed by a data centre facility compared to how much is required to operate the computer systems inside it. The PUE for conventional data centres is more than 2.5. In contrast, the PUE Logicalis achieved for the Vault is below 1.2. An Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Energy Star rating for sustainable data centres is also in the works.

"Bob is a tremendous visionary and an excellent designer," Weitman says. "He understands the inter-relationships of the whole data centre. Throughout the project Bob was able to offer perspective about what makes sense for a smooth and efficient operation and what makes the best sense for our collocation customers. We would never have come up with something as well-thought-out and forward-looking on our own."

There are no conventional cages in the Vault. Custom heat containment Performance-Optimized Data Centre (POD) containers were designed with passive cooling systems in collaboration with Chatsworth Products, Inc.

The holistic, high-density, high-efficiency design treats the computer technology inside the Vault with the same level of respect that the data centre treats the environment.

Special features include:

  • Three-phase power to each rack and POD using Starline busway architecture
  • Compartmentalization of secure rooms for all electrical distribution and network routing

Because they understand that there are people associated with all this technology, BendBroadband Vault also provides its clients with dedicated workspace, staging rooms and even overnight accommodations.

Professional Services
To leverage the energy efficiency of the data centre facility, Logicalis offers a range of professional services to help organisations optimise, virtualise and consolidate the footprint and energy demands of the computer technology that will go inside the Vault. Logicalis services include data centre relocation and migration, virtualisation and consolidation, business continuity and disaster recovery, private cloud development, burstable access to the Logicalis Enterprise Cloud platform and a complete menu of managed services.

The Vault has tapped pent-up demand for secure, resilient, cloud-ready and green data centres. Handley reports the Vault had commitments for one third of available space even before the construction was complete.

"It is a very good partnership," says Handley. "Logicalis’ core competency is aligning technology with business objectives. Ours is providing clients with secure, reliable access to the technology they need. It’s a win across the board, including the environment. We would not be where are today without the help of Logicalis," Handley adds. "It has been an exciting journey. And it has only just begun."

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