London East Phase 2 Development Update 5

It’s been another very busy stint of work over at Netwise London East, as we continue to deploy Data Hall 3 and Data Hall 4.

While we’ve taken a relatively lengthy break from the #BuildBlog since the last update, the same cannot be said for the development schedule itself, which has been continuing at pace without pause.

Let’s get straight to the photo updates:

Before Christmas, we pulled in the supply cabling for both Data Halls 3 and 4
The ground floor corridor – as with the first floor corridor – functions as the main arterial route for supply power to each hall
Another view of the underfloor supply cabling within the ground floor corridor
Once all cables are in position and cleated to the cable ladder, it can make for quite a satisfying photo opportunity – this is why we place glass floor tiles in certain locations throughout our facilities!
The planning for routes and access for cables such as this is an involved process, requiring input from several areas of the overall design process
Once the sub-floor room supply cabling is complete, in-room cabling can begin – here we see some of the large supply cables which will feed the new busbar system being deployed in the new halls
Here we see some of the infrastructure within Data Hall 4, in position and being commissioned – this view predominantly shows the A-side ODF as the main harness fibre is run in
Here we see the B-side ODF, ahead of termination and the internal fit-out beginning
This wide view shows the position of the backup / supplementary AC systems, as well as our new distribution board designs, as part of the new power delivery system being deployed in halls 3 and 4
This is a slightly closer view of the A-side distribution board, as well as the A-side supplementary CRAC
Here we see some of the complex containment work as part of the sub-floor power delivery system, ensuring all cable routes are carefully contained and managed
This view shows the new busbar / track system which is being used in halls 3 and 4
Here we see the B-side distribution board, alongside the dual-fed mechanical distribution board
The primary cooling system can be seen here, ahead of final commissioning – this is our CREC system, which is largely responsible for our world-leading PUE figures
Some of the systems that sit outside of the hall itself can be seen under commissioning here – this is the fire control panel, as cabling is put away
The A-side ODF again pictured here, shortly before all internal infrastructure is installed
Underfloor cabling has progressed further in this shot, showing additional routes dressed into place, and terminations about to begin
This internal view of the bottom section within the dual-fed mechanical board shows the enclosure empty, ahead of internal commissioning
Elec Test
We’ve added to our in-house electrical testing kit, as part of our recent NICEIC Approved Contractor status – more on this soon
We deployed some custom metering enclosures across our live data halls in the closing stages of 2023, which have been serving us with a host of power metrics ever since
LOTO Board
We’ve had a LOTO board custom made, which now sits outside of LV Room A – this serves as an enhanced electrical safety measure, as we continue to bolster our in-house capabilities across the board

This all sits alongside a whole host of additional organisation-wide projects, which includes the full upgrade of our entire core network, across all on-net locations. This will see the staged upgrade of all routing assets on our core network, to cope with ever-increasing demand from our clients. Telehouse has already been undertaken, with our London East site to follow in the next couple of weeks. Equinix LD8 will follow shortly thereafter.

We’ve also had another major round of development work undertaken on our customer portal. This predominantly concerns the backend of the system, with a custom IPAM administration and deployment module now live. We also have additions to the client-side coming very soon, which will improve the booking, tracking and handling of deliveries.

We’re tantalisingly close to announcing some very significant expansion news, but we’ll have to hold back on that for a little while longer – keep an eye on announcements in the coming weeks / months.

Team in focus: Nathan Desmond

We’re thrilled for you to meet Nathan Desmond, our Technical Manager.

Nathan Desmond

Nathan joined us from a fast-rising career in critical technology for a major UK retailer (the one with the excellent, tear-jerking Christmas adverts!), overseeing their internal data centre operations. Nathan’s broad experience across multiple disciplines will assist in taking the customer experience at Netwise to the next level, as we continue to grow our dedication to true in-house expertise.

Nathan joined the Netwise family in late 2022, and has been making an incredibly positive impact on our operation ever since. His addition to the core Netwise management team came as expansion continued at our London East facility, taking Data Hall 1 to capacity, welcoming a single client to Data Hall 2, and building out Data Halls 3 and 4.

Nathan has already proven invaluable in the continued development of bleeding-edge technology in and around our world-class data centres.

We very recently deployed a major upgrade to part of our core network, at our Supernode in Telehouse North. Nathan naturally played an integral role in the success of this roll-out, from planning, to physical adjustments, through to completion.

THN Engineering
We fully replaced one of the core routers on our network, which included a chassis replacement and a full complement of new line cards
THN Router
This type of critical operation is never easy, so having an expert like Nathan in your corner is always welcomed

You can expect to meet Nathan busy working across all corners of our data centre estate, keeping your mission-critical data centre services in tip-top shape. You may even find his expert input on the odd support ticket from time to time depending on the issue at hand.

A look back at 2023

Another 12 months in the books, and another record-breaking period for Netwise, which we’re immensely proud to share with our clients and stakeholders as we look ahead to another equally exciting year.

As we step into 2024 for the first time this week, we’ll take a moment to look back and appreciate the year gone by; the first full year of live operation at Netwise London East.

The headline is that development works have continued at pace at our London East facility, as we prepare to bring Data Halls 3 and 4 online in early 2024, enabling our next phase of growth and expansion.

Engineering works continue at NLE

At the point of closing out 2023, we’ve pushed development works into all corners of our London East facility, with upstairs now fully deployed (Data Halls 1 and 2), and downstairs deployment underway (Data Halls 3 and 4). The site has been a hive of activity over the past year, and we have plenty to show for it.

Notable projects from 2023 include:

  • We fully deployed Data Hall 2 – the second active Data Hall within NLE welcomed its single long-term tenant in 2023; a major milestone for both parties. We enjoyed watching the space fill out with a wide range of cutting-edge hardware in Q4 2023.
  • Phase 2 works have ramped up – while we technically included the build of Data Hall 2 in the Phase 2 works schedule, the real meat of this phase comes in the form of Data Halls 3 and 4. These two new halls are being readied for occupation in early 2024, with the closing stages of 2023 seeing real traction in this area; Data Hall 4 now has its primary cooling system deployed, as well as much of the core electrical distribution infrastructure.
  • Josh Carvalho joined as Engineering Manager – in September, we expanded our team with the joining of Josh, our new Engineering Manager. Expect a full introductory post very soon.
  • NLC again exceeded its design PUE, reaching a remarkable 1.09 – back in 2022, London Central achieved a real-world PUE of just 1.11, beating the design PUE target of 1.12. In 2023, we managed an incredible 1.09. We’re extremely excited to see where we can get NLE as occupancy rates rise rapidly, looking towards the design target of just 1.05.
  • We added a range of niceties and features to NLE – we rolled out a range of new features at our London East site, such as on-site EV charging, recycling and general waste points, Dyson hand dryers throughout the building, improvements to lighting, additional Naturewall cladding; all of which we hope will improve customer experiences inside the facility.
  • Our next round of software development works began – in the closing stages of the year, we set in motion a wide range of software development works, including improvements to our customer portal (for power and bandwidth monitoring), an in-house IP management tool, and the roll-out of our own QR code check in system, the latter of which has been working well for us since its full roll-out in the summer.

The general focus over the past 12 months has been to expand into the current footprint at NLE more completely, moving from the initial deployment phase of a single hall, to making use of all four halls within the current building. We now have active works underway across every sector of the site.

London Central has also seen its fair share of input, largely in the form of ongoing maintenance operations, with activity across many critical systems. NLC is also now home to our significant stock of APC racks, which are being pre-staged there before heading to NLE for active service.

Beyond the exciting physical development works, we’ve posted exceptional financial growth metrics again in 2023, which will support our ongoing expansion aspirations, and of course contribute to continued rock-steady reliability for clients all around the world. Base revenues for the year grew by just over 30%, which for our fourteenth year of trading is something we’re extremely proud of.

Adding to our core power infrastructure over the past 12 months has certainly formed a main component of our ongoing expansion activities

We have some very exciting news to share about additional future expansion at London East very soon – enabling Phase 3 of development – taking us to new heights at our ever-evolving Canning Town address.

London East Phase 2 Development Update 4

We’ve been reasonably quiet with the #BuildBlog of late, with focus squarely on the deployment of additional capacity at London East, leaving little room for deep dives into progress (unfortunately!).

But we’re now back with this latest instalment, as we begin tracking progress on Data Halls 3 and 4.

Looking back on our last instalment of the build blog, Data Hall 2 was still very much under construction. This space is now fully fitted out as a private data hall for a single client, and is now under occupancy.

We’ve also got plenty of other updates to report across a range of areas within our London East facility, thanks to an ongoing development programme which extends beyond footprint capacity alone.

Let’s move onto the update photos. This first set were actually taken back in June, however the next instalment of the build blog ended up getting significantly delayed, so here they are:

This was the view across Pod 1 in Data Hall 2, as of June 2024
This was the view across Pod 1 in Data Hall 2, as of June 2024
The view across the Pod 2 footprint area, again in June
The view across Pod 2, again in June 2024
This is the B-side ODF in Data Hall 2 being pre-staged in the summer
This is the A-side ODF in Data Hall 2 being pre-staged in the summer
The view across to ODF B, as works continued in Data Hall 2 this summer
The checker plate bash protection was also fitted to the perimeter of Data Hall 2 around this time – this is the view of ODF A being pre-staged
Pre-staging the ODF enclosures allows for a speedier fit-out once the cabling process begins
Some of the control system cabling is being run overhead here
A view across Data Hall 2 as pre-containment works conclude
This view of LV Room B shows another UPS being rolled into place, ready to support Data Hall 3 in the near future
Here we see the A-side ODF in Data Hall 2 with some initial flood cabling underway, prior to termination – these are management cables, responsible for things like monitoring systems and CCTV
This is the internal view of a CREC control system unit, with the front cover and control screen removed, as internal terminations conclude ahead of commissioning
Data Hall 2 just prior to having the racks and containment rolled in for assembly
We jump forwards slightly here, to a view across the now assembled Pods 1 and 2 in Data Hall 2 – this is taken from the rear of the hall, showing the custom layout for this client (the reasons for which will become clear further down in this post)

Now we can catch up in time to where things stand today, with the next run of photos from the past couple of weeks – apologies for any gaps in progress, we’ve been very busy!

Here we see Pod 1 inside of Data Hall 2, which is now handling live services
This is a custom, installed-to-request workbench area for the private tenant of Data Hall 2, which sits behind the shortened Pod 2
Having access to your own private data hall allows for additional deployment options, such as these storage cabinets for spare components
This view across to Pod 2 in Data Hall 2 shows the inter-pod cable ladder in place, which is now handling active connections for this tenant
This is a view of both live pods in Data Hall 2, ahead of some final finishing touches, such as the pod door vinyls and some custom lighting options as selected by the client
Here we see the rear of Row D in Data Hall 1 – the next wave of racks will be deployed as part of Data Halls 3 and 4 in Q1 2024; we now have very limited availability, so get in touch early if you need assistance with space
The ground floor is in full development mode, as general non-essential access is now closed
As part of the next phase of development, works are now well underway for bringing Data Hall 4 online, with 3 to follow shortly thereafter – here we see one of the many cable drums in Data Hall 4, as it is prepared for installation
The ground floor arterial corridor for power cabling is now being filled with the critical power routes required for the next two halls at London East
These routes support diverse critical power runs for rack PDUs, as well as supporting power for mechanical systems
This is a cable entry aperture into Data Hall 4, which has been skinned to allow for easy fire sealing once all cabling has been finalised
Here are the CRECs in place for Data Hall 4, including all of the custom containment and blanking for the additional unit positions, matching the design for Halls 1 and 2
The rear-facing air intake louvres have been cut in for both Halls 3 and 4, ahead of system commissioning in due course
Having additional UPS systems in pre-staging will speed along the deployment time for Halls 3 and 4
This view inside of LV Room A shows one of the newly arrived UPS systems undergoing some staging works, with internal access granted via removal of a side panel
We’ve also undertaken a round of improvement works in the front compound – we now have on-site EV charging via our fast-charger, which will be available for use very soon
We’ve also now marked out parking bays, and installed some Armco to better guide client movements in the front compound, and to protect the sliding vehicle gate more comprehensively
Loading Bay
Our loading bay has had some storage upgrades, including this full-height pallet racking wall, which has been loaded up with components to form part of our future expansion phases
We’ve developed a custom storage solution for our APC PDUs, with some of our on-site stock shown here making use of this new hanging system
We now have direct internal roof access, via this custom hatch, which has a detachable ladder system, for easy and quick personnel access to the roof for inspection of our hot air escape routes

Each floor now has a dedicated waste handling area, allowing clients to dispose of both general waste and recyclables with greater ease
All toilets within the facility now have Dyson hand dryers, something we have carried across from our London Central facility – these are on backlit standoffs for an added luxury finish
Check In
Our custom check in system has now been live across both of our facilities for a little while, with the introduction of our new QR code system – this has been performing well for clients, representing a massive improvement over the previous system
Our reception area now has the same Naturewall cladding as our Build and Break Area, and as found in some other common areas, to continue through this visual motif
This also effectively boxes in some major cabling routes, which is always welcomed over having such things on display in reception

As you can see, despite the delay in getting this build blog instalment posted, we’ve been rather busy.

We’ll continue to get our head down with development work on the run up to the new year, as demand for our services remains exceptionally high. We hope to have another update prepared for our avid readers in the next couple of months.

We also have some further news on the horizon with regards to continued expansion, which we hope to be releasing early next year. Needless to say, we’re very excited for what 2024 will bring.

Netwise sponsors South Berkshire Hockey Club

We’re very excited to announce our position as the main shirt sponsor for the South Berkshire Hockey Club this year, as the new season begins in earnest.

It’s already been a competitive start to the year on pitch, with some solid results posted in just the first month of action; the Ladies’ 1st team is now already sitting in the top half of the league, having been promoted to the South Central Women’s Premier Division 2.

The Ladies’ 1st Team

The Men’s 1st team has had a slightly more difficult start to the season. The opening schedule has not been quite so kind to them and to date it’s been three competitive but fruitless games. However this is expected to put them in extremely good stead for their next set of fixtures, at which point the team is anticipating traction for the rest of the season.

The Men’s 1st Team

Our support of the SBHC has enabled an additional weekly Monday night training session, allowing their performance teams to push on in their new leagues, while keeping costs accessible to players in what has traditionally been known as an expensive/classist sport.

The Men’s 1st Team

Our Technical Manager, Nathan, is a long-standing member of the SBHC, which makes supporting them this year even more special for Netwise.

The club is renowned for its unwavering dedication to the sport, its inclusivity, and its exceptional track record in nurturing both youth and senior teams.

This new union between the South Berkshire Hockey Club and Netwise is a testament to our shared values and common goals, such as supporting local talent, enhancing community spirit, and aiming for success in everything we do, making for a perfectly aligned partnership.

Some of the Men’s 1st Team in action

With Netwise’s support, the South Berkshire Hockey Club is poised for a remarkable season. We are dedicated to upholding the club’s time-honored values of teamwork, sportsmanship, and dedication, and we very much look forward to sharing in their successes.