London East Build Blog – Weeks 69 and 70

We have more exciting progress to share in this instalment of the Build Blog, as cabling continues to run into the facility at pace.

This progress has been seen across the board, from the largest runs out to external connection points, right down to the smallest termination points inside of the Data Hall PDUs.


Weekly overview

In the last two weeks, we’ve doubled the labour force involved in the electrical side of the project, adding a dedicated cable gang to the on-site trades to help push through the final cable runs, most of which are very substantial armoured cables.

This has seen the vast majority of the on-site cable drums emptied and returned to the vendor, as the cables now lay in place, with termination well underway across the board.

We also have a dedicated jointer on-site, who is heading up much of the largest termination activity, such as inside the generator canopies.

Cabling
The first set of cables that make use of the external ladder runs out to the transformer, seen in place here
Cabling
Another view of the first set of cables on the transformer-to-LV room route
Cabling
This run takes cables all the way out to the transformer enclosure – these are again in a trefoil cleat arrangement, as with the LV Room interlink cables
Cabling
The GRP enclosure for the transformer now in place atop the previously poured base
Cabling
The cables that connect to the transformer take a direct route around the perimeter of the front compound, with rear-mounted security panelling to be installed soon
Cabling
Another view of this particular containment run in the front compound
Cabling
This is the view back towards the building, with the containment and cabling penetrating the skin of the building, pending final capping and fireproofing
Cabling
Some of the newly emptied cable drums, which have since had their contents run into the facility
Cabling
Termination of the main LV boards is now well underway, with a view here inside one of the main enclosures in LV Room A
Cabling
Another of the main enclosures in LV Room A, with the termination now complete
Cabling
This is a view of one of the main enclosures prior to any termination, after glanding
Cabling
Here we see one of the same enclosures mid-way through termination
Cabling
The same enclosure as it reaches completion
Cabling
This view under one of the LV Room floors shows the next layer of containment and cabling going in over the top of the base layer
Cabling
A view of some of the ladder work on the first floor, which now contains the runs which will feed Data Hall 1 with protected, conditioned power
Cabling
A look inside one of the PDUs in Data Hall 1, as the final termination begins
Cabling
This view shows some of the cables as they make use of the riser in LV Room B
Cabling
This is the view of the external containment which heads to the generators, as the cabling nears completion
Cabling
Another view of the generator cables as they enter the building
Cabling
A look across the rear of the generators, where this cabling will soon enter each unit
Cabling
The generator cables enter the building here, and then pass into LV Room A for onward handling – these holes will all be fire stopped and finished with tight-fitting decorated panels
Cabling
The transformer route shown here now contains all cabling as necessary to liven up the site during commissioning
Cabling
Another view of the transformer cabling, with the earthing now in place
Cabling
A view of the transformer cabling as it reaches the enclosure, ready for connection into the transformer once that is installed
ODF
Here we see one of our custom ODFs, of which there are two in Data Hall 1 for diversity – this angle shows the installed overhead cable ladder bridging across to Pod 1
VESDA
The VESDA pipework installation is now underway in Data Hall 1
VESDA
A look at the pipework as it begins to be installed along air pathways, in this case on the supplementary CRAC unit intakes, which now have their automatic dampers fitted
VESDA
The pipework is also installed along the main CREC exhaust and recirculation louvres

This has been a fantastic fortnight for project development, with tremendous progress on the cabling side of things.

We’ve been very excited to see all of the cabling begin to disappear under the floor and into the risers, ready for termination and testing. We’re also very excited to see some additional visual elements installed, such as the bright red VESDA air sampling pipework.


What’s next?

We will continue with progress on all things electrical. As cable pulling nears completion, focus will shift more completely onto termination, along with supplementary power installations, including small scale non-critical power delivery to things like cleaner’s sockets.

Beyond this, the VESDA pipework installations will continue, and with the arrival of additional cabling for things such as the CREC control and monitoring system, this will also begin to take shape.

9 things to look for in your London data centre

Did you know there are around 285 colocation data centres in the United Kingdom? As the UK capital, London is the perfect place to house your critical infrastructure. But do you fully understand what makes a good one?

London has a lot to offer, from sound infrastructure to geographical safety. Read on as we discuss nine things to look for in your London data centre partner.


1. Security

Security comes in both digital and physical from when referring to top-quality London data centres.

Data centres can also be attacked physically. Therefore, you need to check the security of the facility itself. It should be monitored 24 hours a day with video surveillance equipment. 


2. Power redundancy

When you have a business that runs online, you need to make sure it is operating at full capacity through all eventualities. If you have a critical system that can not go down, what happens if a data centre runs out of power? 

One factor your London data centre needs is a secondary electrical connection. Most facilities will have this, and N+1 grid connectivity with a second power source is essential. 

Any failures in the power will not lead to a shutdown with this in place. When choosing a centre, ask what electrical backups they have. 


3. A good location

When you choose a data centre that is a long way off, then your networking costs increase. When it is closer to your place of operations, it is easier to respond when any problems or issues arise. This is what makes a London data centre such a great option for businesses in the city. 

Lights out facilities is the term used for centres managed remotely. Preferred by some, they are risk-averse and cost-effective, as management is away from areas prone to natural disasters. However, this is not a problem that impacts the city of London.  

This makes a data centre in London a great choice all around. They are safe and with so much easy access to the city, can be visited whenever you need to check on them. 


4. Provision of an SLA

service level agreement (SLA) is a binding contract that sets out what the data centre will provide you with. This needs to be studied in-depth, as it may contain hidden caveats within the small print. When something goes wrong, you don’t want the provider to leave you high and dry because you didn’t read it properly. 

Don’t be afraid to address these issues. If you want something added or removed, then discuss it with them. This may also help them get a better understanding of the coverage and service you desire. 

One area that is often hard to understand is accountability for security. Make this as clear as possible in your SLA. All of this should be discussed during your search, not when it comes to signing the contract.


5. 24 hour support

Problems can occur at any time. This does not just mean the middle of the night, but also on every day of the week, every single day of the year. Failure is not an option, because it costs people time and revenue. That is why the centre needs to be monitored and staffed around the clock. 

That does not mean staffing at the centre has to be consistent. In downtimes, less staff may be onsite or monitoring. However, someone must always be there to answer phone calls and give assistance. 


6. Reputation

Checking the reputation does not mean you won’t find unknown London data centres that are good. It is just that with ones that have a great reputation, you get a degree of certainty regarding their level of service. Speak to other business leaders and managers about who they use and get recommendations. 

In addition, when you sign up for a data centre you will be working together for a few years. You need to know they have a level of professionalism and service that will see you through. Ask the company themselves to provide references and testimonials to support their credibility. 


7. Geo diversity

Despite being an extremely safe place for a data centre, it is possible that accidents may happen. When they do and centres go out of action, you need to know the company has other centres across the country or region. 

If a disaster befalls the centre then another can keep your business up and running. Discuss this and see where their other centres are located. 


8. Certifications

Like any industry, the data providers will have a number of compliance certifications. These are to protect the centre legally and safeguard you as a customer.

In addition to this, your industry itself may be regulated and have compliance, which the data centre needs to know about. For example, if you have healthcare records and the data centre does not understand the compliance related to record-keeping, then you may be liable. 


9. Data capacity

Data capacity for your London data centre needs to be scalable. Technology is constantly growing and so are the needs of your business. The data centre needs to have the capacity to provide for you, then be able to forecast what else you may need, and be able to increase it quickly. 

Some data centres are huge and can support Amazon sized websites, while others may be much smaller. None are wrong or right, as long as they have the capacity to serve you now and in the future. 


Selecting a London data centre

Now you know the benefits of a London data centre, you just need to find one suitable for your business. Speak with a number of providers and make sure to go through the SLA in depth. 

Your first stop should be Netwise. We have colocation centres in the capital with state of the art facilities. Get in touch today and let us keep you connected.

A small business guide to a London data centre

Decades ago, society was content with simple TV broadcasts from only a few channels, and communication was as simple as snail-mail. When computers first came on the scene they were giant machines that would occupy whole rooms.

But as technology has evolved, computers and equipment have shrunk and become cheaper. With this evolution has come rising data processing demands which show no sign of slowing down.

As technological advances continue to change the way companies do business, the need for data and power increases. Data centres are the powerhouses of the industrial world, and a London data centre may be just the thing you need. 


What is a data centre?

The internet is now considered a daily essential, and almost everybody owns a smartphone, allowing 24/7 connection to the online world. With over 60% of the world’s population online at any given time, the internet plays a huge role in our lives. This means the demand for real-time data transmission is at an all-time high.

The need for computers and other networking equipment that can handle these requests was the driver for the emersion of the modern data centre.

Data centres are computing and networking facilities tasked to collect, store, process, and distribute data. They are responsible for data backup and recovery, as well as networking. 

Data centres connect communication networks so users can access information remotely. They host websites and manage e-mails and messaging services. Data centres also support cloud storage and e-commerce transactions. 


Importance of data centres

Almost every modern business needs a business data centre. Large corporations or government institutions may choose to build and manage them in-house if they have the resources, but most companies choose to rent services at colocation facilities.

Companies that handle finance, telecommunication, retail, education and social networking services process tons of information daily. Any business that produces or uses data requires a data centre to optimise running its operations. Data centres offer fast secure access to data that cannot be matched.

The idea of storing data and resources on home or work computers is quickly being replaced by an offshore storage mentality. Many companies are migrating their data to data centre services to reduce the cost of running in-house servers and to ensure failsafe reliability that cannot be achieved in the home or workplace. 


What Netwise’s London data centres can do for you

Data centres in London are far more than just safe and secure facilities equipped with reliable power and network access. They are quickly becoming a valuable addition to many businesses, as a dependable extension of their IT team.

The Netwise team prides itself on quality service and round the clock care to ensure your data is accessible and protected. 

Reliability

Data centres are built to provide around the clock service. With every consideration taken care of, you can be sure your servers will be running around the clock for you and your clients. 

Netwise offers the following services to ensure your data is secure and reliable: 

  • Multiple power sources that are stable and uninterruptible
  • Super-efficient cooling and ventilation
  • Reliable backup generators
  • 24×7 technical support and security
  • World-class network and connectivity services


Power outage protection

Onsite power failures are incurable when they result in a loss of data. Technological and natural power outages can cause disaster for an organisation. Loss of power for as little as 1/50 of a second can trigger events that can keep equipment unavailable for anywhere from 15 minutes to several hours. 

Outsourcing control to reduce the impact of a power failure is a great way to ensure this doesn’t happen to you. Date centres make use of both grid power and independent generators and UPS’s. This means you’ll be protecting yourself against power outages and ensuring your servers are never out of action.

Clean power

Utility power isn’t always clean, creating a sustainable future is everyone’s responsibility. This is why Netwise uses 100% renewable energy sourced from the wind, sun and sea. Our data centres are some of the greenest facilities in Europe, helping you and your company reduce your carbon footprint.

London colocation tailored to suit your needs

Available in near-limitless space, this is colocation tailored to your needs. With a range of power and connectivity configurations, you will get a secure, resilient server. Select from 1U, 2U & 4U colocation, quarter rack, half-rack or full rack options at a range of price points to fit your budget.

Not sure what you need? Use the colocation calculator to help get you started. 

24/7 service

Available with all colocation service options, you will receive 24/7 phone, chat and email customer support. You will have access to full remote hands and management options.

Change your focus

With your data needs taken care of, you and your company can focus on your core objectives, rather than technological maintenance. Spend more time focusing on your profit margin and services, and less time worrying about your server. 


Get ready for your London data centre

There’s no question that using a London data centre can bring peace of mind to you and your company. A business data centre in London will ensure you have reliable, around the clock access to your data and network. Using clean energy to cover all your data needs, you can be confident you’re doing right by your clients and the world. 

Come in for a tour, or give us a call today to find out how Netwise can help you with your data needs. 

London East Build Blog – Weeks 66 to 68

Focus on the Build Blog this time around has been firmly on progress with cabling and containment, which continues to develop across the entire site.

A hefty quantity of the largest internal cabling is now all in place, totalling around 8 tonnes. This will now be terminated, along with a host of smaller internal cabling, while additional large external cabling is run in thereafter, as we head ever closer to energisation at London East.


Weekly overview

We’ll get straight into the photos again this time around, as we take a look at cabling and containment developments on-site at NLE.

Containment
Containment has now firmly breached into the exterior areas of the new site, with the runs to the four generators taking shape here
Containment
Another view of the generator containment as it works its way around to the point of entry on each gen set
Containment
A closer view of the twin ladder runs out to the generators, to account for the large quantity of cabling required to connect these units back to the main switchboards and controllers
Containment
What look to be simple drops across to the generators actually required considerable effort, as solid concrete and brickwork edging had to be excavated to allow for the ladder to pass through to the required location
Containment
On the other side of the front compound, the twin ladder runs to the transformer have started to be installed
Containment
Here we see the supporting slotted channel being prepared for installation on this solid block wall, which will house the transformer cable runs as they pass into the building
Containment
The external skin of the building has been modified to allow cabling to enter and pass along this route
Containment
Here’s a view of the uncovered cable ladder which sits under the floor in the ground floor access corridor
Containment
Here we seem a temporary blanking panel in place until the ladder is ready to pass through the building – additional tray is being run in to hold AC pipework for traditional systems that will support supplementary areas of the building
Transformer
The transformer base is now ready for the installation of the GRP enclosure, and the transformer itself
Cabling
This is a view inside of LV Room B, as some of the large ~300kg inter-room cables are run in, which will link the LV boards for various functions / reasons – they are simply laid in loose at this point in time
Cabling
This is the drum of cabling for connecting out to the generators, which clocks in at 2.2 tonnes
Cabling
One of the first drums to be emptied – this was a 1.8 tonne spool, which is now all run in under the floor between the LV rooms – this will be modified and become an outside table for clients to use
Cabling
Another finished drum, slightly smaller this time, equating to around 1.2 tonnes
Cabling
A look into LV Room A, with the cabling being pulled into its trefoil cleats
Cabling
A view into the main LV Room cabling route as they enter LV Room B, showing the cleats as they hold the cables down to the floor mounted channel
Cabling
Another view into LV Room B as the routes continue to take shape, and the tails are fed all the way into the boards
Cabling
Earth cable being pulled into the floor, which again will interconnect the LV Rooms
Cabling
A view into LV Room A, as the earth cables are laid into position ahead of cleating
Cabling
Here we see the earth cabling being pulled into its cleated arrangement, which brings this main route to its full state
Cabling
A look down the main cable route between LV Rooms, showing the multiple trefoils and earthing bundles and they run between the two main boards

As you can see, the main focus here has been on continued progression with cabling and containment, which will continue into the next instalment of the Build Blog.

As always, other works have of course been underway, both in the development of London East, and elsewhere across our ever-growing operation, however we’re keeping this post concise and on topic.


What’s next?

As with the previous ‘what’s next?’ update, we’re looking at more of the same over the next few weeks. We have a vast amount of cabling and termination to undertake, which we hope to see nearing completion by the time we next post to the Build Blog.

We’ll also be moving onto further work on fire and VESDA systems, and will be moving ahead with commissioning on cooling systems, as well as continued work on power, such as the roll out of ‘small power infrastructure’ (supplementary building-wide power sockets for cleaning equipment etc).

London East Build Blog – Weeks 63 to 65

Vast changes again this time, as the electrical works push on at pace both inside and outside of the new facility.

While visually the site now appears a little less finished than before, with masses of flooring taken up to accommodate the newly installed containment and cabling, from a more wholistic view point, things are pushing forwards in a big way at the moment.


Weekly overview

The pace of work and progress on-site has certainly been turned up a gear, as multiple trades now work together on various aspects of the facility’s power systems, alongside work on other related areas to maintain solid progression throughout.

We have a lot of photos to present this time around, so rather than spending too much time on the introduction, we’ll let them do the talking.

LV Boards
Our LV boards have arrived with us, split across two deliveries due to their size
LV Boards
This first batch of boards shown here are destined for LV Room A
LV Boards
We were able to swing the boards right into the loading bay, ready for pre-staging ahead of them being rolled into their final position on their respective plinths
LV Boards
The first couple of sections of the board now coupled together in LV Room A
LV Boards
Here we can see into the gland plate enclosures, where the large armoured cables will soon enter the boards to feed the various breakers seen in the chambers above
LV Boards
Here is another view of LV Room A, with the UPS Boards now also in their final places opposite the main board
LV Boards
The size of these boards makes taking a photo of them tricky – getting them all in view is nearly impossible – a wide angle lens in on our shopping list!
LV Boards
A view from the door of LV Room A, looking towards the boards now full situated, coupled, levelled and locked off
Containment
This is the view down one of the risers, as the containment between floors begins to take shape, and specialist containment for fire cable routes is run in
Containment
A look at some of the containment in place to hold the ladder work under the floor
Containment
Here we see the floor starting to go back down in Data Hall 1, now that the whips are in place – more on that further down in this post
Containment
Another view of the floor back in place at the rear of Row A in Pod 1, with only the termination at the PDU end to go
Containment
Lots of inter-room pathways have been made for cable routes in the past few weeks
Containment
The largest cables will be cleated to the ground, with slotted channel now fixed to the ground along these routes to accommodate this
Containment
Here we see the slotted channel in place under the floor in the LV Rooms
Containment
The main containment runs out to the generators are also starting to take shape
Exterior
Further progress has also been made outside the building, with the trenches dug for the ducting that will carry our HV feeds into our demise
Exterior
The main run of trench to take the ductwork out to the roadside
Exterior
Here’s a look at the poured transformer base, with the shutter forming fully removed
Exterior
A look at some of the machinery on-site to undertake the ground work
Exterior
The trench continues to the road, with steel plates in place to bridge the gap for access while the top remains open
Cabling
Here we see some of the smaller drums of earth cabling for this phase of the project arriving to site
Cabling
Here’s one of the larger drums of earth cable, clocking in at around 750kg
Cabling
Some more of the earth cabling in storage, along with a large quantity of the ladder to be installed around the facility
Cabling
A sizable delivery of the larger armoured cabling that will run between the LV rooms, and to the Data Halls
Cabling
Some of these drums are around 2 metres in diameter, with the delivery clocking in at circa eight tonnes
Cabling
Some more of the drums inside, awaiting their time to land on the large 10 tonne axels we have for pulling them in – each single length of cable can weigh as much as 300kg, and needs to be pulled in using special rollers
Cabling
A view of the cabling as it is laid under the floor, between the LV Rooms
Cabling
Much of the floor has come up to allow for the cabling to be routed, along with the temporary removal of the UPS boards
Cabling
The cabling has been partly stripped here, and installed into the gland plate ready for eventual termination
Cabling
This view shows the cables starting to be cleated together, which run the width of the building between the two LV Rooms – there are 15 more cables to join this first three
Cabling
The first set of cables reaching LV Room B, which will interlink the two boards
Cabling
This view further shows some of the underfloor containment, which is multi-layered in the LV Rooms (top layer removed here)
Cabling
This is a view of the now completed cabinet-side whip cabling in Data Hall 1, which will feed each of the racks with diverse power
Cabling
This room alone has eaten up over 2km of cabling, with well over 3,000 ties holding it all down to the tray
Cabling
Data Hall 1 has been flood cabled with feeds for all eventual rack locations, including the currently vacant spots for Pod 2
Cabling
Diverse cable routes always take pathways which reduce cross-over, in this instance only happening once, where A and B feeds need to move past each other as each pod is cross-fed – a cable bridge has been installed to handle this
Cabling
As always, the devil is in the detail, and we’re very pleased with how the underfloor cabling has come together in Data Hall 1
Cabling
A view down the length of Row B, with all commando sockets in place, and earth bonding for both the racks and the raised floor visible
Cabling
The A and B feeds to each rack only converge at the rack itself, otherwise maintaining fully separated routes throughout
Cabling
Keeping routes so strictly diverse in this way requires far more cabling and containment, which comes with a great deal of additional cost and labour, however it is vital for true client-facing A/B redundancy

As you can see, it’s been a busy few weeks on-site here at NLE.

Things are certainly ramping up as we move into the closing stages of the opening phase of the project, which will allow our first clients to install kit into Data Hall 1.

It’s certainly a rather intense time to be a part of the NLE project, as multiple trades push on with various aspects of the build in tandem, ultimately taking us towards the finish line at pace, and in line with expectations on our phase one launch.


What’s next?

For the time being, much of the same. Progress will continue on electrical over the coming weeks, and we will also be pushing ahead with other areas, including the various cooling systems throughout the facility.