London East Build Blog – End of Phase One

We’ve taken a much longer break than usual between build blog updates this time around, as we turned focus to the final stages of systems integration and commissioning.

However visual changes have been happening, and in what became the concluding run up to welcoming in our first client deployments to London East, we can relay some of those to you here, and give you a final overview of the facility following Phase One completion.

Weekly overview

With Phase One of the build project now concluded, we’ll be keeping things short and sweet this time, and direct attention to the most recent round of visual evolutions. These now span a period of several months, and in that time we have in fact welcomed our first clients into the new facility, with a very healthy provisioning queue ahead of us.

This is of course a major milestone for us, as we soft-launch the site to clients that have been on the waiting list for entry for quite some time now. Our official public launch is expected in the near future – details to be confirmed.

Our transformer enclosure is now all back together, including all blockwork and the border, which really completes this side of the front compound
Having this area completed has enabled clients to migrate into the facility
As always, the devil is in the detail, and our matching metering enclosure carries the same installation hallmarks as the larger transformer enclosure seen to the side
Our main vehicle access gate in our front compound is receiving the full automation treatment at the moment, for integration into our access control system and full hands-free operation and locking
This new automatic gate system connects into our multi-facility access system, and uses a toothed track and motor to open and close gates of up to 1.6 tons
Our reception area has really taken shape now, with the full glazing system now in place
The client entrance to NLE now maintains segregation between client routes and our security / check-in team at all times
The glass security door which forms part of the new reception glazing system required some interesting technology to implement, both for the glass-mounted maglock, and this wireless RFID reader which now interfaces directly with our Paxton Net2 system via a custom board integration
With live client systems now online inside of NLE, both LV A and LV B have their UPS systems delivering conditioned power to critical client deployments
Our LV rooms now have additional floor detail in place, in the form of ribbed rubber safety matting, seen here in LV Room B
As part of our modular data centre design and deployment strategy – which we’ve implemented at all of our bespoke facilities to date – spaces for future capacity deployment can be seen throughout Netwise London East
Our core network is of course fully online and working for clients now deployed at London East, for both transit and backhaul – the B-side of the NLE core and passive infrastructure is seen here, including 144 of the 432 fibre pairs delivered to site by Zayo
Here we see the A-side of the same core and passive communications, which you can see quite clearly is a direct reflection of the B-side – the building is designed as a double-mirror, both left-to-right and top-to-bottom
A wider view of the A-side LV room, which shows the rubber matting route now in place
These custom generator system status screens found in both LV rooms are a fantastic tool for monitoring our various generator tests
Our LV rooms form the beating heart of London East, and we’re extremely proud of how they’ve turned out – these rooms and the equipment within them will support the four data halls in this building for many years to come
Here we have a view of the Build and Break Room, which has since had progress made on the kitchen and lounge segments (not shown here)
With our LV rooms acting as the heart of the building, the data halls are very much the brain, where client deployments reside – this is the view across Data Hall 1, to the occupied Pod 1 containment system, from where Pod 2 will sit very soon
Despite being open to clients for just a few months, Pod 1 now sits at around 56% capacity at the time of publishing this post, which is why the next phase of work in this hall is already underway
This is a view of the A-side ODF in Data Hall 1, with the overhead cable ladder for copper and fibre cross-connects (on the A-side) now beginning to show visible population, as more client systems come online here
The cold aisle containment system at NLE is certainly a step up from NLC, with electric sliding door entry, which can also be deployed with access control for private pod entry (as is the case here)
The new generation of adiabatic coolers have been performing exceptionally well, running at a much lower pressure than the previous generation – despite hitting nearly 40C locally at NLE this month, the CREC system alone dealt with this amazingly well, with the supplementary AC system not called upon once
This view of the rear of our evaporative cooling system in Data Hall 1 shows the scale of the full setup, with the entire rear face of the building acting as a large intake and exit point for the facility – this hall alone has 28 external air intake and filter bays, which helps make this such a low pressure system
All supplementary air conditioning systems, including the secondary system in Data Hall 1 and all building-wide comfort cooling, are now fully online and operational across the board – we only have a small AC plant area in our front compound, as we again lean entirely into super-efficient adiabatic cooling technology here at London East

The main purpose of this post is to present the current state of play at London East following Phase One of construction, which sees Pod 1 online in Data Hall 1, servicing live clients. We will periodically dip back into the Build Blog, to update on individual projects, and of course the move into Phase Two.

We’re dubbing the next phase of development Phase One-Point-Five, and that’s for some of the ancillary areas which had to be pushed back in favour of technical readiness for client systems. This includes customer facing amenities such as the customer break-out kitchen and lounge area, the personnel lift, and a few remaining internal developments such as our new power monitoring system and some customer portal improvements.

What else has been happening?

Since completing on Phase One, introducing our first set of customer deployments, and the forthcoming Phase Two works, we’ve continued with the fit-out of our customer build and break area.

Works are well underway in terms of laying the section of herringbone floor on which the kitchen and lounge areas of the room will be situated, and our high-specification kitchen installation is also in progress.

Here’s a very small sneak peak at progress so far.

A view of the herringbone floor as it is installed over the raised floor tiles in this space
The extra investment in time to install herringbone floor is well worth it, and in keeping with the attention to detail found across all of our facilities
Here we see the very early stages of the kitchen cabinets being installed – things have progressed significantly since, with the worktop and island now in place, however we’ll have a dedicated post for this in due course (it’ll be worth the wait!)

What’s next?

In the immediate term, we’re welcoming a range of clients into Data Hall 1. In fact, we’ve already deployed systems into 17 enclosures, with plenty more lined up for both London East and London Central.

To keep pace with demand looking ahead, and to allow for the next deployment phases, we’ve just had 89x new APC racks delivered to site, which are currently being held in a 60 square metre block in Data Hall 4.

New APC Racks

Phase 1.5 is already underway, and expected to last into early autumn. Phase 2 works will begin shortly thereafter, which will see Pod 2 come online, and Data Hall 2 shortly thereafter.

In early July, we spent an entire week on intensive portal development works, as we roll out our brand new client power monitoring platform, client port and bandwidth monitoring re-integration (something that’s been on the cards for a long time now!), and a range of other UX improvements.

We also have some extremely exciting additional developments to pass on very soon, pertaining to our ongoing expansion in all areas. We’re hoping to be able to break silence on this in the coming few weeks.