London East Build Blog – Weeks 83 to 86

The final stages of phase one are progressing nicely, with a wide range of commissioning and integration works now underway across the site.

It’s very exciting to see critical systems that will soon be delivering service to end users begin to come online, with hardware now starting to land in core and distribution racks for the first time.

Weekly overview

It’s been another busy few weeks on-site at London East, with the bulk of our time and effort now spent on technical commissioning work, and on the completion of outstanding finer details, as we head towards the end of the year.

Our heads are very much down as we approach the holiday period, to ensure that we reach our status targets before the new year. As such, we’ll keep this post brief, and move straight onto the photographic updates.

Our compound security fence has had its signage applied, which includes warnings about CCTV, razor wire, and other important informational signs – these span the full length, and all faces
The main visitor entry point to the facility has now been completed, including full privacy / security panelling, and our site name vinyls – London Central is having brand new panels and updated vinyls installed to match very soon
AC Plant
The CRAC and comfort cooling condenser plant is now fully installed and commissioned, and sits in a corner of the main compound – this will have its own small sub-fence installed as part of phase two
A look across the front compound to our generators, which have now had their identifier vinyls applied
The simple yet bold branding found throughout NLE continues outside, with the large format numbering now in place on our four generators
All interior signage is now complete, with this view showing the first floor directional signage in the main corridor, to direct visitors as they leave the lift and staircase atrium
All four of our riser access areas have had custom grills installed, to allow for safe and easy engineer access at any level – these are custom-cut GRP grills, installed on a custom steel frame, unique to each riser and their various penetrations
The data hall cooling control systems are now full commissioned, and the area is now being actively controlled by the new system – here we see the main status screen for Data Hall 1, which has had a fully custom holding display built to show real-time information from within the space
The final stages of the power system commissioning works are underway, which includes all integration settings on our main switchboards – this is a view of the main status screen in LV B
The network rollout has begun at the core, which will be followed shortly thereafter by aggregation and management roll-out in the data halls – here we see ODF B in Data Hall 1 being prepared for fit-out
This is the temporary setup in ODF B, which enabled some of the commissioning works to proceed ahead of having the main network in place – this also shows the custom vertical mounting arrangement we’ve deployed in these cabinets, to house switches
Here we see the UPSs in LV B at around 75% completion, pending the final UPS being rolled into place in the empty position on the left, which is as far as this room will see deployment during phase one
This is the front view in LV A, showing the fully completed UPS setup
The rear view of the UPS arrangement in LV A, with this space now phase one complete (aside from finishing touches to come post-commissioning)
The staging of our own core has now begun for both A and B sides – here we see the A side, with the main comms rack now staged ahead of cabling, which will happen once the ODF is also fitted out in the coming days, at which point the side panels will be fitted back onto the main rack
Here we see the B side, which again has the ODF fit-out to follow – this side contains some of the BT infrastructure delivered to site, so is further along in terms of deployment

We’re very pleased with progress, and we are very much enjoying the sight of things coming together. Being at the point whereby hardware is being installed into racks is another major milestone in this project, and an aspect of the build that our team tend to enjoy most as data centre professionals. This is when the facility begins to truly come to life, and systems are interconnected and brought into the Netwise ecosystem for the first time.

While there’s still plenty to be done in the weeks leading up to Christmas, we’re also all looking forward to our company Christmas party, which is now only a week or so away. We’ve got plenty to look back on this year, so we’re thrilled to get everyone together and celebrate our achievements.

What’s next?

Commissioning and integration will consume the bulk of our time on-site at NLE, ahead of the holidays. This will prepare the space for occupation in January. We’re extremely excited to see the new site integrated into our existing architecture in the coming weeks, becoming the fifth major POP on our metro network.

We’re also getting into the Christmas sprit on-site, which is always nice!