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Multi-year deal sees Datapod deployed globally for resources giant

Datapod recently signed a 5 year deal with a major resources company that will see the Datapod system deployed globally in a variety of climatic regions and a range of sizes and densities – all based on the standardized Datapod architecture.  Factory-built systems will be rolled out from July 2018 to sites across Australia, and globally from the following year.  Competition from manufacturers around the world fell away as the customer’s stringent technical and safety demands became apparent.  Datapod’s proven track record in the resource sector as well as our >1500 days without LTI safety record were key factors in our selection, according to Managing Director Scott Carr.  “You can’t operate for nearly 5 years without incident unless safety is embedded in the culture of the company”.  

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Single Module ‘Projectpod’ systems discontinued as customers preference multi-module systems

With customers increasingly opting for the flexibility of a scalable architecture Datapod have decided to withdraw from sale the single module ‘Projectpod’ systems.  Whilst the non-scalable Projectpod’s met a certain niche requirement where a small number of low-density racks was required, they came with limitations that restricted their application.  Some customers found the lack of space a restriction where building code approvals were required for permanent deployments.  The lack of a spacious pre-conditioned work zone separate from the datahall was also missed by customers who had experience of both the scalable and non-scalable systems.

As customers have become aware of the benefits of the un-restricted scaling ability of the Datapod system it has become the predominant choice.  Most customers also view their Datapod system as a permanent deployment  meaning that they expect and require functionality equal to or exceeding that of a ‘brick & mortar’ facility.  Existing Projectpod work-in-progress will be completed and the production line migrated to scalable Datapod modules.

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Datapod delivers complete datacenter including all site infrastructure to remote locations by air

Datapod has completed the delivery of a multi-module end-to-end facility including chillers, generators, main boards, fire suppression and a highly configured datahall to a remote, hazardous location by air, using An-124 and C-17a heavy lift aircraft.  Achieving certification for air-transport was a significant milestone for Datapod as the requirements incorporated in the relevant national air transport standards present significant engineering hurdles that had to be overcome.  Re-engineering the Datapod modules for airfreight, including being capable of withstanding up to 6G forces required a complete review of every component.  For information on how the Datapod system could meet your mission requirements contact us through enquiries@datapod.com.au

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Datapod Low-Profile PROJECTPOD enables fly-in deployment anywhere in the world

Canberra, January 28, 2016: Modular data center manufacturer Datapod has released a low-profile single module ‘all-in-one’ system that can be flown to it’s deployment site in the ubiquitous ‘Herc’.  The Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 Hercules is the most commonly used logistics transport aircraft in the world, in use with the UN, and most western governments/armed forces.  

Canberra-headquartered Datapod has recognized the demand for an ‘all-in-one’ modular data center system.  The ‘Projectpod’ range of single module units provides users with between 4 and 7 IT/Communications racks, with higher density versions supported by externally mounted heat-exchange condenser units to ensure loads of up to 15KW per rack can be accommodated.  

LOW-DENSITY RACKS IN A LOW-PROFILE MODULE

In an effort to reduce the overall form-factor of the module which would allow the system to be flown in the C-130J Hercules, Datapod have engineered a reduced-height system with in-built airconditioning module.  Capable of accommodating 4 low-density racks of ICT equipment, and featuring a separate UPS rack, with internal air-lock facility to maintain the cleanliness of the IT environment, the Low-Profile Projectpod is expected to fulfil the needs of organizations requiring rapid deployability in remote areas.  Whether it be in support of humanitarian work, in a military theater, or research studies in the field, localized IT capacity is now considerably simpler to deploy. 

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HOW TO SPECIFY A DATAPOD MODULAR DATA CENTER

Designing a data center can be difficult – few people ever get to do this because for most organizations it’s a once in 10 years requirement.   In the past, when every server room, computer room or data center was unique, this was a difficult proposition.  You needed to have or have access to a wide range of skills, not just around the IT requirement but a full multi-disciplinary spectrum including engineering (power, cooling, civil), project management, and of course financial skills.  It’s quite likely that the one-time engineered facility designed and built for your needs shared some characteristics with other facilities, but was essentially unique, a one-time engineered facility with all the unique problems, costs and delays that come with it.

‘ With ‘Datacenter 2.0’ came standardisation, repeatability and the associated savings in time, cost and complexity.  Datapod pioneered the manufactured approach for scalable modular data centers and the benefits are easy to see, and easy to realize.  In this post I’ll explain the simple steps you need to take in order to configure a system that meets your needs and how to progress this through to design stage and budget costing.

The Datapod website contains a wealth of information in our ‘Resources’ section on data center design, including videos, renders, articles. and whitepapers/technical documents.  This is a good place to spend some time, but if you just want to get straight into it, these are the questions you need answers to

 PRIMARY DESIGN QUESTIONS

  • How many racks do you need?
  • What is the average power density per rack?
  • Rack sizes and depths?
  • Does it need to scale, and what is the projected growth over time?
  • Do you need a non-IT work area and if so, how large?
  • What level of redundancy or resiliency do you require in power, cooling and generator?
  • Do you have a preference in cooling system type (Chilled Water or DX)? 

Once these questions are answered the system can be configured and ballpark pricing estimated.  Exact pricing is dependant upon the fine detail – the accessorization of the facility which can have a significant positive impact on the functionality, usability and cost of operation, as well as the price

SECONDARY DESIGN QUESTIONS

  • Free cooling 
  • Humidification/dehumidification
  • Security options – Access Control, CCTV
  • Fire detection and suppression options
  • Structured cabling solutions
  • Power distribution options
  • Color scheme and branding
  • Site preparation and delivery requirements

You certainly don’t need all of the answers on ‘Day-1’.  With the building block approach to datacenter design it is easy to add-in or remove items as you need to make design changes.  

Take the first step now by reviewing some of the online data at the Datapod website, Facebook or VIMEO to see how these systems might match your requirements, and then get in contact with Datapod directly.  You can do this via the form below, or directly to me at adam.smith@datapod.com.au

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Five more reasons to deploy a modular data center

There are many benefits of a modular data center system and here are five more reasons to deploy a modular data center system.

Data Center Colocation

Co-locating IT hardware can often be out of the question for IT departments for reasons of security or convenience.

Where outsourcing is not an option, in-house data centers are necessary. The unique technical and engineering requirements of even small server rooms make this a complex and expensive decision as IT systems virtualize and become denser.

Company mergers or organizational restructuring

Mergers, new projects or other sudden increases in demand on IT systems will be problematic for  traditional data center, designed for static, low density loads.

When expansion or refurbishment of a traditional data center is likely to be prohibitively priced. At such a time the option of accessing additional data center capacity in the short term can be highly advantageous to business operations.

Short term requirement like events or time specific projects

Short-term requirements are often difficult to address. Investment may be considered for a temporary requirement, when a more appropriate course of action would be a short-term rental. Datapods can be rented for short periods.

Better still the modular data center system can be disassembled and shipped to the next or new location.

Remote or harsh environments

Harsh environments cause unique challenges for IT managers. Housing IT systems in a secure, weather-proofed Datapod System can effectively protect the systems from the effects of dust, dirt and temperature/humidity variations.

Without such protection the entire IT infrastructure could be at risk, leading to significant and expensive disruption to business operations.

Disaster Recovery

Disaster recovery sites are often located close to primary IT operations simply for the convenience of staff. By utilizing a remotely deployable Datapod System, your transportable DR system can be taken to pre-arranged locations as/when required.

By simply providing a prepared, level site with access to power, a DR system can be delivered and be up and running quickly.

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Preparing a data center tender: Proximity, power an tier certification

Many organisations are still stuck in the old paradigm when preparing a data center tender, not knowing the industry has moved significantly since the last time they went to tender, and in some cases not knowing what new technologies are available and how that would actually better suit their organisation’s needs.

One such advancement in data center design is the modular data center. The scalability, agility and portability of a modular data center system means a modular system can meet any data center requirement.

Let’s take a look at proximity, power and tier certification issues considered in a medium density data center tender relocation project.

Proximity

Many tenders require a facility to be located near or within a specific radius of a given location. The portability of a modular data center system, like the Datapod System, means the facility can be placed in any prepared site location. Locations can include greenfield sites, roof top spaces (with appropriate load bearing capacity), as well as other inner city or urban locations, indoors or out. Furthermore, the scalability means the data center can be added to either vertically or horizontally at a later date – extending the life and functionality of the data center while lowering the overall cost.

Proximity also dictates accessibility to other services, such as:

– Fibre paths
– Carriage services
– Power utility
– Road access
– Rail access
– Water supply

NB: with the addition of the Utilitypod, and access to satellite services the Datapod System can be deployed to remote locations that do not have access to a power utility. This makes the Datapod System attractive for defence, mining or humanitarian locations.

Rack /Kw range for example, 3Kw, 5Kw, 7kW, 12kW, 15kW, 20Kw, 30kW

Modular systems can be configured to a number of different densities for example:

Rack power capacity based on commonly available circuit breaker sizes or combinations of breakers, ie:

  •  (1ø)16amp (3.7KW),
  •  (1ø) 32amp, (7.4KW),
  •  (3ø) 16amp (11.1KW)
  •  (2×1ø) 2 x 32amp  (14.8KW),
  •  (3ø) 32amp (22.2KW) and
  •  (3ø)32amp and (1ø)32amp (29.6KW). 


All racks have dual path power supplies from separate UPS system supplied by divergent Sub-Distribution Boards and UPS’s.

The Datapod System can also meet requests for a contiguous environment by providing a central non-ICT work (Entrypod) area which can separate two datahalls each containing up to 40 racks or the Entrypod can be positioned to one side with a  single contiguous data hall. The modular nature of the system mean modules can be placed to suit customer.

Power and cooling capacity including the computer room power distribution solution, any supplementary cooling, and redundancy levels being provided

The Connection Node is the point of entry for all utilities (power, water, communications) into the Datapod System, and contains the electrical Mains Distribution Boards (MDB) as well as secondary water pumps in discreet isolated chambers. 

The electrical boards in the Connection Node will each take fully rated mains incomer, as well as a backup input from a Utilitypod/s via inbuilt Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS). 

The MDB’s also incorporate Transient Voltage Surge Suppression (TVSS).  Filtered mains (or generator power) is routed across to the datahall module where it supplies dual redundant UPS systems. 

Each Starterpod is provisioned with dual modular UPS’s to meet the typical ICT requirements as well as supporting Essential Services Distribution Boards which support items such as the Fire Panel, emergency lighting and Inrow Cooler fans. 

Power from the UPS is distributed by Inrow Power Distribution Units (IR-PDU’s) which are positioned in mid-row.  Each rack within the datahall is powered by both IR-PDU’s, with 100% capacity available from each to support the design load.  Racks can be provisioned or as required with dual metered PDU’s.  In addition, each Starterpod is also fitted with a Non-Essential Services Distribution Board for non-critical items.

Mechanically, for a medium density project, the Datapod System would be cooled via chilled water (CW) produced by the modular chillers located within the dual Utilitypods.  The modular chillers are configured in an N+1 array within the Utilitypod.

CW is distributed via a common header arrangement located within the Starterpods.  Each header includes supply and return outlets, and routes chilled water to the Inrow coolers located between the IT racks. 

The central ‘Hot Aisle’ between the two rows of IT racks is contained using an insulated roof kit enabling all warmer exhaust air to be ‘captured’ and drawn back into the Inrow cooler intakes, where the waste heat is stripped out across cooling coils.  The waste heat is then carried back to the heat exchange fancoil units located in the Roof mount Assembly module situated on top of the Utilitypod. 

The fancoil units are provisioned in the same quantity/redundancy as the chiller/compressor units within the Utilitypod, for example N+2. In addition to the main air-conditioning system for the datahall,  we provision the Entrypod with a Direct-Expansion (DX type) comfort cooling air-conditioning system.  This non-redundant system is designed to condition the Entrypod non-IT workspace, and also to route some air into the datahall to replenish air and positively pressurise the environment against ingress by airborne contaminants.

Compatibility with the (minimum) Tier III standard

Being a modular system composed of interoperable modules it is possible to design a Datapod system to achieve any Tier level of redundancy. 

For example, a highly resilient Tier 3 design can be configured using dual/diverse mains inputs, dual/redundant generators, chillers and UPS’s per datahall.  Inrow coolers are similarly configured in a 2N arrangement.

Mechanically, arrays of modular chillers support each datahall, providing 2N redundancy.  Their output is routed via diverse paths to header arrangements at opposite ends of the datahall/s and is then distributed to the redundant Inrow coolers. 

Electrically, two separate Mains Distribution Boards support each datahall, and feed different UPS systems each capable of supporting the entire load, ie configured in a 2N arrangement.  Dual redundant diesel generators support each datahall. 

The redundant UPS’s separately provision each IT rack with power in a ‘system + system’ approach, such that if one side were to fail or be taken offline, the 2nd supply would support the entire load with an earth mat deployed around the Datapod System.

Each datahall is provisioned with its own fire suppression system, incorporating inert gas (IG-541) suppression activated by two-stage sensing (VESDA) and ionising smoke detector.

Security for the Datapod System begins with external and internal CCTV cameras. IP (digital) high-definition colour cameras are deployed at both ends of each internal aisle within the datahalls, and on both sides of the Entrypod enabling clear visibility of anyone entering or working within the facility. 

Externally, a combination of fixed dome colour high-definition digital cameras and PTZ cameras are provisioned on all sides of the facility to ensure that no-one is able to approach the facility without being seen.  The cameras are capable of working in low-light using IR capability, and lighting around the Datapod further enhances the capability of ensuring facial recognition of all who approach the facility.  The entrances to the Datapod are physically secured by solid core door system, augmented by reed switches linked to the IMCS.

Describe the Data Center facility building(s) by detailing the structure and design

Despite appearances, the datahall modules (and Entrypod) are not constructed out of shipping containers. 

The Datapod System is  purpose designed and are sized specifically in order to achieve certification under ISO-668 and ISO R-1161 standards for classification of containers in order that Datapod can meet the global logistics and transport industry that has been created specifically to manage this type of module. 

Having the form-factor, ISO certification and American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) approvals allows the Datapod modules to be easily and cheaply transported and positioned anywhere.  Functionally however they were designed from ‘day 1’ to be a datahall, as is demonstrated by the interior construction. 

With 110mm thick highly insulated walls, lined with stainless steel and fully electrically isolated from the exterior skin of the module, the Datapod System is designed to provide Faraday-cage properties, making it an ideal environment for ICT systems. 

Each of the datahall modules is 20’ (6m) in length and falls into one of four broad categories:

  • Entrypod – non-IT environment for a variety of convenience functions, separated from the datahall by a glass partition wall/doors.
  • Starterpod – the initial ‘starting point’ of the datahall, containing the electrical and mechanical connections and distribution systems, as well as a variety of other critical sub-assemblies.  The UPS is typically housed in the Starterpod.  For 2N arrangements, two Starterpods (or a single 2N version) can be deployed at either end of a single datahall.
  • Expanderpod – typically containing racks and Inrow cooling units, and pre-deployed with all necessary sub-assemblies such as lighting, services conduits (fire, water, etc) and overhead cable tray.  Any quantity of Expanderpod can be added to a Starterpod.
  • Endpod – typically the final module, containing racks and Inrow Coolers but terminating with a sliding door to cap off the end of the ‘hot-aisle’.  The Endpod can be deployed with a removable end wall to enable further expansion if required.  In the Bankwest design, due to the Tier 3 requirements no Endpod is required (replaced by a 2nd Starterpod).

The various datahall modules are joined together by a patented joining mechanism, to enable an environment of any size to be created. Being constructed primarily of steel, at the end of useful life the Datapod modules can be almost fully recycled. 

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Data center remote access in a modular system

The days of having to walk around the data center floor taking temperature readings and identifying the status of systems are long gone.

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Data Center Right Sizing – The answer to a common data center problem

The enterprise IT landscape has to be able to adapt to changing business needs and whether you need a server room or data center for a new site, a refurbishment or a temporary facility, the challenge is always the same – data center right-sizing.

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Server room solutions inside modular and containerized data centers

Datapod has provided server room solutions as part of a containerized ‘data center in a box’ solution or as a fully integrated modular data center system in since 2007.

Datapod has taken the traditional server room and the other components on a traditional data center and combined them into modular components that make the entire data center and server room, more scalable, portable and more energy efficient than ever before.

Typically, a server room is a room used to store, power and operate computer servers and their associated components. This room is part of a data center, which typical houses several physical servers lined up together in different form factors, such as rack mounted, or in tower or blade enclosures. A typical data center might consist of several server rooms, each of which is used for separate applications and services.

The server room is primarily used for executing enterprise applications that require massive computing resources at run-time, such as banking software, search engines or social networking applications.

The Datapod containerized and modular data center systems are designed to provide a continuous and redundant supply of electrical power, backup and or alternate power, lighting and air conditioning, as well as monitoring and fire suppression and other security related services.

Developing a secure and efficient server room is a top priority for IT professionals.

Whether a company needs to overhaul its current server room infrastructure or to design a server room from scratch, a containerized or modular data center system is increasingly being considered as a reliable solution with industry analysts Markets and Markets predicting the modular data center market to be worth $40 billion by 2018.

A server room should function as a carefully controlled environment. The Datapod System can provide this flexibility with any system being able to be configured to meet challenges of various locations, variances in the amount of space required as well as power requirements for the server room.

The Datapod team of experts are trained to assess these factors and dozens more to design a server room perfectly suited to an organisation’s needs.

Datapod’s emphasis on planning and pre-design services guarantees an organisation will receive optimal server room solutions that fit within their requirements and time frame.

A Datapod System is able to provide customers with a data center server room that has adaptability, agility and manageability.

Data Center Adaptability

  • Modular design – Increases reliability and adaptability with data center architecture configurable to any IT environment.
  • Scalable runtime – Additional data center run time can be added without interruption to existing infrastructure.
  • Standardized components – Offers educes risk of failure, minimizes human error,  lowers mean-time-to-repair (MTTR) and other benefits that come with economies of scale.

Data Center Agility

  • Easy to install – Innovative Datapod data center design allows for fast, easy deployment – the entire Datapod modular data center system can be assembled in just a few days
  • Pre-engineered components – The Lego block design means suitable data center configurations can be designed and installed quickly.

Data Center Manageability

  • Energy cost management – Enables accurate cost analysis of energy use on a kW/h basis, detailed to the rack level
  • Multi-vendor asset support – Provides support for multiple types of IT assets and hardware platforms.
  • Network management – Provides proactive power and environmental management via web and/or Simple Network Management Protocol  (SNMP)
  • One-to-many device control – View, configure and control multiple vendor’s IT devices through one console for secure and easy server management.

Datapod has simplified the design and installation of the tradition server room with the ‘plug and play’ range of containerized and modular data centers systems.