Inside a datacentre factory

Inside a datacentre factory

Summary: BladeRoom's datacentre factory, located just east of the Welsh border, is where the company assembles, tests and calibrates its datacentre modules, which are shipped to companies around the world


 |  Image 4 of 7

  • Thumbnail 1
  • Thumbnail 2
  • Thumbnail 3
  • Thumbnail 4
  • Thumbnail 5
  • Thumbnail 6
  • Thumbnail 7
  • BladeRoom UK manufacturers

    To make efficient use of space while building out the inner electronics and cabling of a module, BladeRoom sometimes stacks two modules on top of one another (pictured).

    The module's innards are fitted with fire suppression systems, wiring, buses and lighting.

    The Forest of Dean factory puts the modules together from a range of pre-built components, supplied by around 20 companies. According to BladeRoom, 80 percent of the materials that come to the factory are sourced from UK manufacturers.

    Photo credit: Jack Clark

    See more of the datacentre tour on ZDNet UK.

  • Overhead cabling system

    "We're not reinventing the wheel; we're just using a lot of 'best practice' ideas," Smith said. These ideas are based around just-in-time manufacture of modules, testing and simplification of the build-out and installation process, he added.

    One example is the use of an overhead cabling system, which reduces the complexity of the cooling of a module and eases the teardown and buildup of module segments. The technique used by BladeRoom is increasingly becoming adopted by datacentre owners. In April, Cisco gave details of a new, green datacentre that uses an overhead cabling system, for example.

    "There is an argument in the industry that implementing a computer-accessed floor in this day and age is non-environmentally friendly," James Cribari, director of Cisco's global datacentre program, told ZDNet UK at the time.

    Photo credit: Jack Clark

    See more of the datacentre tour on ZDNet UK.

  • Final module stage

    One of the final stages a module goes through before being shipped to the customer is to have its airflow and electrical systems tested.

    Power, fire suppression, the bus and other electronic control systems are all amalgamated through the central overhead cable basket (pictured), which runs the length of each module.

    The basket makes it easier to fit everything at the end location and increases the ease of general purpose maintenance. It also eliminates the complications of having two competing areas of airflow, which is what happens when the main room is partitioned away from the underground area.

    As far as design methodology goes, BladeRoom feels its approach is closest to that of Colt. Both companies develop modular datacentre systems that can be put together, then broken down and easily re-assembled, Smith said.

    Photo credit: Jack Clark

    See more of the datacentre tour on ZDNet UK.

Topics: Datacentre Tour, Networking

Jack Clark

About Jack Clark

Currently a reporter for ZDNet UK, I previously worked as a technology researcher and reporter for a London-based news agency.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories


Log in or register to start the discussion