Inside Rackspace's UK cloud datacentre

Inside Rackspace's UK cloud datacentre

Summary: The Slough-based facility is preparing to expand as the company builds its UK cloud, adopts new cooling techniques and seeks to increase efficiency


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  • Diesel generators

    The facility's core infrastructure is located on the exterior of its large warehouse. It has multiple containerised diesel generators equipped with sound dampeners, which are designed to reduce noise and so meet the maximum of 70Dba required under local ordinances.

    "They come with their own acoustic packs for planning permission," Boyd said.

    Also, because integration and manufacture is done off site, it is relatively easy to install the generators on an as-needed basis, he added. This is a requirement for the company, as it expects to expand further.

    Photo credit: Jack Clark

    See more of ZDNet UK's datacentre tour.

  • Chillers

    Cooling for the facility is achieved by five chillers, which consume 1.5MW of power each. Air is sucked up underneath through cooling grills and water-cooled coils, and then pulled into the facility via the refrigerant chillers. Two further chillers are set to be delivered.

    As with any datacentre, security is a priority. The security hut (pictured, bottom right) is used to check the identities of people coming on site during the construction process for Data Hall Three.

    Photo credit: Jack Clark

    See more of ZDNet UK's datacentre tour.

  • Spare parts racks

    The company keeps around £1.8m worth of spare parts on site so that it can quickly swap out and replace servers in case of hardware faults. Typically, when servers fail it is because of a hard-drive failure, Boyd said. However, Rackspace keeps on-site spares for numerous components, including motherboards, PSUs and RAM.

    In addition, the company can provide an integration service for Google's enterprise search tool, the Google Search Appliance, which some customers buy to increase the efficiency of searching through their data.

    Photo credit: Rackspace

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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.

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  • Great to see sound and knowledgeable providers expanding in the industry unlike some who have’nt a technical clue or financial stability like Redwire DC!