Month: January 2009

Huge Power Upgrade

We have been working on a large upgrade to our power capacity in our datacenter. The work today was a key step in bringing online our new Mitsubishi 500KVA backup power system. This massive unit is our third UPS, the others are a Leibert 130KVA unit and a Powerware 160KVA.

The system design and the work today was supervised by Russ Irving, our staff power system expert. The work was accomplished without any interruption in service to our datacenter. During the transition, we had a second standby generator and transfer switch wired in to the power and cooling systems via a carefully orchestrated process.

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It’s cool and wet tonight, the perfect conditions for the creation of steam in our cooling plant. Below are a photos of the two cooling towers putting out steam and mist.

This equipment uses outside air to cool and compress freon, which is then piped inside to large air handlers in the data center. See our cooling system video for an overview.

Each of the cooling towers has 200 tons of cooling capacity, for a total of 400 RT (refrigeration tons) in the system. Either of the two towers can accommodate our current data center cooling requirement, so we have redundant capacity, allowing for failure or maintenance.

What’s 200 tons of cooling capacity mean? From Wikipedia:

The unit ton is used in refrigeration and air conditioning to measure heat absorption. Prior to the introduction of mechanical refrigeration, cooling was accomplished by delivering ice. Installing one ton of refrigeration replaced the daily delivery of one ton of ice.

In North America, a standard ton of refrigeration is 12,000 BTU/h = 200 BTU/min ≈ 3,517 W. This is approximately the power required to melt one short ton (2,000 lb) of ice at 0 °C in 24 hours, thus representing the delivery of 1 ton of ice per day.

So, if I’m doing my math right, with both towers at full capacity we could chill the equivalent of about one point four million watts. That would be an awful lot of trucks full of ice!

Fusion DSL Broadband static IP blocks

A little diagram of an IP address (IPv4)
Image via Wikipedia

We have been getting push-back from customers on the policy that Fusion is only available with a single static IP. While we’d hoped that NAT & PAT would allow for whatever capabilities people need, the bottom line is that customers want more than one static IPs.

So, in the near future we’ll begin offering four and eight IP blocks with Fusion. We cannot do this immediately because we simply don’t have enough IP address space; it eats up a lot because we must allocate at least a full /24 to every single CO, which we haven’t done at this point, and we simply don’t have enough address space.

(Sidebar: Today we route each CO a /25 (half a class C) for statics, and had planned to accommodate 125 static IP broadband users in that block. With eight IP blocks, we can only fit 14 customers in a /25. Because of this, we have to get bigger blocks to each CO before we can begin these larger allocations.)

Pricing is to be determined – it is likely to be a slightly different price point for each level of IPs.

If you want more than one static IP address, I encourage you to wait to order Fusion until the product is defined, priced, and integrated into the ordering tools.

Thanks everyone for the feedback!


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