Meeting client demand with redundancy

With its data center housed in 1,923 square meters and spread over two levels, ensuring power continuity is at the top of Macquarie Hosting's to-do list.

The company, the ICT division of Macquarie Telecom, provides voice, data and mobile hosting for about 3000 Asia Pacific business and government customers through its data center in downtown Sydney. Dubbed the Intellicentre, the data center runs one permanent and two on-demand power grid transformers, three 500 KVA UPSs capable of 15 minutes autonomy on batteries, and two 1675 KVA diesel generators with 40,000 litres of fuel which lasts about two days.

Macquarie Hosting's hosting and security group executive Greg Thomson says the company has built its infrastructure around client demands for ensuring redundancy.

"Our data center was designed from scratch to cater for the power demands of high-density computing, so while the chief concern for most businesses is managing business continuity when there is a power grid outage, it doesn't concern us because we have multiple power grid transformers in our building," Thomson says.

Thomson says that while the facility uses some virtualization, it isn't used to reduce capacity as it is "purely driven by customer needs for redundancy, flexibility and scalability on demand".

Thomson also says although underutilization of servers is irrelevant, because each customer has its own dedicated servers, maintaining temperature is crucial. The site uses Liebert Precision cooling units, which are able to handle 100 percent of capacity -- with one or more spare in case of failure.