SingleHop has launched its largest data center to date in a ten-year $30 million investment with Digital Realty Trust in the Chicago area. The new 13,000 square foot white space has capacity for up to 20,000 servers and is adjacent to expansion space for another 10,000 square feet.
The Chicago data center is the first facility custom designed by the company. SingleHop chose Digital Realty and its Franklin Park campus (just outside of Chicago) in part because it meant it would be able to customize the data center. The company also spoke highly of Digital Realty’s operating experience.
The Chicago data center features on-site security guards, dual checkpoints, and numerous layers of biometric security, including fingerprint and iris scanners. There is a property perimeter, SingleHop perimeter with guard at checkpoint, and cage perimeter.
The scanner takes continuous video and matches a person up to a profile in less than a second. The iris reader uses a one-to-many relationship to match up person and profile. No more getting a badge done by security that has to look up your profile because they can’t match you against the system with a fingerprint.
Furthermore SingleHop uses an open-cabinet design and specifically fabricated metal server brackets. It makes custom racks, fabricated for the way it routes and hangs cables. The racks are also painted all white so it takes less power to light the data center. “I will never put a black rack in another data center again,” said Jacobs. “The difference is significant.”
A 2,000 square foot NOC (Network Operations Center) is built inside the security perimeter. It has a 26 foot video wall showing operations. There is also a workroom within the perimeter and a large workforce.
Lastly there are two separate power grid systems, going all the way down to UPS and generators. “A” power comes from hallway left and “B” from hallway right. They both go over the rack and never through .
“We have the ability from top of rack, to PDU, to swing power back and forth,” said Jacobs. “It’s concurrently maintainable, we can go a step further and isolate an incident on a single PDU.”