Data Center Overview

COLOCATION OVERVIEW

Our primary data center in California is the premier data center available. Located on the largest Sonet rings, our fiber-rich, carrier-neutral data center has an unmatched infrastructure of power and network redundancy. If you’re outgrowing your current computing setup and considering Alpha Actual’s Concierge Cloud Service our data center is where your entire computing infrastructure can reside in safety and security.

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Our data center is one of the largest and most capable facilities ever built in California. It maintains the highest industry standards for security and compliance. And unlike many data centers, it’s done — that is, everything is built and in place to support the center at maximum capacity and load. Many data centers add generators, switches, etc. only when the need arises, not us. The problem with that system is that capital limitations and cost-cutting can get in the way of the original facility plans. You don’t have to worry about any of that. If the facility were filled tomorrow, we’d be ready to handle it.

The 100,000 square foot facility is located within a central hub for nine independent OC192 fiber loops including AT&T, Level 3, and Cox. There are also 14 carriers with fiber running into the building. This allows us to connect Clients directly to the heart of the Internet, consistently delivering the quality of service required by the most performance-sensitive applications. We give you the flexibility to access multiple carriers or route all your traffic through a single preferred provider. With so much capacity at our disposal, you never have to worry about us bumping your traffic to make room for other clients.

Another added benefit of our facility is that most of the equipment and infrastructure is new. From transfer switches to routers, you can rest assured that your network and power are running through the best equipment available. All of our key equipment is actively maintained and supported by ongoing maintenance contracts. Our data center not only powers industry-acclaimed content delivery networks, but also hosts major points of presence for two of the most robust Tier 1 network backbones available: Level 3 and Global Crossing.

The pace of today’s business world requires your infrastructure to be constantly available and absolutely reliable. The first step is building a strong foundation.

DATA CENTER OVERVIEW

Our data center is one of the most remarkable and reliable facilities of its kind in the world. The facility’s redundancy capabilities and security reflect an overwhelming thoroughness of design. Some of our most unique features (such as onsite storage water tanks to provide backup to the cooling system) are rarely seen in other data centers.

One benefit of our location is that the data center is purposefully built on the only solid granite foundation in the region. The immediate vicinity around our data center is part of the section of Anaheim that is entirely granite and not located near any of the major faults. In addition, the entire facility was refitted with seismic bracing inside and out. Even the racks and cages are braced. Specifically, they are braced in a six-way configuration that is tied to the slab. This allows the racks to move with the building without falling over. The net result: a building built to Zone 4 specifications that just may be the safest place in Orange County.

The data center is located on top of the largest Sonet ring in Orange County, providing direct OC 192 access to the Internet. Couple this with a facility that has power zoning allowing for 160 watts per square foot and wholesale level pricing and you have an unbeatable combination for your mission-critical applications.

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Another somewhat unique aspect of this data center is the fire suppression capabilities. Many data centers use water for fire suppression. But of course, water damages equipment. Our facility is completely equipped with FM-200 clean agent fire suppression. We even have FM-200 canisters strategically placed throughout the facility for hand use. If you are not familiar with FM-200, it is completely safe to use on equipment.

Our facility also is equipped with VESDA (Very Early Smoke Detection Alarm). This state-of-the-art system samples particles in the air, looking for smoke. It will easily detect any smoke or fire event long before a person would. This helps isolate and stop any issue before it has the chance to escalate to an emergency.

FACILITY SIZE
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100,000 sq.ft.
  • 
Built on granite
  • 
Seismically braced throughout
RAISED FLOOR SYSTEM
  • Minimum of 18” raised floor
BUILDING ACCESS
  • Client access 24x7x365
  • State of the art security system with video surveillance
TELECOMMUNICATIONS
  • Diverse entry points
  • Major gateway for Level(3) and Global Crossing
  • Additional fiber from AT&T, Cogent, Cox, Edison, PAETEC, TelePacific, Time Warner, Verizon, XO and more
GENERATORS
  • 4 Caterpillar 2500 kVA generators
  • Minimum N+1 redundancy on all systems
FIRE SUPPRESSION
  • VESDA (Very Early Smoke Detection Alarm)
  • FM-200 Clean Agent Fire Suppressant
  • Double interlock pre-action dry-pipe throughout
MAKE-UP WATER
  • 40,000 gallon underground tanks
  • Water for minimum 80-hour run-time
LOADING AREA
  • 1 grade level and 2 dock level loading areas
RAISED FLOOR AREA
  • Divided into three suites
  • Private suites are available
FLOOR LOAD
  • 250+ pounds per square foot on slab
BUILDING SECURITY
  • On-site, fully staffed security 24x7x365
  • Biometric security access controls
COMMERCIAL POWER
  • Power capacity of raised floor: 160 watts per sq. ft.
  • Utility: City of Anaheim, recipient of Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) Award
FUEL TANK
  • 16,000 gallon underground tanks
  • Fuel storage for minimum 48-hour run time
HVAC
  • EvapCo Zone4 stainless steel closed circuit coolers
  • Liebert System3 precision cooling
  • Minimum N+1 redundancy on all systems
CEILING HEIGHTS
  • 10 feet from raised floor
  • Overhead seismic cabinet bracing
PARKING
  • 315 monitored parking spaces on site

NETWORK SETUP AND SERVICES OVERVIEW

Internet data centers are known for providing ping, power and pop: network, power, and a place to put it all. Our carrier-neutral data center just happens to be located in one of the best POPs (or Point of Presence) in Southern California that has a ton of ping. Not only is it located directly on the largest Sonet ring in Orange County, but the center also has direct access to more than 14 network providers. Our facility location drives our streaming media hosting business while also functioning as the major West Coast hubs for Level 3 and Global Crossing, including their gateway to Asia and the Far East.

network-diagram

In terms of volume, the Sonet ring consists of nine independent OC-192 fiber loops. To translate, that is the equivalent of 90,000 Mbps, or about 60,000 T1s. And with all the providers coming into our facility, you have a choice of provided allocated bandwidth across multiple tier 1 providers. You can either let us choose the best path for your traffic or you can select your preferred provider. Whichever you decide, with our location in the heart of a major traffic junction, you benefit with reduced latency, fewer network and POP hops and less packet loss.

An added benefit of the network connectivity is that we are our own Clients (and we’re pretty demanding!). Both our streaming media and our dedicated hosting businesses use the bandwidth in our center. For these businesses it’s critical that the quality, performance and reliability of our network services function at the highest capacity levels. For streaming media, it also needs to have very low latency. The net result for our colocation Clients is that they get the same great network connectivity.

Another important aspect of bandwidth in a data center is ensuring that it’s always on and available. One thing that not all data centers do in this respect is to get bandwidth on diverse fiber. What this means is that the building is served by at least two different fiber feeds entering the building from distinctly different locations. The benefit of this is that if one of the fiber feeds is cut, the other one can still provide service. Some data centers get Internet access from multiple providers, but they are all running over the same fiber. Obviously, that is a serious point of failure. Amazingly, our center has 4 different fiber entry points. Most of the individual carriers in the center have diverse entry for their connectivity.

An additional step we take to ensure 100% network uptime is deploying multiple redundant switches and routers. Here again, we take it further than the rest of our competitors. Our Internet connections run into brand new dual Cisco 7600 series routers and Cisco Catalyst 6509 switches. These are some of the best routers and switches available today. These routers feature Cisco’s newest fault-tolerant capabilities. Many data centers are running on routers and switches that are 5 or more years old.

You can count on getting the best solution for your business with us.

POWER OVERVIEW

Unlike many data centers, power is never an issue for us. We have over 160 watts of power per square foot. And because our power is supplied by the award-winning Anaheim Public Utilities, we can offer you abundant and affordable power. Many data centers struggle with meeting the power demands of current high density computing technology. With us, you won’t encounter this issue.

Our data center is in a part of the power grid that used to house the factory that worked on parts for the Hubble telescope. As such, the area was given a very high power allocation relative to the amount of space. Additionally, for our facility, the electric company includes the data center parking lot in the total space calculation for determining how much power our facility can have. The end result is lots of power! At our facility, we average over 160 Watts per square foot.

Another benefit of our location is that our power is provided by Anaheim Public Utilities. This is the same utility that provides power to Disneyland. With Disney’s guidance, the Anaheim Public Utilities was set up to ensure that Disney had affordable, high quality and reliable power. The result is a non-profit, low-cost, award-winning utility. Anaheim Public Utilities is a winner of the Reliable Public Providers (RP3) award. Accounting for inflation, Anaheim’s 2009 rates are 17% lower than they were 15 years ago. The bottom line is that Anaheim Public Utilities provides more reliable and 20-40% cheaper power than Edison and other neighbors.

Thanks to our affordable and abundant power source, we have never had a power outage in our facility.

redundant-diagram

N+1
But even if the power were to go down, we have N+1 power equipment at every point in our power delivery (at least one more than is needed at full load). From PDUs to transfer switches to UPS systems and generators, everything has at least one redundant component. We also regularly test the failover of these components, so we are sure they will work if there is a power interruption. Here again, we think we’re a step above the rest.

Full Load Testing
To do our testing, we have a 2,000 kW load bank on site. That means we can do full load testing — something few data centers are capable of. We also have an advantage because of our robust N+1 capacity. It allows us to do testing more often and more easily because we don’t have to worry about an interruption of service.

Redundancy
Our center was designed with the capacity for redundancy. That is, even if the facility is entirely full, our four Caterpillar 2500 kVA generators — capable of generating 6 Megawatts of power — would only be working at 80% capacity. What this means is that you never have to worry about a power outage. And by the way, that generator capacity includes running the environmental systems (cooling). Does your data center provider have enough backup power capacity to keep their servers running and cool? If you’re not sure, you should ask!

16,000 Gallon Fuel Reservoir
Another issue with backup power is that, depending on the scenario, the outage can last for a long time. We have a 16,000 gallon fuel reservoir on site. This provides us with approximately a week of power before we would need to refuel the generators. We have contracts with two different refueling companies to help ensure an ongoing supply if needed!

Since the data center is set up with complete redundancy, we are one of the few data center providers that can offer completely redundant power feeds, originating off of separate PDUs that are in separate power rooms coming through separate risers.

COOLING OVERVIEW

Why should you care about our cooling systems? Because you can’t afford not to.

Think about what happens if the cooling in a data center doesn’t work properly. With the cooling system down, you now have a sealed room with little to no ventilation and hundreds or even thousands of computers and equipment that generate a significant amount of heat. In a full data center, without a cooling system in place, the temperature can rise significantly in just a few minutes.

The ideal operating temperature for a computer is 68° to 75° F. Computers generate a lot of heat. Without sufficient cooling, a data center room’s temperature can rise 10° to 20° F in just a few minutes. Consistently operating a computer at a temperature of 85° F or higher can lead to intermittent failures, faulty responses or even a complete lock up. Over time, at high temperatures, the computer or system can actually burn up and be permanently destroyed.

High temperature issues can cause any of a number of things to happen. Some of these include warping of system boards, melting of chip solder or seizing up of drives. Even if there is not an immediate failure, high temperatures can significantly reduce the longevity of systems. Sometimes the systems can recover from the duress, but with tens of thousands of dollars of equipment at stake — not to mention the operation and availability of your business applications — high temperatures are an issue you never want your computers to experience.

It is precisely because of the importance of maintaining proper room temperature that we invested such a significant amount in the cooling infrastructure of our data center. To begin with, the environmental systems were designed to provide sufficient cooling to maintain recommended temperature levels at the maximum capacity of the data center. That’s an important point: many data centers don’t consider the heat load of a full data center. They can be left scrambling to come up with ad hoc ways to reduce the center’s heat as they add Clients and fill up their center.

To amplify the ability of the cooling system, our data center is laid out with hot and cold alternating aisles. This helps prevent the development of hot spots (from a large congregation of heat generators) and makes it easier to focus cooling toward the hotter areas.

Another important point about cooling systems is that you want them running all the time. There are three aspects to consider in this. First, you need sufficient redundancy in key systems so that if something fails, you have another system to pick up the slack. All our systems are N+1, meaning that there is at least one extra system beyond the number of systems needed to provide cooling at maximum capacity. That holds true for the systems themselves too. Ours have two compressors in each one. We’ve even gone so far as to have four cooling towers, even though we only use three.

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The second concern with keeping systems running all the time is pretty straightforward: you need water. Cooling systems use water to cool things. Without it, they simply don’t work. Most data centers get their water supplied via the local water authority. But what happens if this water supply is interrupted (which happens more often than you may realize)? For most data centers, without water, they can’t cool equipment and you go back to having temperature issues. We are one of only a handful of data centers that have an onsite water reservoir for the cooling systems. We have a 24,000 gallon water reservoir, consisting of four 6,000 gallon tanks located on the immediate premises. No water? No problem.

And this is not a trivial concern. Water shortages are becoming an increasingly pertinent issue in our industry. Even if there is not a complete interruption of service, there is the very real likelihood of water rationing and use limits. Another concern is a burst pipe. The Los Angeles area has been in the news recently with a rash of burst pipes. By having our own water on site, water rationing or bad pipe issues will not affect us.

The third concern is power. Of course, cooling systems need electric power to run. Many data centers have backup generators to supply power if there is a power interruption. However, a lot of data centers only have sufficient generator capacity to run the servers and a few other minimal systems. Their cooling system is not tied into the backup power. If you consider that in many cases, it can take the utility company hours to restore power, you realize that if power goes down that such a data center could have a serious temperature problem. It does you no good to keep your server running if it’s ultimately going to burn up!

With us, you don’t have to worry about this either. Our backup generators have N+1 capacity for a completely full data center and all the necessary cooling systems needed to cool a full center. Computers will be cool, comfortable and secure.

It’s the peace of mind your company deserves.

SECURITY OVERVIEW

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The security procedures and protocols at our data center are NSA designed.

Our location is a 24x7x365 manned facility with myriad security features designed to keep your business information secure. Simply put, it is one of the safest places to have your equipment. To begin with, the center has motion-based cameras inside and out watching every corner of the building. The cameras also monitor each doorway and every aisle. The video is kept in archive for 90 days.

The facility is patrolled 24 hours a day by security guards. Even better, the guards are direct employees, not contractors. In fact, all the people working in the center, including cleaning and maintenance, are employees. This means that you can rest assured that anyone accessing the facility will be vetted by us.

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Access to the facility is controlled by key card. The entryway is protected by bullet-proof glass. After getting in, visitors need to sign in via the security desk. Only pre-approved personnel (on an access list) are allowed to proceed into the center. All equipment coming in or going out is signed for and monitored. Access to the actual data center room is further restricted by both key card and biometric data such as hand scans. Finally, all cabinets, cages and suites are locked.

FIRE SUPRRESSION & OTHER IMPORTANT SYSTEMS

Our commitment to securing your data means planning for the worst possible scenario. We’re protected against theft and earthquakes. We also have a state-of-the-art system in place in case of fire and other emergencies.

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While not exactly a common occurrence, fires can happen in a data center. Between all the electric connections, various computers and equipment and the high internal heat at which they operate, the potential for a fire is there. Once again, there are different approaches that data center operators can take to address this. Some are required by law, and some are unique to us.

To begin with, nearly every municipality requires some sort of sprinkler system. But there’s an obvious problem there: water is really, really bad for computers and high-tech equipment. So we installed dry pipe sprinklers. What that means is that there is no water in the pipes. Water is only sent to the pipes if the heat under the pipes is at a temperature high enough to trigger the system. That way, our pipes are empty, so if one of them was damaged or sprung a leak, it wouldn’t drip water onto the equipment. Just in case, our facility is also outfitted with a leak detection system. It warns us if water is detected so the issue can be addressed immediately.

Many data centers stop at this point. They either install regular sprinklers (and risk the leakage/water damage issue) or install dry pipes. But that means they’re still using water as their primary resource for dealing with fire. Fortunately, there is a better solution — and we employ it. Our data centers are all outfitted with FM 200 fire suppression. FM 200 is a gas that will not harm computers or other equipment. In the event that a fire is detected, the gas is triggered to suppress the fire. In the event of fire detection, the FM 200 is deployed first. Water only comes into play if the fire cannot be suppressed by the FM 200. We even have FM-200 hand-held canisters strategically placed throughout the facility for spot use by employees.

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Our facility also is equipped with VESDA (Very Early Smoke Detection Alarm). This state-of-the-art laser-based system samples particles in the air and tests them for smoke. It will quickly detect any smoke or fire event well before a person would be able to. This helps isolate and stop any issue far in advance of it creating any problems. Finally, to avoid false alarms, none of the systems are triggered unless there are at least 2 adjacent alarm events.

Another concern for a data center is clean air. To help keep the equipment in the rooms running well, all of the air in the data center is continually filtered. Dust, particles and other foreign objects can be damaging to equipment.

Our systems completely recycle the facility air every 90 seconds.