Hosting Infrastructure

FlexiHost use Unleash as our preferred supplier for our data centre requirements. Below you will find some further information on them, and their systems.

Introduction

Unleash’s Christchurch data centre is located just south of Moorhouse Ave outside the central city. As a fully N+1 redundant facility, any component can fail without disruption. Utilising the latest technology, the facility offers unsurpassed operating efficiency.

Power

Power to Unleash’s data centre is fed through a fully redundant N+1 array of Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) systems, supplied by General Electric. Any UPS in the array may fail completely without disruption to hosted equipment, and in fact a complete failure of all UPSs in the array would not cause disruption.

The battery life of the UPS system is approximately 60 minutes at full load. In addition to this, Unleash has a standby generator which starts automatically within 30 seconds, and enough fuel to power the facility at full load for a further 7 days. A contract is in place for daily fuel deliveries around the clock for the entire duration of a power outage, meaning the facility need never go offline. Unleash operated entirely on generator power for 5 days following the February 22nd earthquake with no disruption to service.

Power is delivered to equipment cabinets from our main distribution board, a custom manufactured and type-tested board with arc-fault containment. This means that even in the hypothetical event of a major component failure (and even explosion), adjacent components in the board would be unharmed, allowing continued operation. Equipment cabinets in the data centre are connected to multiple supplies on this board to avoid disruption even in the event of component failure.

Typical data centres have an efficiency ratio of 2:1, which means that it requires two units of power to supply 1 unit of power to equipment. Unleash’s data centre has a significantly higher efficiency ratio of 1.4:1, meaning lower costs for the customer, less wasted energy and reduced carbon emissions. Unleash expects efficiency to improve further as the data centre is filled and reaches its designed load level.

A complete power failure simulation test is staged every month to ensure the system will work seamlessly in an emergency. The generator and UPS systems are serviced monthly and quarterly respectively by external experts, and spare parts for the generator, UPSs and distribution board are held onsite. On-call electrical and mechanical contractors are also retained. Our distribution board undergoes a twice-annual thermal imaging test to ensure no parts of the board are malfunctioning.

Unleash’s data centre is designed to support 10kW of power per equipment cabinet, allowing the latest blade servers and other high-density equipment to be supported in every cabinet.

Cooling

Unleash’s cooling system utilises industry leading design with contained hot and cold aisle technology for maximum efficiency. Containment barriers are made of a material commonly used in industrial refrigeration systems. Air is cooled by N+1 redundant chillers, and distributed into the cold aisle where it is slightly pressurised to ensure even cooling through the entire server cabinet. This avoids problems suffered in conventional data centres where hotspots develop at the top or bottom of the cabinet due to short-cycling of the cold air and inadequate airflow volumes.

Unleash’s cooling system utilises the R410a refrigerant, which is environmentally safe.

Significant energy savings are anticipated as the thermal density increases by utilising ‘free cooling’; the exchange of exhaust hot air from the racks with filtered fresh air from outside the data centre, automatically adjusted to suit climatic conditions.

The cooling system is serviced every 2 months by expert contractors, and we retain on-call specialists for any urgent work.

Combined with our aisle containment system and high efficiency cooling units, this makes Unleash’s data centre one of the most efficient and environmentally friendly data centres available today.

Security

Unleash’s data centre features triple layer physical security, and two layers of logged access control. Challenge-response RFID technology is used for access cards, which must be used to gain access, and CCTV cameras monitor access passageways, doorways, and all cabinet aisles, as well as the building’s exterior and rooftop. Access cards cannot be duplicated, can be revoked at any time, and automatically expire.

Access to all shared cabinets is escorted by a member of Unleash staff at all times.

CCTV cameras are configured to trigger an alarm if movement is detected without authorisation by the access control system, and a traditional burglar alarm provides a second intrusion alert. Both systems are externally monitored by Unleash and security contractors, and video footage is recorded both onsite and offsite in real-time.

Network

Unleash’s data centre has connectivity to four New Zealand peering exchanges via our own dual-carrier national network backbone. These exchanges are APE, PNIX, WIX and CHIX. Two connections exist between the data centre and this backbone for redundancy. One link may fail without reducing the network performance. Unleash also has two local Telco connections for additional domestic and international connectivity.

Within the data centre, our core network comprises Juniper Networks & Extreme Networks carrier routers and switches, which have N+1 redundancy. Any component can fail without disruption to service. Customers can utilise two connections to different switches for complete redundancy.

All Telecommunications providers who operate in Christchurch are present in the data centre (both copper and fibre where applicable) and/or available via interconnect at our other network POPs in the city: