Written by Jeff Van Zetten - Chief of Engineering & Design
As a father of 2 lovely daughters and with much of our entire team being parents, our goals have been driven thinking about our children’s future and their children’s future. We are responsible for building the critical infrastructure of our future society so it’s something we take very seriously.
As parents, grandparents and leaders in our industry, it’s up to us to do everything we can possibly do to make the world’s greatest and most powerful data centres, but we must do it, so they are more efficient, less wasteful both and more reliable. We don’t want to lay on our deathbed wishing we had done more or tried harder.
Our team of Engineering and Design professionals work tirelessly, day in and day out to go above and beyond. Our passion is driven by our goal to set a new standard, a new benchmark in data centre design that will lift the industry and deliver a higher level of reliability and sustainability for our customers, for our business and for our environment.
Data centres were once something organisations could only dream of, historically only available to those more privileged such as large Financial, Government, Military and hyperscale cloud institutions. When we started out 8 years ago, we set ourselves the monumental task of creating a business that could deliver same level of support and expertise traditionally saved for the very large and make it a consumable service that was economically achievable for all businesses, large or small.
It is our belief that everybody should be able to access infrastructure that will power, secure and connect their most critical business assets, their I.T operations. Our goal was to offer our customers, big or small, a solution that would allow them to house their critical infrastructure in a world leading, reliability certified and environmentally sustainable data centre. If that challenge isn’t enough, we had to achieve this via true innovation, via elegant cost-effective designs that could grow modularly and scale with our customers, opposed to excessive complexity and cost upfront.
Whether it’s a first, second or third generation NEXTDC data centre, although the design changes and they get a little more beautiful every time, every data centre we build must adhere to 3 very specific requirements;
Safety in design
This must always be number one priority. We will not negotiate when it comes to the quality and safety of our data centres. Our data centres are our customers data centres and our people, and our customers must always come first. Differential fault protection along with true fire segregation of each of the equipment and paths is a level of safety in design detail not previously delivered in this half of the planet.
Our data centres are the backbone to mission critical infrastructure of critical Government departments, emergency services, essential services such as rail and power grids, health services as well as many of the world’s largest IT companies which themselves are the backbone of modern business and society itself. Downtime of corporate networks and data centres can cripple a business in a matter of seconds. We strive for energy and operational efficiencies; however, it will never come at the cost of reliability.
Our Engineers, architects and operations teams have an accumulative total of more than 60+ years of experience in the field and what our experience has taught us is that some organisations can fall into the trap of over-stretching on PUE savings which only places added risk on the reliability of their infrastructure and their ability to serve their customers. It’s for this reason we back ourselves and our designs with a 100% no break guarantee, meaning our critical infrastructure is designed, constructed and maintained at superior levels so it will never go down.
This is core to achieving our goal of building more efficient and sustainable data centres. We continue to work hard every day to lift the industry standard; therefore, we must ensure we do so in all facets. We were the first data centre operator in Australia to operate at the highest Government certified energy efficiency rating in Australia with our generation 1 data centres. This is not based on theoretic PUE modelling, but actual government audited power bills and metering of the IT load. IT takes extensive modelling and onsite tuning using engineering fundamentals to adjust varying conditions to achieve this. For our new generation 2 data centres, we took actual real-life analytics which are factored into the immediate build to drive operational and sustainable efficiencies from day 1.
At NEXTDC, we feel passionately about ensuring the next generation to come have the opportunities and resources beyond what we have today. The need for environmental sustainability is very much a part of our drive. It's embedded in the way we design and build our facilities and the way we run our overall operations. Our thirst for delivering facilities that showcase cutting edge design has seen us implement several engineering innovations that drive more sustainable outcomes and lower the use of energy consumption across our entire footprint.
It’s our true belief that our organisation can be engineered to simultaneously achieve positive outcomes for both the environment and the overall health of our business. We are committed to our customers to reduce costs and optimise efficiencies, and we have a responsibility to our next generation to reduce our carbon footprint and find new ways to champion sustainable processes and renewable energy. We employ some of Australia’s brightest who solve complex challenges for our customers every day.
We proudly build and operate a national footprint of Australia’s most powerful yet energy efficient data centres, which serves as a reminder that organisations can be engineered to both protect the environment and improve business efficiencies. We may just be one company, but we believe we will make a positive impact through driving change.
Don’t just take our word for it, check out all the news from the DatCenter Dynamics Awards in London on December 6. NEXTDC have been recognised as the global leader for data centre design, with our Engineering and Design team being crowned the prestigious Design Team of the Year for 2018.