07 August 2019

Building a resilient digital platform engineered to outlast and outperform

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 alike. We are responsible for building the critical infrastructure for the digital era which society will rely on for many generations to come. That said, this is a responsibiity we take very seriously.

Our dedication to sustainability is embedded in our core values at NEXTDC. As parents, grandparents and leaders in our industry, it’s up to us to do everything possible to make the world’s most resilient and powerful data centres, but we must do so in a more efficient, less wasteful and more reliable manner.

Our inhouse team of Engineering and Design specialists 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 organisations. When we started out nine years ago, we set ourselves the monumental task of building a business that would deliver the same level of support and expertise traditionally saved for the very large, and make it a consumable service that was economically achievable for everyone.

It is our belief that everybody should be able to access infrastructure that will power, secure and connect the critical infrastructure that drives their business and propels it forward. Our goal was to offer our customers a solution that would allow them to house their critical infrastructure in a world leading, reliability certified and environmentally sustainable data centre. The way we acheived this was through true engineering innovation and elegant cost-effective designs that 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 each time, every data centre we build must adhere to 3 very specific requirements;

Safety in design

This is our 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 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.

Reliability

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 seconds. Five nine’s may seem close enough, but in a world where business immediacy is the baseline expectation of customers, we believe nothing but 100% is good enough. We design and engineer what are regarded as the best data centres in the world for one reason; To ensure our customers are provided the power, security and connectivity they require to power their business 100% of the time. It’s for this reason we back our data centres and our customers with a 100% no break guarantee, meaning our critical infrastructure is designed, constructed and maintained at superior levels so it will never go down.

We strive for energy and operational efficiencies; however, it will never come at the cost of reliability. Our Engineering and Design team and Operations specialists have an accumulative total of more than 60+ years experience in our 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.

Energy efficiency

At NEXTDC, we firmly believe the generations to come should have the opportunities and resources beyond what we have today. The need for environmental sustainability is very much a part of our core company beliefs. 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 engineering innovations that drive more sustainable outcomes and lower the use of energy consumption across our entire footprint.

Energy efficiency is paramount to us building the country's most sustainable data centres. We are the only data centre operator in Australia to operate at a NABERS 5-Star rating for energy efficiency, the highest Government certified energy efficiency rating in Australia. This is not based on theoretic PUE modelling. It only comes from having a long-term vision and beind dedicated to energy efficient design. Teamed with the rigorous day to day commitment in performing disciplined onsite real-time monitoring and tuning, plays an integral role in achieving a NABERS 5-star standard.

By building and operating Australia’s most energy efficient colocation data centres, certified to unparalleled government standards, NEXTDC not only offers bottom line benefits in the form of reduced power bills, it ensures our customers IT infrastructure is being managed in the most ethical and environmentally responsible manner.

It’s our true belief that organisations can be engineered to simultaneously achieve positive outcomes for both the environment and 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.

For like-minded organisations looking to optimise energy-efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint across their operations, improved management of their computer load is a great place to start and the very reason why they should be colocating their critical infrastructure in a NEXTDC data centre.

NEXTDC are recognised By Datacenter Dynamics as the global leader for data centre design and operational excellence with our Engineering and Design and Operations Teams being crowned the 2018 Design Team of the Year and Operations Team of the Year.