14 December 2018

Exceptional design and construction are just the beginning

Written by Brett Ridley, Head of Central Operations.

Data centres provide much of the connectivity and computing power that drives our connected economy, but it wasn’t always like this.

In the past, if a large organisation needed to ensure maximum uptime they would need to carry out a series of expensive and time-consuming steps. And these steps would look something like this...

Hire specialist and expensive engineers to design a server room, invest in capital to strengthen floors, secure doors, supply efficient supplies of connectivity and electricity, and ensuring security. The list goes on and on.

Our reliance on technology and connectivity is at an all-time high. More and more applications and workloads are falling under the status of mission critical with computing power and storage demands continuing to accelerate. This is creating more headaches and complexities for customers. Organisations began to fill their sever rooms to the brim, and these server rooms began taking over entire buildings. At this point I think we can all agree that few organisations would find this desirable or cost effective.

This is where a data centre can truly shine. All the stress, security, additional costs, and extra resources of running an in-house data centre dissolve away and is replaced by expert management, high security and a 100% uptime guarantee.

NEXTDC’s data centres have been built with critical attention to detail and a whole bunch of tender loving care to ensure that we can deliver on this promise to our customers. We’re extremely passionate about what we do and we are totally obsessed with making sure that our facilities are laced with exceptional design that showcases our innovative engineering and operational excellence of the highest possible standard.

The NEXTDC operations team plays a major part in how we deliver our brand promise of 100% uptime. First convened in January 2017, we came out of the gates quickly. We had big plans that aligned with the goals of our business. In just under 2 years my team have already achieved some outstanding results that make our data centres the gold standard, high performance facilities they are today.

We set ourselves a hefty goal to unpack the current operational processes and build a new standard. We aimed for a standard that has never been seen anywhere before which would compliment the industry leading Tier IV design and constructed data centres that we are building as part of our generation 2 footprint.

Since then, we have proudly claimed the title of the first data centre operator in the Southern Hemisphere to achieve Tier IV Gold Certification of Operational Sustainability by Uptime Institute. This helps us to proudly deliver excellence in managing long-term operational risks and behaviours, a commitment to customers to be robustly reliable, operating with high efficiency, and ensuring 100% uptime.

We are consistently hard at work building the platform for the digital economy, which is something we don’t take lightly. Ensuring that we continue to demonstrate innovation in design, enhancements in operational and sustainable efficiencies and offering an extraordinary quality of service that our customers need to scale is something we are determined to achieve every day.

So, the physical design and construction of our data centres no doubt plays an enormous role in the NEXTDC story, but this is only two-thirds of the story.

Human error is the biggest challenge when it comes to outages, with around 80% of issues being sighted as accidental. We undoubtedly ensure every one of our data centres is not only designed to the highest of standards, but also maintained at an unprecedented level of excellence that supports our brand promise guarantee of 100% uptime and reliability is an ongoing priority for our operations team.

But the buck doesn’t stop with NEXTDC. We partner with the best suppliers in the world to help us deliver the best product and service globally. To ensure we adhere to our operational standards, creating the necessary processes and procedures in-house that not only our people adhere to, but every supplier and third party we partner with is essential. It’s a complex task but it’s something we take very seriously. Our operational processes aren’t just something we review and refine ourselves, but we actively seek out and invest in new ways to improve our processes and do things the industry has never seen before.

Building a network of data centres built to the pinnacle Tier IV standard means ensuring that we have adequately prepared our people and our organisational processes and procedures in turn. These operational improvements not only help to fine tune and maintain an industry leading standard of service we commit to delivering our customers every day, but they are helping us as an industry leader to drive consistency across a footprint that is growing at unprecedented rates and encouraging our team to foster best practises as we continue to grow.

The gold standards we have implemented across our operations recognises the human factors in running a data centre that can stand up and meet fault tolerant standards. It includes climate-change preparedness and the growing need for edge computing, outage risk mitigation, energy efficiency, increasing rack density, and staffing trends.

I feel very privileged and proud to lead our exceptional team of operations professionals. In under 2 years our team of experts were able to not only establish but to also standardise on an operational mindset that is globally recognised and certified to limit the risk and associated effect of human error in daily operations.

Their tenacity and persistence in ensuring we achieve nothing short of excellence always means that the people who run our data centres are as highly skilled and trained as those who designed and built them. We do this so our customers can have added peace of mind that they are always driving the best outcomes from their critical infrastructure.

NEXTDC are proudly leading the way in data centre innovation. We build and operate Australia’s largest network of world class, energy efficient data centres that are designed to outlast and outperform. And with our 100% uptime no-break guarantee, you won’t need to lose sleep knowing your critical infrastructure is powered, secured and connected 100% of the time.

Our operational success has truly shone through this year, as we are the proud winners of the 2018 DatacenterDynamics Data Centre Operations Team of the Year.

Are you looking for a reliable and flexible digital platform to power your critical infrastructure, drive your operational costs down and allow you to deliver a level of service your competitors can’t match? Talk to one of our experts.