Executives at Quantum Data Center turned to Data Aire after an exhaustive search for the right solutions provider. Read how the gForce In-Row equipment was customized to eliminate hot spots and precisely cool in this tight space.
- Why were adjustable vanes important?
- What was their overall experience with Data Aire?
Meeting a Long List of Specific Criteria
Because cooling equipment would be so vital to their operations, Andrew and Eli began their research with a long list of specific criteria.
Their goal: to find a unit that met it all.
While the firm has plans to eventually grow the data center to over 60,000 square feet, the initial 2015 build-out was 2,500 square feet. As Andrew explains, “With just 2,500 square feet, we wanted to make the facility as dense as possible. In our space, rows simply work better. So a big goal was to avoid the need for a raised floor. Due to the fact that we have very long rows, pressure can become an issue. With this set up it can be difficult to get a continuous flow of cold air to the middle of the row. We wanted to eliminate potential hot spots.”
Eliminating the raised floor also meant that they were likely to require some customization of their cooling units. The units could not be plumbed with the cooling pipes and power coming out of the bottom. Instead, Quantum Data Center’s specs called for pipes and cables to come out of a particular spot in the top corner of each unit.
“We also wanted the ability to have variable speed capacity throughout the facility,” notes Eli. “We knew that we would often need to have a unit on, but would not need to run it at 100% to keep our air flow requirements met. Plus, we wanted to have web control that would enable us to monitor the system from anywhere.”
In addition to all this, they wanted redundancy. As a division of a larger corporate entity that’s been in the IT field for years, a big part of the impetus for creating the data center was to provide better disaster recovery capabilities for their clients. From the redundancy standpoint, Andrew and Eli felt that a design that called for more units rather than fewer units to supply cooling would be safer. “Some would say that more units means more potential points of failure,” Andrew acknowledges. But because quality design and construction were also high up on the criteria list, they felt this would not be a concern.
Andrew Skandalaris, President of Quantum Data Center
Andrew also appreciates the fact that Data Aire didn’t “nickel and dime them to death.” The variable speed fans, variable speed compressors, controls for maintaining efficiency and other highly desirable features are all built in by default, at no extra cost. “We only needed a few modifications,” he points out, “and they said they’d include these in the standard pricing.”
Outstanding Customer Service Experience
Although both Eli and Andrew have many years of experience with other facilities and data centers, this was their first experience with Data Aire. While their pre-installation confidence in Data Aire was bolstered by very strong recommendations from a variety of people within the industry, they were surprised by how pleasant the sales process was.
“It was a completely different experience than with other sales agents we’ve seen for this product,” notes Eli. “They weren’t pushy. They didn’t hound us. They were actually quite comfortable to work with.”
“From what we’ve seen,” Eli adds, “they just had the best products. It was a very easy choice for us. And their response time has been outstanding anytime we have questions or concerns. Pre-purchase it was great. After the purchase it has been equally fantastic.”
Exceptionally Reliable Results
Aside from scheduled maintenance, Quantum Data Center has had 100% uptime since their gForce IR units were installed.
“It’s been ‘set it and forget it,’” Andrew states. “And anything that’s a concern – humidity, temperature, maintenance – it notifies us and keeps us on the ball. With a competitive company we had two service calls in the first year, with one ending up being a unit replacement. But with Data Aire, from the day we rolled it in we have just let it do
“To build a world-class facility,” Andrew adds, “engineering is not always the hardest part. You’ve got to choose vendors who will stand beside you when something goes wrong, because there’s an inevitability that something may. I’ll place my loyalty with Data Aire. If there’s a way they can do it, they will.”
Eli Nakhleh, Vice President of Quantum Data Center
“When it comes to creating a data center,” observes Eli, “what I have found is that skimping on resources is not ideal. If you can get the best product in your facility, you owe it to your customers to do that.”
Why Quantum Data Center Chose Data Aire
To meet their new data center’s cooling needs, Quantum Data Center ultimately chose to install seven Data Aire in-row gForce IR units. In doing their research, what they found was that the gForce IR met all of their criteria…and more:
- Customization – Two months after placing the order the seven gForce IR units arrived on site exactly as specified and as shown in the CAD drawings that Data Aire had supplied. “You can’t ask for much more than that!” Andrew exclaims.
- Easy installation – In building out this data center, Andrew and Eli took a very hands-on approach. “We’re not the type to just take the 100-foot view,” Eli observes. “We did all of the heavy lifting minus the 1,000 pounds of equipment. We did the infrastructure and set everything up.” Which is why they really appreciated how easy the gForce IR was to install.
- Even cooling temperatures – Having the cooling source close to the servers in row allows Quantum Data Center to keep even cooling temperatures across the inlet of every rack they have.
- Quality components – The high quality of Data Aire’s components eliminated concerns about hitting the data center’s lifecycle requirements. “The best example of this,” Andrew says, “is that for their compressors Data Aire stands behind the entire cooling system with a five year guarantee. This gives us pretty solid backing behind the products.”
- Variable speed compressors – “The gForce IR’s variable speed compressors save us money when we’re running light loads,” Andrew relates. “This helps with our electrical, reduces wear and tear, and helps with noise. Data centers are loud enough! Why have excess noise if it’s not needed?”
- Adjustable vanes – Quantum Data Center’s power conversion equipment is located right in the middle of the row. Because this equipment puts out a fair amount of heat, they installed a gForce IR unit directly next to it. This allows them to use the gForce IR’s adjustable vanes to direct cooling to the upper level of this heat source, while simultaneously sending air flow down the row for general cooling purposes.