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.