Well, I've decided to take some updated data center pictures, and I'm also linking to this from our Data Center page, so people can get a better idea of our facilities. If there is anything else you would like us to photograph, just say so and we'll see what we can do. If you have any questions about what you see, etc. don't hesitate to ask either.
Note: The pictures were taken by me with a relatively inexpensive digital camera, so I apologize for any incorrect photo composition or blurriness, etc.
First, here is the building, 350 E Cermak, from the outside, I didn't take this picture, but you can see it is a fairly substantial 8 story brick building, 9 if you count the 9th floor, which is all mechanical and related equipment. It has roughly 130,000 sq. ft. per floor. The building was initially built (construction began in 1917 and ended in 1929) as the main printing facility for the Donnelley printing business as well as their corporate headquarters. This made the building perfect for data centers then are high floor loads for the printing presses and 14' ceilings. The building has developed into Chicago's premier carrier hotel, housing hundreds of networks and hundreds of thousands of sq. ft. of usable data center space.
This is what you'll see when entering the building, the lobby and security desk. Everyone entering the building must be on the approved access list, any guests are required to be accompanied by someone on the access list. In addition, the security staff keeps an eye on cameras through the inside and outside of the building 24/7.
Yes, I know the picture is blurry, it is to protect the identity of the security personnel... Ok, ok, it is just blurry because it seems I don't know how to properly take a picture, but you get the idea of what it looks like. Squint, and maybe it won't look as blurry?
Once you've passed the initial security desk you'll go up the elevator to the 2nd floor, and our suite is right outside the elevator. To get through the first door you need to have an access card. After getting through that door, the picture shows you what you see. Straight ahead is the data center, with double doors to make it easy to bring in large shipments, etc. (the freight elevator is right down the hall) and to the right is the door to our support office, where all of our support staff spend their time when they're not working in the data center. You can also see to the right of the office door the key card and fingerprint scanner. To get into the data center you need to walk past our 24/7 manned support office and pass the biometric+key card scan; we definitely take security seriously.
Now inside the data center you will first see our storage area, used for storing customer equipment, commonly needed supplies (power cables, network cables, fiber, etc.), and then spare hardware for our dedicated servers.
Image removed, as the storage area has been moved to a locked cage in the back of our space. New picture should be arriving shortly.
To the right of the entrance you will see one of the two sets of 5 Liebert HVAC/CRAC units. These 10 units provide enough cooling to the facility that even if one failed while the data center were at full capacity there would still be adequate cooling.
After that, you will see a fair amount of space available for future growth and future customers. In the picture you can also see some spare telco racks in the background as well as the overhead basket rack, which is installed throughout the data center space.
Here you can see the HVAC vent setup. The setup is all overhead cooling, but with the large number of vents, roughly one vent per two cabinets, it gives us a lot of control to affect the amount of and direction of airflow, allowing us to easily control any hot spots, etc. In addition, the vents are configured in a manner to maximize our cold-aisle/hot-aisle configuration. In the top-middle you can also see one of the many smoke (VESDA-like) detectors installed throughout the facility. These smoke detectors are extremely sensitive and are installed every 15-20 feet.
Our data center facility has two independent power feeds, fed from completely independent UPS and PDU systems, both of which are backed by diesel generators and dual power grids. This allows customers to get fully redundant power to their cabinets for any critical servers/equipment. We have power pre-installed above the cabinets, so we can deploy a large number of cabinets very quickly, though the outlets are not fastened to the cabinets, so we can allocate the power as needed, giving us flexibility. We have portions of the data center dedicated to 120v AC power and others for 208v AC power, so we can meet basically any AC power needs. behind the power install you can also see a closer picture of the overhanging basket rack.
Now here are just some pictures of our rows of cabinets, etc. Nothing too special to point out in these.
Finally, something not all that important, but a bit fun. This is the company Wii and plasma TV. The TV was originally purchased for conventions, etc., though we can't let it go to waste when we're not at a convention, so we hooked it up to a Wii. This is available for both employee and customer use.
Again, if anyone wants to see anything else or has any questions, just ask.