Going Green: putting the planet first

Renewable Energy

We will never shy away from the fact that as a data centre operator, we are an unusually high consumer of power. After all, it’s one of the fundamental utilities that allows us to deliver world-class, highly-resilient services to our customers.

The data centre industry is expected to top 500 terawatts of power usage globally by 2020, which will equate to over 3% of the world’s energy consumption.

We clearly owe it to the world around us to ethically source our energy.

The headline is this: we’re now using 100% renewable energy at our privately operated London data centre estate.

 

100% renewable energy

There are a number of data centres which now quietly present their involvement with carbon credit and offset schemes, but most savvy clients know that this is nothing more than a half-way approach. These schemes are certainly not something that can be relied on to enact real future change.

We now work directly with Ecotricity, who are responsible for generating their own clean energy from 100% renewable sources. This eco-friendly energy comes from the ‘big three’ – wind, sun and sea.

Our Greenwall

This is a massive step forward for us as we continue to deliver world-class data centre services to our ever growing roster of global customers. At the forefront of this service delivery is our commitment to sustainability, which ensures we leave less of an impact on the planet in the provision of our award-winning service set.

 

The importance of going green

No matter who you are or what sector your business may operate in, the time to take your carbon impact seriously is now.

We learned of these increasing pressures through speaking with our clients, who are themselves feeling the weight of such commitments on their shoulders. Working with an eco-conscious service provider is of keen importance to most businesses today, as it enables them to secure real carbon footprint reductions without the requirement for any direct internal action.

Green Energy Certificate

By combining our use of highly-efficient evaporative cooling systems and our newly certified status as a user of 100% renewable energy, we’re spearheading the movement into truly green data centre services – something you can rely on in effectively improving the sustainability of our planet.

 

A truly green energy supply

There are no carbon credits or offsets here. This is truly renewable energy.

By working with Ecotricity, we guarantee the real provision of green renewable energy. They generate their own green supply, using their wind farms, solar fields and their newly developed sea-based generation techniques. They reinvest their profits into the development of new technology, and increasing their own supply.

Ecotricity

Ecotricity share the same core values as we do, not only in committing to all things green, but also in the control and operation of their own service set from end-to-end.

 

Why this is important to Netwise

We’ve spoken about why this movement is important in general, but it holds a closer place in the hearts of those involved with Netwise. We will never shy away from our position as a high user of energy.

Green Data Centre

The data centre industry is by far one of the world’s heaviest polluters, with wider IT power load accounting for around 10% of the world’s energy consumption. Data centres enable much of this load, which is why our share accounts for 3% of the global tally (and rising).

We’ve built our organisation on the premise of unfettered innovation, which permeates every facet of our operations. This includes the sourcing and delivery of clean energy, providing our customers with eco-friendly data centre services around the clock.

We’d love for you to join us as we continue to lead the way in the provision of world-class data centre services from our home in London.

Learn more about our Green Data Centres and our Green Colocation services.

The big chill this summer

Cooling

We’re very proud of the cooling system we have in place at our London Central data centre. It’s one of the key components in achieving our world-leading capacity PUE of 1.12, and provides us with free air cooling for an impressive 60-70% of the year.

The system combines simple evaporative cooling principles with advanced active damping and attemperation to maintain our strict temperature and humidity thresholds throughout the year.

Couple this with our pod-based cold aisle containment systems, and we have an incredibly fine level of automated control over the environment in our data halls.

Our cold northern European climate lends itself very nicely to running such a system, as it allows for the process of evaporation to take place largely unimpeded, and likewise provides us with the climate we need for our free air cooling operation.

We are 100% committed to keeping our facility cool around the clock, which is why we’ve just invested in a secondary cooling system to supplement the primary setup – this time an upflow A/C system from Denco.

 

Why add air conditioning?

It’s a valid question. Why are we adding a traditional refrigerant-based system to our data halls if we have a super-efficient CREC system in place with N+2 resilience?

It all comes down to the physical process of evaporation, and the limitations this process faces when temperatures rise and humidity reaches saturation point.

When humidity levels are relatively low, the air has plenty of capacity to take on moisture, which is required for the process of evaporation to take place. The higher the humidity level, the less effective this process becomes.

Denco AC

There will always be a trade off when it comes to cooling a data centre in an eco-friendly fashion. The very technologies that allow free cooling for much of the year – and cooling with up to 95% efficiency for the rest of the year – also find their limitation point as temperature and humidity metrics rise.

Given our climate, it is of course always possible to achieve an effective drop in temperature. It’s very rare that we see over 85% humidity here in London, nor do external temperatures often exceed 32C. We’re making this investment as an ongoing commitment to our clients – we take pride in providing best-in-breed data centre services, which is why we will always go above and beyond the baseline to ensure the rock-solid supply of key utilities at all times.

Average Temperatures

Average London temperatures plotted across the year

It would be easy to continue with CREC alone; after all, even on the very hottest days of the year, the system does chill the air very effectively, and temperatures in the cold aisles remain well within operating limits.

But that’s not the way we do things here. The real answer is to provide supplementary support to this system when required.

 

When will this be used?

It is only during the very hottest and most humid days of the year that our CREC system will receive a little help from the new CRAC system. It will also bolster total site resilience, with a total increase in cooling capacity in both full and degraded states.

The new Denco upflow units, again configured in a resilient A+B setup, will fill the cold corridor with chilled, dehumidified air, which the CREC system will in turn draw into the evaporators to further cool (if required) and push into the overhead air plenum.

CREC

The new system is controlled dynamically from our existing cooling controllers and BMS, which ensures total operational harmony at all times, with full automation and monitoring.

Alongside use when required, the system will be periodically tested throughout the year to ensure smooth operation at all times.

 

What does this mean for our green credentials?

In short, nothing much.

We pride ourselves on delivering services with one of the lowest PUE ratings in Europe, and we want it to stay that way. With the system spooled up, our active PUE will rise slightly, however the yearly average will see no effective change.

We will continue to lead the way in London for highly-efficient, low-impact data centre services.

PUE aside, we’re doing a lot more in terms of going green this year:

 

What else are we doing to ‘go green’?

We have a continual commitment to offering green services to our end clients.

Next month, we will be running our London Central data centre entirely on renewable energy. There will be more on this massive development in September, as we also move ever closer to increasing the total power capacity on-site. Watch this space.

Working at one of London’s premier data centres

Netwise NOC

Would you like to work at one of London’s premier data centres?

Data centres are, without question, the epitome of the modern high-tech working environment. Cutting edge technology, ultra resilient infrastructure, a constant stream of exciting new projects; what’s not to love?

There are very few career opportunities which offer such broad access to the latest and greatest innovations in mission-critical infrastructure and systems, with a complete focus on leveraging this technology to better the business operations of organisations around the world.

 

Why data centres?

The data centre industry is booming, particularly here in London, which is one of the world’s foremost business and connectivity hubs.

As more and more end user services move into ‘the cloud’, the global reliance on data centres increases day-by-day, and there is no sign of this slowing down. In fact, demand for data centre services is set to grow exponentially over the coming decade, and far beyond.

Data Hall 1

The demand placed on data centres continues to rise everyday. Countless digital services are now delivered entirely over the web, all of which are delivered from data centres around the world.

Much of the global economy now relies entirely on the data centres and networks that make up the international web of interconnected facilities more commonly referred to as ‘the internet’.

It can be said without hesitation that the data centre industry is very much set to become the foremost technological powerhouse of the next 50+ years.

 

Life at Netwise Hosting

We pride ourselves on designing, building and operating the very best independent data centres.

Not only do we provide a world-class technical environment for our customers, we also provide our team with an exceptional, dynamic working space that we can all call home.

Alongside all things high-tech, we also provide our team with the modern working conveniences found at most FTSE100 tech firms; lounges and kitchens, shower facilities, a staff bar complete with professional table football, an outside decking and seating terrace complete with BBQ for the summer, as well as many team outings to top London entertainment spots.

Kitchen

Reception

Open Plan Office

Board Room

The real question is, why wouldn’t you want to work with us?

 

We’re hiring Technical Support operatives

We’re on the look-out for new members to join our growing technical support team.

Working alongside Krystal Hosting, one of the UK’s fastest growing cloud hosting companies, we’re actively looking for new Technical Support operatives to join us at our London Central data centre.

Applicants would work out-of-hours from our high specification NOC, looking after our systems, infrastructure, and the customer support requirements of both our enterprise colocation customers, and Krystal’s 20,000+ strong cloud hosting customers.

If you think you fit the bill, and would like to learn more about this role, please take a look here. We’d love to hear from you.

Business continuity in the face of terrorism

Disaster Recovery Suite

When business owners think of disaster recovery, more often than not they focus in on the most likely threats; flooding, fires, power cuts, and other common infrastructural issues.

Terrorism is often cited as an outside consideration for business continuity. After all, if you look at the raw statistics, it is a very unlikely occurrence. But when the UK endures three horrendous attacks in as many months, this is a topic that clearly deserves more attention.

The atrocities committed in London Bridge on Saturday 3rd June will be solemnly remembered for a long time here at Netwise, as will the awful attacks in Manchester and Westminster. The London Bridge attack hits particularly close to home for us, given our relatively close proximity to the area, and our regular use of Borough Market and the surrounding pubs for lunchtime meetings with our team.

Outside of the devastating loss of life, attacks such as the one in London Bridge really do serve to highlight the clear importance of reliable disaster recovery services for businesses up and down the country.

The knock-on effect of this economic impact is not likely a conscious consideration of the cowardly perpetrators, though it is a very real post-event consideration which adds dramatically to the gravity of their actions.

While many businesses are now fully on-board with the idea of outsourcing mission critical IT infrastructure to highly-resilient data centres, the physical side of business continuity is still an area often overlooked.

 

The knock-on effect

Failing to properly plan for an eventuality such as this can be devastating to any business. To further compound this, it also increases the effectiveness of the disruption and damage set in motion during the attack.

Outside of the horrific impact an attack like this has locally in the days following such an event, the ripple effect can be felt for much longer, with a far wider sphere of influence. Of course, this includes the economic impact caused through the disruption of business in the area.

The security cordon area in London Bridge and Borough Market contained hundreds of businesses, all of whom had limited or no access to their premises during this time. This cordon lasted several days – enough to cause serious disruption to businesses in the area.

We live in a time whereby these kind of considerations need to be taken seriously by all business owners. If action can be taken to lessen the impact of an event entirely out of your control, then it stands to reason that this is something that must be of critical importance.

 

Disaster recovery as a proactive counter-terrorism measure

London and the UK are clearly major global targets for this kind of terrorist activity, which is something we must work to combat on both a macro and micro level. Protecting your business against any loss of revenue incurred as a result of an event like this is to directly combat the impact this will have on the UK economy – no matter how small that contribution may be.

Having a business continuity plan in place, both for digital and physical operations, can be considered an effective, proactive counter-terrorist measure; one which any business can contribute towards.

To protect your business against the threat of a terror attack is perhaps the most valuable of all the DR advantages; particularly when operating in a major city. Not only does it present clear benefits to your own organisation, it also helps limit the damaging shock-wave effect an attack of this nature will have on the wider area.

Being able to carry on with ‘business as usual’ in the face of an atrocity such as the one felt in London Bridge is absolutely vital in minimising the social and economic impact this type of event will otherwise set in motion.

Naturally, this is a far cry from quenching the true source of the problem, but it is a proactive action that can be taken by organisations in dealing with the fallout from something as awful as a terror attack in a major UK city.

 

Disaster recovery for SMEs

Fully-featured business continuity planning has been a mainstay of banks and governments for decades, with private replica offices on standby for emergency use should something like this unfold. Likewise, larger corporations have also joined the physical DR revolution over the past ten years, making use of big-scale shared operations run by major serviced office operators here in the UK.

This service exclusivity has slowly been eroded over the past few years, with a number of operators (ourselves included) now delivering physical business continuity services for SMEs.

Long gone are the days of thousand-desk commits with the major DR service providers. We operate a dedicated Disaster Recovery Suite which can service single desks right through to entire run-of-suite operations, opening up this concept of protection to anyone and everyone.

Businesses of all shapes and sizes mould the economic landscape of the UK. It is commonplace for smaller, specialist organisations to be servicing some very large and important contracts, which puts extreme pressure on service and operational reliability, no matter what is happening outside. As such, it is no longer acceptable for any business to incur avoidable downtime, with DR services available at a per-desk level on a monthly service plan.

 

It is never too late to be thinking about your business continuity plan, and how this will safeguard your operations against any physical threat – acts of terror included.

Remember: good DR services should be close to your existing premises – for ease of use during an issue – but well outside of any hot-zones that would be considered a likely target for terrorist activities. Our London Central facility falls into this category; we are located in a quiet but easily accessible area between London Bridge and Bermondsey.

Learn more about our fully-serviced London disaster recovery suite.

The importance of business continuity

The concept of business continuity is nothing new. In fact, you probably already partake in a range of business activities that help protect your enterprise from localised issues, even if you’re largely unaware of it.

Office 365, for example, is one way in which modern businesses are mitigating the risks associated with running critical applications locally, which usually place full reliance on in-house systems with single points of failure.

A great deal of businesses — both small and large — are now moving more completely into the current era of technological separation, pushing their mission-critical IT infrastructure away from the office, into highly resilient data centres whereby systems enjoy access to the very best in connectivity, power and cooling.

This is all well and good, but it does leave one fundamental area of business operations open to serious problems should a localised issue occur; the physical premises.

Most businesses still overlook the potentially catastrophic effect a major disaster could have on their working environment, and in the fast-paced economy of today, this is no longer acceptable to customers and end-users at any level.

DR Suite

 

Disaster recovery services

Essentially, physical DR services are a safety blanket designed to offer piece of mind through access to standby working spaces.

If a fire, flood or other similarly damaging problem causes your usual place of work to be unreachable or unusable, you can switch operations to your standby business continuity suite. If planned and implemented correctly, this can often be a transparent process to your clients, which is vital in maintaining quality of service.

This was once a service set enjoyed exclusively by large-scale operations, such as banks and governments, who would build replica offices for their own private use.

Over the past decade or so, access to these kinds of services have filtered down to mid-sized enterprises, with a number of operators offering large office spaces for reservation to multiple tenants, without the need to self-build. This still requires a large commitment in terms of square footage, which tends to limit use to enterprises of significant size; certainly out of reach for those businesses with smaller requirements.

It’s only in the past few years that this has entered into the realm of accessibility for smaller organisations.

 

Small-scale DR services

Small (or even micro) organisations often require nothing more than a handful of desks. This can still be a struggle to find, as many major suppliers of such services still have a minimum commit of at least 25 desks.

Smaller businesses also need turnkey DR services, with nothing more than a monthly subscription fee providing direct access to fully services workstations in the event of an emergency. Unlike larger enterprises, building out a space to specification internally is rarely an option.

DR Suite

 

Turnkey disaster recovery services

We offer access to a fully serviced 33-desk disaster recovery suite, with availability from single desks upwards.

Our high-specification DR suite is accessible around the clock, with a private meeting space and reception area to bolster emergency operations.

With the space being on-site at our world-class data centre facility, users of our DR services also enjoy access to our blue-ribbon site amenities, which include a customer kitchen, customer lounge, showers and secure storage spaces.

Additionally, provided you also use our facility for your colocation requirements, you will be on-site with your mission-critical IT infrastructure, providing enhanced end-to-end business continuity capabilities.

This unified approach to the concept of disaster recovery brings the full range of outsourced high-availability services under one roof, making for a fantastically simple one-stop-shop for both technical and physical business continuity planning.

If you’d like to speak with us about how this space can work for you, or to book a tour, please do get in touch.