Get a Visual Tour Inside 1&1’s Massive Data Center

26

Comments

+ Add a Comment
avatar

kareltjes

What I would like to know is how the company's technical support is. How fast do they reply to issues and how good are the answers? Am currently hosting with Linux Hosts Inc. but not really happy with their support services. Their replies are professional but very slow. Sometimes I have to wait a day before there's a reply. Thanks!

avatar

preferreduser

Jimmy Thang,

Think you can maybe arrange a virtual tour of the big NSA data center
in Utah? now that one is really big what a million sq ft?

avatar

jimmthang

I'd love to go but I doubt the NSA would invite me. :P

Jimmy

avatar

sttrumpet

Do they have solar panels on the roof and/or parking lots? I was surprised to see florescent lighting and not LED. LED lighting produces less heat thus needing less energy for cooling.

SSD produce less heat than mechanical drives, so if the bean counters are smart, they will lean toward the SSD sooner rather than far off in the future.

avatar

LatiosXT

Actually LEDs that produce the same lumens as CFLs generate a lot of heat that they require a heatsink (otherwise they become unreliable). And according to Wiki, they're about 30% efficient.

Also SSDs have limited write cycles which is probably not a good thing for a data center. And you also have to look at the long term investments. Sure you could save say dozens of watts per HDD you replace, but if that amounts to having to operate said SSDs for five years and you have to replace them all in that timespan (assuming SSD prices don't drop that much), then it's not cost-effective.

It's also a stumbling block for people who want to go solar. People do see savings eventually... after about 3 year

avatar

sttrumpet

You are wrong. When you compare heat in an incandescent 60 watt bulb with their fluorescent & LED counterparts:

Incan. = 85 btu's/hour
Flor. = 30 btu's/hour
LED = 3.4 btu's/hour

LEDs are improving with R&D whereas fluorescents & incandescents are not.

Incan. =60 watts
Flor. = 13-15 Watts
LED = 6-8 watts

Once again R&D is improving LEDs all the time.

Average life span:

Incan = 1,200 hrs
Flor = 8,000 hrs
LED = 50,000 hrs

Bean counters also factor in life span because of labor costs to replace each.

LED are extremely durable incans & flors ....... not so much.

avatar

limitbreaker

I am Limitbreaker and I approve this message.

avatar

Brian P. Adair

Jimmy Thang, Thanks for the awesome article and pics of 1&1's facility. I'd say that's one heck of a data center... Having been in many over the years myself I'd say this one looks pretty clean and organized!

avatar

ThomasLG

"an inventive cooling system that involves having a hole cut out underneath each server rack and having cool air from underneath the floor rush through each rack above"?

Did they invent computing, too? Mainframes have been running on raised floors with cool air pumped under the floor so fans on top of the cabinet can pull the air up through the box for decades!

avatar

ChangingWinds

They maybe protected from an F3 tornadoe but if one hits they will go down. Maybe just until they get the wiring fixed bringing them the internet. But I guess they are protected from data loss. Looks like a nice place.

avatar

Wily_One

Terrible wiring job. Aside from bad cable management you would think a hosting company had lockable racks; these don't even seem to have doors!

avatar

Electrik

That actually doesn't look too bad. Nothing hanging to the floor and no big coils of cable tie-rapped to the frame. I work at a college and run miles of Cat5 every year. Up in the ceiling grid is where things really get interesting, if you lack cable trays or rings. Most people just lasso it from point A to B.

avatar

Its_Not_Me

Locks on the racks are not needed. I betcha the building entry has many security features, such as electronic badges, cameras watching the doors, maybe even fingerprint/palm readers. Once you're inside, the remainder of the security measures (such as locked doors on the racks) are radically reduced to facilitate work by the employees. If it was YOU constantly unlocking rack doors to do your work, you'd quickly agree the rack doors only served to get in your way.

As far as the cabling, this is an actual working data center. In my opinion, considering the circumstances, I think the wiring is gorgeous, and it looks like the cabling is made for the convenience of the workers, not for photographers. Believe me, I've seen much MUCH worse.

avatar

AFDozerman

Are those SSDs for data caching of more frequently used data, or for higher paying customers?

avatar

jimmthang

I believe they use it for more time-sensitive servers at the moment. When I asked the rep when we might see a majority of servers using nothing but SSDs, he alluded that it's still a ways off. Even though SSDs are dropping in price all across the board, the price per gig is still much, much better with traditional HDDs.  

avatar

jgottberg

Enterprise-class SSD's are still WAY too expensive though. I just did a build-out of an SQL server (HP) and 900GB 15k SFF SAS drives were a $750 option vs $7000 for a 400GB Enterprise SSD. There is no way I'd ever convince the bean counters that 10X more for half as much is the way to go.

avatar

jimmthang

Thanks for the added insight. An all SSD setup definitely won't be happening for a while, even at the consumer level.

avatar

acidic

would this have anything to do with the 13 page ad for 1&1 in the new issue ? that used to be a problem years ago as well but it eventually quit. don't make me regret renewing for 2 more years the other day with a bombardment of 1&1 ads from now on

avatar

John Pombrio

Heh, I came to this post to say the same exact thing. It has been a while since I ran into a 1&1 filler as big as the one in the present issue of MPC and then this post comes along. I went and ripped out the pages (as usual with these things along with the blow ins). PC magazine and PCWorld both used to get huge 1&1 adverts before they both went out of print and all digital. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

BTW, I did not find less magazine in my magazine with the ad taken out so that is OK. I am waiting for Native American tobacco ads to show up soon tho, heh. Or how about the picture of the lady that sells the pheromone lady attractor?

avatar

jimmthang

As someone who manages a website for a living and has never been inside a data center before, I personally geeked out at the chance of checking out 1&1's massive facility, but that's just me. :P

But in all seriousness though, the place was pretty cool.  

avatar

Krusador

So where exactly is this building, and do they offer any public tours? I work in Lenexa and would love to see it.

avatar

jimmthang

Also, might I add that the trip was my first time in the Kansas/Missouri area and I have to say that you guys have some awesome BBQ joints. Super jealous!

avatar

Krusador

Yes, that we do. Just curious - which BBQ joints did you visit?

avatar

pastorbob

True that about the BBQ joints in KS/MO Jimmy. But, I ate at one in Estes Park, Colorado (Smokey Dave's) a couple of weeks ago that topped any BBQ that I had ever eaten. Highly recommend it if you are ever out that way.

avatar

John Pombrio

THAT'S where it went to! I swear there was a Smoky Something or other years ago in Colorado Springs. It up and disappeared and then HP/Agilent stopped sending me to the Springs but I was going to Loveland a lot. Alas, no more trips there anymore either as I retired (or got laid off or got laid off and retired, your choice).
Now there was a MASH TV show where Hawkeye called Chicago...

avatar

jimmthang

As far as I know, they don't offer any public tours I'm afraid. :(