RALEIGH – A behind the scenes look at the amazing requirements for today’s wired world certainly make you appreciate that Web page you are now reading.
The Skinny and scores of other technology executives from around the Triangle were given tours of Hosted Solutions’ newly expanded north Raleigh data center on Thursday night. My Reaction? Impressive.
Hosted Solutions poured an undisclosed amount – certainly millions of dollars – into a building to provide server space, power, air conditioning and technical support for a growing list of customers.
Before entering the center, a Hosted Solutions employee must punch in a code number and then insert his or her hand into a biometric reader to assure the identity of the authorized user. The company is so sensitive about security that it asked no photograph of the scanner be published.
A sticky doormat crackles and pops as visitors walk across it. The plastic-like material is designed to strip foreign matter off your shoes.
Inside the center sits a state-of-the-art networking operating center soon will have as many plasma screens as the largest sports bar.
Massive cooling systems create a deep roar as they keep the center at a cool 68 degrees despite heat created by hundreds of servers.
“Cages” to house customer equipment resemble jail cells.
Outside, a mammoth 2-megawatt diesel generator stands ready to provide power in an emergency.
Five different providers are linked to the data center for very redundant access to the Internet and telecommunications.
And if customers want to run tests or access their gear in the event they lose Net access at their office the expanded center includes what Hosted Solutions calls “work-space recovery suites.”
Another feature is a “war room” where clients can gather around a 12-seat table.
As we open our Web browsers and surf for business or pleasure – or both – we all take for granted the technology infrastructure needed to provide that net access.
Like water, electricity and other utilities, we expect Internet access and e-mail to be available at all times regardless of rain or sleet, ice or hurricane, flood or earthquake.
Data centers such as Hosted Solutions provide a crucial component of Net access. If you get a chance to tour a data center sometime, do so. Once you have, you will develop a better understanding of the complex support mechanisms that make the wired world work.