Rackspace has officially opened a new UK data centre in Crawley, West Sussex, claiming it to be the largest facility in the UK to use 'indirect outside air' cooling.
The company announced plans for the data centre over a year ago, explaining that the UK was a prime location for the new site despite intense wooing from Nordic nations.
Now, some 14 months after work began, the facility is open and Rackspace said that the 15-acre site can accommodate 50,000 servers.
However, it is the use of the 'indirect outside air' cooling technology (pictured below) that is seen as the most novel aspect of the facility.
The technology reduces the energy and water required to keep the facility cool, as Mark Roenigk, chief operating officer of Rackspace, explained to V3 last year.
"We run chimneys down to the server floor from units above. We pass ambient air over the unit and it's cooled and then pumped into the server floor. The only thing that is moving in all this is the fan to move the air," he said.
"Because there are very few moving parts those that do need replacing can be bought from hardware stores, so it helps with the reliability and uptime."
Ultimately, this provides a Power Usage Effectiveness rating of 1.15 compared with the data centre average of 1.7.
Another benefit touted by Rackspace is that the facility can be connected to the firm's existing London metro fibre ring.
This means that the Crawley site is just a few miles from the main European long haul route, so response times for customers accessing data across the continent should be rapid.
Roenigk said that the mix of connectivity and energy efficiency made the new centre the “epitome” of modern infrastructure engineering.
“We partnered with industry leaders to design and deliver one of the most environmentally friendly and reliable data centres in Europe," he added.
“Our customers depend on us for their mission-critical managed IT services and this new data centre furthers our commitment to delivering world class services to those customers.”
The switch-on comes at the same time that IBM opened a second data centre in the Netherlands, as the demand for cloud computing services continues to grow.
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