Switch has developed two particular cooling technologies to support power loads of an amazing 1,500 watts a square foot:
- A heat containment system known as T-SCIF (Thermal Separate Compartment in Facility). Overhead cooling ducts drop chilled air into the cool aisle, which sits on a slab rather than a raised floor. T-SCIF systems encapsulate each rack, leaving the front open to the cold aisle. The enclosure uses a chimney system to deliver waste heat back into the ceiling plenum, where it can be returned to the cooling units
- Cooling is powered by custom units known as WDMD (Wattage Density Modular Design) that sit outside the building and can switch between four different cooling methods to provide the most efficient mode for changing weather conditions.
For comparison, many other facilities boast of 250 watts per square foot, but often this rating includes the cooling demand as well, meaning that only half of that capacity is actually available for kit. With Switch, 1500 watts per square foot is all available to power servers.
Switch aggregates the carrier buying power of both its large number of customers, and the fact that they have this amazing connectivity, through SwitchCORE (Combined Order Retail Ecosystem), a carrier-neutral purchasing consortium. Bandwidth providers can then compete for the business of Switch customers. The carriers benefit from volume deals while Switch customers enjoy favorable rates for their connectivity needs.
Switch asserts that given the savings customers can achieve from SwitchCORE, the increased costs of colocation at such an impressive facility can in fact become cost neutral compared to lower tier data center hosting alongside regular carrier bills. Case in point Disney – whose Vegas to Seattle carrier link price dropped from $35.5K per month to $6.7k per month by using SwitchCORE.
Switch already has a handful of facilities in Nevada, and is in the process of building another facility on the East Coast – their particular operating methodology means that they continue to look for locations that have available land close by high capacity electricity supplies and multiple carrier connections. Globally Switch are looking to partner with companies who have specific local knowledge that can be combined with the Switch unique approach towards data center construction to expand the boundaries of what is possible locally.
SuperNAP provides a counterpoint to current modular data center design – while Microsoft and others are advocating the use of prebuilt container based data center modules – Switch is innovating a best of breed mass data center construction.