How to build one cool data center campus

A former Intel site is home to a new wholesale data center campus in Santa Clara, Calif.

Campus makeover

Vantage is transforming an 18-acre site formerly owned by Intel into a data center campus. A mix of new construction and renovation work, the project will eventually encompass more than 300,000 square feet of space and 37 MW of IT power capacity across three buildings.

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Blank slate

In Vantage’s wholesale data center model, tenants can customize size, density, rack layout, distribution and cooling in their space. “We signed a whole lot of leases during construction, in some cases before the site was chosen and purchased,” says Greg Ness, chief marketing officer for Vantage. “There’s a significant level of alignment and coordination between the enterprise and Vantage.”

Design input

Vantage also gives tenants a say in the interior finishes of the conference rooms, private offices, break rooms and restroom areas.

On-site power

The Santa Clara site has dual-fed 50 MW dedicated substations. “We control the power because we own and operate the substations that are on site,” says Chris Sumter, director of sales at Vantage. In terms of network diversity, “we’re in an area that’s fiber-rich,” Sumter says. “We’ve been able to bring in more than 15 carriers within diverse routes.”

Ambient air

The use of outside air cooling substantially reduces energy costs. The Vantage data centers will utilize outside air more than 80% of the time, based on climatic data and recommended system temperatures, Ness says. (Pictured is the roof structure atop the most recently completed data center.)

Mozilla’s new digs

Mozilla is one of the tenants in V3, the first data center completed on the Vantage campus. Vantage received LEED Platinum certification for the 60,000 square-foot facility, which has a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) rating of 1.29. The company has also applied for LEED certification for the other two buildings on the campus, dubbed V1 and V2.

Access control

Vantage uses biometric technologies to provide secure access to V3, which was a rehab project.

Electrical room

The V3 facility has 6 MW of provisioned power and can accommodate 150 watts per square foot.

Extra amenities

Some of the onsite amenities for tenants at V3 include conference rooms, private offices, training space and restroom areas with showers.

New construction

The second data center Vantage completed on the Santa Clara site, V2, was built from the ground up and completed in eight months. It achieved a 1.12 PUE, making it one of the world’s most energy-efficient data centers.

Power supply

Redundant, high voltage lines run from the substation to the data center floor. The spaces are pre-plumbed for future power expansion.

Room for growth

V2’s design allows the single tenant (which Vantage isn’t naming) to double its power density as greater capacity is required. The facility is designed to scale from 9 MWs to 18 MWs within the same physical footprint.

Air filters

Dampers bring outside air into the mixing plenum, where the air then passes through two walls of microfiber filters (pictured) that remove particulates. The outside air is pulled through the filter walls by fans, which direct the air to the data center floor.

Air circulation

Supply air enters the cold aisles, passes through the servers into the contained hot aisles and either returns to the mixed air plenum or is exhausted from the building.

Under construction

Vantage has begun construction of V1, the third data center on the Santa Clara campus. The anchor V1 tenant is Telx, which will offer colocation and interconnection services. V1 is a 198,000 square-foot, two-story data center that will support 22 MWs of IT load when complete.

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