Equinix Data Centre

Driving into the parking lot, you would be forgiven for thinking you were entering a high security government facility like the Pentagon. Gigantic walls, security cameras and biometric scanners. As it turns out, you wouldn’t be far off.

The cohort entered the security room and presented passports, before being introduced to Equinix and the data centres. It was incredibly insightful to hear about how the data centres are maintained, run and managed.

Each of the data centres are built near train lines as this is where the dark fibre runs. Due to them being carrier agnostic, the data centres are full of carrier equipment and thus makes them a perfect investment for many of Silicon Valley’s big players.

The group moved through the security doors and into the data centre customer area. This is filled with meeting rooms, desk spaces and break rooms with arcade machines for Equinix’s customers.

We then filtered through into the data centre floor. The loud hum of thousands of servers became immediately apparent. The blue lighting, we are told, is not to deter photographs (even though they aren’t permitted), but simply to make the data centre look like a disco.

Equinix Group

Our tour moved past different cages, with test areas for customers. We are told that due to the carrier equipment being in SV1, everyone wants to be in there. The test area is to allow customers to see that SV5 can provide the same amount of bandwidth, with less than 1ms latency.

We were also told about the amount of training and protections built into the data centre. For instance, they are bomb and bullet proof- the garden beds surrounding the building are filled with concrete and steel and bolted to the ground to deter car bombs. The fire suppression system is smart to avoid unnecessarily destroying equipment. The centre are built to withstand earthquakes, tornadoes and other disasters. They also have enough rations to survive for 72 hours.

The sites are also considered critical for an civil unrest, meaning the staff have authority to move through checkpoints and keep the data centre operational.

Equinix never allows their capacity to exceed 70%. With constant planning and assessment, they are able to stay ahead of the needs of Silicon Valley, which is an amazing feat when you consider the speed at which the entire ecosystem moves.

With that being said, they have already started construction on SV10 and have land purchased for more sites.

All in all, it was an incredible sight to see. The sheer magnitude of the place blows one’s mind and gets you incredibly excited about the possibilities of the tech and startup industry as a whole.

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