Internet businesses have been growing dramatically in the last few years. Internet businesses include web services using the Internet as well as all components necessary for service operations.
Web services require not only web servers to run, but also the hardware, operating systems, and internal software to operate their servers. They also need database systems to save all their data as well as security systems. The growth of Internet businesses couldn’t have been possible without the advance of these components.
Internet business companies usually install related equipment in the computing room and provide services through a dedicated network or high-speed Internet. If the size of the business is relatively small, it can be done by utilizing the IT resources available within the company.
Once the business grows, however, using the internal resources is not quite enough. The power should be provided around the clock and the equipment needs to be kept cool. The internal networks must also be connected organically while having stable connections to the external Internet network.
There also needs to be a control system which checks how all the equipment is doing regularly. Companies eventually have to figure out how to manage all these systematically. These systems can be placed within the company, but the expense to create and manage them can be tremendous. This is why data centers are necessary: to support a business by taking care of everything systematically.
They used to be called IDC (Internet Data Center) but now they are simply called DC (Data Center) without the word ‘Internet’, as they are no longer used just for the Internet. Companies usually pay for the space and the use of other related facilities to place their servers.
Data centers have various facilities to assist Internet businesses in running stably. They help their clients’ companies provide services smoothly utilizing these facilities.
Korea has multiple data centers and most IT service and telecommunication companies run them. LG CNS is operating four data centers in total, including one in Incheon which was certified as a building designated for data centers for the first time in Korea and Busan global cloud data center (hereafter Busan data center) which opened in 2013.
Uptime Institute, the only global institute grading data centers for their design, construction, and operation, has created the Brill Awards which selects the best data center of the year.
Uptime Institute is an association which includes over 85% of Fortune’s top 100 corporations as members and conducts data center consulting, training, and seminars. They also have the “tier certification,” a global certification system for data center infrastructures. The headquarters is in New York, and they have international branches in Brazil, England, Dubai, Russia, Singapore, etc.
Uptime Institute has been selecting the best data centers around the world for GEIT (Green Enterprise IT) Awards since 2008, and the Brill Awards is the most respected award for the best data center in five areas including design and facility management.
They evaluated 23,000 data centers in 2014. 100 data centers from 19 countries were picked first, and then 80 judges selected 18 out of them with strict criteria for the Brill Awards.
Data centers that won Brill Awards are mostly companies from the U.S. and Europe such as eBay and Telefonica. LG CNS Busan data center won the Brill Awards in 2014, and was recognized as one of the best data centers in the world.
LG CNS and Taiwan Mobile in Taiwan are the only Asian companies to win the awards. The fact that Asian companies have started winning the awards means a lot in the industry, since it used to be given to mostly U.S. and European companies.
Now let’s take a look at some of the best data centers in the world and see how LG CNS got ahead of other data centers to be given the Brill Awards.
Most data centers considered to be great are built by large Internet service companies for their own services or for cloud platforms.
Well-known global data centers such as Google data center, Amazon data center, Facebook data center, and Microsoft data center are all created for large scale Internet services and cloud platforms.
Google has multiple large data centers around the world. It not only has its own cloud platform, but also other various services such as Google search, Youtube, Gmail, and Google Drive.
In order to run their services and cloud platform, they constructed multiple large data centers around the world. One of the biggest characteristics of the Google data centers is that their energy supply plan is eco-friendly. They adopted wind power generation to get electricity many years ago.
Google also creates their own servers and server racks, and each server has a second battery to avoid blackouts instead of UPS, which is used at most data centers. With the second batteries, they can reduce power consumption by 15% compared to their data centers in the past.
Amazon also runs AWS (Amazon Web Service). AWS is the largest platform among all cloud platforms available.
Amazon built a large data center to attract clients wanting Internet businesses based on AWS, and is now expanding the territory to Ireland, North Virginia, and Oregon. As the demand for Internet businesses through AWS is increasing, it is expected to create more data centers around the world.
Amazon already has 46,000 servers, and is also using Google’s power supplement method customized to suit it better. However, their PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) has not been opened to the public.
Facebook data centers are similar to those of Google. The only difference is that Google’s data centers have the characteristics of Amazon, Microsoft, and IBM data centers because Google has its own cloud platform, whereas Facebook data centers are only for Facebook and other related services.
Facebook service is frequented by 900 million users constantly, and the service requires very large data centers in order to process all its data.
Facebook has data centers in Oregon, Forest City in North Carolina, and Lulea in Sweden, with over 60,000 servers.
Microsoft data centers are basically a combination of Google data center and Amazon data center. It provides Microsoft’s own services such as Office 365 and One Drive as well as Microsoft’s Cloud platform Azure.
One of Europe’s biggest data centers is the Microsoft data center in Dublin. Although it has not disclosed how many servers are in the data center, its PUE of 1.25 is remarkably great for a data center.
Data centers that I mentioned earlier are all known to be great globally. Now let’s see how LG CNS Busan data center is competing with these data centers.
What is noticeable about the Busan data center is that it has the eco-friendly built-up air conditioning system and air ducts using the cool wind from outside, as well as isolation equipment for vibration control.
The eco-friendly built-up air conditioning system works like a human lung, through which the cool air from outside comes in through the nose and heated air from the server rooms is let out through the air duct.
This patented built-up air conditioning system pushes out the hot air by letting in the cool air from outside so that it can lower the server room temperature.
It also has the technology which mixes the cold air from outside and the heated air being sent to the air duct so that it can always keep the temperature and humidity at the right level using natural wind instead of using thermo-hygrostats.
With these technologies, the data centers PUE is around 1.4. The average PUE for data centers around the globe is around 1.8, and lowering it to 1.4 will save enough power for 5,840 households to use for a year. The Busan data center reached the PUE of 1.39 in 2014 while getting the grade of A+++ from the Green Data Center Certification program.
Another thing about the Busan data center is that it is Korea’s first data center with a vibration isolation facility. Busan, where the data center is located, is known to be one of the safest cities from earthquakes commonly used as the bypass spot for Japanese and Taiwanese global networks.
The Busan data center adopted the vibration isolation facility so that it would not allow any disaster to interrupt its service operations. With this, the data center would not be compromised even if an earthquake with the magnitude of 8.0 on the Richter scale hits the area.
The vibration isolation facility utilizes top-notch technology to separate the building from the ground by using rubber pillars called dampers, which absorb the seismic energy from earthquakes. The vibration is neutralized by these dampers so that the servers would not be damaged.
It also made provisions for flood damage after the tsunami in Japan. As Busan is a coastal city, they made sure that this anti-flood damage facility could cover the 4.5m high wave height which is the average wave height of tsunamis in Japan. The data center was also built at an altitude of 6 meters, which is higher than the flood warning level of 5.5, so that it can keep everything safe even for the flood of the century.
Busan data center is recognized to be safe from both earthquakes and floods.
The eco-friendly system and its safety measures are what made it one of the best data centers in the world.
As Internet businesses keep growing, the requirements for data centers are also increasing. With these technologies at the globally renowned data centers in Korea, Internet businesses in Korea have a better future to come.
Written by Hakjoon Lee (http://poem23.com/ Pen name: ‘Hakjooni’)