How Was Hostens Data Center Born?

March 13, 2018 by · Comments Off on How Was Hostens Data Center Born? 

hostens-data-centerIn this special interview with the Head of Hostens data center Engineering we’re going to discover how Hostens data center was born and what the main challenges as well as lessons learned while building and starting to run one of the most modern data centers in the Baltic region were.

Vytautas Skirius, the lead person of Hostens data center, is one of those who spend most of their time at the data center. He knows all its corners so well as if it was his own home. He ensures the stability, integrity, and efficiency of all information systems operations and leads data center engineering projects. Today he agreed to share his know-how and experience with us.

Give us a short overview of how everything started. When was the decision to build company’s own data center made? How did the whole process of setting it up look like? How did facilities, premises, etc. have to be prepared for a DC?

When business is on the fast track and is experiencing growth, the company often finds itself in need of additional storage space for the data. That was the case with Hostens, too. Although we had good partners, in regards to the growing number of customers and increasing infrastructure requirements, we decided to build our own data center.

The whole process took approximately 2 years and started with a strategic step to choose location for the data center. In this case, choosing the right location wasn’t the same as finding premises for, let’s say, office space. The potential location had to fulfil not only such ordinary needs as geographical location, availability or parking options, but also meet really high infrastructure and security requirements.

Eventually, we had to connect all the systems, elements, and parts of the whole infrastructure in order to operate smoothly and serve a common purpose. It’s like all body systems working together to keep a human alive. Actually, that was quite a challenge.

Finally, Hostens data center opened on December 15th, 2015.

Do you remember the day when the first servers were implemented here at the data center? What was the feeling like?

Sure, I can even show you where those particular servers are placed right now. In general, as I remember, the first server setup was a really significant moment. All our team member could clearly understand that it marked the new beginning of providing a top-level service.

Tell us a bit about Hostens data center.

The most important part to talk about is its features.

So, first of all, Hostens data center is set up according to TIER III level. It means that we offer 99.98% availability.

We run the most modern data center in the Baltic region. It is also one of the biggest ones. Currently, 139 server racks are securely housed at the site.

The data center has an ecological and energy efficient new generation “free cooling” system installed. This system takes air from the outside and adapts the temperature and humidity to suit the equipment. No water is used for cooling, so there is absolutely no risk of a leak.

Also, we pay great attention to fire prevention. Our aspiration smoke detection system with a highly sensitivity range (from 0.001% to 20% obscuration/m) is made to detect smoke even at very low concentrations over an area of 2000 m2. For example, if the system detects a burning wire, it immediately provides us with an early warning by pinpointing to the source of that fire. It allows us to react and protect the data center against any possible danger even before the fire has started.

Finally, I would like to highlight the access control. As our data center has an iris recognition option, there is no doubt that it adds an additional layer of protection. Iris recognition is used to authenticate employee or customer identity prior to them entering the site by unlocking facilities with a simple glance.

What is your favourite feature at Hostens Data Center?

Without any doubt, it is the cooling system.

What were the main challenges in developing this data center?

For sure, building a new data center always brings multiple challenges. Talking about the very beginning, finding the right location was the main issue. We had to find the best and the most suitable location for the facility. I remember all those months of analysis and evaluation very well.

Also, other main factors that had to be considered were data center equipment and network infrastructure. It was a huge challenge to find systems that fully met our requirements. As I have already mentioned, all the systems are different, made by different manufacturers, designed for different loads, as well as different climatic conditions, but they all have to work together flawlessly. Data center managers must manage all of these processes, at the same time remain maximum efficient, and still meet strict deadlines. In fact, that was a tough challenge, but amazing lessons were learned.

Are there any funny stories or interesting facts regarding the data center?

To be honest, I cannot tell you any funny stories at all (laughing). Basically, everything is in such control, so well-estimated and secured, that there are no non-standard situations. Interesting facts? Oh, yes. Personally, I’m very interested in the fact that the building where our data center is set up has a special purpose property status. During the World War II, that building was a military factory. Therefore, its structure is of an exceptional strength. In general, our data center is designed as a secure “building in a building” with its own additional walls and ceiling as well as separate access.

Now, when the data center is successfully running, tell us which things have to be considered when building a data center. What should organizations pay most attention to when developing a data center?

I would highlight the following points:

  • It is necessary to evaluate how suitable the potential location of the data center is. There are a lot of things you need to keep in mind: performance characteristics, power availability, geographic issues, and climatic conditions.
  • It is crucial to choose the right technologies for the data center. Before building the data center, you have to evaluate all technical possibilities to be able to choose the most suitable equipment.
  • Strong project management. By implementing a project of such a huge scale and complexity, it’s almost impossible to avoid various mistakes. Therefore, it’s necessary to do your research first, have a clear plan with estimated budgets, deadlines, and precisely follow each stage of the project.

Tell us about your technical expertise.

I have more than 5 years’ experience in data center sector. At first, I commenced my career at another web hosting company here in Lithuania. This helped me to grow as an expert and gave me an opportunity to see how a data center was run from up close. This experience increased my enthusiasm to continue my career working at data centers. At that time exactly when could feel that I had reached the top of my career in this company, I was offered to move to Hostens parent company. I accepted this challenge and today I work here managing its data center.

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Dell Unveils OpenStack Infrastructure-as-a-Service Cloud Solution

July 27, 2011 by · Comments Off on Dell Unveils OpenStack Infrastructure-as-a-Service Cloud Solution 

Hosting ServicesROUND ROCK, Texas – To further advance the adoption of open source Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Dell today announced the first available cloud solution offering based on the OpenStack platform—the Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution. Customers seeking alternatives to existing cloud options based on proprietary, licensed software models can now utilize the Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution, which integrates the OpenStack cloud operating system, cloud-optimized Dell PowerEdge C servers, the Dell-developed “Crowbar” OpenStack installer, and services from Dell and Rackspace Cloud Builders.

The Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution comes with a reference architecture designed to help customers quickly integrate, deploy and manage their IT resources in an OpenStack environment. Tested, validated, and supported by Dell, the reference architecture is based on Dell PowerEdge C Series servers, which capture the efficiencies and design lessons learned from some of the world’s largest hosting and cloud providers, while being engineered to maximize revenue per-square foot within the data center. Read more

PEER 1 Hosting Makes Data Center History with 1.1 PUE

July 27, 2011 by · Comments Off on PEER 1 Hosting Makes Data Center History with 1.1 PUE 

Hosting ServicesSouthampton – PEER 1 Hosting, the global online IT hosting provider, is bringing a new standard in data centre efficiency to Britain, offering a predicted PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) rating of 1.1, the lowest in the country by a considerable margin, to customers of its new data centre in Portsmouth, UK.

By signing with Excool, a UK-based, innovative cooling technology specialist, PEER 1 Hosting will become the first data centre in the world to work with Excool, delivering the greenest state-of-the-art facility for managed hosting, dedicated hosting, cloud and co-location, all under one roof.
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Hivelocity Announces New Sandy Bridge Server Line

July 27, 2011 by · Comments Off on Hivelocity Announces New Sandy Bridge Server Line 

Hosting ServicesTampa FL – Hivelocity Hosting  announced this week they are introducing a new line of i5 Sandy Bridge dedicated servers.   The Intel i5 processor will be replacing the Core2Quad, which currently serves as the introductory line of servers Hivelocity offers.  As Core2Quads slowly fade away with end-of-life approaching, the quad-core i5’s will slide right into that lower pricing segment.

“We have worked with Supermicro to put together a very solid system at a really good price.  The end result is our customers get new Sandy Bridge servers that offer significantly more power than the older Core2Quads for about the same price they have paid for lesser systems in the past,” comments Hivelocity GM Steve Eschweiler.  “Our customers have given our E3-1230 Xeon Sandy Bridge server rave reviews  for the last few months and we anticipate the introduction of another Sandy Bridge system in the lower price spectrum to be just as popular, if not more.  Our customers love a powerful server and they love saving money even more, so the i5 should be a home run for everyone.”
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StrataScale Announces Expansion into New Northern Virginia Data Center

June 23, 2011 by · Comments Off on StrataScale Announces Expansion into New Northern Virginia Data Center 

Webmaster ToolboxSACRAMENTO, CA – StrataScale, Inc. announced today the expansion into a data center building in Northern Virginia owned and operated by its parent company. StrataScale’s cloud and server hosting business growth in Northern California has been dramatic and resulted in numerous expansions in terms of its sales team, suite of products and executive management. The data center addition is in line with the company’s overall sales projections and corporate goals.

With utilization of the Ashburn facility, StrataScale now offers a greater geographic reach in delivering its innovative fully automated, fully integrated, and self-managed IaaS. The robust product offering of dedicated server and cloud hosting solutions, as well as colocation services, through a single portal interface is a powerful combination to meet the IT infrastructure needs and challenges of business today. Read more

Supermicro Showcases Portfolio of HPC Optimized Solutions

June 20, 2011 by · Comments Off on Supermicro Showcases Portfolio of HPC Optimized Solutions 

Webmaster ToolboxHamburg, Germany – Super Micro Computer, Inc. (NASDAQ: SMCI), the global leader in server technology innovation and green computing, will demo its latest HPC solutions at the 2011 International Supercomputing Conference (ISC) in Hamburg, Germany (6/19 – 6/23). Supermicro will spotlight its new 1U (1026GT-TRF) and 2U (2026GT-TRF) high-density GPU SuperServers supporting up to 4 and 6 GPUs respectively, the GPU SuperBlade (SBI-7126TG) providing 20 GPUs and 20 CPUs in a 7U enclosure, the TwinBlade™ (SBA-7222G-T2) supporting up to 3,840 Cores per rack and the 4-Way SuperBlade (SBA-7142G-T4), a high-performance (up to 60x 4-Way servers per 42U SuperRack®) compute platform with QDR 40Gb/s InfiniBand or 10GbE connectivity per blade. Also on display will be their enterprise-class 8-Way, 5U SuperServer® (5086B-TRF), a high-performance platform, supporting up to 80 Cores/2TB of memory and designed for mission-critical, high-availability computing environments.

Supermicro will also deliver an industry-first live demo of the Intel® MIC (Many Integrated Core) card integrated into its latest 1U 6016GT-TF SuperServer. This server accommodates two MIC cards and runs at trillions of calculations per second boosting overall performance while retaining the benefits of standard Intel processors. Read more

Supermicro Shapes the Future with MicroCloud and Multi-GPU SuperServers

June 1, 2011 by · Comments Off on Supermicro Shapes the Future with MicroCloud and Multi-GPU SuperServers 

Webmaster ToolboxTAIPEI, Taiwan – Super Micro Computer, Inc. (NASDAQ: SMCI), the global leader in server technology innovation and green computing, shows off its newest SuperServers this week at Computex in Taipei, Taiwan.

“Supermicro is excited to unveil our latest state-of-the-art server innovations at Computex 2011,” said Charles Liang, President and CEO of Supermicro. “Shaping the Future is the theme at Computex and our MicroCloud indeed reflects this by leading the industry with a new, high-performance independent node architecture. In addition, our new multi-GPU SuperServers take supercomputing to new levels with high-density, clusterable HPC solutions offering the best price/performance on the market.” Read more

Extreme Networks Introduces Open Fabric Data Center Architecture

May 12, 2011 by · Comments Off on Extreme Networks Introduces Open Fabric Data Center Architecture 

Webmaster ToolboxLAS VEGAS, NV – INTEROP – Extreme Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXTR) today announced the Extreme Networks Open Fabric data center solutions, a portfolio of Cloud-scale data center switches that allow organizations to more cost-effectively build highly scalable, mobile and virtualized networks featuring market leading performance, low latency and energy efficiency. Extreme Networks Open Fabric data center solutions leverage standards-based technologies preserving existing investments while bringing new innovations that drive Cloud-scale networks.

The Extreme Networks Open Fabric data center solution leverages the ExtremeXOS® operating system end-to-end and emphasizes wire-speed switching of Virtual Machines (VMs), intelligence to automate VM mobility through XNV, standards-based, non-blocking high density 10Gbs server connectivity and non-blocking high density 40Gbs fabric interconnect with multi-path forwarding that is also designed to evolve for 100GbE. Read more

SoftLayer First to Launch Intel Xeon E7-4800 Series Servers

May 11, 2011 by · Comments Off on SoftLayer First to Launch Intel Xeon E7-4800 Series Servers 

Webmaster ToolboxDALLAS SoftLayer® Technologies, the innovative provider of Cloud, Dedicated, and seamlessly integrated environments, today announced the availability of servers featuring Intel® Xeon® E7-4800 processors. SoftLayer is the first hosting provider to offer these next-generation processors, which deliver increased scalability, memory and I/O capacity, and performance ideal for workloads such as large-scale virtualization, high performance computing, and mission critical applications.

“We say this all the time, but our customers push technology to the limit. It’s a priority for us to bring them the latest, best performing products the second they are available,” said Sam Fleitman, SoftLayer Chief Operating Officer. “The E7-4800 series brings the performance and features our customers need to solve real-world business challenges, helping them adapt to quickly changing operational demands as well as address long-term growth requirements.”

The E7-4800 series leverages Intel’s 32nm process technology to offer up to 10 cores per processor with the capability to simultaneously run two threads per core. The processor family features Intel QuickPath Interconnect technology, providing optimum performance for enterprise and advanced computing applications. Additional advantages include:

– Power management capabilities to lower CPU partial active and idle power
– Reduced memory buffer active and idle power consumption
– Advanced security support functionality including Intel Trusted Execution Technology (Intel TXT) and Intel AES New Instructions (Intel AES-NI)
– Double Device Data Correction (DDDC) for improved memory reliability
– Partial Memory Mirroring
– Next-generation performance improvements and latency reductions

“It’s exciting to see SoftLayer harness the performance capabilities of the new Intel Xeon processor to offer leading-edge technology for on-demand data center services and technology innovation,” said Jason Waxman, general manager of High Density Computing at Intel. “In addition to record-breaking compute power, Intel Xeon processor E7-8800/4800/2800 product families deliver enhanced security and reliability features to meet the needs of the most demanding mission-critical computing environments and high-end computing applications.”

SoftLayer is providing the E7-4800 in Quad Processor 8-core and Quad Processor 10-core server configurations, which can be ordered starting today at or through the company’s leading Customer Portal. Read more

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