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For years I have been a prolific photographer of Data Centres all over the world. I have hundreds of images, some brilliant, some out of focus and under-exposed, (I am a data centre guy, not  a professional photographer).  I thought that I might publish some of the better ones with a bit of narrative about where they are and what they show.

Physical Security

Physical Security

This photograph was taken at the BT Reuters Data Centre in Nutley New Jersey USA. It shows a physical security device that checks the retina of the individual trying to enter against the security database to enable or deny access. Actually this is much more practical than a fingerprint scanner as:

  1. A surprisingly large number of people have no or poor fingerprints
  2. It is contactless and hygenic
  3. It can be used when hands are full of kit or manuals
Air Side Economizers at Nutley

Air Side Economizers at Nutley

This photograph (taken in the middle of winter) shows a large bank of Air Side Economizers in the process of being expanded. See the empty support brackets in the photograph foreground. Economizers work best in winter as the delta between the hot water in the radiators and the cold air (it was sub-zero) mean that we don’t need to run the fans much. In warmer times the fans run to blow tepid air over the radiator coils and consume electricity. In hot external weather, the economizers are no longer effective and the site refrigeration plant must take over. This consumes very large amounts of electricity.

Early Smoke Detection

This photograph shows a VESDA system which is designed to detect small traces of smoke early and set off the alarms or trigger a gas discharge.

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  • Darren Wray

    I’m surprised that the data centres allowed you to take some of these photos.

  • http://thehotaisle.com Steve O’Donnell

    Darren

    I most cases I was the senior manager running the sites and all of the photographs are of components, so do not compromise security.

    Best

    Steve

  • http://www.atov.com Pete Williams

    Doesn’t BT’s Rochdale DC make the cut? :-)

  • http://www.kineticit.com.au aaron

    What is that black pipe underneith the vesda, does it quieten the whining noise?

  • http://thehotaisle.com Steve O’Donnell

    Hi Aaron,

    Do you mean the whining Pom noise? Never heard a VESDA whine before.

    Steve