OceanTech wrapped up 2017 with a visit to San Jose, CA and into Silicon Valley for a decommissioning assignment. Equinix Great Oaks campus was the site for this project. This time we were in Equinix’s SV5 data center which serves a large concentration of high-tech companies and systems. The project was similar to many that we’ve previously done but as with almost every project, the facility that we worked in was unique and one that makes world of data centers fascinating to say the least.
Equinix is one of the largest retails data center providers in the world with over 180 colocations on five continents including 76 data centers in 12 U.S. markets. Equinix has colocations along the East coast from Boston to Miami, on the West Coast from Seattle to San Jose along with data centers in Chicago, Denver and Dallas. And then last December, Equinix acquired 29 Data Centers across the world that were originally owned and operated by Verizon Communications. As part of this acquisition, Equinix added the Houston market to its stable of locations in the United States. Equinix CEO, Steve Smith called the acquisition “significant expansion of Equinix’s globally consistent footprint.”
The Equinix SV5 facility is one of 13 that Equinix has in Silicon Valley, three of which are located on the Great Oaks campus. SV1 was Equinix first data center on the campus, SV5 was added in 2013 and then this fall, SV10 came online. All three Data Centers are cross connected with access to all major cloud providers. SV10 facility added 37,000+ square feet of colocation space to Equinix’s Silicon Valley footprint. Equinix has also proposed construction for three additional data centers on the same Silicon Valley campus estimating they will add an additional 564,000 plus square feet of servers and related equipment.
Working in an environment like Equinix we were able to experience first-hand their model of uninterruptible power and their commitment toward using 100% renewable energy. In May of 2015, Equinix installed Bloom Energy fuels cells at their SV5 data. At the time of that installation, Equinix Chief global operations officer Sam Kapoor said “This project demonstrates Equinix’s commitment to find cost-effective ways to reduce our carbon footprint.” Then, in August, Equinix continued to move closer to meeting that commitment when they announced that 12 of Equinix’s US data centers would also install Bloom Energy fuel cells. The project will be conducted in phases over the next two years and will provide a total capacity of more than 37 megawatts of power or roughly enough power to serve 25,000 homes. The install will occur in 12 data centers, seven of which are in the Silicon Valley/San Jose area, three in New York and two in Los Angeles. Once fully online, the fuel cells will provide power that Equinix says is 20-45 percent cleaner than the equivalent utility provided natural gas-powered generation. Over its lifetime, the project should avoid 660,000 tons of carbon emissions and save 87 billion gallons of water, when compared to what would have been used by natural gas or coal-fired utility generation. Fascinating for sure.