Global Relay's Custom-built Green Data Centers
Global Relay is building its own mirrored state-of-the-art data centers. These custom-built facilities are entirely owned, managed, designed and constructed by Global Relay, using cutting-edge green technologies. The first data center, located on the west coast, is expected to go live during Q3 2013.
See the blog post about the Global Relay data centers for photos & more information.
Building for the Future
Why is Global Relay investing in building its own data centres?
As Global Relay continues to develop new technologies and onboard new customers — including some of the world’s most powerful companies and global banks — it needs the capacity to be able to scale massively and with rock-solid reliability and security.
With these new data centers, Global Relay owns, manages and controls its entire technology stack — including end-user applications (including smartphone and tablet apps), software, hardware & servers, and now data centers.
This brings a number of benefits for our company and for our customers:
- Capacity— Global Relay serves 22 of the largest 25 banks in the world, as well as numerous enterprise customers. Keeping pace with these organizations’ growing volumes of messaging data requires massive data storage capacity. The 200 rack/5000 server, 4-Megawatt capacity of each of Global Relay’s new data centers provides ample capacity to serve our rapidly-growing current and future global customer base.
- Flexibility & Scalability — Global Relay is continually developing new technologies, such as Global Relay Message and our next-generation Archive service, that will require dramatic increases in server capacity and computing power. With its own data center, Global Relay can quickly adapt to the growing requirements of our customers.
- Reliability— The new data centers are entirely designed, owned and operated by Global Relay and not shared with any other organization. This level of control over our entire computing environment will enable Global Relay to achieve an unprecedented level of rock-solid reliability and data security. Just like our current data centers, the new facilities will be west coast/east coast mirrored for redundancy and carry SSAE 16 Type II certification. This is in addition to the unique and extensive verification of the data centers’ security controls performed by KPMG.
This $20 million capital project is a major milestone for Global Relay and a significant investment in the future of our company. These new data centers are a capstone of Global Relay’s long term vision and will perfectly complement the next generation of our services.
Environmental responsibility is an important consideration for Global Relay.
Our state-of-the-art data centers are designed to have the lowest possible carbon footprint and represent a 52% electricity savings compared with traditional data center designs.
All data centers generate massive amounts of heat because of the servers located within them. Cooling these servers is by far the largest use of power for traditional data center designs and is the reason why most data centers cannot be considered “green”.
In contrast, Global Relay’s data centers are located in specific coastal climates to take advantage of environmental conditions such as humidity and air temperature. Our facilities employ evaporative cooling technology — completely eliminating the need for mechanical air conditioning. Evaporative cooling leverages Mother Nature by pulling 150,000 cubic feet of air per minute into the building, directing it through water blankets, raising its humidity and inversely dropping its temperature to cool the servers.
This innovative eco-friendly design consumes just 50% of the electricity of a conventional data center, and costs just 35% of what other similar-sized data centers would cost to run.
Additional reasons why Global Relay data centers are environmentally friendly:
- They incorporate flywheel UPS technology which provides an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) in the event of a power outage. The “flywheel UPS” eliminates toxic lead/acid battery systems found in traditional data centers which must be replaced and disposed of every three years. This system incorporates 16 flywheels, weighing 600 lbs each, spinning at 7000 revolutions per minute (RPM). They are effectively high-speed spinning steel donuts which store electricity in the form of kinetic energy.
- They are run on hydro-electric electricity, a power source from local waterways which does not create greenhouse gasses.
Most importantly, these data centers operate with a zero carbon footprint — a reflection of Global Relay’s goal to “go green” by making sustainability one of the top priorities of our business.
Data Center Systems & Security
Global Relay deploys true enterprise systems, servers and storage architecture with clustered, fully redundant configurations throughout with automatic fail-overs, eliminating or minimizing single points of failure. Before the completion of our own data centers, Verizon and CentriLogic host Global Relay's complex, mirrored data center storage infrastructure in two highly reliable, SSAE 16 Type II world-class data center facilities to offer East and West Coast data redundancy. Global Relay systems can take failures on every component without issue or interruption. In the unlikely event of a disaster or other significant business disruption, Global Relay systems fail over automatically, providing extremely high uptime.
In order to address compliance, availability and business continuity needs, Global Relay's messaging environment mirrors data between geographically dispersed data centers in real time. Global Relay relies on Verizon's global Internet backbone and fully integrated and seamlessly connected networks, with telco-grade reliability, to deliver these mission-critical messaging services to its customers world-wide in real-time. With direct access to one of the world's fastest, most expansive and most scalable IP networks, Global Relay is able to offer true enterprise-level global availability.
Unique and extensive validation of Global Relay Data Center controls is provided by the KPMG Report entitled, Business, Operational & Security Controls for Global Relay Services. This comprehensive third party validation is very unique in the hosted messaging industry, and represents an ongoing investment in our customers and partners. More information about the Report is available here.
Global Relay Data Center security includes:
- Mirrored East Coast and West Coast Data Centers in world-class facilities
- Physically secured with 24x7x365 uniformed guard service
- Secure biometric readers and electronic key access at Data Center entrances
- Physical access to Data Centers limited solely to Global Relay employees whose duties require access
- Closed circuit video surveillance cameras and alarm systems throughout Data Centers and building
- Monitored from a secure control room accessible only to authorized Facility personnel
- All environmental control systems monitored and controlled locally and remotely monitored
- Redundant facility HVAC cooling systems
- FM-200 Gas Fire Suppression systems linked to a pre-action sprinklers
- High sensitivity, early warning smoke detection systems
- Redundant power utilizing uninterruptible power supplies (UPS)
- Redundant 100mb MCI connectivity