Global Relay's Custom-built Green Data Centers
Global Relay’s proprietary, state-of-the-art green data center went live in September 2013. The data center is a custom-built facility that is entirely designed, constructed, owned and managed by Global Relay. Global Relay is also in the process of designing a second proprietary, mirrored data center.
Building for the Future
Why has Global Relay invested in its own data center?
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 the new data center, Global Relay now owns, manages and controls its entire technology stack — including end-user applications (including smartphone and tablet apps), software, hardware & servers.
Global Relay’s new proprietary data center 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 Global Relay’s new data center 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 our own data center, we can quickly adapt to the growing requirements of our customers.
- Reliability— The new data center is entirely designed, owned and operated by Global Relay and not shared with any other organization. This level of control over our computing environment enables Global Relay to achieve an unprecedented level of rock-solid reliability and data security. The new facility is mirrored with a geographically dispersed secondary data center for redundancy.
This $24 million capital project is a major milestone for Global Relay and a significant investment in the future of our company. The new data center is a capstone of Global Relay’s long term vision and complements the next generation of our services.
Environmental responsibility is an important consideration for Global Relay.
Our state-of-the-art data center is designed to have the lowest possible carbon footprint and represents 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 center is located in a coastal climate to take advantage of environmental conditions such as humidity and air temperature. It employs 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's data center is environmentally friendly:
- It incorporates 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.
- It is run on hydro-electric electricity, a power source from local waterways which does not create greenhouse gasses.
Most importantly, the data center operates 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 failovers, eliminating or minimizing single points of failure. In order to address compliance, availability and business continuity needs, our systems operate out of two mirrored east/west coast data centers. The primary data center is a proprietary state-of-the-art green facility that is owned and operated by Global Relay. The secondary data center is an SSAE16/SOC I Type II audited co-location facility operated by Centrilogic. 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.
Global Relay uses redundant BGP routers to route network traffic between redundant connectivity providers for true enterprise-level global availability. We have complete control over how network traffic is routed in optimal and sub-optimal conditions. Extensive validation of Global Relay’s internal controls is provided by the KPMG Report on Global Relay’s Business, Operational & Security Controls. This comprehensive third party validation is 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 and environmental controls include:
- Mirrored east/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 buildings
- 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
- Fire Suppression systems
- High sensitivity, early warning smoke detection systems
- Redundant power utilizing uninterruptible power supplies (UPS)