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Power Cloud for IBM i: Underground Data Center Edition

Location is everything. Whether it is the location of your house or the location of your IT infrastructure. Prime real estate has a major influence on day to day operations. Imagine what the business impact of hosting IT infrastructure in an office building instead of hosting it within a top-tier colocation data center is? There is no comparison. Hosting the servers that keep a business running in a compliant and physically security facility is the best location option on the market.

With the boom of colocation facilities, some providers are taking their data center underground. Underground data centers provide customers with lower energy costs and almost no risk to the natural disasters that occur just a hundred feet above.

The latest buzz on the street is the LightEdge Solutions SubTropolis Kansas City data center. If you have not had the opportunity to see the Off the Cuf docuseries, you are missing out on some great information.

IBM i Lives On

Companies are still operating IBM i for their core business workloads. We are seeing an industry trend for a slow adoption back to one of the most resilient, secure, and scalable technologies that hit the industry back in 1988.

LightEdge deployed our Power Cloud a few years back at the request of IBM. There are few “true” IBM cloud providers that offer the same level of services which can accommodate compliant colocation, VMware, Hyper-V, Microsoft, Linux, IBMi, AIX, and zOS support. These providers also offer cloud services with integration to the standard public cloud providers.

IBM Power Cloud was created in direct response to customers challenges with the increasing and unpredictable costs of the public cloud. IBM i (AS/400 / iSeries) remains one of the world’s most widely used, core business systems. Designed for data processing and workload-optimized applications, IBM i’s proven reliability and security has made it central to many organizations’ operations for over 30 years.

Despite its widespread use, the legacy aspects of this compute environment make it a challenge to maintain in-house. As demand and necessity for next-generation operating systems, applications, and integration require a balance between old and new, LightEdge has introduced a suite of IBM i (AS/400 / iSeries) and AIX on Power Systems solutions to fill this void.

Benefits of Hosting Power Cloud Underground

More and more underground data centers are popping up all the time, and customers are experiencing the benefits of computing below ground.

According to a Fortune report, the United States saw a $18.2 billion investment in building or buying data centers in the first half of 2017. With all of this growth that we are seeing, some of it is taking place underground. So, what is the impact of having IT infrastructure core system located in an underground colocation facility?

No Risk of Environmental Hazards

Being located 150 feet below ground removes the risk from environmental hazards that may have caused interruption of service for customers and business partners.

Although all underground colocation facilities are not created equal, potential customers need to mindfully vet out a provider and carefully note the differences between traditional and underground data centers.

Storing servers underground protects from the threats of tornados, hurricanes, snowstorms, earthquakes, and fires. It provides a discrete location that also minimizes foot and vehicle traffic. Inside a subterranean data center multiple layers of physical security such as ID checks, man traps, and full perimeter security cameras are deployed.

Power and Cooling Reliability

If you know anything about data center services, you know how critical uptime is. To deliver guaranteed uptime service, data center providers must operate with redundant power and cooling supplies.

With the increase in data center spending, there is an increase demand for data center cooling to reduce the overall IT costs. According to Allied Market Research, the global data center cooling market size was valued at $8,384 million in 2017, and is projected to reach $23,215 million by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 13.7% from 2018 to 2025.

Data center technicians find it easier to maintain equipment underground and respond quicker in case of a fault or breakdown. The systems have full redundancy. So in case a unit shuts down, other equipment can pick up the load.

LightEdge uses redundant Liebert DS chilled water-cooling systems that are implemented and monitored in each of our data center facilities to ensure that servers are always kept at their optimal operating temperature. All of the LightEdge data center facilities and equipment are monitored by expert Network Operations Center (NOC) staff 24x7x365. The NOC is always staffed and monitored by a live technician.

Real-Time Air Quality Monitoring

Changing, maintaining, and monitoring data center environmental conditions are extremely important to IT and power equipment. Especially in underground data centers.

Some underground colocation providers are using outdoor air for free cooling as a way to reduce energy costs. For many providers this is now the standard design approach for new facilities. While this has led to dramatic energy savings, the use of free cooling has led to much higher failure rates due to the effects of pollutants, higher temperatures, and fluctuating humidity.

When it comes to real-time air quality monitoring, LightEdge never skimps on installing the highest preforming resources in our underground data center facility. Here are the specific power HVAC specifications for our underground Kansas City data center campus:

  • Low kW costs (especially compared to other areas of the U.S.) for on-grid power
    • KCP&L electrical grid located on property
  • Concurrent maintainability including:
    • 2 separate power feeds
    • Liebert CRAH & UPS with system-level redundancy and N+1 components
  • 3-foot raised floor in data center rooms
  • Chilled water system for cooling DC environment
  • Parallel 600 kW generators that will grow with facility to 2.4 MW of capacity on each side
  • Power density up to 8.6 kW per rack
Evolving Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plan

If your organization’s current business continuity plan revolves around business disruption scenarios, does the plan change if you have removed most of the disruptions being hosted in an underground facility? All elements of your business IT hinge on the dependability of your technology to deliver vital information right when you need it.

Failover and failback strategies are integral parts of an effective disaster recovery plan. Make sure you are familiar with these aspects of disaster planning to bring your business back online and in production as quickly as possible should a disaster occur.

Test your failover strategy to see whether your business will be able to recover in your standby disaster recovery site and will run applications successfully when your primary site is disengaged.

Why Not go Straight to the Source?

Why should businesses talk to providers like LightEdge for IBM i cloud? IBM and Google have finally thrown their hat into the ring, so why would a company not go straight to IBM?

Here are some reasons why companies like yours are talking to companies like ours.

Level of Experience in the Industry

LightEdge has over 20 years of experience being a service provider. Our commitment to our customers is reflected by our excellence in operations and security. Year after year, we continue to receive accreditations from compliance auditors for ISO 27001, ISO 20000-1, SOC 1 Type 2, SOC 2 Type 2 and SOC 3, HIPAA/HITRUST, and PCI DSS 3.2 certifications.

IBM i customers also have access to our decades of experience owning and operating world-class data centers for IBM i, AIX or zOS services. Migrating non-production workloads to LightEdge’s Power Cloud helps to free up the capacity and increase enterprise’s performance. Enterprises are also able to migrate their production workloads and transfer the infrastructure performance to us. With our level of experience within the industry, LightEdge is the safe choice.

IBM Business Partners

For the customers who will always own and manage their IBM Power system, we have top notch IBM business partners that understand our data center’s capabilities and can help to refresh an organization’s hardware investment.

If a business requires support to manage and maintain their disaster recovery process, providers like LightEdge can help. You can even leverage existing software replication solutions. IBM hardware and operating support closely aligns with the refresh cycles of the other major vendors. Gone are the days of running workloads on systems for five to 10 years. Our customers have refocused on applications and service delivery instead of the hardware.

Disaster Recovery Expertise

Providers like LightEdge offer IBM i disaster recovery solutions within their data center ecosystem. This could be a rack for existing disaster recovery equipment, or a hosted IBM i LPAR on LightEdge’s Power Cloud.

Disaster recovery services help to ensure uninterrupted performance of IT operations and mission-critical systems in the event of a disaster. Our experts will tailor a suite of services to meet your specific requirements.

Without a business continuity or disaster recovery plan in place, you’re risking mission-critical systems, applications, and irreplaceable data. Aside from the threat of natural disasters, common mishaps like equipment failure can put a halt to operations and damage your reputation. Rest easy knowing LightEdge has you covered.

LightEdge and IBM Hosting Is Here to Open Doors

LightEdge has a dedicated team of IBM experts on staff with a combined 120 years of experience working with IBM i (AS/400 / iSeries), AIX mainframe environments, and dedicated disaster recovery solutions. Through this team, we have introduced a suite of IBM i on Power solutions that offer clients the same security and reliability they depend on with their AS/400 / iSeries and AIX environments in a flexible, redundant, and cost-effective cloud model. For those wanting access to the latest mainframe / Z Cloud technology for their mission-critical workloads running in the cloud, we have solutions for that too.

LightEdge operates a specialty division for IBM i (AS/400 / iSeries) platform managed hosting services and dedicated disaster recovery solutions. The Power Team at LightEdge has a combined 120 years of experience working with IBM i (AS/400 / iSeries) power systems for companies large and small.

A tested plan for running on backup. LightEdge will reserve a pre-configured LPAR and the data center resources required to recover all your critical IT systems. Enjoy premium restoration resources at a multi-tenancy price point. We include one full system restore test per year, along with the DR resources to accomplish it. This flexible platform and infinitely scalable resource pool guarantee rapid RPO/RTO.

The LightEdge Power Cloud offering provides specialized solutions to ensure the stability and evolution of your IBM i (AS/400 / iSeries) and AIX environment. Customers can enjoy all the benefits of their secure and reliable IBM i (AS/400 / iSeries) platform with the flexibility and redundancy of cloud built in.

As a proven IBM Delivery Partner, LightEdge operates high-speed data centers built to Tier III standards with leading compliance measures in Des Moines, IAKansas City, MOOmaha, NEAustin, TX, and Raleigh, NC. We provide customized, yet flexible, SLAs and contracts that enable clients to work in the manner they choose and deliver total end-to-end IBM platform support or selective outsourcing, as required. LightEdge is one of the few IBM Cloud Service Providers that offers integrated cloud services for Microsoft, IBM i (AS/400 / iSeries), AIX, zOS, and Linux workloads.

What to learn more about IBM Hosting and Cloud Deployment? Download any of our free resources including, Guide to Assessing your Move to the CloudHow to Deploy a Secure Compliant Cloud for Healthcare, and Redefining you Network Strategy. Also, use our Power Cloud calculator to price your LPAR.

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