Intel menu +
×

Yondr Intel  /  Tech  /  Critical spaces from scratch in a year – how Yondr does it

Thoughts:
Critical spaces from scratch in a year – how Yondr does it

Written by: Rudy Van Der Merwe / at Yondr

Thoughts:
Critical spaces from scratch in a year – how Yondr does it

Written by: Rudy Van Der Merwe / at Yondr

A construction project like no other, designing, planning and building a data center is an intricate and extremely involved process. And as immensely valuable facilities they cost clients vast sums of money every day they’re delayed.

Here, there’s no such thing as being a single moment late. If a data center isn’t completed on time, it will be delayed for months or there will be serious consequences for other projects no amount of money can fix.

Feeling the heat? You’re right to. This is a carefully-orchestrated process with many moving parts. So how does Yondr create data centers in a year, with no delays? It’s all about Tetris and glue.

Data center construction is like Tetris

A data center contains specific spaces that house the intelligent network equipment – servers, routers, network switches, and so on.

Known as ‘critical spaces’ or ‘white spaces’ (the latter because the process traditionally starts with four white walls) they must be fitted out with the technical elements that make it a data center. Network equipment housed in network racks, connected through complex ICT infrastructure fed by a reliable power and cooling source, and kept safe with physical and network security.

These spaces house clients’ most valuable assets: the hardware that enables users to access data in the cloud or search the web.

Backed up in full, they have multiple redundancies and fail-safes. It’s almost impossible to lose power, for example. A given room will serve a specific function and there will be a backup room that does exactly the same.

Like Tetris, one critical room has to be in place at the right time before the next space can be completed. Network rooms have to be up and running before the data hall can be finished for example, and then meet me rooms need to be ready before you can complete the network rooms.

Turning up these critical spaces is incredibly specialist work. A client’s team of people will fly in to work on each space, and they will be booked up years in advance.

That means a delay will never affect just one data center. One missed deadline here means a missed deadline for another data center over there, cascading around the world like a costly game of Dominoes. Strict internal milestones rule the process. They must be hit if the facility is to be ready on time.

And when data center construction goes wrong, it’s not pretty. There’s a lot of bad press, senior people fly in and micromanage every step. There are financial penalties and the client is unlikely to work with that data center partner again.

This is how we get it right.

 

Yondr: the glue between clients and suppliers

Strong relationships are as valuable to us as a data center is to our clients. And that isn’t about simply saying yes. We’re candid friends who highlight issues, who approach and challenge, who ask questions and refine the design. Bleaching white the grey areas across all elements of the build.

We discuss the order in which space is needed, and the minimum requirements at every point.

We only start the next stage when everyone is happy with the construction drawings, and then we plan every step meticulously.

We look at lead times, minimise the risk of change, and react quickly when it does happen. We know from experience the value of making sure we’re getting all the information we need from the client at the right time, and we know what to ask for.

Then we take that information and communicate it clearly and effectively to the trades who are responsible for actually building the data center.

A different language

Both formidably skilled, clients’ and suppliers’ areas of expertise are clearly divided. Each has different skills, priorities, terminology and frameworks of thinking. The trades won’t know, for example, which racks are going to land first, what infrastructure needs to be ready when they do land, or the consequences if it’s not.

Yondr is the glue in the process, both up- and downstream. We’re the middleware between the two sides. We know how to communicate with all parties and make sure they’re on the same page.

Critical spaces from scratch in a year – with no delays

A few years ago, data center construction took two years as standard. Yondr is now comfortably and successfully doing it in one because we know how to build these relationships.

We’re trusted partners enabling a collaborative process. Involve us from day one and success is guaranteed.

Peter Jones, talks European data center market with DatacenterHawk
Yondr’s CDO, Pete Jones, sits down with David from DatacenterHawk, to share thoughts on the data center market in Europe.
From apprentice to global operations director — how an apprenticeship changed my life
Born and raised in London’s East End, I definitely wasn’t the smartest kid. I applied for 50-odd positions and was granted three interviews, one of which was for a technician’s apprenticeship with the Post Office.
Recruitment: The future of data center talent pools
The dramatic growth of the data center market in recent years certainly caught many of us off guard. We may have foreseen an increase in demand but the exact rate of growth is staggering. 
A different approach
Now, we all know there’s nothing sexy about data center operations. And you only hear about operations when something goes horribly wrong. So as we manoeuvre through the pandemic, whatever the crisis throws at us, we know any new processes and procedures we introduce need to remain simple. 
The pace of hybrid adoption
The paper sets out the very clear and compelling case for hybrid cloud adoption and recommends how companies and teams need to evolve to get their decision making right, choosing which workloads to put where, when the fork in the road arrives.
What clients are asking now
We are now several weeks into COVID-19 lockdown measures. The initial wave of enforced changes to work and living routines is behind us, and the world is slowly adjusting to the idea that we’re in this for the long haul.
My first 30 days of COVID-19
It was a fast decision made by the senior leadership team on the day, based on the facts we had. We pushed it out via all our internal channels. We recorded a video explaining the decision, sent everyone an email, published blog posts and sent SMS messages, so everyone knew. With 20/20 hindsight, I’m glad we did.
PTC 2020 Honolulu
Yondr attended the Pacific Telecommunications Council in Honolulu, Hawaii for the first time this year. As venues go, this was one we were quite excited by!
DICE Local – data center investment conference
Infrastructure investors are in part expanding their scope to support the sector, but not in full. This is proposed as being owed to infrastructure such as roads, tunnels and bridges with “tolls” going one way...in data centers, we typically pay penalties for poor performance.
Microsoft’s take on health and safety
Just out of a great session at DCD Dallas by Doug Mouton of Microsoft that was short, sweet and undeniably compelling. 
Real estate change…does it have to be hard?
Picking up a copy of the FT while travelling back from Asia last week, I was struck by the notion of the editor. To secure the front and back pages, and inside cover with an announcement that our system and markets need to change deeply resonated with me.
DCD Singapore: Yondr’s first foray in Asia
Having just returned from a week in Singapore I am now taking stock of the talks, meetings and people I met over the last few days.
DCD Singapore – sustainable data centers
The provision of a recognised scoring system for data centers (such as LEED) could be a ‘powerful’ (very poor pun) addition to our sector. We as developers, operators, builders and tenants must embrace such initiatives.
Microsoft’s take on energy
Ever wondered how hyperscale end users see the energy world? I was lucky today to get some great insights today from Jim Collins at Microsoft during his fireside chat at DCD San Francisco.

Like what you see?

Don’t miss out on future Intel. Sign up now to receive our latest content straight to your inbox.

By signing up, you agree to Yondr’s privacy policy. You can unsubscribe at any time.