Simply put – WOW!! – Switch (http://switchlv.com/pages/home.php) Las Vegas is the datacenter that a lot of people have never heard of yet is the best designed datacenter I have had the pleasure of touring ever. (this is not a paid endorsement! :-))
Ok, ok, ok – I hear you – how can this be the greatest designed datacenter and I’ve never heard of it – well, simple, it is because it is so very successful, it hasn’t had a need to broadcast its name out there as it seems that nearly all of its business has come thru word of mouth – and the client list is a veritable “who’s who” of behemoth companies, both public and private, that have chosen to colocate here (it is really an impressive list).
What struck me right off the bat was simply how immaculate everything is (and huge – think a near 100MW facility) which led to the amazing attention to detail on everything (to the toliets in the rest rooms). I was lucky to get a tour with my friend, Mark Thiele, who has been with Switch for the past year.
Let’s get to the good stuff – everything (and I mean everything) is the brain child of founder/CEO, Rob Roy, who has over 125 patents (http://switchlv.com/pages/rob-roy-originals.php) pertaining to his T-scif (heat containment cabinet PODS), living data center (Automatic building adjustment management system), TSC 600’s (Quad system large scale HVAC modules) as well as several dozen other data center system concepts. What the industry as a whole is just realizing is a “best practice”, Rob has been doing since 2004.
Heat containment/expulsion, direct/indirect evaporative cooling, refrigerant DX, intuitive infrastrucutre (living datacenter) that spot adjusts temps by rack, security that compares to that of a nuclear power plant, redundancy that will make a Tier IV datacenter jealous, and even a theater on site to host groups (the seats were even designed by Rob) – when it comes to the best datacenter you can imagine or have thought of, you can see it live at Switch. (PS – annualized avg PUE below 1.2 and days well below 1.1 – measured from utility meter counting everything!!!)
I was equally impressed with the lean organization that supports this second to none facility – from the security staff (which really is on par with a Nuke plant – no joke) to the senior staff, everyone was a really warm and genuine person and you could tell, really liked to go to work every day (and that is at a datacenter mind you!!!). It all stems from the top – Rob is, from the get go, just a warm, friendly and, get this, humble person. He puts you at ease the moment you walk into his office and his office belays the kid still inside. Rob surrounds himself with like minded people and that is a recipe for success.
Switch’s client list is just the icing on the cake – it is really a veritable who’s who of major, major global entities including the US Federal Govt. All this while spending a near pittance on marketing – why you ask, ’cause the facility and its staff truly sell itself – I can’t imagine anyone who has toured this facility not wanting to have their gear there, even if it is to access the theater room!! 🙂
So what is in store for Switch – quite simply, whatever they want. Privately held, exceptionally profitable, and with a patent portfolio that might make Microsoft or Google jealous, the company can write its own ticket – not often you find that in the tech sector. A very huge congratulations to Rob (thnx Mark) and team for building such a great company and designing the world’s best datacenter that I have ever seen!!