In this day and age, companies cannot afford to lose their data or connection to their suppliers and customers. Companies with mission-critical information need robust, secure, and uninterruptible IT operations. In my early professional years, each company had to have its own data center. Huge mainframes, dozens of IT operations people, hundreds more in an IT department doing data encoding, operations, network security, systems development, and so much more.
The business strategy nowadays is to focus capital expenditures where it matters most – the heart of one’s business – and leave data center operations to those who know it best. This is where the concept of outsourcing comes in. And PLDT, in the Philippines, has taken up that challenge by establishing its own VITRO Data Centers all over the country. Just last week, I got to tour its latest and largest data center — its 7th VITRO data center located in Makati CBD.
Sitting on a 2-hectare lot with 3,600-rack capacity, the VITRO Data Center is equipped with systems and facilities that are robust, have scalable digital infrastructure, and has world-class 24/7 technical support capabilities.
|Illustration of the Makati PLDT VITRO Data Center|
|PLDT executives ready to cut the lighted ribbon|
Looks can be deceiving on the outside but wait till you find out what the ‘bones’ of this building offer. We were taken on a grand tour of all the facilities (sorry, no photos were allowed) and here are some of what we learned and saw with our own eyes:
* The purposely-built data center stands on solid ground without seismic faults within its proximity
* It can withstand up to an 8 magnitude earthquake on the Richter scale
* Its structure, including the glassed walls, can withstand up to 300kph winds
* The ground floor elevation is 1.4 meters from street level to ensure it is safe from flooding
* It has fire-rated concrete walls (4 hours on the external walls, 2 hours on internal walls)
* It has an 8-layer security starting from the entrance to the building all the way to rack access
* 24/7 monitoring includes security staff posted round-the-clock, high definition CCTV cameras in different areas of the building so there are no blind spots
* Double doors to sensitive areas include biometric verification and access cards that define security clearance. Inner doors do not open for as long as the outer door is still open. After 5 seconds and the outer door is not yet closed, an alarm goes off.
* Corridors are isolated. There is a corridor solely for clients and another corridor where technical personnel pass. This ensures privacy for clients and limits rack access.
* Each major component in the facility is configured with redundant counterparts. Note: It is different from having a backup. In redundancy, BOTH parts work at same time so that when one goes down, there is no interruption. There are Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) units with redundant array to ensure racks are free of voltage spikes and drops.
VITRO Makati is also a Nexcenter-certified facility, allowing clients to use globally standardized Nexcenter services of world leader NTT Com at some 140 locations in 84 cities of 19 countries, in addition to NTT Com’s Arcstar Universal One private-network service, which is already available in the Philippines and which is largely used by the country’s BPO industry.
The newly inaugurated VITRO Makati is already the seventh data center. The other six are located in the following areas: Subic, Makati 1, Makati 2, Pasig, Paranaque, Taguig, and Cebu. The seven data centers have a total rack capacity of nearly 7,000 to serve the needs of small, medium, and large enterprises across various industries, including banking, financial services, outsourcing, telecoms, and gaming.
VITRO data centers offer the following solutions to their clients:
* Colocation – provides enterprise customers server racks with guaranteed redundant power and cooling
* Data center within a data center – enterprise customers can manage their own ‘data center’ within VITRO.
* Rack colocation service – installations can range from a single server to complex clustered environments. Customers remain in full control of their equipment performed either onsite or remotely.
* Hosting services – include server hosting, email and web hosting, and domain hosting
* Business continuity solutions – with VITRO Makati’s pool of Business Continuity Practitioners, enterprise customers can assess and validate their business continuity plans to ensure that these are effective in addressing the organization’s vulnerabilities and threats
* Disaster recovery solutions – enterprise organizations are provided with seamless continuity and immediate recovery in the event of disasters. The data center’s workstations, telephone/fax lines, and other office equipment are available to enterprise customers while working on recovering their operations. A few of the clients’ IT staff can work at VITRO Makati or its entire department can use facilities as temporary office. Help desks, contact centers, and systems administration functions are the ideal clients for this service.
To schedule a site visit to VITRO Makati, go to http://pldtalpha.com/data-center/