back to article Low-energy server hosting goes underground

Centrinet is claiming zero-carbon energy emissions and military-grade security for its Smartbunker underground managed hosting service. Built in what was a NATO command centre, 100 metres below the wilds of Lincolnshire, England, Smartbunker runs on wind and water-power and uses power-efficient kit such as IBM bladeservers - …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't dig that

    ""The biggest investment in this came from BT, which had to dig up 11km of road to get the fibre in."

    Couldn't most of that distance have been covered by other means, eg microwave?

    There's far too much unnecessary and uncoordinated road digging already -- and I wouldn't mind betting that the claimed carbon saving of the centre is significantly dwarfed by the petrol wasted due to the traffic jams and/or the need to take longer alternative routes while the digging took place.

    If you want to save energy, start by severely restricting most roadworks.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    42 Processors?

    42 Processors using 18kW with 1U servers? If you pick the highest TDP Xeons you can find maybe. We build dual CPU servers that use around 0.6A each in 1U format:

    ((0.6 * 230) / 1000) * 42 = 5.796kW.

    If each Dual CPU server draws 2A then yes we get to over 18kW, but they usually don't in my experience (Unless you're using really poor servers).

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Forgot to add..

    ..that if you went with Supermicros new 1U Twin (Houses 2 x Dual Quad Core servers) they draw around 360W at full load.

    So, 42 in a rack would draw 15kW and give you 168 CPUs, or 672 cores. So for just 42 CPUs (Actually 44) we'd draw 3.96kW - Nevermind though, it all sounded good about blades in the marketting and spin department I'm sure. :)

  4. Dillon Pyron

    2754 sq m

    I think you did your math wrong. A square meter is 10.89 square feet. So 30,000 sq ft is actually 2754 sq m.


  5. umacf24

    wilds of Lincolnshire?

    should be wolds of Lincolnshire, shurely

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Speaking as an ex-employee of Centrinet....

    For starters, Kelly is not the technical guru at Centrinet; that would be Chris Brown - who really should have been the one making this announcement.

    Any network tech worth their salt can work out that their primary IP allocation is being advertised by BT's own AS (2856) and therefore, Smartbunker is not appropriately multi-homed via different transit providers and are not suitable for mission-critical applications - their website only claims connectivity through BTnet.

    I also find the claim that BT dug up 11km of roads to put fibre in as absurd; I live within 10 miles of Smartbunker and would have personally witnessed the chaos that this would have caused - plus, as Kelly quite rightly points out, there was 'comms ducting' already in place and BT have re-used all of their existing underground ducting throughout the UK to lay a fibre backbone - BT would have re-used that existing ducting or taken a feed off the nearest conduit in the area that already carried fibre - no way would BT dig up 11km of Lincolnshire roads!

    The fibre end-to-end may be 11km but there certainly wouldn't have been 11km of roadworks.

  7. oliver

    Power, load of bull

    From actual experience a full rack of 1U servers pulls around 15.5 Amps, however when using a full rack of blades (with redundant power) this pulls over 120 Amps. This is the real downside of them, heat is increased slightly at there are 60 servers rather than 42 but that can be dealt with.

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