Aligned Data Centers Signs Insight to Lease in Plano, Texas

NEW YORK, NY (PRWEB) FEBRUARY 16, 2017

Aligned Data Centers, a division of Aligned, announced today that Insight (Nasdaq:NSIT), a leading provider of Intelligent Technology Solutions™ to organizations of all sizes, has signed a lease for power and space in their ultra-efficient, next-generation 30 MW, 300,000-square-foot Plano data center just outside the Dallas metro area.

“Insight sets a high bar for technology and our new data center was no exception. We needed a partner to build a data center that would meet our current and future needs as we optimize our operations,” said Mike Guggemos, CIO at Insight. “We also needed a partner that understood our drive to help businesses run smarter. Aligned Data Centers provided the most powerful and efficient data center space that will allow us to enhance our capabilities for our clients. This means faster, more broad capabilities for our clients.”

“Insight is a model Fortune 500 Company where strong leadership and an unparalleled expertise in providing technology services and solutions to their clients are reflective of the company’s culture and widely-respected reputation,” says Jakob Carnemark, CEO of Aligned. “We are delighted to partner with them as their core values align with ours, and look forward to providing them with a flexible, reliable and highly efficient data center environment that allows them to scale as much as they need to during this phase of sustained growth.”

Aligned Data Centers’ intelligent infrastructure, capable of supporting mixed power densities up to 50kW per rack, combined with its vertically integrated supply chain, allows customers like Insight more control to quickly scale their data center within their current space or when they need to provision more. Additionally, Insight receives the added benefit of operating in an evolved, hyper-efficient mission critical facility that guarantees an industry-low average of 1.15 PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) where tenants benefit from flexible colocation services and substantial cost savings, including reduced operating costs associated with less water and energy consumption.

Insight was represented by Kirk Killian, President, Partners National Mission Critical Facilities.

About Insight

From business and government organizations to healthcare and educational institutions, Insight empowers clients with Intelligent Technology™ solutions to realize their goals. As a Fortune 500-ranked global provider of hardware, software, cloud and service solutions, our 6,000 teammates provide clients the guidance and expertise needed to select, implement and manage complex technology solutions to drive business outcomes. Through our world-class people, partnerships, services and delivery solutions, we help businesses run smarter. Discover more at http://www.insight.com.

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Jennifer Handshew

jennifer@180-mktg.com
Mobile: +1 (917) 359-8838

2 Ways a Colocation Client Portal Enables Your Business

Quick Take

A colocation client portal helps the data center to be a business enabler when it:

  • Integrates with your other business systems
  • Provides transparency into your utilization and performance

In a world in which the data center is the new factory, alignment between the data center and the business is as mission critical as the data center itself. Just like the factories of old, the purpose of the data center is to create value for the business. So everything about the data center-customer relationship should be designed to enable customers to meet their business objectives.

A key element in making that happen is the colocation client portal, through which customers have visibility into their data center environment, and can collaborate with the data center operations team. In addition, a client portal can enable essential teamwork between lines of business, IT, and the data center team if it has role-based access and is built to enable collaboration.

What is it about a colocation client portal that helps the data center to be a business enabler? Two key elements are the extent to which the portal allows for integration with your other business systems, and the extent to which it provides transparency into your data center utilization and performance.

1: Integration

For some customers the colocation client portal will be just one tool in an enterprise toolset for managing the business. If that’s the case for you, the client portal should be able to be integrated with the other tools you use for business intelligence, asset management, etc. in a way that allows the enterprise visibility into all data through one portal.

For other customers, such as managed service providers and cloud providers, integration with other management systems is not as important as the ability to manage all clients through a single portal. If that is the case for you, the colocation client portal should allow you to access your clients’ data all the way down to billing details in a way that’s easily auditable.

Other customers have other needs, which is why it can be tremendously valuable to partner with a data center provider who has an experienced team of software engineers in-house who can work with you to customize the portal to your needs. For example, as an additional service feature, you could extend the reach of the colocation client portal to cover assets in your data centers and other facilities around the world.

In any case, the client portal should give you one-stop access into your data center environment – a single entry point that spans capacity planning (mechanical, electrical, network), an asset optimization platform, a ticketing system, and a business intelligence system. That makes it easier for you to maintain control of your environment and allows you to be more productive, in less time.

2: Transparency

A real-time view of your critical infrastructure helps you understand how you’re using that infrastructure, what you’re paying the data center provider for and, in turn, helps your business plan for the future. Transparency into plug-level utilization gives you the visibility you need to utilize more power in less space. When coupled with a data center model that allows you to provision just the power you need when you need it, capacity utilization data from the portal empowers you to balance efficiency with the ability to grow quickly.

To those ends, a client colocation portal should give customers access to pod-level, rack-level, cooling system, and power system performance and utilization. It should allow customers to easily visualize capacity utilization and forecast future needs using predictive analytics – so you know when to add capacity. Furthermore, full visibility into IT infrastructure performance allows for the asset optimization that increases reliability and reduces costs.

The more granular the data, the better it can enable business decision-making. Rich data provides business intelligence that enables you to better understand and focus your capacity planning and asset management. Data obtained through the portal helps you use what you need, pay for what you use, and respond quickly to business goals. Here, we bring Aligned’s history building energy infrastructure management platforms for some of the world’s leading companies to bear to provide incredibly granular data through the client portal.

In an evolve-or-die world, it is essential that companies are able to respond quickly to the opportunities of the digital economy. A colocation client portal that delivers integration and transparency helps the data center be an enabler of that quick response, and even a competitive advantage.

Read more about the benefits that come from a colocation client portal that offers role-based access, integration, collaboration, and transparency. And explore how the Aligned Data Centers client portal goes beyond BI, BMS, and DCIM to overcome data center challenges.

2 Ways a Colocation Client Portal Builds Teamwork

2 Ways a Colocation Client Portal Builds Teamwork

“Talent wins games, but teamwork wins championships.” – Michael Jordan, former NBA player, businessman

“Teamwork makes the dream work.” – John C. Maxwell, author, ‘The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership’

Quick take

  • A colocation client portal is a window into rich, real-time information about performance and utilization and a platform for collaboration with the data center operations team.
  • A client portal can enable essential teamwork between lines of business, IT, and the data center team if it has role-based access and is built to enable collaboration.

It takes a village to thrive in the digital economy these days. Not only do you need the best people in place, doing their jobs better than ever. You also need a great team of people working well with each other to come up with new ideas and tackle issues you’ve never imagined before.

Once you have the best individuals in IT and the business working together as a productive team, take a look your data center. The right data center provider can be a true partner in your company’s quest to get or maintain a competitive edge in the digital economy.

Collaboration through a colocation client portal

A data center that is a true partner provides the people (a data center management team), the insight (deep dive into real-time activity), and the ability to manage what you see (tools that enable you to respond to the data and make the best use of your resources). This is a partnership built on transparency and cooperation. And it does business through a colocation client portal.

So the colocation client portal is an important line item on the colocation checklist. Two elements of the portal, in particular, are essential for enabling teamwork: role-based access and collaboration.

1: Role-based access

A colocation client portal should be useful at all levels of your organization, with each person having a single access point into the information they need in their various roles. Role-based access enables each person to drill down into just the actionable data they need for their part in the business. That builds essential communication and collaboration between business and finance leaders under pressure to create and compete, IT managers asked to simultaneously keep the lights on and be innovative and agile, and the data center management team.

Role-based access should be customizable based on the business’s needs, but here are a few levels and roles for example:

  • Administrative users can do everything in the portal
  • Power users see all the features but can’t onboard new users or administer the portal
  • Data center engineers have full access to all features except financial reporting
  • Financial analysts have access to performance dashboards and financial reporting

The main point is not what we call a role or what access one person has. The power of role-based access is that it helps align lines of business, IT managers, and the data center management team.

2: Collaboration

A colocation client portal should enable you to get business done better. That means close collaboration with the data center operations team so you can stay focused on the business. Through the portal, you can access information and request action from the data center operations team.

What matters, of course, is not just data but actionable data. What’s the point of having a deep dive into how your infrastructure is performing if you can’t do anything about it? Here, staff in the Operations Control Center are constantly monitoring performance in real time so they can reach out to customers when needed. And they’re here for you when you reach out. The partnership is a two-way conversation. It’s true teamwork.

Incident management is another portal function that can be customizable. The portal can be programmed to adapt both responses and actions, using preset triggers, to your specific business needs. You get the data you want, when you want it, in the format you want it in. Tickets are managed within the client portal from cradle to grave with full transparency. Requests for service or change orders can also be handled completely within the portal. The same goes for requests for vendor access; the portal can store your vendors’ information, making security clearance easier and quicker and giving you an easy-to-access record of vendors’ visits.

The ability to collaborate within the portal makes life much easier (and gets you back to the work you really want to be doing) by cutting out those inefficient and ineffective email chains. Unless you want email, in which case, you can get email. And likewise, if you want to talk with an operations team member, you can reach a person on the phone. That’s what teamwork is about.

A colocation client portal that delivers role-based access and collaboration, among other things, enables a true partnership between the customer and the data center provider. As a window into rich, real-time information about performance and utilization and a platform upon which to collaborate with a responsive data center team, the portal helps customers align IT needs to their business goals.

Read more about the benefits that come from a colocation client portal that offers role-based access, integration, collaboration, and transparency. And explore how the Aligned Data Centers client portal delivers

Aligned Data Centers Delivers a New Standard in Reliability, Receiving Both Uptime Tier III Certifications and a Calculation of a 400-Year MTBF from MTechnology

New York, NY – February 9, 2017 – Aligned Data Centers, a division of Aligned,   announced today that it has been awarded design and construction Tier III Certifications from Uptime Institute for its next-generation, ultra-efficient data center in Plano, Texas.  In addition, consulting engineering firm MTechnology, Inc. (MTech) performed a reliability analysis of the electrical and cooling systems as recommended by IEEE Standard 3006.7, a framework for evaluating data center reliability, calculating the facility’s reliability equivalent to a Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) of 400 years.

Uptime Institute’s Tier rating is based on a proprietary system classifying design topology. It has been used for decades by data center clients to benchmark designs.

The Tier III Certification of Design Documents (TCDD) certifies that the facility meets Tier III prescriptions for concurrent maintainability.  It is based on a rigorous set of criteria covering mechanical, electrical, structural, and site elements.

The Tier III Certification of Constructed Facility (TCCF) ensures that a data center has been constructed as designed without errors or unintended risks, and that it is built to perform as intended by the certified design.

Together, the TCDD and TCCF recognize that Aligned Data Centers’ design and construction of Phase One will support any planned work on the site infrastructure while controlling risks of disrupting computer room power and cooling capacity.

“Uptime Standards continue to accelerate the adoption of new technologies and methods in all forms,” says Lee Kirby, President at Uptime Institute.  “I am delighted to award the Tier III Certified Constructed Facility (TCCF) for this phase of the Plano site and look forward to the next step in certification as they proceed to the Tier Certified Operational Sustainability (TCOS).  Aligned Data Centers met the requirements of Tier III Concurrent Maintainability and employed key reliability-centered design techniques and tools to provide empirical data to help plan future maintenance activity.  This is the first instance that I am aware of where the client has deliberately planned and employed Tier standards with reliability-centered engineering methods to assure clients of reliability, and the phase build approach minimizes capital expense without compromising reliability.  This use case is one more example of how the adoption of global standards propels innovation and reliability to new levels.”

Aligned Data Centers’ commitment to evolving data-center design for improved reliability, efficiency and scalability is demonstrated by the rigorously high standards the company holds themselves to. To evaluate the reliability of both their electrical and cooling systems, MTechnology used fault tree analysis to calculate the reliability of both systems and the contributions to system failure from every component which required 12.4 million possible combinations.  This would allow the data center to achieve an availability of six 9’s (99.9999%).  No single points of failure were identified.

“Most data centers achieve an MTBF between five and 50 years,” says Stephen Fairfax, President of MTechnology.  “Aligned Data Centers has achieved one of the highest combined cooling and electrical reliabilities we have analyzed in our 20 years.  This reliability is so high and the probability of failure so low that there is no significant way to improve the design.”

In addition to leveraging best-in-class approaches to establishing reliability, Aligned Data Centers leverages its unique data collection platform to store and analyze over a million points from each data center.  Every component has a continually analyzed data feedback loop that starts at commissioning and lasts throughout the facility’s entire lifecycle.

“We strongly believe in a data-driven approach because reliability and availability is absolutely essential in delivering next-generation, highly evolved data centers,” says Jakob Carnemark, founder and CEO of Aligned Data Centers.  “Receiving third party validation and using recognized national standards is critical for us and our mission because our industry must establish greater transparency on levels of reliability backed by data.  Securing both Tier III Certifications from Uptime and MTech’s reliability analysis demonstrates our commitment to delivering for clients hyper-scale mission critical facilities that are reliable, available, efficient and scalable.”

Aligned Data Centers’ Plano data center employs intelligent infrastructure capable of supporting mixed power densities up to 50kW per rack.   Combined with its vertically integrated supply chain, customers can quickly scale their data center within their current space or expand when necessary. Tenants benefit not only from significantly greater reliability but also substantial cost savings, including reduced operating costs associated with less water and energy consumption with a guaranteed industry-low 1.15 PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness).

Press and Analyst Inquiries

Jennifer Handshew

jennifer@180-mktg.com
Mobile: +1 (917) 359-8838

Meet Jeremy Piela: Bringing Data Center Design to Life with 3D Modeling

This blog post is part of our ongoing employee profile series showcasing the people that make Aligned a special place to work.

On a recent Sunday afternoon, Jeremy Piela, Aligned’s Building Information Modeling (BIM) Director, relaxed back into his couch and spent the next six hours enjoying “The Deerslayer,” James Fenimore Cooper’s novel about a young frontiersman in the 1740s in New York.

That was by far the least techie thing Jeremy had done in some time. But in some ways it was similar to what he does at work.

Jeremy uses 3D models and virtual reality to help build designs for data center technology. On that Sunday afternoon, he used the virtual reality created by his own mind’s eye to visualize life in Colonial America, the interface between the wilderness and civilization, the pristine life of nature and the impact being made on it by human beings.

From boom to bust to BIM

Jeremy grew up in Tolland, Connecticut, about 100 miles from where he now works at Aligned in Danbury, Connecticut. After studying finance at the University of Connecticut, he began working for a small site contractor. During the housing boom, the company built a lot of houses and renovated a large number of buildings. When the boom went bust, Jeremy says, it was time to head back to school.

While studying construction management in graduate school at the University of Florida, Jeremy began learning about 3D modeling and Building Information Modeling. After receiving his master’s degree, Jeremy headed back home to work at Turner Construction, in Connecticut, and soon after, at a BIM consultancy in New York City. Before joining Aligned last year, he worked in BIM on projects all over the New York area including a new commuter train station being built 15 stories underneath Grand Central Terminal.

Using 3D modeling for data center prototypes

As BIM Director at Aligned, Jeremy creates 3D parametric models of buildings and building systems. Using what Jeremy describes as one of the hottest and most interesting areas of construction, he is able to create a prototype of a building and its internal systems before committing the resources – people, materials, and high costs – needed to build it.

How does this relate to virtual reality? Very closely, says Jeremy who keeps a VR headset on his desk. With a little graphic tweaking, the models are so realistic that, once loaded into a VR device, designers and engineers can feel like they are walking around or standing inside a building that isn’t built yet.

The tool of choice to visualize a project before BIM was the blueprint. It takes a lot of skill and experience to be able to read one of those accurately, Jeremy points out, and then to generate in your mind a 3D vision of what the project looks like. They say a picture’s worth a thousand words. Having a 3D model that puts you inside a project and lets you walk around is worth a million words.

Controlling the process from design through operation

After all the design and construction work he’s done, Jeremy says, hands down, Aligned is a special place. It’s rare to find a company that has control over the design, construction, and operation of a building. Aligned is involved with the process from start to finish. Owning the process from design through ownership is very unusual, Jeremy says, and something that gets him excited.

BIM spans the whole process too. Jeremy likes that BIM enables smart, connected technology to work at every step – from design to construction and even to ownership and operation of the building. Technology in the data centers syncs with Jeremy’s overall philosophy about technology: It works best when it’s behind the scenes, enhancing our lives, aiding communication and efficiency.

Family, reading, and lifelong learning

Jeremy and his wife, Toni, married in the summer of 2016. They enjoy living in Connecticut, not far from Jeremy’s hometown and near family, including his uncle, brother, and nephews.

Yet, Jeremy says he never gets too far away from work. He has a stack of (old-fashioned paper) books nearby and is always reading several at once, including many books on technology. He does not watch TV and instead prefers to spend time drawing his house in 3D, reading one of four daily newspapers, or working on puzzles, especially crossword puzzles.

Once Jeremy finished “The Deerslayer,” that very low-tech classic American novel, he turned back to his stack of books. Next up, a history book about WWII. He has a list of about 375 titles on his to-read list and always has three in rotation: fiction, non-fiction, and a history book.

He would never say this about himself, but Jeremy is a bit of a Renaissance man. His days are filled with exploring the mechanical workings of things; enjoying words, art, poetry, and photography; and appreciating technology for its ability to help make tasks more efficient and enjoyable.

We think he’s in the perfect job.