The Marilyn Datacenter keeps its promises

One year after the commissioning of the datacenter ‘Marilyn’ of the ISP to Internet CELESTE, It is an opportunity to revisit the first results of its operations. We interviewed Nicolas Aubé, President of Marilyn

M. Aubé, can you remind us why this datacenter is innovative ?

NA : This is the first ecological computer center and high density. Its vertical design allows a cooling by ambient air almost year-round. The hot air generated by the server is used for heating our offices, the surplus is discharged via automatic shutters at the top of the towers.

Why this name of Marilyn ?

NA : Because we thought the famous actress in the movie ‘Seven year itch’ when her dress flew on an air grille. In our datacenter, the air passes through the floors and can soar dresses !

marilyn-nicolas aub

Your project aroused the interest of the public ?

NA : Yes, We were the first surprised. We did a first session open door which has been so successful that we have fact… 20 editions. We have had many reports of press paper/Internet and national television channels. I believe that the hidden face of the Internet interested public.

Is the operation optimal year-round ?

NA : Since commissioning in October 2011, in marne-la – Vallée, We had the opportunity to test extreme outdoor temperatures between-15 ° C in February and 40 ° C in August. Ambient humidity ranged from 15% to 100%. We were able to validate all of the beaches of functioning of the datacenter.

What are the modes of operation ?

NA : Cold mode is when the temperature is less than 22 ° C, either 80% of the year. There not need air conditioning to cool the air. We recycle hot air discharged by computers and mix it with cold air, outside, in order to blow air to a temperature between 17 ° C and 22 ° C in the cold columns before the servers. The cooling mode is so effective that we had to limit it the first weeks, front rooms are filled, because the temperature tended to be too low.
A very good surprise is also functioning in the ranges between 20 -22 ° C : cooling by ambient worked well even in these relatively warm temperatures : the temperature in the rooms was not higher than the outdoor temperature, Despite hundreds of computer servers in operation. And this without any air conditioning. This is the heart of our model : We only spend the energy to turn computers, not for air conditioning.«Warm» mode is between 22 ° C and 32 ° c.. Here, We always use the outside air, because its temperature remains lower than expelled by servers. We climatisons the outside air to bring it back to 22 ° C, and we repel any warm air by the roof. This mode remains effective enough.
The ‘hot’ mode occurs above 32 ° c.. We then operate closed circuit, cooling the hot air produced by the servers, as a regular data center. In this mode, We don’t realize economy, but it represents only 5% of the year. We have noticed also that it remains interesting to partially open the flaps at the top of the towers, to create a depression in the hot aisle and a natural drawing effect.

What are the constraints of the process ?

NA : It requires a tight seal between the front of the servers (cold aisles) and the rear (hot aisles). For this, We provide our clients with caches. We found that in the case of too much fresh air leaks, We increase the pressure in the cold aisles.

How have your customers they accepted these innovations ?

NA : We were a little worried on knowing if our customers accept this model of vertical computer room ; and even if some would not have Vertigo because it works above 5 floor gratings. However we are pleased to see that this is not the case, customers immediately joined our concept and these innovations have been rather a commercial engine as a brake.

Why do you say that the Marilyn datacenter is in high density ?

NA : It’s available for Bay power. Through our process of cooling, We provide berries in high density without any modification at our facilities. The datacenter is equipped with a medium density 5 kVA per Bay, What is significantly higher than the other datacenters we know in France. We provide standard arrays up to 10 kVA.

Customers need this high density ?

NA : It depends on the type of equipment and use. We find that customers who use servers blades, making virtualization or cloud computing need high-density. However they need less space. One of our customers had a suite of suite 10 berries with 20 kVA in a datacenter in island of France. He chose to move in CELESTE taking that 2 high density arrays, with 20 power kVA. He was able to achieve savings in the management of its facilities and its data center budget.

As with other data centers including one in Courbevoie, have you suffered outages this year ?

NA : Non, the datacenter has been available to 100% as we guaranteed it to our customers. Indeed, We have two completely independent electric strings, in separate buildings, Since the high voltage to the distribution in the bays.

Can you tell a client reference of the Marilyn datacenter ?

NA : For example Econocom, a leading European integrator. They have been seduced by our innovations in terms of reduction in energy expenditure. They have trusted us since the opening of the datacenter.

Have what changes you made since a year ?

NA : We have extended the commercial range in terms of density. Indeed, We were able to respond to calls for tender seeking up to 15 kVA per Bay. In addition we also put in the catalogue of the berries with 1 kVA for low consumption requirements. We launched berries « cloud » with variable consumption, charged to the use. This offer is ideal for Cloud computing providers. We have also exploited the synergies with our range of fiber 1 Giga. We propose an offer coupled with a Bay in our datacenter Marilyn and a fiber optic to 1 Giga Ethernet VPN client.

Concretely what benefit this offer brings to the Manager of an undertaking located in Paris for example ?

NA : He moves his computer in a green datacenter. It has access to its remote servers as if they were on its local network of Paris. He won the m2’s Parisian premises, decreases its electrical costs and enhances the security of its systems. If it is the choice of Marilyn as a back-up site it has a high availability and redundant infrastructure.

What are your plans for the future ?

NA : En 2013, We planned to equip the second tower of the Marilyn datacenter. Furthermore, CELESTE is a member of cloud, the collaborative research project on cloud computing, which is supported by the State ecological. In this respect, We are working on a model of data centers network, dedicated for the cloud. We have also been approached by investors or manufacturers who wish to reuse our patent ‘Marilyn’ in France or abroad. We have designed a license therefor agreement.

In which countries the datacenter Marilyn could be replicated ?

NA : in many countries ; If the climate is not too hot and dry. Everywhere in Europe, except South ; in the North, the centre or East of the USA, in the Brazil, in Southeast Asia, at the Japan, in South Australia.
Nicholas Aubé, Thank you