A peek inside ‘flood-zombie proof’ Globe Telecommunications data center

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10:50 AM March 3rd, 2013

By: Karen Boncocan, March 3rd, 2013 10:50 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Heavily-guarded despite looking like a nondescript building in Makati City, our guide inside Globe Telecommunications Network’s flagship MK2 data center said in jest that if there was to be a zombie outbreak, this would be the best place to go for complete safety.

Of course, this was likely said in jest but the data center has been proven safe from heavy flooding in an area notorious for it.

Access is limited even for its own employees who need permission to roam around the sprawling facility and not all “zones” are open to visits, secure with their “mantrap doors” and high-tech closed-circuit television cameras working round the clock and able to rotate 360 degrees and zoom to as far as 30 meters.

The data center is operating three “zones” right now, each housing massive numbers of servers from both local and global clients whom Grace Castillo, Globe Business enterprise segments group chief, said trusts Globe to keep these important machines protected and running.

And the servers are safe within the facility.

“(That is because) able trays isolate power and data cables. Fire suppression systems and smoke detectors are in place, supported by closed-circuit TV network and BMS [Building Management System] systems 24/7. Security is fortified with steel doors, card readers, door sensors, anti-tailgating and hand keys in the mantrap facility,” said Maximo Bernales Jr., Globe Business’ service operations head.

But Zone A and B are soon going to be packed to capacity and Zone C has been rented out by a lone client, prompting Globe to recently unveil a fourth “zone” to its flagship MK2 data center, a 1,400-square-meter facility accessible through a ramp within the building.

The expansion has two levels and looked like something from a “Mission Impossible” film with its pristine white walls, white floor, and row upon row of fluorescent lights—just waiting to be the home to more of the telecom network’s clients’ servers.

“Zone D had state-of-the-art and best-in-class features, our purposely-built data center is at par with its global contemporaries. It has redundant power and cooling through BMS integration for the generator set, uninterrupted power supply and precision air conditioning units. A down blast of cold air underneath the raised floors separates hot and cold aisles in-between the racks,” said Bernales.

He assured the data center was adherent to the Telecommunications Industry Association’s (TIA) 942 Tier III standards and like its other data centers in Mandaluyong City, Quezon City, and Cebu City, are backed by global industry certifications.

According to Jesus Romero, Globe Business head, the best things their expansion offered clients were really “the highest level of security, stability and peace-of-mind for a company’s data that we put on the table for our enterprise customers and the industry as a whole both locally and in the global setting.”

Globe Business seeks to “simplify IT and transform spending” by providing “scalable infrastructure without a lot of capital spending,” said Castillo.

“One of the trends we see is big data analytics… and the only way for them to leverage on data and churn out data from customers is to have scalable infrastructure,” she said.

Romero added that with the fast pace of businesses today, they are now charging “per use. They pay only for what they need. Many don’t do this because the structure is fixed but we’re radically changing the business process… [making it] applicable to a wider range of clients.”

“Our mission is to make businesses globally-competitive through ICT solutions. Philippine businesses are learning the value of having experts handle this… and we run a very tight ship,” he said.

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