Hosting provider Blacknight to open ‘greener’ in-house data centre in Carlow

28 Aug 2012

The Irish domain registrar and hosting provider Blacknight Solutions has started constructing a new onsite data centre from its current facility in Carlow that will aim to be more energy efficient. Another Carlow company Whitelite is behind the build.

Blacknight founder and CEO Michele Neylon said the first phase of the project should be ready by the end of 2012, with the data centre being ready to run in early 2013.

He said that Whitelite is building “pod-like structures” that will slot into Blacknight’s existing building in Barrowside Business Park, while the power cooling technologies and generators will also be positioned onsite.

Right now Blacknight uses data centres in Dublin, but Neylon said indicated that once a company gets beyond a certain size it becomes more “attractive” to consolidate in-house. He said that the company will continue to keep data centres in Dublin, however.

PUE of new data centre

As for the new in-house data centre, it will be cooled with ambient air from outside and, according to chief technology officer Paul Kelly, the aim is to achieve a power usage effectiveness (PUE) of between 1.1 and 1.2.

“It’s getting more computing power into one space. We’re building something that will be power efficient, taking advantage of the Irish climate. This means that the cost to cool the IT equipment will be considerably lower than in older data centres,” said Neylon.

He said that right now power is one of the biggest costs for Blacknight, along with staff.

Neylon also said that bringing a data centre in-house will mean that Blacknight staff will be able to service it at any time. Apparently the new data centre will first house 700 servers and by the end of the project that number will be 6,500.

And, according to Kelly the business park at Barrowside will be able to provide up to 2MW of power. “There is already fibre into the park and we’ll be bringing resilient connectivity in from other carriers,” he said.

And with Blacknight planning to break into new markets, Neylon also pointed to the company’s plan to take on new hires down the line. Blacknight currently employs 30 staff.

Such new roles could be in customer service, technical support as well as roles for programmers, he said. “As we expand into new markets we will also be looking to take on multilingual staff.”

Data centre image via Shutterstock

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic