Wild West Data Center

On January 26, 2009 we had a grand opening for Sun's Broomfield, Colorado Datacenter.  It has a been a long project to consolidate 496,000 square feet from our Louisiville, Colorado campus (former StorageTek site) into 126,000 square feet across five floors in our largest building Broomfield.

This was the largest, most complex and costly consolidation in Sun's history, but the returns were great. This project was in the planning stages as we were finishing up the Santa Clara, CA consoldiation.  We applied the lessons learned there to the designs in Colorado.

We started the grand opening with presentations from Mark Monroe, Director of Sustainable Computing, Jon Benson, Vice President of Sun's storage business, Bruce Douglas, VP from our Services business and myself, Sr Director of Global Lab and Datacenter Design Services.  Tom Plant from the Governors Energy Office, gave his perspective of the investment Sun has made in Colorado.  The presentations wer followed by a highly interactive Q&A session and finally tours of the datacenter for customers, vendors, media and employees. By the end of the week, almost 500 people had walked through the site.  As I write this blog entry, a little over two months later, we have had over 1,000 people tour the site, even in the dead of winter.  We thought our jobs as tour guides would slow down after California, but here we go again.  :-)



We ended the day with the ribbon cutting ceremony for the hundreds of dedicated employees and partners who had pulled this off.  It was an incredble team effort.  One of the things I'm most proud of in this projects is that we applied the lessons learned in California to the designs in Colorado. Below are a few of the achievements.

  • Compressed 496,000 square feet of datacenter space to 126,000 square feet.
  • Reduced 167,000 square feet of raised floor down to less than 700 square feet!
  • Worlds first and largest Liebert Dynamic XD installation.
  • 100% busway power distribution
  • Water Side Economizer for free cooling at lest 1/3 of the year.
  • Fly Wheel UPS removing all lead acid batteries
  • Dolphin water treatment system, removing chemicals required to treat our water.
  • Moved 63 huge Sun StorageTek libraries, inclduing the 10 string with 14.4PB of capacity.
  • Decreased energy consumption by 1 million kW/hrs a month.  Enough to power 1000 homes in CO.

All of the content from the Grand Opening can be accessed through this press page.  You can also read specifics about this project in the Broomfield Datacenter Success Story

Following the success of the Santa Clara, CA datacenter tour video (over 11,000 downloads), we released another tour video focused on the Data Center efforts in Colorado. Being able to show how we applied the lessons learned in CA to Colorado was great. The videos included a number of the project leaders, designers and customers of the site.  As of the posting of this blog entry, there has been quite a fews already.

Sun Colorado Data Center Tour Videos

1. Introduction - Sun Data Center Activity (3863 views)

2. Colorado Data Center Project Overview (1473 views)

3. Innovation, Efficiency & Sustainability (709 views)

4. Project Challenges (1333 views)

5. Hardware Consolidation (910 views)

6. Customer Satisfaction (632 views)

7. Storage Innovation (930 views)

8. Summary (672 views)

And the fun continues...

We have more datacenter projects underway and an additional chapter in the Energy Efficient Datacenters blueprint series following the first release, The Role of Modularity in Datacenter Design. It is titled Electrical Design and was released in March.  In 2007, we were just sharing the innovations that helped us achieve these great savings through flexible, modular designs.  But this time, Sun had even more to offer.  Due to the overwhelming interest from customers, a new service was created to help customers apply our best practices to their own datacenters. The new service is called Data Center Efficiency.  The video below gives you an overview of how you can utilize this offering.

Now What?  How engage Sun's Data Center Efficiency Practice (825 views)

Two and a half years later, we have finished the two largest datacenter consolidations in Sun's history.  While it was a lot of work, I feel like we're just getting started. There is much more to come.  Stay tuned.


Below are some great shots of the new datacenter.






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Gig: GDS Director
Global Lab & Datacenter Design Services, Sun Microsyste


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