Despite the limitations we keep going – new gulls, new motor-generator, new challenges


Most of us would like to be back in the office again, but management has decided that we will have to work from home for a while. At least some of us. Our datacenters are always busy, we are not just hosting providers 😉

WEDOS is not just hosting

WEDOS is the largest web hosting provider. However, behind it all is a vast infrastructure that goes beyond our hosting services. We take care not only of our datacentres, but also, for example, of our own kilometres of fibre-optic routes. If everything goes according to plan, within a few years our optical routes will cross the borders of Hluboká nad Vltavou. The planned third datacenter may not be as ordinary as we described it in the show😉

My colleagues in charge of networks and technology have had a busy week. A lot of entities, whether public or private, are switching to homeoffice and they wanted our help. What is a daily routine for us was something unimaginable for them. In fact, the whole thing has also shown us how much we need a service like WEDOS CD, which we will soon be running in a test run.

We also connected new places to the Internet. It was definitely an extraordinary experience, for example, to connect the church so that people could visit it online and watch the pastor’s services.

Our wi-fi network, which we provide to the city free of charge, also underwent a stress test.

We are not bored even today. The backbone router was replaced last night (6.4.2020). One of the two. One has a minor HW fault and so a replacement was needed. It was piece for piece. It’s an Arista router with 100Gbps ports.

By the way, this is one of the most amazing pieces of technology on our network. The Arista 7280QR-C36 smart switches we use as edge “routers” can handle up to 4.32 Tb of data transferred per second or 1.44 billion packets per second. Thanks to this, we can be sure that they will not be overwhelmed even by very strong DDoS attacks.

This switch weighs 9.7 Kg and has a power consumption of up to 499W at its highest load. Normally we are around 324W.

One of the main reasons we chose them was EOS (Extensible Operating System). It is built on the Linux kernel. EOS is included in all Arista products. EOS can thus use all the common Linux tools, which is exactly what we need for our own solution.

Aristos have an incredibly low response rate. This is one of the reasons why the largest US options exchange Lehman Brothers or RBC Capital Markets chose them. A significant portion of Arista’s customers are big Wall Street firms.

The seagulls have arrived

8 new racks for DC1 arrived from Hewlett Packard Enterprise. We are slowly running out of space to install new servers. In total, there will be 50 racks in DC1, which will not be the final number yet. For now, we’ve put them in DC2.

We originally thought it would last us for 3 – 5 years. We will start moving hardware-intensive services (WMS, WEDOS Cloud, VPS ON) to DC2 immediately after the completion, so the capacity will be freed up and there will be no need to add new servers in DC1 so quickly. After all, oil bath servers deliver better performance with less power consumption, so why not take advantage of it.

But then the WEDOS CD service stepped in, which does a lot more than planned, and there’s virtually no one who would say it wouldn’t be a good fit. This led us to the idea of rethinking the free version plan. If we were to go this route, we would need 21 HPE Cloudline CL5800 Gen9 storage devices with a total capacity of 2100x 10 TB HDDs for the first phase of expansion. Since they are 4U servers, it will take a few racks.

Well, we’ll see, this is going to be a challenge.

The last motor-generator is on its way

In March, our contractor completed the last motor-generator of the seven we ordered. It is custom built for DC1.

The biggest problem was to find a driver to bring him to the Czech Republic at this time. Fortunately, it worked. He arrived at Hluboka today.

Each of the motor-generators must independently tighten the entire datacentre in the event of a power failure. In addition, Hluboká Nad Vltavou is a very quiet town, so we required maximum possible soundproofing, which was difficult due to the limited space of our garden.

A look into the history of our garden or “move around” with motor generators

Behind DC1 we have a small garden where there is not much space and for a long time there was only one motor-generator KIPOR KDC200ST3 with an output of 200 kVA. It was enough for our economical data center with a couple of seagulls. Here’s one historical photo of a diesel refill from 2014.

As you can see, our garden was more like a forest in summer, where we went to relax. The neighbour has a vineyard next door….

However, our growth has exceeded all our expectations and plans for a second datacentre have begun. Since we wanted TIER IV accreditation for it, it was necessary to think about this when designing the infrastructure. In the end we decided that if we are going to buy 5 motor-generators for DC2, why not also buy 2 brand new ones for DC1 and prepare it for maximum load.

In 2016, the reconstruction of the garden began. It was necessary to make room not only for the motor generators, but also for a new substation. We moved the air conditioning to the roof.

In 2017 the garden was ready and the construction of the substation started.

In 2018, we started up the substation. At the same time, the firewall was completed, dividing the yard into two parts. Everything is separated by fire protection. This ensures that in the event of a fire, one motor-generator will still be able to run if necessary.

This year, we also temporarily installed a 4.5 tonne outdoor 330 kVA motor-generator for DC2. This ensured redundancy of power supply in case of a long-term power failure.

In the autumn of 2018, a 330 kVA motor-generator moved over the wall to a 200 kVA colleague. We needed to make room for the soundproof 550 kVA that arrived at the time.

This 550 kVA motor-generator will remain behind DC1 permanently. It’s much bigger and heavier because it incorporates noise-absorbing technology.

We needed to get it in place as soon as possible so we could start further modifications. Right next to it we built a structure that will hold the air conditioners. We put them on the flat. The reason for this was a slight increase in efficiency and mainly a reduction in noise. Hluboká Nad Vltavou is a very quiet town 🙂

This is the final design. Although freecooling takes care of most of the cooling during the year, on very warm days we can’t do without air conditioning. You kept asking us for more and more power, so we switched to very powerful processors that can also get really hot 🙂

What’s next? The 330 kVA motor-generator is on its way to DC2, where it belongs. Yellow 220 kVA is for sale.

Don’t worry…, we are preparing more and more news. We’re still working.