Starting to settle in DC2


After the end of the pandemic emergency measures, some of us did not return to the DC1 offices, but we were given the task of preparing the DC2 office space for occupancy and the start of test operations.

Some information about DC2

We started building the WEDOS 2 data centre in 2015. The work was significantly delayed due to modifications required to obtain TIER IV certification from Uptime Institute, Inc. Our goal is to obtain the “Gold TIER” Operational Sustainability, which includes certification not only of the building but also of the complete infrastructure. Many things had to be custom-made for this purpose. In some cases, literally invented and designed to fit.

Site preparation for construction in October 2015.
Foundation construction in November 2015
Concreting the foundation slab for the server room in December 2015
Reinforced concrete monolith of the server room walls – February 2016.
Laying the roof on the ground floor of an office building. May 2016.
Construction of office space on the first floor – October 2016.
Placement of special safety glass – November 2016.
Stone lining, plaster, paint. May 2017.
June 2017, the scaffolding is gradually being taken down. Only the infrastructure work is being carried out on the exterior of the building.

As you can see, the building itself was completed relatively quickly. But to prepare the interior and the technology, that was a whole other level. It took years to run kilometres of cables and connect hundreds of metres of cooling pipes.

In DC2, only servers cooled in an oil bath will be used. The waste heat will be completely used to heat the building, the parking lot and the nearby municipal swimming pool. Seagulls will replace oil pans, air conditioning ducts with water cooling and heat exchangers. Thanks to the high efficiency of oil cooling, we will be able to concentrate a large computing capacity in a relatively small space.

We have been testing oil cooling for several years and the results of our measurements show that this is the ideal way to go. The hardware is less stressed (it is not exposed to shocks, dust or the flow of other small particles, the heat is dissipated evenly from all parts), everything is cheaper to buy (you do not buy fans and some parts that direct the air flow to the servers, thanks to less consumption you do not have to have such a robust infrastructure) and you save on electricity, the price of which is increasing every year. The bonus is that you have heat in the form of heated water that you can easily transport, which is a problem with air. In addition, the oil used does not risk ignition by exposure to direct fire or short-circuiting of the electrical circuit.

But this is just the beginning. We’ve done a number of tests and oil cooling, thanks to its high efficiency, allows us to play more with overclocking processors or test processors that overheat quickly, for example. It’s more for future play, but the potential is huge 🙂

Settling in DC2

DC2 also includes offices and a lecture room. The best thing for us was to simply “herd” some of our colleagues who will be working here and start to deal with things as we go along. Let them tell themselves how they want the tables set up and what else they need. So we dealt with monitors, work mats, chairs, kitchen retrofitting, trash cans … lots and lots of things.

There was also a test lecture in our new training room. Once we get everything up and running, we hope to see you here regularly. It is designed to comfortably seat 20 – 30 people for a workshop or up to 55 people for a lecture. There are 3 cameras, professional audio equipment and a multimedia centre that allows lectures to be recorded and streamed online.

In Hluboká nad Vltavou, a few years ago, we held regular conferences and WEDOS Open Days. The event was designed so that the participants could learn something new (lectures), see something (tour of the datacenter, hardware, including a demonstration of HDD server replacement in an oil bath) and have fun with us (sitting, afterparty, adrenaline park …)

In 2014, for example, the WEDOS Open Days included a competition for a laptop. All you had to do was get through the obstacle course as quickly as possible.

Hluboká nad Vltavou is absolutely ideal for such events. It is the centre of recreational tourism in South Bohemia. There is accommodation capacity, plenty of facilities and arranging anything is not a problem. We could do an after party on the boat.

The only thing that was lacking was a suitable lecture room. Local hotels have halls for hundreds of people, but it is not the right place for specialized IT conferences. That’s why we designed and built the perfect training room 🙂

We expect that very specialized events focused on topics that are of interest only to a small group of IT professionals will be able to take place here. We will provide the space and equipment free of charge. It will be enough for us to make the footage available to all.

We believe that over time we will build a huge database of quality IT lectures, workshops and discussions. Everything will be part of the community project, such as tutorials.

What about the server room?

We believe that in a few months we will be able to move to full office operation in DC2. However, this will take some time for the server room.

We still do not have the final design of the oil baths. The last version 5.1, which we considered almost final, had some design flaws and a few things had to be reinvented.

But the rest is already in the server room ready. We even have two HPE Moonshot server cabinets with a total of 90 physical servers ready to go.

Once the oil baths arrive, we put them on the racks, put the server cabinets in them, hook everything up, and we’re ready to test.

However, the server room will have to wait a while for full operation. We’ll see how the tests go.