The data center’s condenser system leverages a Dolphin WaterCare system that treats and purifies the water pulled out by encapsulating any bacteria in the water and essentially starving it. Cisco then uses the treated water for the plants and landscaping around the facility. There is also a lagoon that captures rainwater to irrigate the indigenous, drought-resistant landscape plants.
There are more interesting tidbits. Instead of hundreds of environmentally challenging batteries which are often used in older data centers, the uninterruptable power supply (UPS) room in the 5 megawatt data center (expandable to 10 megawatt) uses rotary flywheels, which require little energy to continue in motion and start the diesel generators in case of power loss. There are RFID tags used to automatically identify and track all the equipment, down to the blade level. The building was designed to withstand tornado winds up to 175 mph (a smart design in tornado-prone Texas), and there are solar cells on the roof generating 100 kilowatts of power for the office spaces in the building.
The Allen, Texas data center is paired with the Richardson, Texas facility to form what Cisco calls a Metro Virtual Data Center (MVDC). Together, the Active/Active data centers form a virtualized, dynamic IT services cloud, also serving as backup sites for one another. This enables both data centers to run real-time critical applications, such as WebEx, simultaneously in both places for world-class business resiliency.
As for the new facility in Research Triangle Park, it houses up to 5,000 blades and 125,000 virtual machines in 438 racks. Like the Allen, Texas facility, all cabling and other conduits and services are on overhead rails so there’s no need for a raised floor.