Where are Luxhosting Servers & How Secure are they?

Where are Luxhosting Servers & How Secure are they?

It is crucial to choose the right location for your data center. This will allow a website owner to serve its viewers quicker and more efficiently. It will also affect the server's speed. It will take more time for the server to load if you're viewing a website from Berlin if you have a server in the USA. So, you need to ensure that your website's server is close to your target audience.

This will ensure that users have faster loading times and better service. Today, we will be discussing LuxHosting server locations at EDH (European Data Hub) and also look at security at a key location.

First, we will provide an introduction to our data center hub run at the European Data Hub in Luxembourg and go through the partners security and more. We’ll cover these topics in this article:

1. Luxhosting Server Location at EDH

Luxhosting chose European Data Hub (EDH) for comprehensive support and help from a team of highly experienced experts who are globally known for their innovative solutions, expertise, and high-quality service.

EDH is a first-in-class fully underground data center located near major business centers in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg Kirchberg and the Luxembourg Cloche d'Or. It is in compliance with highly sought-after, independently verified standards. This includes the Tier 4 for Design’ Certification from Uptime Institute. EDH is an innovative business model that relies on many partners. Each partner is internationally recognized in their respective sector.

1.2 EDH business model

The EDH was founded in 2009 and has been a business that provides expertise and skills to international clients as well as large, local institutions. It also serves small and medium-sized local businesses. EDH's unique business model has quickly gained wide recognition. It has been able gain significant international clients in many areas, including international banking, health care and supra-national institutions.

EDH is an operational partner with CBRE (CB Richard Ellis www.cbre.com), a global leader in the maintenance and operation of Data Centers, is EDH's operational partner. LuxHosting benefits from this alliance because it provides the company with scalability and the best support to prepare future strategic projects and all other data center operations.

EDH demonstrated once more its innovative approach through a new partnership. iTracs became the European reference site. iTracs is a world leader in real-time infrastructure management tools and services.

2. The partners 

2.1 CB Richard Ellis- An exceptional partner to EDH

CBRE has the largest and most comprehensive capabilities of any company when it comes to providing Data Center management services.

CBRE Group, Inc., the largest international commercial real estate and investment company, has $13.1 billion in 2016 revenues and approximately 70,000 employees, excluding affiliate offices. CBRE was ranked #214 in 2016 in the Fortune 500. CBRE has been included in the Fortune 500 since 2008, ranking #214 in 2016.

The company serves investors, property owners and occupiers around the world. CBRE provides strategic advice and execution for property management.

Global Presence

Data Center Solutions has extensive experience in mission-critical markets and primary, secondary, and tertiary data centers around the world. CBRE has the knowledge and tools to help LuxHosting's customers succeed, regardless of the project's complexity.

You can't afford to have your business down. 

A solid data center strategy is crucial to your company's long-term success. To ensure that your business is not ruined by technology failures, it takes planning and strategic insight.

CBRE is the only global data center realty team that offers strategy, acquisition, disposition, and project management services from one provider.

Managed raised floor space 

3,850 564 450 MW $1.5B 3.3MSM
Dedicated DCS Employees Data Centers Managed Managed DC DCS Annual Capital Projects Managed raised floor space

In addition, they are the global leader in data center management. EDH customers like LuxHosting, are able to maintain its equipment and room with the same quality standards, expertise, and operating methods as the prestigious companies listed below.

2.2 iTracs 

iTRACS is the premier provider of enterprise-grade Data Centre Infrastructure Management solutions (DCIM). These solutions boost efficiency, performance, are cost savings and physical infrastructure.

iTRACS Converged Physical Infrastructure Management (tm), also known as CPIM(tm), is the first and only global command-and-control system for a data center that uses a 3D model. Interactive 3D Visualization – The Efficiency Engine(tm), which is the core of CPIM(tm), opens up new opportunities to increase efficiency and business value when designing, managing, and optimizing physical infrastructure. 

Today, CPIM (tm) can be found in the most complex enterprise infrastructures around the globe, including four of seven industry-recognized leaders in data center design and management. iTRACS was named a Gartner Cool Vendor for DCIM in 2011 and an IDC Major Play in DCIM in IDC MarketScope's Worldwide DCIM 2011 Vendor Analysis Report.

3. The architecture

Data center grounds and infrastructure 

The underground data center was built in a redundant manner, following the strictest technical standards of the Uptime Institute. 

It was awarded Tier 4 certification in December 2011.

This site is among a small number of European data centers that have received the highest level of certification. Its design allows LuxHosting to access granularity as well as scalability at any point in their data center’s lifecycle. Each room has its own valves that allow for additional water-cooling pathways within the room.

All floors can support a load up to 2,000kg per square meter. The minimum height for the raised floor is  80 cm. The ceiling and raised floor must be at least 4m high.

The IT rooms are located in the middle of the building and are surrounded by technical rooms and corridors. Two goods lifts can carry loads of 3,600kg each.

LuxHosting has access to a storage area and an area for unpacking equipment. We can also recycle our waste as part of a selective sorting procedure in accordance with ISO standards (IS014001 Environmental Controls) and the Superdreckskescht (Luxembourg Government Waste-Management) criteria.

The Electrical Design 

All electrical equipment in the data center is redundant. In fact, they run in parallel in active-active mode. To be able to take over the load of the second feed at any given time, no feed must run more than 45%. However, Tier 4 specifications allow for some operating margin. 50.000 liters of fuel per feed guarantees 5 days autonomy under full load.

The site is designed to handle 1500 watts to 2000 watts/square meter. In some areas, EDH allows for higher power densities in either air-cooled configurations, or high-density, water-cooled cubes.

Below is an illustration of the electrical layout of the site.

All IT rooms have their pedestals earthed. A Faraday cage protects the building from lightning. In addition, a discriminatory fuse system protects staff and technical equipment against power surges and lightning. And finally, the IT rooms' floors are coated with an anti-static and dust-resistant coating.

Data Center Cooling Design 

The cold production chain, like the electrical design is redundant. It has two separate lines that operate in parallel and without any single point of failure. High efficiencies at full load from NH3 machines and high efficiency across a wide range of loads from magnetic-bearing machine make it possible for data centers to maximize performance for all types. 

Site Ventilation 

A central system that includes several production units renews the air in the data center. The humidity level in the air is monitored at the return air outlet. It is kept within a range of 50% +/-30% in full compliance with the EU Code of Conduct. The EU Code of Conduct is a group of companies that are committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It recommends that you follow the ASHRAE associations recommendations regarding a noticeable increase in humidity range in data centers and a substantially higher operating temperature, with a view towards reducing the overall energy consumption at these sites, which are well-known for consuming large amounts of energy.

4. Monitoring Tools 

EDH's data center uses the most recent tools to monitor and supervise any equipment. An on-site team comprises specialists who are available 24/7/365. Thousands of test and control points are connected to multiple control systems that analyze, inform, warn, and assist in making decisions when intervention is necessary.

Building Management System

EDH uses a top supplier of building and manufacturing automation software for the Building Management System (BMS). EDH implemented a real-time calculation and aggregation system, analysis, and visualization system in its data center. This provides managers with the information they need to make decisions, manage their utility costs, and reduce carbon footprints. The system can monitor specific zones and provides a view of the whole data center. 

BMS offers the following benefits:

  • Effective collection, recording, calculation, and visualization of operational information
  • Visualization and analysis of energy performance
  • Drill-down on the causes of abnormal production
  • Easy installation and connection to all metering devices in the data center

6Sigma

6SigmaDC, the only comprehensive tool set that allows you to build and test an entire Virtual Facility (VF). This is a holistic 3D mathematical representation of every room in EDH's data center at any time. This software can be used to check any configuration on almost any level, as well as the design of specific IT equipment.

The VF is a standard method to design or assess space, power and cooling, and can be used throughout the lifecycle of a white-room.

EDH uses virtual facility:

  • To plan, design and construct new facilities, extensions, or upgrades.
    • Air flow should be optimized based on the architectural form (e.g. Floor void height, room shape, location, and general methodology like cooling in service corridors or perimeter cooling or in row cooling;
    • Layout cooling, power and network infrastructures to support the building plan's IT needs.
  • To manage IT deployments in the rooms to:
    • Maximize energy efficiency and cooling
    • Configurations that balance power;
  • Keep an inventory of equipment and
    • Cable routing should be improved
    • Maximize space utilization;
    • Before they go live, test the changes;
  • You can design and plan equipment configurations at:
    • Level of the room
    • Cabinet level.

iTracs

EDH signed a partnership agreement with iTracs, the world's largest provider of enterprise-class Data Centre Infrastructure Management solutions (DCIM), many years ago.

Customers today are looking for co-location space that is efficient and easy to scale in order to support their business ventures. Customers want the best possible business performance and impact from the infrastructure they receive. These customer expectations are met and exceeded by the partnership between EDH and iTRACS. EDH leverages the power of iTRACS CPIM(tm), to manage space, power and other resources within its colocation facilities. This allows for maximum efficiency, business continuity and customer success.

Co-location customers like LuxHosting benefit from the iTRACS/EDH partnership, which offers a new level in operational efficiency and business value in these areas:

Command and control of assets. 

EDH can now see and manage all their inventories (data halls), in iTRACS' interactive model. This new visibility allows EDH and its customers to respond faster to changing business requirements and service level demands.

Lower energy prices.

ITRACS assists EDH and its customers in reducing energy consumption and costs. It consolidates hardware that is not being used or underutilized, streamlines the power chain and eliminates stranded electricity. EDH's strategy is to exceed customer expectations by reducing energy consumption and maximizing energy efficiency.

Improved capacity management. 

This is about getting the most from EDH's existing capacities by optimizing assets and power, space, cooling, and cooling, without putting customer operations at danger. This results in higher efficiency, which means more business output from existing customers and the ability for EDH to quickly and efficiently respond to new business requirements.

Transparency and cost control.

Customers have better visibility into the infrastructure, and can now proactively look for ways to lower operational costs. EDH and its operator can collaborate side-by-side using the same iTRACS visual modelling to ensure that the infrastructure is being used optimally.

5. Security 

Security is an integral part of the overall design of the data center. It is important that the site has been certified by ISO 27001. This ensures that all procedures are up to the highest standards and is regularly inspected as part of the renewal process.

Water and fire detection

All technical rooms, IT white rooms and technical corridors have water detection systems. VESDA systems are installed in the IT rooms to monitor the room as well as the raised floor. VESDA systems can warn security guards on-site 24 hours a day about potential fires and alert them immediately. The guards are able to intervene before the Aragonite can be released into the room. The walls and doors are guaranteed to resist fire for at most 90 minutes. Cable trays are compartmentalized and all passageways between them have fire barriers. These firebreaks are tested regularly in accordance with current regulations.

Fire extinguishing system

Each room contains around 100 Aragonite Cylinders (at 300 bars), which can extinguish any fire that might break out at the data center. In the event of a large-scale fire, it is possible to use a double-shot or triple-shot system. The time between activation and alert is 40 second. Every bottle is monitored and replaced if it loses pressure as part of predictive maintenance.

Intrusion detection

The data center has several cameras that are installed in the corridors. This provides the security team with an ongoing surveillance system for both in and out of the building. Each IT room has its own entry with a camera system and card reader. The room also includes motion detection and digital code. Easy integration of biometric-technology or customer security systems to existing security infrastructure is possible.

6. Telecommunications 

The data center design is such that the telecommunications lines enter via two distinct routes and entry points. They then travel through fully separate dedicated routes to reach the telecommunication provider room where active components are installed in the individual racks by each of the different telecommunication providers. Two dedicated meet-me rooms are used to connect these provider rooms with the switchboards in each customer's rooms. One for each feed is under the supervision and responsibility of the Telecom Operating Team. Two telecommunication provider rooms can be connected via an intrusion- and fireproof cable tray.

Some notable telecommunication providers that trust and use secure servers of EDH include:

7. The Operating model 

EDH's business model is similar to that of Open System Interconnection (OSI), which is an international standard. It is made up of successive layers. It begins at the lowest level, the data center. Then it moves up to the customer's IT infrastructure.

EDH is supported by top players in the market to cover each layer of this model. This allows its customers like LuxHosting to have their IT systems installed in data centers that meet the highest standards. What’s more they are completely neutral at all times.

LuxHosting, offers a high level of professional and quality support. The company brings its unique expertise and know-how, based on decades of experience and the trust of their international networks, to every aspect of the project, whether it is the design, operation, or Facility Management. Its role is advisory and guides its customers to the best solutions for any projects they request. 

EDH has exclusive rights to the operational side of the data center, as well as iTracs and CBRE, but EDH is free to choose the added-value services that involve customers' IT. The upper levels of the model where expertise is omnipresent.

8. Data Center Certifications 

EDH's unique business model, and EDH's partnerships in the operating space as well as managed services areas have resulted in several key accreditations and certifications in a short period of two years. These certificates and accreditations show the effectiveness of the model as well as the quality and efficiency of all processes and procedures.

Luxhosting’s EDH is Europe’s only data center to have received an outstanding dual certification from Uptime Institute. It also has the Tier 4 certification for site design and was audited by the Uptime Institute and obtained the M&O certification. 

This unique certification for Luxembourg demonstrates that the processes, documentations, and procedures are in line with best practices in the data center industry for operating and maintaining site infrastructure. The Uptime Institute certification is a sign of our data center’s dedication to excellence. It ensures that our sites adhere to strict standards which are regularly audited.

EDH Data Centre has also achieved the following certifications over time:

  • IS09001: Quality Management
  • IS014001: Environmental Controls
  • ISO27001: Security Controls
  • ISO50001: Energy Management
  • Member of the EU Code of Conduct
  • First data center certified worldwide EN 50600
  • M&O: Maintenance and Operations by the Uptime Institute – Single site in Luxembourg

These certifications provide proof of the EDH Data Center's design and operation. These accreditations are provided by neutral and external auditors, based on the published standards and rules, which are available to everyone. They remain the best way of evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of a data center in a just and transparent manner.

9. The Green label 

European Data Hub is well aware of the environmental issues surrounding data centers, which are known for being big energy consumers and have a large carbon footprint.

EDH was a pioneer in initiatives to reduce electric consumption and actively implement technologies that can significantly reduce the production of carbon dioxide.

Two completely complementary technologies, rotary UPS and static UPS, are available on site. They provide high yields at various load factors. The equipment that provides emergency-supplied power can be used in combination or alternatively to reduce the overall site consumption.

The cold production chain is similar to the methods for emergency-supplied electricity. It includes complementary technologies such as magnetic-bearing compressors or NH3 machines. The first compressor has high yields and low loads. The second compressor is better for heavier loads.

All energy required for the site is 100% renewable. The grid supplies electric power entirely from hydraulic or wind energy.

EDH uses operational methods that are also evidence of its willingness to participate in international initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions. These are some other important facts:

EDH is an active participant in EU Code of Conduct. This European association, which creates and enforces ecofriendly standards and norms, is represented by EDH. 

The ASHRAE work of the EU Code of Conduct is heavily influenced by this other association, which has been involved in the field for many decades. ASHRAE is a global building technology society that has more than 50,000 members.  The Society and its members are focused on sustainability in the building industry, energy efficiency, indoor quality, and building systems. ASHRAE is shaping tomorrow’s-built environment through research, standards writing and publishing.

EDH implemented strict environmental standards from the beginning of the site's operation. These include ISO 14001 (Environmental Control), and ISO 50001 ("Energy Management System”).

iTracs, which analyzes load factor durations to determine the best ways to consolidate and optimize IT resources, is the perfect product to monitor real-time consumption per rack or per server. This will reduce overall site consumption over the long-term. This is the core of EDH's eco-friendly approach. The real challenge lies in reducing energy waste at source, rather than limiting the efforts to the infrastructure of the data center, which will ultimately have to make up for the lackluster performance of the previous stage.

10. Real time monitoring and reporting 

EDH provides a new set of monitoring tools that allow us to visualize in real-time and in 3D their room, along with a number of live KPIs. This application is one of many tools and software that EDH has developed to provide end clients like LuxHosting with a transparent and accurate view of their data center. 

11. References 

The European Data Hub and LuxHosting have been able to attract some of the world’s biggest actors in their respective segment of activities to highly secure servers in Luxembourg. Only a few names that are public can be disclosed as we are under strict confidentiality agreement with all of our end clients. Thanks to both EDH and our unique business model, countless major international organizations have chosen to install their European footprint in our facilities.

LuxHosting has a unique mix of clients like: 

  • Major international actors in the eBusiness sector,
  • Major international players in the gaming sector,
  • International Banks,
  • European Banks,
  • The Industrial Sector top players,
  • Telecommunication Providers,
  • Leaders of the Health Care business,
  • The Fund industry leading players,
  • Outsourcing and management services,
  • National Air Carrier,
  • Insurance Companies and many more…
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