Project: SCL3

(The short version is over here. This is the long version.)

Quick Introduction

We’re building out a new 1MW data center in Santa Clara, CA at Vantage Data Centers!

Project: SCL3 is our latest data center build out. Ever since we started talking about this internally we knew we wanted to blog about it, to talk about how we’re doing it, why we’re doing it, and why we’re doing it this way or that way.

Be open about it.

This is just the first of many blog posts. Through this blog we’ll talk about this process. We’ll share with you what drove us here, why we picked the rack layout we did, why we provisioned the power we did.

We’ll look towards you, too, to give input on some of the directions we’ve taken. Some of you are better experts than we are.

What is “SCL3”?

We use a three letter code followed by a number to name our facilities, both Mozilla Spaces and data centers.  This code seems reasonably mnemonic and doesn’t collide with too many three letter airport/IATA codes.  You’ll see us use these codes when we talk about hardware or servers at various locations.

We have three data centers in the Bay Area and are building a fourth:

  1. SJC1: 55 So. Market Street, Market Post Tower (MPT)
  2. SCL1: Internap, Santa Clara
  3. SCL2: Layer42, Santa Clara
  4. SCL3: Vantage, Santa Clara

We have others like PHX1, AMS1.

Quick Background

Back in July 2006 Mozilla moved from a small collection of ten racks to its first data center at 55 So. Market Street, San Jose.

Within the next year Mozilla IT opened a small presence in Amsterdam and followed it up with a presence in Beijing (which, coincidentally, we’re expanding in Q4). In 2010 Mozilla IT opened up a location in Phoenix at i/o Data Centers.

Towards the end of 2009 we knew were going to eventually run out of provisioned power in San Jose. Throughout 2010 and into 2011 Mozilla IT picked up additional data center space in the Bay Area with Layer42 & Internap to accommodate our continued growth.

In the Bay Area alone we’re consuming about 500kW. When we shopped around for what eventually became the Phoenix location, we knew that 500kW was around the tipping point to transition from retail to wholesale data center space.

As we started 2011, we started to think about “what do we do next?”. What do we need so we can move quickly, so we can handle the next generation of problems?

We knew:

  • We need power. Data centers are really about providing power (and cooling it). We’ll run out of power before space.
  • Operationally, managing three locations in the same area is harder. We want to consolidate.
  • The infrastructure, all the web servers that support Mozilla, keeps growing.
  • We hate downtime

Mozilla IT spent most of Q1/Q2 2011 searching around the Bay Area.  Sometime over the summer we decided to partner with Vantage Data Centers and have been extremely busy since then in lease negotiations and in getting started on the build-out of the space.

Over the next several weeks, we’ll talk about some of the designs, some of the reasons we needed more space/power and show pictures & video of the space.

ps. You’ve already joined the Mozilla Community Directory @ right?  Read this blog post if you forgot why it’s important!

1 response

  1. Pingback from Mozilla Building Out 1 Megawatt Santa Clara Data Center on :

    […] data center space (the same sort of space that the Facebooks, the Googles & the Zyngas use).” Another post said that 500kW is roughly the point where the line is drawn between retail and wholesale data […]