The first stop in this hallway is the meet-me-room. As a somewhat cool touch, the various network providers that come into the facility are etched into the glass in front of this network hub.
One will see the AWS and Google Cloud connectivity options in the facility. These are high-speed direct connections to the public cloud networks. AWS, for example, has a cage with another set of security protocols and checks such as having to have security present whenever the cage is worked on. We could not take photos of that cage, but it is an important feature. AWS and GCP only extend their networks to significant data centers since it requires a large buildout. For customers, this is important since it allows them to colocate specific machines or base infrastructure and yet have a direct capability to leverage cloud resources.
Phoenix, for many years, had several financial and other institutions that chose the area for its lower costs and lack of natural disasters. That has helped the city get a lot of connectivity options, and it seems most of them have a presence here.
As a fun note, getting into this room requires additional security checks, including a vascular (blood vessel) scan of one’s wrist.
One item that is important to many of our readers is roof access. Some data centers allow customers to mount fixed wireless, radio, satellite, free optics, and other gear on the roof. Others do not. We did not get to go to the roof, but we could see gear installed, and the PhoenixNAP team confirmed this was an offering for its customers.
In the video and the photos, you are likely to see a large number of conduits above the racks. From the meet-me-room, the various network providers have connectivity to the racks as data is moved throughout the facility. Something that is fun is that, in addition to standard cable shielding either on copper or fiber, there are kevlar “armored” cables that go through the facility for some customers who want a bit more protection.
The sheer amount of wiring is something that if you have never been to a data center before would seem borderline crazy. The wiring is extremely important as connectivity is a primary function of the data center. One can see more of this as we get further into the facility and in the video.
As a quick note here, we are not stopping to take photos of every camera. There are tons of them throughout the facility that are monitored. We just wanted to make a quick note that indeed there is video surveillance in data centers.
Next, let us get to the data center halls.