Foundation for highly reliable cloud services
Today, the use of cloud services by businesses is rapidly spreading into a wide range of areas. Cloud services have the advantage of enabling IT systems to be available faster, with lower initial investment and in a form that best suits the business, particularly compared to systems operated separately within a company.
While companies no longer need to worry about servers and other equipment when using cloud services, they are admittedly concerned about how their data is handled. Data centers that run cloud services are required to include disaster countermeasures to ensure high security for important data relating to social and economic foundations. For example, data centers are equipped with fire-extinguishing equipment that uses gas instead of water in consideration of the server hardware. There are also multiple layers of security built into the structure at the entrances and in the floors, where people enter and exit, ensuring access to the equipment is protected at the highest level. For customers, this sense of security must also extend to the level of reliability offered when using cloud services, which is inherently underpinned by the building structure.
For these reasons Fujitsu has developed a dedicated office for architects responsible for data center construction, with expertise in both ICT and architecture. In this article we hear from Asami Kawamura, a professional architect at Fujitsu, regarding her experience in the construction of data centers.
Why does Fujitsu have a dedicated office for data center architects?
Currently, Asami is working with Hokuriku Computer Service (HCS) to build a data center that leverages the highest level of security, while at the same time collaborating with various other parties, including the construction companies.
“When I tell people that I work for Fujitsu as a professional architect, sometimes they are a little surprised.”
Fujitsu has a dedicated office for data center architects, where architecture professionals work with ICT engineers to design data center buildings, which require specialized insight and knowledge. The construction of a data center requires unique considerations; wiring under raised floors, robust floors, special ventilation, temperature and humidity control to maintain optimal conditions for servers and storage equipment, and more.
Asami says, “I believe that by comprehensively considering all possible perspectives in regard to both ICT and architecture during data center construction, we can reaffirm security and safety for our customers.”
Expectations for data center construction
As an architect Asami has to handle a range of challenges while working at a construction site.
“For example, one time during heavy rain I had to count all the trees in the area as I walked through them and check the equipment installed on the roof of the building as part of a survey required in accordance with legal procedures for design. It was really tough! There was another time when my work slowed to a complete standstill due to heavy snow. However, the people involved in the construction activities still worked through the heavy snow, I had the utmost respect for them.”
Asami talks about important things to bear-in-mind in her role as an architect on site.
“I believe considering different approaches while looking at the site--in addition to checking drawings and materials--is very important. I feel strongly that the design of the building must be suitable for the site and therefore measures against earthquakes, flooding, and other risks, should be appropriate to the specific site in question.”
She stresses that building data centers, where our customer's most important data will be kept, requires both theory and an understanding that can only be achieved by going to, observing, and studying the site and its surroundings.
Asami further discusses her ambitions for the future saying, ”My work doesn't finish with the completion of the building. I also feel a responsibility to drive change in the way people work that will shape a more prosperous society.“
Fujitsu strives to build better data centers together with its customers to enable reliable and convenient services. This is achieved with Fujitsu's initiatives for data center construction.