Facilities Department: Building Data Centers and Making Offices Disappear Since 1997

Liquid Web Facilities Team
Ask a member of our Facilities Department what their job entails and you will not get a simple answer. This is one busy team. They are responsible for building our data centers from the ground up, supplying power and cooling, and providing physical security. Not to mention orchestrating office pranks, such as making our COO’s office disappear! In essence it is their work every day that makes our work, and your work, possible.

According to Scott Haraburda, the Facilities Department Head, his team works together to not only run our data centers, but also manage new construction and build outs as well. One recent project the team completed more than doubled the electrical capacity of our Data Center 3 location. The project involved installing new generators, 3750 KVA transformers, automatic transfer switches, a whole variety of UPS’s and PDU’s, and excavating inside and outside the building to run our in-ground cabling system.

“We needed to increase our electrical capacity to sustain our rapid growth,” Haraburda explained. “This second electrical system has more than doubled our capabilities and will allow us to seamlessly expand our operations.”

UPS Units at Liquid WebThe most important part of our electrical system is the built in redundancy and backup power. In the event of a generator failure, our parallel generation system is able to quickly redistribute power among the other units. In addition, if power is lost due to a storm or outage, we utilize our generator system and our UPS (uninterruptible power supply) units to provide backup power. The generators are fully online a mere nine seconds or less after power is lost. For those very important nine seconds, we utilize a series of redundant UPS battery units that can sustain all of our power until the generators are operating at peak capacity. This attention to detail ensures that we are always online, even during storms or power outages outside of our control.

Thermal ImagerThe Facilities team is also responsible for continuously monitoring all aspects of the power and cooling systems to ensure they are in full working order. This part of the job often entails a number of fun tools, such as the team’s new thermal imager. The thermal imager shows any abnormal hot spots on our equipment during Facilities’ daily inspections. For example, if one of our PDU’s (Power Distribution Unit) has a loose screw, it can cause a lot of damage. With the use of the thermal imager, our Facilities team can spot such an issue by the heat it is giving off and fix the issue before problems occur.

Despite all the responsibilities of the department, they do manage to find time for fun. In fact, the Facilities staff is usually at the center of all of our office pranks. From making our COO’s office disappear, to “raining” Liquid Web heroes, they are always ready to join in on a good joke.

This team also engineered our Hero Cannon, which we used for a social media contest. When asked to develop something similar to a T-Shirt gun, Facilities went above and beyond. Instead of creating the simple device requested, they built the Hero Cannon: a tool capable of shooting a tomato through plywood.

All fun aside, the Facilities Department is the power source that keeps our data centers running. With an ever-rotating list of duties and jobs that need to get done, our Facilities Team never stops working to ensure reliability for our customers . Their dedication and hard work every day exemplify the true meaning of “Heroic” at Liquid Web.

Have a question for the Facilities Department? Post it below and we’ll share it with the team!