Saturday, March 24, 2012



Curacao to host region's most advanced datacenter
Published on March 24, 2012 Print Version

WILLEMSTAD, Curacao -- After months of design and engineering, Curacao Technology Exchange NV (CTEX) will start construction on what will be the region’s most advanced, and expansive datacenter.

Together with international partners such as Schneider Electric, and CISCO as well as local engineering and design firms, CTEX developed a state of the art energy efficient facility that will provide highly secure datacenter services to large scale enterprises, institutions and entrepreneurs throughout the Caribbean and Northern Latin America region.

“The CTEX datacenter is all about innovation and attention to details such as ensuring advanced power consumption ratings and providing customers the peace of mind that their data and business systems will be located in a highly secured datacenter. These advancements come from years of experience of the team, our partners, and leveraging lessons learned from other major datacenters across the world. We can therefore proudly state that there is no facility today, domestically or in our region which comes close to what we are building,” said Anthony de Lima, the company’s chairman and CEO.

“For Curacao it means the birth of a new economic sector and the opportunity to attract large enterprise customers in the region and the world to once again use Curacao as an international commerce and trading hub. This will ultimately have a positive impact on our foreign currency exchange levels. But perhaps more importantly, we will enable a new regional business segment which we refer to as micro-entrepreneurship whereby individuals and small enterprises will leverage our state of the art cloud computing infrastructure to rapidly launch new ‘cloud-based’ solutions, digital storefronts, and electronic marketplaces without having to rely on datacenters in North America or Europe,” de Lima added.

“The CTEX datacenter incorporates the latest engineering and design techniques. Schneider Electric, a worldwide market leader in datacenter design, together with local engineering firms incorporated lessons learned from developing datacenters across the globe to create a most advanced facility,” stated Andres Vasquez, Schneider’s enterprise manager for the Caribbean and Latin America.

Jorge Maia, CTEX’s lead architect said, “The facility is designed to withstand hurricane force winds up to category 5. It has been designed to run on its own power generation plants for a period of up to ten days without refueling should there be a major outage on the island or the region. Also, much attention has been placed on security; not a single area can be accessed without going through at least three man traps. We are using Greenblock technology together with solid reinforced concrete structures for the roof and exterior walls.”

“There are several reasons why Greenblock was selected for the CTEX data center project. First was the safety aspect. The data center is engineered to withstand winds exceeding 250 miles per hour. The walls consist of six inches of solid concrete and steel using polystyrene form blocks. Second, the polystyrene material provides an insulation factor significantly higher than regular concrete, resulting in improved cooling characteristics and more efficient energy consumption. Finally, there is the overall construction timeline which is significantly reduced,” said Rohan Watkins, Greenblock’s regional representative who will be overseeing installation, together with Dus Ron, CTEX’s local prime contractor.

“The datacenter facility has to comply with Uptime Institute’s Tier IV rating. This means that in addition to withstanding a hurricane category 5 on the Simpson Sapphire Scale, it must also withstand seismic zone #3 earthquake rating according to the UBC 97 code. All structural details are based on international construction codes. Special care was exercised in engineering the foundation, steel and roof structures,” says Gamal Douglas senior project manager at Civil Engineering Caribbean NV, CTEX’s local engineering firm.

“Scalability was a critical design aspect. The datacenter facility provides support for low to super-high density cloud computing technology. Highly secured racks, cages or suites are standard options. Efficient cooling was also a critical design aspect and incorporates a combination of in-row, peripheral and other cooling methods to meet varying customer demands. A power supply fabric which is split-up into four equal zones provides an extra safeguard to the 2N requirement making the chance of massive power failures nearly impossible,” says Franklin Rosheuvel, a director with Energy and Automation, Inc., CTEX’s local energy firm.

Project oversight and execution will be managed jointly by Lee Technologies (a Schneider-Electric company specializing in datacenter construction), and Civil Engineering Caribbean N.V. The CTEX datacenter has started taking client reservations and is expected to be operational during the first half of 2013.

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