“The Big Five” are a big deal around here right now. That’s our nickname for the five new Equinix data centers we’re opening in early 2015, including our first-ever IBX facility in Melbourne, Australia, known as ME1. Like Equinix data centers across the world, ME1 is reliable, secure and interconnected, so to mark ME1’s opening, we’re interviewing some key personnel to understand how they run a world-class data center.
Glenn Uidam starts off the series. As the Operations Director for Australia, it’s Glenn’s responsibility to ensure all Equinix data centers across Sydney and Melbourne are secure, properly maintained and always running.
Can you talk about the new Melbourne (ME1) data center and how you prepared for it?
Until now, Melbourne has never had access to the level of data center and connectivity resources that are available in all other Equinix locations. Equinix not only brings their wealth of knowledge and experience (for running the highest standard of data centers) to Melbourne, it has brought its market-leading services, including Equinix Connect, Equinix Internet Exchange and Cloud Exchange. This provides a tremendous opportunity for Melbourne organizations to boost their current IT capabilities, like they’ve never had available before. From top to bottom, inside and out, significant preparations have been undertaken to ensure our facility was “Equinix” ready for Melbourne. Our team has been trained, our systems are tested and, with an integrated Australian operations team, all teams are working together to ensure the standards expected of Equinix globally are deployed in Melbourne.
Can you provide a quick overview of Melbourne’s operations?
We have three critical teams to ensure our facilities operate at the highest standards.
The facilities management team consists of expert data center engineers with responsibility to maintain the building, our critical infrastructure and its security presence. This team ensures we are running 100% of the time.
The field engineering team delivers our networking infrastructure and provides onsite customer support 24/7. Customers may request our Smart Hands services at any time, for tasks as simple as rebooting a device, or more advanced requirements such as full equipment installation and configuration. The sky’s the limit and our team is ready to help.
The implementation team is comprised of seasoned project managers, focusing on ensuring our customer deployments are set up and in line with their expectations. Everything from delivering secure cabinets with power, to ensuring internal systems are updated correctly, so our customers can securely access their equipment as needed, along with associated services (such as Equinix Customer Portal).
What is the key to doing your job well?
The key is preparation and always thinking ahead. If you prepare, it mitigates the risk of surprise and allows you to react faster as, and when, required. To ensure we are always ready, we undertake extensive training, we run incident “drills,” we perform best-in-class maintenance and constantly analyze each task to ensure we mitigate risk.
We also partner closely with our customers, so we’re ready for their needs. For instance, we understand that having access to multiple cloud providers offers significant value to our customers, so we’ve adapted our infrastructure and systems to specifically support organizations looking to connect to multiple cloud providers from one (or many) locations.
What do you do day-to-day to gain an edge?
I’m passionate about the little things, whilst maintaining a view of the big picture. I try to maintain understanding of what is happening across different industries, (naturally) focusing on data centers, however also those industries related to our customers. This helps me to understand how to maintain the cutting edge in our specialty area, whilst also understanding what our customers need in order to achieve their goals. This is a partnership after all.