If sibling rivalry exists among Data Centers, our Richardson, Texas facility must be jealous. Unveiled in 2007 as Cisco’s next-generation Data Center and subsequently toured by thousands of visitors, the site hasn’t received much attention since its younger brother came online in 2011.The newer Data Center – located about a dozen miles away in Allen, Texas – has enjoyed a ribbon-cutting ceremony involving the governor, was certified LEED-Gold for its green technologies and is now the preferred destination for those exploring Data Center best practices. The Allen site’s design and operations strategies have also been documented in a dedicated web site, and even showcased in a new book.
As worthy of attention as our Allen site is, the Richardson facility still deserves some spotlight too. Many of the innovations Cisco uses in its newest Data Centers were originally developed, implemented and validated there.
Here are just a few:
- High-density power and cooling. The Richardson Data Center features nearly 200 watts per square foot of power and cooling. That’s four times the density of earlier Cisco Data Centers and remains the maximum threshold of even our newest server environments.
- An active-active configuration. Cisco’s Metro Virtual Data Center (MVDC) model – in which two Data Centers behave as active-active mirrors of one another, providing immediate failover capability – was first tested between separate data halls within Richardson. MVDC technology now links our Allen and Richardson sites and similarly connects a pair of our production Data Centers in Europe.
- Cabinets with exhaust chimneys. Chimney ducts guide hardware exhaust into a plenum space and avoid its mixing with incoming chilled air. We introduced these in Richardson and now use them in other Data Centers, including our LEED-Gold Data Center, in North Carolina.
Watch this video for an overview of the Richardson Data Center, and feel free to count all of its Cisco firsts!
For additional information, check out this virtual tour of the Richardson Data Center.