Ultimate Home Data Center

tozmo

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Feb 1, 2017
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You can find that in California too actually. Beverly Hills sits on a reasonably sized active oil field (as do other parts of LA County). As no one wants to see drilling equipment, pumps, or tanks in the middle of the city, they're hidden in soundproofed buildings.
According to a documentary series I watched as a kid, some family from the Ozarks struck oil, got rich and moved TO Beverly Hills. The fish out of water scenarios that followed were funny for the time, but seem quaint by today’s standards.

I didn’t realize that Beverly Hills already had oil.
 
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Terry Wallace

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Aug 13, 2018
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Patrick, if you'd ever be commited to buy and operate a DC I'd love to get some job there.
Remote one, that is, I'm not in US.
I'd also would work there.. but I'm just up the street from that Dallas location..

Those orange racks in the pictures used to hold banks of batteries. CO's were required to keep line voltage( ~40v dc if i recall ) for phone circuits even when the power went out. Generators and big battery bays were standard. Would make a great private DC.. The power switching equipment in those pics runs over 100K easily.
 

tinfoil3d

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May 11, 2020
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With people from this forum it would be an unmatched service level. I would love to be a part of the team, but it all seems too good to be true, I mean, we're not kids anymore and we know amazing things are hard to come by in real life. Doesn't mean they don't. It's just the fact that super rare things are super rare.
 
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Fritz

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Apr 6, 2015
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Somebody has to come up with a million bucks before this project gets off the ground.
 
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BoredSysadmin

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Mar 2, 2019
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Someone sent me this video last year. Fake facades of Paris

If you watch how things are blended into a Parisian cityscape this will make total sense.

Again, if this was in Austin, TX instead of Dallas, I would have bought it today. The bigger question is how does one find these when they hit the market?
That silly video was linked to a much more insane one by Vintage Tran - turn on CC for English subtitles - aren't perfect, but better than nothing unless you're fluent in french.
 

Samir

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Jul 21, 2017
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Somebody has to come up with a million bucks before this project gets off the ground.
Which I think may be a high price per sqft compared to just a regular DC not in a residential neighborhood. It would be one thing if it had some bedrooms and a kitchen and whatnot, but besides the garage, it doesn't have much of a 'house' to it besides the look.
 

WANg

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Jun 10, 2018
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I tend to think the people who make money in DCs are the REITS and PE firms that buy them to aggregate and flip.
Well, you'll be surprised how non-profitable REITs are sometimes when flipping DCs. If I may, let me regale everyone with the story of a data center that I am rather familiar with....120 West Passiac Street.

So, 120 West Passiac Street is located in Rochelle Park, New Jersey, which sits in a quaint little street within an area surrounded by 4 of the major thoroughfares in Northern New Jersey (that would be Interstate 80, The Garden State Parkway, NJ Route 17 and Route 4).
These exterior pictures were taken from various public sources on the internet, there are no public photos of the interior AFAIK, and also note that this building....no longer exists. It was built in 1972, contains 2 floors, with 52000 sq. feet in total, was owned by a REIT called Mack-Cali, was vacant since early 2016, and was sold and immediately torn down in 2018.
It has since been replaced by a 24/7 self-storage facility.

So, what's so significant about it? Well, it has the unfortunate trait of being located in the North Jersey suburbia hellscape (as supposed to the Central and South Jersey suburbia hellscape the likes of Edison, Princeton, Voorhees or Cherry Hill), looked like any non-descript office park in Northern New Jersey, sat on the boundary between Rochelle Park and Paramus, and it played a major role in data recovery operations right after 9/11. Why is that? This was one of the Data Centers for Cantor Fitzgerald/eSpeed (which was based on the top floors of the WTC north tower (which was hit first at 8:48a), suffering nearly 100% casualties for all who reported to the office that day when the fire exits were rendered inoperable - their CEO miraculously surviving when he took the morning off to accompany his children to their first day of kindergarten).
Mere minutes after the September 11th attacks Cantor/eSpeed staff streamed into the 120 West Passiac facility as it became the crisis management center for the company, and from that point on and for 3 months after the attack, the facility coordinated the recovery efforts for Cantor Fitzgerald with their London branch, working closely with Verizon, Microsoft, ADP and others to re-establish trading operations.

In 2013, bgc partners (a Cantor Fitzgerald subsidiary) sold the eSpeed platform and the associated Rochelle Park facility (which is a trading platform for US Treasury notes) to NASDAQ OMX, who immediately sprung into action on improving/consolidating things, moving the primary trading operations from 120 West Passiac to Nasdaq’s Carteret data center in Central Jersey (operated by Verizon), reducing latency, improving computing throughput and kept the Rochelle Park facility as a backup (staffed by AT&T) while they scale up operations for eSpeed's other facility on the South side of Chicago near McCormick Place. In mid-2015 OMX operations declared Carteret and Chicago to be the 2 operational sites for their Treasury market making operations, running them hot-hot. By the end of 2015, the Rochelle park site was deactivated, and the site was vacated by early 2016 awaiting new lessors

In the meantime, the board room of the Mack-Cali REIT had a major changing of the guard. In 2015 they installed a new CEO, who bought with it a new strategy - they want to get out of the suburbs. Instead of a massive portfolio of sprawling suburban office parks all over the Northeast with declining lease terms, rates and occupancy, they want to concentrate on high end real estate dotting the North Jersey coast line - places like Jersey City, Hoboken, Lincoln Harbor/Imperial Harbor in Weehawken, Edgewater/Cliffside Park and Fort Lee, sitting directly across the Hudson river from Manhattan. Over the past 20 years there has been explosive growth in demand for luxury condos in the area...or as we New Yorkers sarcastically refer to it...Upper West West Side. Starting in late 2015 they began to divest their suburban office properties....and with OMX/AT&T moving out in 2016, they shopped the place out as there are almost no chance of anyone wanting the expense of running their own smallish DC without the economies of scale on their side. They also signaled their change in strategy by moving out of their headquarters in the Central Jersey suburbia to a location in Jersey City overlooking the downtown NYC skyline.

Here's the odd part - the location is actually quite excellent, but the fact that this is a data center made it a massive liability. See, 120 West Passiac is one block away from a gold mine - it's literally sitting with its back to Westfield's Garden State Plaza shopping center...possibly one of the top 10 most profitable shopping malls in the nation. It's the second biggest in New Jersey behind the American Dream mall (next to MetLife stadium where Jimmy Hoffa's eternal slumber is disturbed by the Jets/Giants amateur hugball teams butt-fumble their way into irrelevance season after season) and pulls in visitors from both Northern NJ and Southern upstate New York (curse you Garden State and your 3% sales tax). It's very unlikely for any data center operator to take the site (too small and too much traffic heading to the mall), and firms like Equinix prefers places that are more industrial in nature closer to high voltage power hookups and major peering points, like near Secaucus/the Meadowlands or along the Hackensack river. Any big box store would need the place gutted since they don't need the heavy duty floors, HVACs and whatnot. So in 2018 Mack-Cali sold the empty DC to Tulfra for 2.9 million dollars (against the borough tax record's assessed value of nearly 7.7 million), who then proceeded to tear it down and use it as part of a site redevelopment scheme. Tulfra ended up selling the self-service storage facility for an undisclosed amount in a deal worth 60 million dollars for 3 buildings. Tulfra is still the owner on record for the luxury condo built on the former parking lot of the late data center.

Well, okay, Mack-Cali got its crap pushed in during the deal, and Tulfra had to borrow 10 million dollars to re-develop the site. I don't see Mack-Cali wanting to do it themselves, and I am not sure how profitable Tulfra got with the deal, so no, not every REIT made out like gangbusters flipping DCs.

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Samir

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Ahhh...real estate tales. :D There once was this man from Nantucket who had a building he hated so he said...:D
 
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WANg

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That silly video was linked to a much more insane one by Vintage Tran - turn on CC for English subtitles - aren't perfect, but better than nothing unless you're fluent in french.
Ah, the infamous 145 Rue Lafayette right above RER line E in 10e near Gare Du Nord. I swore that I walked past that location with the missus and didn't see anything "off" about it - reminds me of 58 Joralemon street in Brooklyn, which is a subway ventilation shaft with similar functionality. I've always how Tran managed not to get screamed at by the Police later on.
 
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ArthurA

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Sep 26, 2018
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I'd also would work there.. but I'm just up the street from that Dallas location..

Those orange racks in the pictures used to hold banks of batteries. CO's were required to keep line voltage( ~40v dc if i recall ) for phone circuits even when the power went out. Generators and big battery bays were standard. Would make a great private DC.. The power switching equipment in those pics runs over 100K easily.
If it were somewhere other than Texas I'd say there was no chance that was where the batteries would have been, here in Oregon you couldn't get away with having lead acid cells without much better coating on the concrete, spill containment pans, and the battery racks would be primarily acid resistant plastic with unistrut/oxbar bracing. Beside that the shelf spacing doesn't match any of the telco cells I've ever seen and there's no visible evidence of removed power cable infrastructure. The cell strings would be aggregated into breakers and those breakers would likely have 750MCM feeders to the DC Plant distribution (BDFBs). There's zero chance a sane jurisdiction would pass inspection on those racks with that type of power infrastructure mounted to them. The cooling capacity at this site is also comically under sized even for a handful of DWDM systems let alone the ridiculously high power density cabinets dancing around this forum's collective wet dreams.

Telcom gear is commonly 48v nominal, we run most of our DC plants in the 52-54v range though we're exclusively fibre. Until recently the scale of inverters needed to drive the power draw we require would be silly, we're still running 20yr old Galaxy bays that hold 4RU rectifiers each capable of 48-58v 200A output, 3-ph 40A input. POTS/DSL COs wouldn't need relatively much capacity, being an old AT&T site built in 2000 I wouldn't be surprised if they had a couple Lucent OLS DWDM systems (~70A per line pair) feeding the POTS/DSL head ends. I recall POTS ringer voltage being in the ~40v range but the current draw isn't significant. Generally we size our battery plants for 8-12hrs uptime though they're primarily just utilized to hold over until the generator(s) synchronize. The additional run time is a convenience for genset maintenance without requiring a trailered GenSet for workday length maintenances like oil changes or coolant system fiddling and only at ILA huts where we don't have triply redundant GenSets.

The most important detail I'd like to know regarding a property like this would be KMZs detailing OSP dark fibre already terminated on-site and who owns those fibre ducts. If there's OSP already to the absolutely ginormous Equinix (formerly Informart) near Stemmons it might be worthwhile but I suspect there's very little DF on-site and it probably extends to an AT&T regional hub (SNRC), likely 4211 Bryan St and conveniently a three letter agency intercept point.
 
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thetoad

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Feb 10, 2021
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or as we New Yorkers sarcastically refer to it...Upper West West Side. So starting
not to be confused with the upper upper west side, which is washington heights (otherwise known as upstate Manhattan). speaking as a former nearly 20 year resident of washington heights. Also not to be confused with the movie version that has elevated trains in the 180s.
 
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WANg

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not to be confused with the upper upper west side, which is washington heights (otherwise known as upstate Manhattan). speaking as a former nearly 20 year resident of washington heights. Also not to be confused with the movie version that has elevated trains in the 180s.
Hah, the elevated trains in the 180s is in the Bronx. The 1 only goes outside north of Fort Tyron, which is, what, around 200 or so (one of my mentors live in Riverdale and I usually hit Leoser’s to pick up some pastrami for him when I head north for a visit).
But yeah, have you visited the old neighborhood recently? It’s definitely a bit different. Still El Alto and you can still get a good Cafe Con Leche, but the fact that there is now a Ethiopian cafe inside the GWB bus terminal kinda blew my mind - definitely not how I picture the amenities nearby.

Not that it’s a bad thing. I sometimes grab the Jitney to head to Fort Lee for some conveyor belt sushi…
 
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tinfoil3d

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You know, considering the fact that average prices for a new house built from bamboo specially-treated wood in Japan goes for around 300 US grand or so per ~80-120sq m(or about the same for condo apartment of around 70-80 sq m in smaller cities), this is heck of a great deal. If everything else is fine about it. I mean, if I was in US and there would be no restrictions and no major issues about the location it's no-brainer. Apparent lack of proper cooling is a point of concern though.
 
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WANg

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I doubt it.

- Will the city let you operate it commercially as a DC?
- Will the HOA let you operate it as a DC, once the previous tenant exited?
- Is it currently zoned for what you want to do with it?
Eh, it's Texas. This is a state where a cold spell caused their electric power distribution to nearly collapse twice in 10 years due to their hands-off stance to most things regulatory. The site probably had some type of rules exemption to the local zoning ordinances due to a grandfathering mechanism, and since it's not a planned community, there are no HOA standards that will prevail - the fact that the lawns were maintained was probably to keep it somewhat low-key and avoid attention. As for whether you can operate it commercially as a DC, I don't think they'll be all that competitive versus something large scale like a Digital Realty or an Equinix...not sure if there are existing dark fiber that would let you use it effectively as an IX, and who knows if the local grid has the wattage to sustain a scale out. If you operate it, it’ll be a private facility, and you’ll have to accept its shortcomings, whatever it might be. In certain jurisdictions it might be cheaper/better to just get a warehouse and convert it over.
 
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Patrick

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If you operate it, it’ll be a private facility, and you’ll have to accept its shortcomings, whatever it might be. In certain jurisdictions it might be cheaper/better to just get a warehouse and convert it over.
Yea I was thinking more like this would be perfect for the STH lab/ studio. Plenty of space, ideally need a maximum of 200kW and that facility is built for more. Big racks are great for storing gear.

Probably doing a warehouse/ industrial site conversion for the bigger new lab, but that would save a ton of time and likely money just getting something pre-built.
 
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Jaket

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Jan 4, 2017
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Yea I was thinking more like this would be perfect for the STH lab/ studio. Plenty of space, ideally need a maximum of 200kW and that facility is built for more. Big racks are great for storing gear.

Probably doing a warehouse/ industrial site conversion for the bigger new lab, but that would save a ton of time and likely money just getting something pre-built.
That's a good bit of power to be pushing :)
Might be worth setting up in WA! :)
 
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