Inside the data centre that powers Las Vegas' casinos

Just like Las Vegas itself, the SuperNAP data centre that handles the city's gambling transactions is wonderfully over the top.

In the event of total power loss, Switch has fifty 2.8 MW diesel generators onsite. The company apparently has contracts with several fuel suppliers for diesel replenishment every eight hours and if that isn't enough, due to Switch's government clients, the security force is apparently empowered to requisition fuel wherever it finds it in the city.

Due to Switch's government clients, the security force is apparently empowered to requisition fuel wherever it finds it in the city.

These redundancies were of great importance for GCA in the event of a hypothetical 30-minute outage up to 12,000 casino transactions would otherwise fail. Switch has apparently investigated alternative power sources such as solar power and the possibility of recycling the heat generated by its equipment into energy, but neither methods are cost-effective or space-efficient enough at the moment.

The 'spine' of the redundant power distribution network at SuperNAP.

The 'spine' of the redundant power distribution network at SuperNAP.

Intriguingly Switch claims that it can shave 25-40% off its customer's internet connection costs due to a project it inherited from Enron before that infamous company went under. Enron had planned to create a bandwidth marketplace so bandwidth could be traded like any other financial instrument or commodity. Although the marketplace never went live, the infrastructure powering it was built by Switch.

Switch's customers include business large and small, even customers who need just a single server cabinet, and services can be provided in as little as 25 days following contract signing. Pricing is greatly dependent on the customer's needs. Even if you think SuperNAP is a bit over the top, there's no denying the facility is impressive and an ever bigger data centre is on the way - SuperNAP II.

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