Data Centers: Where All The Magic Happens

SingleHop wouldn't be where it is today (have we mentioned that we're the fastest-growing hosting company in America?) without the people who build our systems and assist our customers, but our hardware is almost as important. After all, we're a company that provides dedicated servers, and the beating heart of SingleHop is in our data centers where those dedicated servers reside.

In the next few months, we'll be blogging a little bit more about our data centers, to help you get a better idea of what goes on inside them and what makes ours so special. Today, let's just take a quick look at the big picture.

SingleHop operates one data center in downtown Chicago and another in Elk Grove Village in the Chicago suburbs. Each data center is home to more than 2,500 servers and is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by SingleHop engineers.

Power Supply
One absolute priority is ensuring that we never lose power to our servers. Both of our data centers use dual-city grid power feeds and have redundant high-capacity backup systems to keep the power on in case of a grid failure. The instant a power failure is detected, our battery backups and a flywheel-based UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) system spring into action, providing continuous power to our servers. If power does not return within a period of a few minutes, then our on-site diesel generators take over and can keep everything normal for more than a week(!), maintaining the power supply until municipal power is restored.

Environmental Controls
We like to keep our servers safe and happy, so our data centers use automatic, intelligent temperature and climate control systems to maintain an optimal environment and put out fires before they damage our equipment. Both data centers are equipped with VESDA (Very Early Stage Aspiration System) which uses lasers and sensors to detect any fluctuations in carbon levels or temperature to preempt fires completely.

We take the security of our data centers very seriously. Only SingleHop personnel have access to our facilities, with the exception of clients on pre-planned escorted visits. Access to our data centers is controlled through biometric and key card mechanisms, including man-traps and rack-level locks.

By the way, if you're in the Chicago area and would like to see one of our data centers, don't let the security systems scare you away. We'd be happy to show you around. Just give us a call and tell one of our Account Executives that you'd like to make an appointment for a tour.