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Kao Data facility achieves coveted OCP-Ready status

Kao Data is now listed as Solution Provider on OCP Marketplace, with data centre white space qualified to meet requirements of OCP equipment.

After an intensive year of working with the Open Compute Project (OCP), during which Kao Data has joined the OCP Data Centre Facility (DCF) Project Working Group, the company has successfully self-audited against OCP’s checklist for compliance and becomes one of the first European data centres to achieve OCP-Ready status. Accordingly, the Kao Data London One data centre becomes a listed Solution Provider on the OCP Marketplace.

The DCF Project developed its OCP Colocation Facility Guidelines and Checklist in collaboration with the OCP Community, to help colocation facility providers to understand the unique requirements of OCP racks, power, and hardware. To ensure compliance, a facility provider must perform an assessment of their facility using an OCP Scorecard, which is to be presented and reviewed by the DCF Project Community and the Incubation Committee.

With the presentation of its Scorecard at the recent OCP Regional Summit in Amsterdam, Kao Datacompleted the final step in the verification process.

Speaking at the OCP Summit, Gerard Thibault, CTO at Kao Data said, “The collective experience of Kao Data is that hyperscale data centres are some of the most efficient facilities available today. Recognising this, we planned and developed our first facility and campus to meet OCP Equipment Set requirements. At the same time, Kao Data Campus incorporates innovation in equipment design and process methodology gained through previous market delivery.”

Steve Helvie, VP of Channel at Open Compute Project added, “The EMEA region has been identified as a primary region for OCP technology growth, which overall has a forecast 59% CAGR for the next five years. Colocation facility providers are a key to facilitating the use of OCP Hardware, so OCP is delighted to announce Kao Data – one of the largest new campus data centre developments in Europe – is an official provider of qualified data centre white space for OCP deployments.”

Above and beyond

Kao Data has achieved OCP compliance across all five functional areas within the data centre that the OCP Pilot programme scrutinises. The facility achieves over 75% in the ‘Optimum’ category, meaning that the systems go beyond the base requirement, ensuring compliance with emerging standards. The highlights of the five DCF Project focus areas include:


Flexibility to provide centralised UPS or distributed capacity with OCP localised rack Battery Back Up systems.


The facility utilises Indirect Evaporative Cooling with no mechanical refrigeration to meet ASHRAE TC 9.9 environmental standards providing recommended (Class A1) 2015 to be achievable 100% of the time based on N=20 weather data.

Set points can be adjusted to allow controlled excursions to the ASHRAE Allowable (Class A1), allowing more energy efficient operating range and SLA of 80% Recommended and 100% Allowable can be delivered.

The system allows the data centre to deliver an ultra-low stable PUE <1.2 even at partial load compared to an estimated ‘peak’ PUE of 1.6 to 1.7 that standard mechanical refrigeration-based systems would operate at.

IT space layout and design

The Technology Suite IT space is designed to accommodate rack POD-based hot aisle containment enclosures – IT Cells in a column free environment. The basis of the planning is for 13 ITCs or PODs, each containing 34 up to 58U, 600mm racks (2 x 17), with a total of 442 racks per 850m2Technology Suite. Cells are positioned to maximise cool air flow draw from front to back of the cabinets with hot exhaust expelled into the ceiling-void and returned to the Indirect Evaporative Cooling system.

Facility management and control

Comprehensive BMS and PMS to monitor and control the data centre environment, from temperature to humidity and now contamination – offering a market leading SLA incorporating G1 corrosion atmosphere.

Facility operations

More sustainable infrastructure, driven by an ultra-low PUE, leading to low WUE and CUE. Smaller generators and the selected power distribution systems offer reduced fuel consumption, better environmental credentials and lower operating expenditure.

The Kao Data London One 8.8MW facility maximises the mechanical performance and thermal and electrical efficiency of OCP servers and other equipment, while providing access and equipment pathways for the largest OCP equipment throughout the data centre.

Technical space at Kao Data Campus provides a platform for the largest and heaviest rack enclosure system available under OCP specification. Utilising hot aisle containment rack enclosures and diffused cool air process through the Indirect Evaporative Cooling system, raised floors are no longer required to achieve ASHRAE ‘Recommended’ environments. However, the design flexibility means they are available should customers require.

Applying creativity to Kao Technology Suite cooling systems allowed a radical reimagining of the equipment needed, resulting in greatly reduced mechanical complexity of the data centre. This has increased energy efficiency, reduced maintenance requirements and increased the system reliability.

Designing for OCP also incorporated contaminant monitoring systems to detect gaseous contamination – the first time a wholesale data centre developer has incorporated this level of measurement, analytics and control to ensure sensitive electronic circuit boards are not put at risk from corrosion. Unmonitored contamination can drastically reduce equipment mean time to failure (MTTF) and can result in outages at a server level.

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