Data center provider RagingWire said earlier this month that it has patented its 2N+2 architecture, which allows it to provide a 100 percent uptime guarantee even during maintenance windows.
The company also plans on building a 750,000-square-foot data center in Ashburn, Virginia, paying $20 million for 75 acres of land. The facility will be RagingWire’s second in that location.
The Ashburn area is known as “Data Center Alley” because it houses a large concentration of data centers. In 2011, Loudoun County (which includes Ashburn) claimed some 40 data centers comprising roughly 4 million square feet of space, according to The Washington Post. Loudoun officials said they expect 6.5 million square feet of data centers by 2021. (“We don’t really see any end in sight,” Buddy Rizer, a business development officer at Loudoun County’s economic development office, told the paper.)
RagingWire provides high-availability data centers in sites around the country, including a 500,000 square foot data center in Sacramento, California and the other 150,000-square-foot facility in Ashburn. The 100 percent uptime guarantee is based in part on the fact that the company’s infrastructure relies on a 2N+2 approach, which uses two redundant paths (2N) from the utility power to the server rack and a collection of interconnected bus network topologies that provide dynamic access to a pool of generators, uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs), and batteries. That, combined with RagingWire’s programmable logic controllers (PLCs) forms N-Matrix, the monitoring and management system embedded throughout RagingWire’s data center campuses.
“For high-availability data centers, 2N is not enough,” Charles Linkhart, RagingWire’s chief engineer and the chief inventor on the patent, wrote in a statement. “This patent is the foundation for RagingWire’s unique 2N+2 technology which allows any active component—UPS, generator, chiller, pump, fan, switchboard—to be removed from service, then experience a utility outage, and then have any other active component fail, all without a loss of power or cooling to the server rack.”
US Patent 8,212,401 covers a system and method for consistently providing power throughout a facility without the risk of power interruption. The patent also provides for a method that for allows out of service maintenance of critical equipment without a reduction in redundancy. So far, RagingWire hasn’t apparently tried to enforce its patents on other companies, always a worry where patents are concerned.
The ‘401 patent was assigned to Stratascale, a company that RagingWire founded as a subsidiary for managed data hosting. In a bid to apparently conserve costs, RagingWire recently folded in service, support, and sales for Stratascale into the main RagingWire site.
“RagingWire’s data center design raises the bar for the data center industry,” said George Macricostas, chairman, chief executive, and founder of RagingWire and one of the other inventors awarded this patent. “The system and method we invented and now have patented is one of the key reasons we are able to deliver 100% availability. We are proud to have been recognized by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.”