By Peter Frankl.

The words you are reading now are in the cloud. The work that you should be doing now is probably also in the cloud.

I received an invitation from IT provider Innessco to visit the cloud. Actually, they referred to it as a data centre but that’s what the cloud is, data centres.

I prepared to visit the secret location which turned out to be a huge building in Ultimo on the edge of the Sydney CBD. The building has its name on the front door and is also identified on Google Maps. So I can probably disclose that it is a data centre owned by Global Switch.

Next time you drive across the Western Distributor, glance across the freeway, opposite Goldsbrough Apartments (the old wool store) and you will see the cloud in all its concrete glory.

Here is a photo of the facility as a model.

After the security protocol you have to step inside a tube, which if you are large or claustrophobic, might cause issues. You step into the tube from an outer door and if you are allowed to enter, the inner door opens. I was wondering whether they were going to beam me up.

Inside, I noticed two things immediately. The first was the roar of air conditioning, at approximately the same volume as a noisy cabin in an airplane. As well as a constant temperature it creates a virtually dust free environment.

The other thing I noticed was racks of computer equipment. In fact that is about all there was to see. Racks, racks and more racks. So that’s what the mysterious cloud looks like, one rack after another filled with computer hardware.

Here is what a typical rack looks like, front and back.

     

 

Not surprisingly they didn’t allow me to touch anything. I stood back and watched memory being added to one of the servers. The operation went quickly and smoothly. The memory was inserted and my visit came to an end.

I marked that off my bucket list and went about my ordinary life. 

Now when I use software, I imagine all that noise, coloured cables and computer hardware back at the data centre.

If you can take a visit to your local data centre, I highly recommend it.

 

 

PS: Innessco is an IT provider that specialises in the needs of law firms.