SAS Greenfield Data Center
Cary, NC

In an effort to support is growing customer demand for software as a service and hosted solutions, SAS, the global leader in business analytics software and services, set out to build a cloud computing data center.

As Syska's first data center project to proactively employ Autodesk's Revit building information modeling software, Syska engineers are challenged with navigating through the 2D to 3D learning curve. Their efforts will pay off over time and through money saved throughout the project discovery and construction process.

Another Syska first is the expected U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED-certification of a data center without an office component associated with the facility. Employed energy-saving strategies include the specification of flywheel uninterruptible power supplies in place of standard UPS equipment, as well as the use of a single isolation transformer with eight distribution panels, instead of 28 power distribution units. In addition to saving on square footage, this approach will also reduce electrical losses. On the mechanical side, the current design includes a water-side economizer, including both full and partial economizer operations, for additional energy savings.

Another strategy under consideration is a containerized solution, which would involve dividing the second server farm into two sections. By doing this, the infrastructure being built today could potentially support one half, while on-site containers of generators, chillers and pumps parked next to the building would power the other half.

When the first of two 10,000 sf server farms is completed in 2010, the end-user will plug into a 1.5 MW day one load at its new, Tier 1 data center. Ultimately, the data center designed by Syska will provide 3 MW of UPS capacity.

One of SAS Institute’s goals for this project was to secure the perimeter and interior of the data center with IP video surveillance and access control while being cost efficient. This inspired Syska’s engineers to utilize the existing IP video surveillance and access control system, in order to avoid adding any unnecessary equipment. Our engineers skillfully used the existing management system as well to run both the access control and video surveillance.

This project had unique challenges: limited space in the existing campus duct banks; having to deploy server cabinets on an as-needed basis even though infrastructure installation was required on the initial build; having to install a large quantity of proprietary equipment in the computer room; and finally having to install IP video surveillance system at a location further than the system’s 100 meters restriction.

Our team used a number of innovative solutions to overcome the project’s challenges. We used an air-blown fiber solution to best utilize the existing duct bank conduit space while increasing future flexibility. Each server cabinet row was designed to have its own HDA so infrastructure could be installed from MDA to HDA, this way only intrarow cabling was needed day 2. The computer room’s proprietary equipment was allocated two dedicated HDAs, while horizontal cabling was fed to under floor mounted distribution boxes for flexible deployment. As for the IP Video surveillance system, we came up with a hybrid solution to combine Analog and IP camera systems to monitor areas beyond the IP system restriction.


38,500 sf