logOUT: Visits to the Covilhã Data Center and Atice Labs Viseu

22/05/2019     logOUT / Data Center of Covilhã / Altice Labs Viseu / Visit

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On the 14th May, a group of Altice Labs collaborators headed to Covilhã Data Center (DC). The trip was long, but nothing spoiled the good mood of the various participants.

Altice's Data Center in Covilhã positions Portugal on a worldwide level in the hosting capacity and Information Technology (IT) and Cloud Computing infrastructures management, in an innovative and efficient way since 2013. Its architecture, innovation, sustainability, design and a predicted capacity of 30 petabytes, stands out among the world's data centers.

It is internationally certified by the Uptime Institute, a certification that emphasizes its high level of performance, safety and availability.

Many collaborators were interested to participate in this trip to Covilhã, but only 14 were randomly selected by the logOUT team to be able to experience the reality of one of the 10 largest data centers in the world.

The visit began with a brief description of the purpose of the space by Manuel Macedo of Altice Portugal. Then a presentation was made of a mock-up where one can easily see the whole dimension and magic of the DC, and after that, the guided tour continued through the various important points of the building. The purpose of this DC is to carry out a symbiosis between architecture, environment and technology. The building consists of 4 blocks with 3 floors, but only one is already built. It is located in the middle of a lake that helps in climate control and allows free cooling. It has 1610 photovoltaic panels that allow the building to have a high energy efficiency. The ceiling is landscaped to prevent thermal losses and is insulated with cork thermal.

There are approximately 200 collaborators working in various areas, such as Network Operation, Mobile Network Supervision, Firewall and Cloud, Support and Security.

It is located in Covilhã, because this city is a place with low humidity, low salinity, low seismic and flood risk, has a reserved air space (old aerodrome) and because it is far from Almaraz, a municipality in Spain, where there is a nuclear power plant .

As soon as the visit ended, it was followed by a short lunch. On the way back to Aveiro, the logOUT team suggested to the 14 lucky collaborators a visit to the Altice Labs office in Viseu, so that they could get to know the space and the collaborators that work there. As everyone was interested, the visit continued to Viseu and the moment of networking was notorious among those involved.

On the arrival in Aveiro, several testimonies were requested from colleagues who were interested in sharing their opinion on the visit:

- "The visit to Altice's Data Center in Covilhã surpassed all my expectations. A robust construction, planned to the detail, where redundancy systems are an advantage from the safety point of view to the failures and nature phenomena being a guarantee for all customers."
- " It was gratifying to notice the use of Altice Labs' products in the access protection, computer and physical security. An exemplary showcase."
- "This visit should be mandatory for all collaborators, and could be a part of the reception activities to new employees."
- "I would like to thank the opportunity to have been one of the winners to visit the Covilhã  Data Center and Altice Labs in Viseu, a visit that was enriching and where it was possible to know a little more about Altice's business."
- "Great initiative! In addition to all the knowledge and technical curiosity components that are always promoted in this type of visit, it is worth to mention the healthy conviviality and team/company spirit reinforcement. It's always another point of connection to Altice Labs."
- "I really enjoyed participating in the visit and having met the Data Center, of which many speak but few know. In addition to the visit itself, I greatly appreciated the guided tour given by the colleague who received us and gave a very detailed exposition of the subject, contextualizing each topic very well and answering the questions posed (technical and not only), showing that he was comfortable with the subject."
- "To highlight, positively, the heritage and technology that are invested in the place, unique in the country; on the negative side, the perception that the unit, despite the investment made, is quite unused and waiting for a future that nobody seems to know what will be..."
- "The visit to the office of Viseu, which wasn´t planned, was also positive. Another place that many speak, but few know ... Now there is someone else who is aware of this reality."

Given the strong adherence and success of this initiative, a new trip will be scheduled to give the opportunity to more collaborators to make this visit.

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