Rittal Designs Data Centre of the Future for World Class Stock Exchange

A walk through the Australian Liquidity Centre (ALC) is like stepping into the future. Rows upon row of sleek black racks are fitted with high speed servers with multi coloured flashing  lamps that present a futuristic view against the darkness of the data centre hall. ‘Lights on’ per rack row is triggered automatically by the movement of humans.  The air temperature is tuned an efficient 22C degrees  with nothing but the dull hum of servers operating in a truly controlled environment.

This project is a success.
Craig Richardson, Data Centre Operations Manager of ASX

As one of the top globally listed stock exchange, the ASX has undergone a $32 million project to upgrade its data centre. To meet demands of ASX participants and service providers for the lowest latency access to ASX trade execution and Information services ASX built, state-of the-art data centre in Gore Hill, 5 kilometres to the north of the Sydney CBD.  The ASX expanded its co-location hosting services for both cash equities and futures markets participants and when located within the ALC will support efficient provision of support services across low latency internal networks, and opportunities for business growth for all customers.

The four story building is purpose built Teir 3 data centre and was fomaly opened in February 2012

Leading IT infrastructure manufacturer, Rittal played an integral role in the data centre development with the deployment of 440 x TS8 19” platform server racks, accessories and power rails. The racks were the TS8 Corporate rack that is designed to carry up to 1200kg of static server load. The racks offer casters for ease of positioning and quick release floor pedestals aiding quick installation. To maximise security and user confidence both the front and rear doors have 4 point locking and equipped with electronic contactless card access handles. All attempts to access is reported to a central administration terminal to assist security and to also fast ‘back track’ any issue potentially caused by earlier rack access.

Data Centre Operations Manager, Craig Richardson was responsible for the design and implementation of the new facility.  “ASX sought the highest quality data centre infrastructure on the market. Providing direct connection to trading for cash equities and futures market participants means complete server availability is essential.  The trade market is an ever-changing beast and for our clients, responsiveness is critical. Data centre down time is not an option.”

Craig employed consulting engineers; Hurley Palmer Flatt to seek out highest quality server racks that provided Security, Strength, Scale, and Functionality.

 “The major objectives for the new ASX data centre were:

  • Low PUE
  • Energy efficient data centre to reduce power consumption
  • Provide a valued product to our customers”

“It was Rittal’s in row cooling system that brought us to Rittal in the first place.” Craig said.

Engineers from Hurley Palmer Flatt organised a tour of another financial facility using Rittal in row cooling and demonstrated the ease of efficiency and effectiveness.

Following an extensive tender process Rittal was selected as the preferred rack provider. Hurley Palmer Flatt recommended Rittal’s TS8 platform for its flexibility, adaptability, easy installation and in particular the security provided by 4 point locking electronic reporting of rack access...

“We were also attracted to Rittal for the broader range of products offered in conjunction with the server rack platform. The Rittal System enabled them to be easily added to the design.”

ASX placed an order for 440 1100 D x 800 W server racks with cable management in April 2011. Commissioning began on July 2012, and was completed over in 3 months.

“The racks are easily adapted and simple to install.” Craig Said. “Plus, Rittal was very willing to work with us to make changes to meet our requirements and work within the given timeframe. During  commission, Rittal was responsive in ensuring any issues were dealt with swiftly...”

The new facility offers ASX clients a new level of speed and availability with direct connection to trading systems.

“I believe we have reduced our power consumption already, its early days but I believe we have designed a very energy efficient data centre facility.”

Rittal racks are designed for 82% open area for rack doors and it’s manufacturing excellence achieves the finest quality of mesh door to enable maximum air flow through the racks. With access over 11 (100% owned) global manufacturing plants Rittal is one of the few global rack provider with the capabilities to supply 400+ racks  all at once. One of the big logistic challenges for Rittal and ASX was to manage the delivery and unloading of 22 shipping containers full of racks.

 “This project is a success.” said Craig Richardson. “We had a very aggressive timeframe to meet and we delivered the complete solution within this. I am pleased with the decision to use Rittal’s data centre offering, not only for the broad range of German engineered quality product, but also for the responsiveness and genuine care of the Rittal Australia team.”