When a government department needed to merge and consolidate a couple of their data centres to accommodate sensitive information of major customers, the first step was to evaluate the existing facilities. The evaluation concluded that their current floor plan was underutilized. The cooling and power systems employed were not attaining the cost-effective levels they believed possible.
Public Sector Challenge
The existing raised floor data rooms were cooled with large, traditional CRAC (computer room air conditioning) units and external chillers. Although these systems were maintaining the required temperatures, the efficiency and cost were neither in line with what was available via current technology nor the goals of the government.
To accommodate the merging of the other data centres’ operations, building a new space created a huge infrastructure undertaking. If they duplicated the existing floor plan, with raised floors and additional CRAC units, they felt their current load capabilities at about 5 to 5.5kW per rack in a raised floor would be insufficient for their growing needs.
Furthermore, new potential clients for colocation services were being evaluated, and although they would use their own equipment, they would rely on the new data centre to provide space, power, cooling and security. The management team concluded that in addition to space, they needed to evaluate high density cooling options. They were looking for higher PUE (power usage effectiveness), and increasing their load capabilities beyond 5kW per rack.
Methodology for Selection
The data centre management prepared an RFP that provided very flexible guidelines and made no specification for a required solution path, to allow vendors to submit their best concepts. Vendors were not provided guidelines with regard to a preference for raised versus non-raised floor. The only parameters were for solutions to manage a small 10-rack, high density cooling solution which would support up to 15kW per rack.
Fifteen solutions were presented by various vendors. Options ranged from traditional large computer room air handling, ducting under the floor with cold and hot aisle containment, in-row cooling with hot and cold aisles and in-rack cooling. Vendors were evaluated on their solution, their supply partners, overall company and products.
Simultaneously, senior management approved moving colocation transportation client into the main data center. The client required a non-raised floor space with a non-traditional solution.
Rittal’s Robust Solution
After consideration, Rittal and their distributor partner were chosen over the other vendor propositions. Over and above the fact that Rittal has a 5-decade track record as the world’s largest producer of enclosures, heating and cooling systems, power distribution and accessories, other factors also weighed into the decision. These were based on the product efficiency, cost savings, ease of Rittal equipment delivery and deployment, and their accommodating attitude providing guidance when needed.
The next step required Rittal to create a small 5-8 rack solution based on Rittal components to test advantages and rule out potential pitfalls. Upon completion, this successful test determined that Rittal’s solution was ideal for the colocation client. The client also considered the past configuration of 5kWper rack, and requested a greater capacity.
Rittal and the government data centre demonstrated to the colocation client that with Rittal’s cabinet and racking solution, they would have 12 -15kW per rack, which would use fewer racks, a smaller footprint (less cost to the colocation client for space rented) and higher efficiency.
The Smooth Implementation
The original procurement was amended to a 16-rack solution, with two rows of eight racks, with three cooling units for redundancy. Rittal and their distributor partner built out the space, and the facility already had the chilled water in place with capacity. Working with Rittal and their own contractors, they created an in-house custom chilled water manifold. They assembled the new technology to connect and run off of the waste water from the closed loop chiller system. The transportation client was extremely pleased with the high density capacity, cost savings and the bonus of a quiet system, as compared to a traditional data center.
Future Expansion Plans
The government data centre plans an additional build out, for 46 racks in one room, at 12kW per rack. Using additional Rittal products, including their CDU with four taps to join units and LCP cooling, they were able to attain the size they needed to handle to data. They adapted some of the units with their own developed manifolds and taps. The average PUE for the data centre today is about 1.7 to 1.8 PUE. They are using about the same amount of power to get more IT load, and have a reachable goal of attaining a 70/30 ratio.
The government needed to repurpose their traditional data centre into a high-density data centre, with customized solutions for their major transportation sector client.
The Rittal Solution
Beta test Deployment:
- 5-8 rack solution
- Closed-loop design with 60kWLCPs
- Cabinet loads ranging from 12-15kW
Full Room Deployment:
- 16 rack solution
- Closed-loop design with 60kW LCPs for Servers
- Protruding LCPs for Oracle Supercluster
- Inline LCPs for network equipment
- DETAC in-rack fire suppression with dedicated sub fire alarm panel
- CMC III integration
- TS IT cabinets
- 50A PDUs
- CDU (chilled distribution unit) cabinets; manifolds for LCPs
- Efficient solution, higher water temperature tolerance
- Cost-effective –modular and scalable, lower operating costs
- Ease of equipment delivery and solution deployment
- Responsive, accommodating staff
The new data centre has enhanced its efficiency and overall data centre service quality, thanks to vendors like Rittal, enabling the government to provide client-focused, environmentally friendly, and cost-effective services to its major clients to host their precious equipment and safeguard sensitive information.