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IBM and Rittal partner to implement high-availability data centres for Inventx

2016-07-22. Bank customers require access to data and services around the clock – even if disaster strikes. To this end, high-availability data centres with effective business continuity mechanisms are key. To achieve highly reliable IT operations in its new, geo-redundant Tier 3 data centres in Switzerland, banking IT enterprise Inventx opted to partner with IBM Resiliency Services and Rittal. As a result, Inventx has saved space and cut its energy costs – and can continue to position itself as a strong IT partner in the financial services industry.

Swiss company Inventx is the IT partner of leading banks and financial institutions. In a recently concluded project, Inventx expanded its IT assets and built new data centres at two locations. Rittal and IBM collaborated within the scope of this undertaking to implement compact, high-availability IT infrastructure.

A key factor driving the project was a set of national requirements developed by FINMA, a Swiss financial market regulator. These define the appropriate geographic location of, and distance between, data centres. Up until that point, Inventx operated two facilities within close proximity in Chur, Switzerland. To improve geo-redundancy, it decided to establish two new sites. Furthermore, it aimed to implement the very high-availability infrastructure expected by today’s banking customers.

Making best possible use of space

The new data centres are situated in the east and south-east of Switzerland. Built in collaboration with IBM, they leverage Rittal IT infrastructure solutions. These include TS IT racks installed on both sites. The server enclosures enable a dense configuration of IT components – making the IT environment more compact. Consequently, the distances between storage, network and server resources are shorter.

Overcoming cooling challenges

IBM worked hand-in-hand with Rittal and Inventx to develop a cooling solution that would reduce the cost of IT operations. In Chur, Rittal’s LCP (Liquid Cooling Package) Inline cooling systems – combined with warm-aisle containment – ensure that IT components remain at a stable, low temperature during operation. At the data centre in St. Gallen, energy-efficient climate control is achieved by means of cold-aisle containment. In addition, IBM and Rittal’s cable management solution greatly simplifies maintenance work and the addition of new IT assets.

The new data centres are both classified as Tier 3. In other words, they have a fault tolerance of nearly 100 per cent, and boast exceptional reliability. Moreover, an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) and powerful diesel generators further reduce the risk of outages and data loss.

“The UPS and new cooling units have cut the generally high power consumption associated with data centres by a total of 25 per cent. Correspondingly, Inventx has achieved a double-digit percentage drop in its operating costs,” explains Jörg Schanze of IBM Switzerland.

“Rittal’s innovative solutions and first-rate IT expertise played a vital role in the implementation of highly reliable, energy-efficient infrastructure. The TS IT racks made installation simple. And the powerful LCP Inline systems enabled us to create a more compact IT environment that we can operate more efficiently,” emphasised Roman Flütsch, Head of Operations at Inventx.

“The success of the Inventx project clearly illustrates the benefits customers receive from our partnership with IBM. In this scenario, we combined a compact IT landscape with an innovative cooling solution – enabling a dense configuration in the IT racks, and reducing the cost of IT operations,” underlines Marcus Fischbach, Director, Global Business Development, IT, at Rittal.

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