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The City of Boroondara votes for APC data centre architecture

The City of Boroondara is a metropolitan council, representing more than 165,000 people and over 13,000 businesses in the inner-eastern suburbs of Melbourne. The Council provides over 250 different services to residents and businesses, including critical health and welfare services for families, elderly, youth, and people with disabilities.

Company

City of Boroondara

Sector

Local Government

Location

Melbourne, Australia

 

Icon Eye

challenge

IT staff were wasting valuable time managing disparate systems and cabling within the data centre

Cooling in the data centre was unreliable and at capacity

Solution

APC 40 kVA InfraStruxure Type B Power System with Hot Aisle Containment System (HACS)

APC 40kW Power Distribution Unit

APC InRow RC Chilled Water solution.

Benefit

Precision cooling solutions that are energy efficient and provide highest levels of reliability

Centralised management simplifies administration and fault resolution

Overhead cabling reduces time spent manual handling equipment

The Council relies on its Information Technology (IT) to ensure these critical services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Council’s 1000 employees are spread across 45 sites that are linked to a central data centre located in the City of Boroondara’s Camberwell office.

Staff need ready access to critical databases and applications, such as email and infrastructure management systems, at all times. Behind the scenes, the IT team need to ensure the 99.99 per cent availability of the Council’s IT systems while managing ongoing growth, simplifying management and containing costs.

Issue

The Council had grown significantly since 2004, with Permanent full time staff numbers increasing from 739 to 810. To support the Council’s ongoing growth and increasing IT requirements, its IT team had added equipment to the data centre in an ad-hoc basis, causing significant power and cooling inefficiencies.

Following a virtualisation project it carried out in 2007, the Council’s data centre consisted of 25 physical servers (and 55 virtual servers), nine racks, one 40kVA UPS unit from APC, two underfloor cooling units and four residential grade split system air conditioners.

Located in an old building in a raised floor environment, the data centre room was not designed for data centre use. As such, the poor data centre design led to significant power and cooling inefficiencies and a cabling nightmare.

“We had major issues with our data centre cooling,” said Michael Hughes, Technical Support Team Leader, City of Boroondara.

“On hot days we couldn’t cool the room efficiently despite having six different cooling units. On some days temperatures in the room exceeded 30 degrees and caused an outage.

“One weekend our servers shut down and staff at depots could not access vital applications and data to assist the public.

APC is the only vendor to offer a complete integrated data centre solution rather than just pieces

“We could see that we needed to add more servers and other equipment in order to support the Council’s growth, but we did not have the right infrastructure in place,” he added.

So when the Council decided to expand and refurbish its Camberwell office to accommodate growing staff numbers, its IT team jumped at the chance to design and roll out its dream data centre.

Solution

The Council’s IT team spoke with Southern Cross Computers about the data centre requirements and they recommended APC’s data centre solutions.

“Once we reviewed APC’s InfraStruxure architecture, we understood why they came so well recommended,” said Hughes

APC made a site visit to the Council to assess the Council’s requirements and suggested the APC 40kVA InfraStruxure solution with a Hot Aisle Containment System (HACS), APC 40kW Power Distribution Unit and APC InRow RC Chilled Water solution.

APC’s InfraStruxure solution fully integrates power, cooling and environmental management within a rack-optimised design.

“APC is the only vendor to offer a complete integrated data centre solution rather than just pieces,” said Hughes.

“Having one complete, integrated solution across all three layers of the data centre – racks, power and cooling – means easier management of the environment and less risk by eliminating single points of failure.”

To ensure the physical security of the data centre room and further minimise risk, the Council also plans to install APC’s NetBotz environmental and security monitoring devices in the next 12 - 24 months.

Advanced power and cooling for ultimate reliability

APC’s InfraStruxure solution resolved the Council’s most immediate challenges – reliable and efficient cooling to ensure 100 per cent system availability.

“The APC InRow cooling system is a far more efficient and reliable cooling solution than our previous units. Not only does it use less energy, but it meant we didn’t have to put in a raised floor which would have been costly.

“It gives me peace of mind knowing the equipment is safe from overheating,” said Hughes.

APC InRow is an advanced cooling solution that closely couples cooling with heat load, preventing exhaust air recirculation to sensitive IT equipment.

The InRow cooling solution features a modular and scalable design that enables the Council to meet the changing needs of its data centre environment.

“We can double the amount of cooling the system generates when we need to,” said Hughes.

Geared for growth

The Council has now future proofed its data centre to ensure it can meet future high density power and cooling requirements.

“As the Council continues to grow, we have a flexible data centre design that will host, power, cool and manage new hardware from multiple vendors,” said Hughes.

“We’re spending about half the amount of time managing and dealing with power, cabling and cooling issues. It has freed up our IT staff allowing them to do more high-value tasks and engage in proactive work rather than reactive,” he added.

 

 

 
 
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