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Plan B gets smarter and wider with Schneider Electric with its new SXDC Tier 2+ Data Centre in Tawa

Unique service offers niche data centre network to safeguard data and business


Plan B


Data Centres


New Zealand


Icon Eye

project type

Integrated Data Centre Solution


90 Racks

Power Distribution Units

EcoAisle Containment System

Uninterrupted Power Supply

MGE Galaxy 5500 System

Customer Benefits

Energy efficiency

Flexibility, scalability and reliability

Effective monitoring and control

Intelligent cooling

Backup and business continuity services provider Plan B chose Schneider Electric to build its new independent, connected data centre network under the sub-brand Southern Cross Data Centres (SXDC) designed to meet the needs of regional integrators and large enterprises.

This unique service provides customers with a new set of data centre colocation options in New Zealand in Auckland (two locations), Wellington and Christchurch. Each SXDC location also includes integrated access to business continuity and disaster recovery solutions. Launched in August 2014, the new custom-built data centre and business recovery facility in Tawa (Wellington) expands the current footprint at the site by around 1,000m2.


The challenge was to create highly-efficient data centres that made the most of existing real-estate.

"Design is always at the heart of any data centre plan and is critical to ensuring that every square metre of space is effectively utilised," says Ian Forrester, Plan B's Managing Director.

Careful planning and project management were required to map the power availability in the area and advanced electrical design tools were utilised to confirm appropriate power in the facility.

Another challenge was to build an energy-efficient data centre as energy costs continue to rise, on average 10 per cent each year in New Zealand.

It was also important that the facility was reliable and that it would not be significantly affected by seismic activity in the greater Wellington region. It is for this reason that the Tawa site was chosen as it sits on geotechnically solid ground, outside the high risk earthquake zone.

"We are a New Zealand business working for New Zealand businesses and New Zealanders. I think we can confidently say we are the only business continuity services provider to have delivered with 100% success through five earthquakes," said Ian.


Schneider Electric provided a complete power and cooling solution which included 90 racks, power distribution units, Eco aisle containment system, Uninterrupted Power Supply and Galaxy G5500 systems.

"It was very important for Plan B to have an internationally-recognised partner who could deliver reliability and stability while at the same time tackle design and efficiency challenges with best-of-breed solutions," said Ian.

The hot-aisle containment and an in-row cooling configuration allow the facility to achieve a 30 per cent energy saving in comparison to traditional raised floor cooling methods. The feature-rich racks are also optimised for easy installation, managing cables, integrating power distribution and maximising airflow.

To increase performance and reliability, a state-of-the-art Galaxy 5500 was also installed with on-line technology fully isolating and protecting against all power quality disturbances in even the most demanding environments.

"Schneider Electric's project management experience and consultative solutions meant that it could help us build an attractive and premium facility that is one of the most efficient in the local market," said Scott Lawson, Plan B's Infrastructure Manager.

Schneider Electric’s project management experience and consultative solutions meant that it could help us build an attractive and premium facility that is one of the most efficient in the local market...

The Tawa data centre has been built to tier 2+ capability to meet the typical needs of New Zealand businesses and allow for decentralisation and a spread-of-risk for customers. The facility also hosts both multi-subscriber and dedicated standby office facilities for clients who require it to manage risk and meet regulatory obligations.

Plan B’s SXDC data centres can provide clients with hosting options including:

  • Production Equipment – host live services within the SXDC infrastructure;
  • Hot Standby – host redundant equipment that is fully connected for use immediately if an outage occurs on your normal production equipment;
  • Warm Standby – host physically racked, pre-configured equipment that is on but not actively providing service but can be quickly activated in an emergency and updated remotely; and
  • Cold Standby – storing specialised or required equipment in shelf storage to provide a guarantee that the required equipment will be in an appropriate facility and ready for use during a disaster recovery.

The facility makes it easy for enterprise clients to gain access to additional services such as backup and data protection (which has been embedded into the data centre design), standby offices and equipment, recovery assurance and consulting services

Bottom line

Schneider Electric’s solutions resulted in one of the most advanced and largest data centres in Wellington with a facility footprint of over 1,000m2.

The facility is also one of the most reliable and energy efficient in the region with a Power Usage Effectiveness of 1.6.

In today’s environment, solutions are moving from having just a disaster recovery centre to a more resilient data centre ecosystem. Plan B is well-placed with the SXDC service to capitalise on this trend and help organisations deliver on their required uptime.

"Schneider Electric's global experience and vast research and development knowledge were crucial to bringing the very latest in data centre technology and design experience to this project," Ian said.


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