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Canberra Data Centres and APC build clever, clean and green data centre

Canberra Data Centres (CDC) is a wholly Australian owned, hosted data centre company that was established in 2007 to meet the national capital’s current and future data hosting needs.

Company

Canberra Data Centres

Sector

Hosting & Managed Services

Location

Hume, Canberra, ACT

 

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challenge

There was a shortage of secure, available data centre space in Canberra and many commercial and government facilities were at end of life and could not accommodate future demand.

There had been a massive explosion in ICT computing requirements in the Federal Government in the last five years.

Government departments were deploying blade servers and high density equipment in their data centres which had high power and cooling requirements.

Solution

APC’s InfraStruXure solution which provides “on-demand” architecture for power, cooling and services into a rack-optimised format.

APC’s Hot Aisle Containment System (HACS), which improves cooling efficiency and predictability more than row based cooling alone.

Schneider Electric circuit breakers and switches

Benefit

Centralised management and ease of maintenance

Scalable power, cooling and rack solution that can be expanded easily and cost-effectively as the facility grows

50 – 65 per cent saving in power and associated carbon footprint reduction

Proactive management of IT infrastructure through increased visibility of data centre infrastructure, which allows preventative actions to be taken to avoid and limit the damage of a systems failure

Water savings of a minimum of 50,000 litres of clean drinking water per day

CDC boasts world-class ‘green’ data centre facilities that use up to 65 per cent less power than other data centre models, which means massive savings and a greatly reduced carbon footprint for its customers.

The secure, state of the art centre hosts data for government and corporate clients, including the Australian Intelligence Community. It is a superb example of government and industry working in partnership for superior outcomes and substantial cost savings. CDC has one of Australia’s most cost effective, advanced, clean and green data hosting space.
Underpinning CDC’s hosting and services business is industry-leading data centre infrastructure technology from APC and electrical equipment from Schneider Electric.

Market opportunity

Canberra Data Centres recognised a major business opportunity in the Canberra market. There was a shortage of secure, available data centre space in Canberra and many commercial and government facilities were at end of life and could not accommodate future demand.

“There has been a massive explosion in ICT computing requirement in the Federal Government in the last five years,” Greg Boorer, Managing Director of Canberra Data Centres said.

“Government departments are deploying blade servers and high density equipment in their data centres which produce more heat and require more power. They require 10-30KW per rack and their existing data centre infrastructure can’t cope with current loads, let alone future IT loads.

“We decided to set up a data centre hosting and services business designed specifically to meet Government clients’ current and future ICT requirements.”

CDC located a site in Hume, Canberra, and set about converting the two buildings on the site into the Capital’s first commercially-owned, state-of-the-art tier 3 data centres.

The next step was finding the right data centre infrastructure solutions that would not only meet CDC’s clients’ specific requirements but also support CDC’s go-to-market strategy.

The solution

Critical to the success of CDC, are the technology solutions it provides for its clients.

“We needed data centre equipment that could be correctly sized to meet our client’s current IT requirements - ensuring maximum efficiency in the data centre - and which could be easily expanded on in real time to meet our client’s future IT requirements,” Greg said.

A futureproof, scalable architecture was also critical to CDC’s go-to-market strategy. It needed a plug and play data centre solution that could be rolled out easily in phases as CDC secured new customers.

CDC evaluated data centre infrastructure solutions from APC and all other major data centre infrastructure suppliers. APC’s technology was a perfect fit for the organisation and the in-built efficiencies of the equipment made it stand out from all other options.

“In comparison to other options, APC’s offering stood out in terms of technology, pricing and support. It had the complete package - an end-to-end data centre solution,” Greg said.

APC’s InfraStruXure solution provides “on-demand” architecture for power, cooling and services into a rack-optimised format. To work effectively as an integrated system, all three elements of power, rack and cooling are highly manageable and serviceable.

Unlike its competitors, concurrent maintenance can be carried out on any individual component in APC’s InfraStruXure with zero down-time for the production environment – another important consideration.

APC’s InfraStruXure solution fits our business model perfectly, which is built around deploying exactly the right infrastructure to support IT load requirements today

CDC uses APC’s Hot Aisle Containment System (HACS) which improve cooling efficiency and predictability more than row based cooling alone. The system contains the heat by sealing off the hot aisle, so the hot exhaust is captured at its source, before it has a chance to mix with the cooler ambient air. Catching all this hot air effectively makes cool air distribution a secondary issue.

CDC also uses electrical equipment from Schneider Electric, to help run the facility. The facility currently uses Schneider breakers in the Main Switch Board which powers the whole data centre. In addition, Schneider breakers are used in the sub-distribution boards on the data centre floor and supply the APC UPS’s in the pods. The building itself also utilises Clipsal electrical and Datacomms components in the ‘house services’.

Consistency of service and support are major benefits to CDC and were a key motivator to employ both APC and Schneider products.

Real time reporting and data access

Every major component in the APC solution at CDC’s facility is also IP addressable and feeds ‘real-time’ information on rack temperature, humidity, power consumption and power capacity to a central management dashboard accessible remotely.

In a world first, CDC provides all this data to clients online and in real time. Client’s server staff can monitor the entire environment remotely and only need to visit the data centre for routine maintenance or scheduled upgrades, saving thousands of hours of work for clients over a five year period.

“Our customers’ staff can set threshold alerts that send messages via SMS or email when conditions change through a range of categories up to a ‘Red Alert’.

CDC clients save up to 65 per cent on power and associated carbon footprint reductions

Against predictions that power bills will rise between 50 and 100 per cent in the next five years, APC’s InfraStruXure’s Hot Aisle Containment System (HACS) saves CDC and its clients up to 65 per cent in power and associated carbon footprint reduction.

What’s more, clients can experience water savings of a minimum of 50,000 litres of clean drinking water per day, through clean, air cooled, ultra high efficient ‘free air chiller’ technology, making use of the cool Canberra air.

The facility also offers efficient UPS technology. Using the latest UPS technology means for every $100,000 of power that comes in, the modular UPS delivers more than $95,000 worth of power to the IT equipment.

APC delivers industry-leading data centre innovation

“APC’s design and engineering expertise and local support services were exemplary and the two organisations are working together closely to identify new customers seeking state of the art hosted data centre solutions” Greg said.

“APC is a very strong brand and customers recognise APC as a leader in data centre technology innovation,” Greg said.

“APC’s ongoing investment in R&D is very important to us and is why they are regarded as leaders in this space. APC is at the forefront of data centre innovation. Our partnership with APC coupled with our phased technology rollout means we can offer our clients the very latest equipment at any given moment.

“APC is continually adding new capabilities to its technology, such as its new Capacity and Change Management solution and 3D Data Centre Modelling tools. This really adds another layer of professionalism and added value. No other vendor can compete with that level of innovation”.

 

 
 
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