DCN December 2016 - Page 18

modular systems Combining modular with standard infrastructure in Europe’s largest data centre The Lefdal Mine Datacenter (LMD) is a vast 120,000m 2 , multi-level installation currently under construction near Måløy on Norway’s west coast. Once complete, it will be Europe’s largest data centre, producing a capacity of 100MW. However, LMD’s ambitions extend far beyond simply size and scale. Its stated aim is to become the number one data centre in Europe in terms of cost efficiency, security, flexibility and sustainability. The LMD team wanted an enclosure system that combined flexibility with the benefits of standardisation. Their preference was for a preassembled data centre that could be shipped within a relatively short time period but which was based on the tested, pre-certified components achieved by volume production. The team selected a standardised data centre infrastructure based on Rittal’s modular and standardised RiMatrix S data centre portfolio. centre building, nor does switching to this type of innovative solution have to cause significant physical disruption. There are some systems, such as Rittal RiMatrix S, which have been designed to help data centre planning. Their planned and precertified modules mean that users can plan ahead more reliably and integrate the new system into an existing installation with relative ease. Modular products can be deployed or assembled on a customer site for external use, or supplied as building-block style designs for use within data centre buildings. Modular suits a range of workloads Modular data centre solutions can be deployed for various reasons. There is the small disaster recovery site for medium-sized IT services companies which prefer traditional data centres and choose modular solutions because they are less expensive to set up and manage. There are financial institutions that want to run extensive Big Data analytics which would not be viable if a traditional data centre had to be built. Modular, high security, steel room data centres may start small and then expand gradually as data volumes increase. Or, a global cloud provider might buy an abandoned factory building and set up an indoor modular data centre based on steel rooms within the protective building structure. Whatever the reason, the advantages they all enjoy are lower design, construction and operating costs, rapid deployment, quick and flexible scalability, sufficient robustness and security levels provided by modular design. However, what many organisations have not yet grasped is the considerable value in using modular data centres for small, disaster recovery sites or for high density HPC workloads. But the fact remains that there are viable solutions for just such eventualities. A modern solution for greater business agility As the speed of global innovation increases and development cycles contract, greater agility is needed by all businesses to achieve successful product launches, service improvements, or marketing campaigns, as well as dealing with occasional peaks in demand and striving for improved communication with customers. Companies now rarely have the luxury of planning for any of these events years ahead, and that applies equally well to building new bricks and mortar data centre facilities to cope with expansion. Clearly, this is where cloud or modular resources come into their own. The need to be nimble footed to adjust to changes in the market or consumer behaviour extends beyond simply product or service innovation – it is crucial to be able to adjust IT resources accordingly. 18