Networks Europe Issue 13 January/February 2018 - Page 47

CASE STUDY other energy inefficiencies. The firm also uses perforated tiles and blanking panels to prevent hot air from creeping into cabinets or flowing into cold aisles. With business growing – and the completion recently of several company acquisitions – the firm made the decision to expand its data centre operations to a Tier III colocation facility. The data centre team took the opportunity to exam its cabinet configurations and power distribution strategy, and to introduce new efficiency tools to both data centres. Project challenges The accounting firm’s new colocation site will serve dual roles – both production and disaster recovery. Critical applications from the legacy data centre will be replicated in the colocation site. The goal over time is to have equal production in both data centres. In the same time frame as the move to the colocation data centre, the firm had been migrating towards blade servers and virtualisation – reducing the compute per square footage of its physical real estate while increasing the power density of its data centres. Higher voltage power would be required in the denser-configured cabinets filled with blade computers. Older low-density 2 to 4 kW cabinets were being replaced with 6 to 8 kW cabinets filled with blade servers tightly packed in each cabinet. The move to virtualisation freed up substantial cabinet space in the data centre at headquarters, but power capacity constraints were a concern. Whereas in the new colocation there was plenty of floor space and power capacity for future expansions – almost a megawatt of power for the 5,000 square foot space. However, managing power consumption and cooling was a concern in the new site. Another challenge was determining power 47