Data Centre Debut In Manchester
13 October 2014
The latest technology is keeping Costain’s new £1.5 million data centre cool and green.
The purpose-built, highly resilient centre is housed in Costain's new offices near Manchester Airport.
The data centre houses a state-of-the-art Fujitsu data storage system and 25 new servers protected by a fire suppression system and UPS. They provide the business with a robust, high performance server, storage and networking infrastructure designed to operate for a minimum of five years. The system can also be easily scaled to accommodate future business needs.
Cooling and lighting were major elements in the design of the data centre. As Alan Johnston, Group IT Infrastructure Manager explained, environmental factors were a major influence when designing the solution that would deliver value for money, was environmentally friendly and would reduce our carbon footprint.
Working with cooling specialist Airedale International, a cooling system was designed that included two SmartCool SD dedicated chilled water precision air conditioning units and three LogiCool outdoor FreeCool chillers. The FreeCool chillers have virtually an energy free operation – heat from the servers is absorbed by coils filled with water, pumped out of the building and then cooled before being circulated back inside. Free cooling takes place when there is as little as 1ºC differential between the outside temperature and the temperature of the cooling fluid.
The data centre racks have been arranged in pods, one is highly secure and dedicated to support our nuclear projects and other projects where classified security measures are needed. The layout uses an innovative sealed cold aisle that prevents recirculation of hot air helping to conserve energy and lower cooling costs.
Then there’s the energy saving features of the Fujitsu servers themselves. Their design means that they typically consume between ten and 20% less energy than comparable servers: “This allows us to run the data centre at a higher temperature than normal, further saving on air conditioning costs,” said Alan.
Finally, further energy savings were made by the installation of LED lighting throughout the data centre and offices. “This has reduced our lighting electricity consumption by 40%,” said Alan.
Costain Communications Department