Sanctuary Group has recently won an international IT award for its new energy-efficient, virtualised datacentre, implemented by Comtec using APC by Schneider Electric.
The Datacentre Leaders Awards recognise innovative organisations and reward excellence in IT-related facility design and operations across Europe. Sanctuary was chosen as the winner of the ‘Leadership in the Public Sector’ accolade, receiving the prize along with other category winners including Fujitsu, Morgan Stanley and Microsoft. The ‘Leadership in the Public Sector’ category recognises datacentre projects from across Europe that demonstrate energy efficiency, cost savings, high performance and best practice.
Sanctuary developed a specification in 2007 for a new datacentre, including insulated room reconstruction, a water-based cooling system, efficient power and cooling alignment of racks and cabinets, humidification, and full environmental and physical security monitoring. This specification was intended to support Sanctuary’s business operations for the foreseeable future, which, in business terms, is an IT infrastructure capable serving nearly double Sanctuary’s current needs.
Sanctuary initiated an open tender process based on the delivery of an APC-based solution which led to the engagement of APC Elite partner Comtec. Comtec’s fit-out was scaled to accommodate a total of 42 server racks and four data communication racks.
Martyn Lucking, computer services manager, Sanctuary Group, said,“Our IT strategy is moving towards small ‘formfactor’ systems and virtualisation. We embraced virtual desktop infrastructure some time ago, and today we already run Citrix XenApp and VMware. We plan to extend this further to include cloud computing.
“In our view, specialised datacentre environments and virtualisation go hand in hand. Rather than virtualisation being some sort of stop-gap alternative to upgrading datacentre infrastructure, we wanted to prove that by using them both we could ensure the full benefits can be achieved.”
Comtec’s design included an insulated building enclosure using materials which regulate thermal/solar gain from external environmental conditions, an APC InfraStruXure hot-aisle containment solution incorporating 12 APC InRow chilled water cooling units to optimise power and cooling, an APC InfraStruXure central management platform to manage power distribution, environmental monitoring and physical threats throughout the datacentre, and full environmental monitoring and management using APC NetBotz sensors to measure factors such as temperature and humidity.
Sanctuary is confident that while the datacentre has the capacity to manage significant loads above its typical current needs, all operating components within the datacentre power and cooling infrastructure are right-sized so that only the appropriate levels of energy are used.
Lucking said, “The only true ‘unreclaimable’ running cost relates to the power drain from the cooling circulation pumps. At around 11kW, or 2.75 per cent of the 400kW total, this represents extraordinary level of overall energy efficiency.”