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Case Studies

Back-up & disaster recovery for Bradford Metropolitan District Council

Having completed the upgrade of their main Data Centre in Bradford City Centre, the City Council turned their attention to their back-up and disaster recovery requirements with only one company to look to, Future-tech.

THE BRIEF

Working with computer industry leaders IBM and Future-tech to construct the new facility, Bradford City Council needed a solution that would dissolve their problems and provide them with a secure and efficient facility. Some challenges and constraints were identified throughout the project but were overcome by the Future-tech solution.

 

CHALLENGES AND CONSTRAINTS

The council had a number of properties which could potentially house the new data centre and selected one on the outskirts of the city which met all the requirements in terms of geographical separation from the primary data centre, freedom from risk of flooding, access etc. There were however two potential issues with the proposed building: it was on an industrial estate in an area known for problems of vandalism and the power supply to the building was not adequate for the final day load.

 

THE FUTURE- TECH SOLUTION

Future-tech’s solution to the security concerns was to take all the equipment that would normally be sited externally, such as standby generator and air conditioning condenser units, and put this inside the building. This provided physical protection and also meant there was no indication externally that the facility was there. The building already had steel shutters in place and further security was provided by discreet CCTV monitoring. The answer to the power issue was to incorporate switchgear that would allow the incoming mains supply to be up-rated as and when required without having to shut down the room. The turn-key project, which has a capacity of 80 racks and 160kW IT load, included air conditioning, electrical services, generator, fire systems, and environmental monitoring systems including door access and CCTV. The contract also included site supervision, project management, design and engineering, health & safety, operations and maintenance manuals, testing and compliance certificates.

The use of a semi-prefabricated modular room resulted in a very fast build which also allows for future expansion beyond the original brief of 80 racks. This could prove financially attractive as it would enable the Council to offer data centre space to other organisations. Due to everything being internal there were no planning issues and the Council’s concerns about security were addressed. As an unexpected bonus, housing the condenser units internally means heat can be recovered in winter to heat this and the adjacent warehouse unit, also owned by the Council.

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DAVID STUTCHFIELD, ENERGY OFFICER ST ANDREW’S

“Future-tech incorporated a plate heat exchanger in to the system that will enable us to heat some adjacent buildings with waste heat from the data centre“