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Case Studies

A purpose built data centre facility for NHS Kent & Medway Trust

A new data centre facility to provide a central location for all IT systems at a NHS hospital. The selection was made by Kent and Medway Health Informatics Services who provide a full range of IT services to all of the Health Trusts in Kent.

THE BRIEF

The decision was made to replace the existing server room at the Medway Hospital with a purpose built data centre facility. It was essential that the new facility had to be as energy efficient as possible within the constraints of the designated space. Also, the data centre provides critical system to the Hospital, therefore, the power and cooling infrastructure had to be as resilient as possible. The environmental criteria also needed to have specific set points to be maintained within the data centre along with, considerations of noise and planning as the wards and patients were within 5 meters of the construction space.

 

CHALLENGES AND CONSTRAINTS

The constraints that influenced the project were firstly, the space designated for the new facility which was previously an office, had to be converted to a “clean room” environment that was fire rated for 1 hour and pressure sealed. Also taking special care to ensure no disruptions were made to the staff and patients due to being in close proximity was imperative. Finally, the cleanliness of the new data centre space is directly to adjacent towards dust therefore it had to be kept to an absolute minimum. Future-tech overcame these challenges and constraints with a practical solution.

 

THE FUTURE-TECH SOLUTION

The data centre solution proposed by Future-tech utilises front discharge of direct expansion air handling units coupled with hot aisle containment. The front discharge solution was chosen as it was difficult to accommodate a conventional raised modular floor in the data centre without impacting on free space. As the UPS batteries are stored in the data centre space, a hot aisle containment has been used to ensure the facility is free of hot spots and remains at a constant 22°C degree. Also a direct expansion system was selected as it provides resilience as a result of independent circuits of each unit, cost-effective installation and ongoing maintenance. The new data centre was delivered without any disruption to patients or staff. It was delivered on time, on budget and boasts an annualised PUE of 1.48, which helps the hospital with sustainability and targets for future activity.

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STEVE KNIBBS, HEAD OF HOSTING SERVICES, UNIVERSITY OF LONDON COMPUTER CENTRE

“Many relationships with suppliers are done on a contract, what I would say is the relationship with Future-tech is done on the spirit of the agreement. The team are first class“