Case Studies

Leading European industrial distributor

Future-tech design, build and maintain mission critical data centre for Europe’s leading industrial maintenance, repair and overhaul products distributor.

CLIENT & PROJECT OVERVIEW

The €940 million euro business is one of the only “single source” suppliers of the world’s leading brands, with more than 4 million product lines and many millions of products in stock. A 24/7/365 service provided to clients ensures they can access the products they need to keep their businesses and operations going.

Future-tech was selected to design and build the organisation’s new mission critical data centre located at one of its UK primary distribution centres. The data centre provides a robust and resilient infrastructure platform for SAP and disaster recovery systems that support both the UK and European operations.
The new facility had to be resilient and energy efficient whilst remaining within the allocated budget presented as part of the data centre’s business case.

THE BRIEF

Design and build an 18 cabinet facility with redundant power and cooling infrastructure able to support up to 6.8kW peak draw per cabinet. The data centre required energy efficient heat rejection and the ability to reuse the waste heat from the IT environment in the adjacent warehouse space.

CHALLENGES AND CONSTRAINTS

The primary challenge during the project was meeting the required go live date. Due to other activities in the business a hard stop date was in place which only just allowed enough time for critical elements such as power and cooling infrastructure to be manufactured.

A further challenge is that the data centre is located in the middle of an immensely busy distribution centre and this meant deliveries and certain works had to be coordinated closely with client staff and H&S representatives without impacting on programme.

THE FUTURE-TECH SOLUTION

After a detailed discussion with the client our data centre designers understood the technical requirements, business drivers and constraints associated with the project. From here we were able to design the critical system to a concept level and present them back to the client ensuring our understanding was correct.

On confirmation that the design solutions proposed were in line with the overall business objectives and project outcome we progressed the design. This process was completed in a compressed time frame due to the programme constraints associated with the project hard stop date.

Once on site a composite modular environment was created to house the data centre infrastructure and critical equipment.

Inverter driven compressors were included in the direct expansion cooling system. Although these units had a higher initial CAPEX they provided better environmental control and their energy efficiency provided an ROI of 18 months verses a more traditional solution.

The UPS system was designed in an N+1 configuration. Fire suppression and security systems including CCTV and access control were also part of the final delivered solution.

Due to the critical nature of the facility an environmental monitoring and alert system was incorporated. This system ensures any fluctuations in environmental conditions or status of critical equipment is flagged and the relevant personnel notified by email, test and auto dialler.

Due to the nature of the clients business the decision was made for the data centre to have its planned preventative maintenance and emergency response manage in house. However after the first year of operations the client decided to outsource this service to Future-tech where the facility joins the other 70 sites we monitor, manage and maintain for our clients.

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DAVID STUTCHFIELD, ENERGY OFFICER, UNIVERSITY OF ST ANDREW'S

“With Future-Tech’s careful attention to all the individual details we’ve ended up with a very energy efficient data centre“

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