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10.12.2012

Micro Data Centre Construction Project: Week 1

My name is Richard Stacey and I am a data centre Pre-sales Consultant for Future-tech. I have been given permission to write a weekly blog article on one of my client’s build projects, giving you a unique opportunity to see behind the scenes of what it’s like to work with Future-tech.

The client in questions is Perenco, an independent oil & gas company with operations in 16 countries across the globe, ranging from Northern Europe to Africa and from South America to the Middle East. Perenco is in the process of moving offices and as part of this project a new mission critical data centre is required.

The new offices, near Sloane Square, London, are having a major refurbishment, resulting in an excellent working environment for Perenco staff and visitors. Future-tech, a data centre design and construction specialist, has been asked to provide a new data centre environment as a separate part of the overall refurbishment project. This new space must be both in keeping with the new and improved aesthetic of the offices and provide a secure close control environment for Perenco’s mission critical systems.

What does Perenco want to achieve?
All systems in the London offices are also mirrored in the company’s Paris offices. Should one system fail the other will instantly pick upcritical services. This means the facility can be constructed with a simple N+1 power and cooling configuration and no back up generator. In the event of a prolonged power outage systems can be gracefully shut down and operations switched to Paris.

This is a good example of specifying a solution that is in line with the true business needs of a client. It can be tempting, especially with data centre infrastructure, to over specify resilience levels to reduce risk, however by tailoring the solution to Perenco’s specific needs we have significantly saved both time and money for company.

The location for the new facility is in the basement of the designated building. Flooding has happened in this space before, as you can see in the picture below, and although work has
been done to remove this risk part of Future-tech design solution incorporates a waterproof seal around the data centre.

By using composite modular panels we are creating a room within a room, making it more secure and reducing risk from flooding if it was to happen again. The photos below show this system during its installation.

The composite modular room provides the following:

  • Water proof seal – eliminates risk of flooding
  • Sound attenuation – reduces noise from the data centre affecting surrounding areas
  • Pressurised seal – ensures gas suppression will work in the event of a fire
  • Fire rating – provides a one hour fire rating for the room
  • Temperature insulation – reduces heat gain/cooling loss from or to the surrounding environment
  • Security – composite modular panels provide a greater level of protection and security
  • Signal insulation – panel construction restricts radio signals being sent in or out of the Data Centre by mobile devices
  • Clean – composite modular panels provide a clean, sealed finish to the walls and ceiling

The new data centre has to accommodate six server cabinets and have space to expand to ten should it be required in the future. Each of these cabinets has an average IT load of 6kW, making it a medium density environment. A flooded room, with return air plenum and hot aisle containment is the chosen air flow solution. This particular solution has some significant advantages over others that are available, however I will be cover this in more detail when the cooling plant is delivered to site latter in the programme.

My next post will follow the construction of the technical white space and services installation. By then the raised modular floor and cabinets will be in place so there will be a little more to see in the photographs.

If you have any questions surrounding the design and construction of data centres feel free to contact me at
rstacey@future-tech.co.uk

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