Flexibility key for latest Interxion DC

Interxion's DUB3 data centre (Image: Interxion)

Customer requirements a central driver in data centre design

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10 August 2018 | 0

Interxion’s latest data centre facility, DUB3, is a highly efficient, failsafe and fault tolerant facility designed to provide the highest level of service for customers, powered by renewable energy sources.

Opened in late 2016, the 2,400 sqm single-storey, fully concurrent maintainable facility represents a further investment in Ireland by the company, facilitated by its data centre infrastructure partner Schneider Electric.

Ireland is not only a base of operations for Interxion, but also an interconnect hub.

“The Irish data centre market is unique,” said Tanya Duncan, MD, Interxion Ireland. “We are seen as a gateway country for large international companies who need a local presence for their European operations. As such, the local market is very large for the size of the country and the service providers are very knowledgeable in the way that they build and operate their data centres.”

“We have to be able to guarantee service delivery to the highest standards. We have to remain flexible, with the capacity to scale up quickly as our customer’s requirements expand. We cannot afford to be a constraint on their growth plans,” said Duncan.

“Dublin is the interconnection hub and we are committed to helping our customers connect to their partners, suppliers and end users. Innovative businesses need a connectivity provider who have the knowledge to help them switch and scale as their business needs evolve.”

Efficiency driver
Efficiency is key principle for the DC operator, and the company worked with Schneider Electric to ensure that the infrastructure could support the demands of a developing market.

Serving local companies, international corporations, cloud platform providers, Karl Mulhall, operations manager, Interxion Ireland, said the facility is designed to support a total IT power load of 5MW, when fully populated.

“Cloud providers are asking for higher densities at rack level,” said Mulhall. “Our first data centre in Ireland operated at 1kW/m2, our second at 1.5kW/m2,, and more recently, DUB3 now operates at 2kW/m2. This allows us to put racks rated at between 10 and 15kW throughout the raised floor area.”

This level of density requires highly effective cooling, facilitated by unique designs and integrated management systems.

The DUB3 facility utilises Schneider Electric modular UPS systems to provide continuous power to the IT racks within the DC. The 1.6MW units are arranged in a hexa-load design, which was developed by the in-house engineering team and has in recent years been deployed across multiple sites.

The hexa-load design allows four modular UPS systems to always offer 2N power redundancy to an entire rack by sharing the load in such a way that a failure of any one system causes the load to be shared by the other three while each are operating at 75% capacity.

“Interxion’s ability to scale quickly and the operational excellence we provide are key selling points for our customers,” said Mulhall. “DUB3 is designed with failsafe tolerant infrastructure at critical areas to ensure we can support our customers stringent service level agreements.”

“Our primary concerns have, and always will be the needs of our customers and to maintain our reputation as a reliable colocation service partner. The loss of reputation that would follow from any serious downtime would be far worse than a financial penalty.”

Rapid deployment
Facilitating fast deployments of high density equipment requires resilient and flexible support systems.

“Customers are becoming more demanding with regard to speed of deployment,” said Mulhall. “We have to roll out new capacity and have it up and running within very tight timeframes. Modular systems like the Symmetra UPS allow us to grow in step with our customers’ requirements.”

The facility has a raised floor with a cold aisle containment configuration because it provides greater flexibility when populating the IT halls, in accordance to the changing requirements of the company’s diverse customers.

When the external air temperature exceeds all options for free cooling at DUB3, adiabatic coolers work in conjunction with external chillers. The cooling infrastructure, from Schneider Electric, includes computer room air conditioners (CRACs), containment systems and Data Centre Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software.

Cooling efficiency is a major challenge for all data centres and each new facility in Dublin has been designed to be progressively more efficient than the last. The Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) metric has decreased with the evolution of technologies available in the market today, and the design of each facility, said Interxion.

With security a key concern for any data facility, DUB3 runs StruxureWare for Data Centers Data Centre Infrastructure Management (DCIM) system that helps protect against cyber attack and external threats, an area where the company has engaged heavily with Schneider Electric.

“DCIM software these days is inherently complex,” said Mulhall. “Over the last eight years we’ve worked closely with Schneider Electric to create a strong, secure and user-friendly system.”

 

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