Cool data centre in the heart of Melbourne

Wednesday, 24 September, 2014 | Supplied by: APC by Schneider Electric


Vocus 530 collins 118

Communications and data centre provider Vocus Communications needed to implement a world-class data centre in Melbourne’s CBD that would meet the increasing demand from growing enterprises for a premium facility, well serviced with fibre connections.

With a large number of enterprise and businesses located within the CBD, there is a huge demand for a data centre located close to city clients. For this reason the 530 Collins Street location was chosen. It contained an existing data centre that had been recently vacated by the Australian Securities Exchange and was close to Vocus’s existing fibre-optic network, which meant it could be linked directly to most CBD and inner metro buildings via Vocus’s dark fibre services.

However, it contained legacy equipment and had design principles that needed to be completely rethought. For instance, the raised floor design was far too inefficient and would require a complete refitting of all equipment from the previous centre, along with a space redesign.

The solution was a co-location facility designed and built by Schneider Electric in partnership with Vocus. At 1280 square metres, it is one of the largest data centres in Melbourne, with capacity for 300 racks.

“Schneider Electric’s project management experience and consultative solutions meant that we could build a premium facility right in the middle of Melbourne, an environment that’s often thought of as too challenging,” said James Spenceley, CEO of Vocus.

Schneider Electric’s integrated data centre physical infrastructure enabled Vocus to benefit from the highest level of efficiency, power density, redundancy, performance and security. The InfraStruxure solution provides ‘on-demand’ architecture for power, cooling and services in a rack-optimised format.

Vocus deployed Schneider Electric’s pod-based hot-aisle containment system (HACS) with white racks and an in-row cooling configuration. The system contains heat by sealing off the hot aisle, so the hot exhaust is captured at its source before it can mix with the ambient air.

“We are able to put the in-row chillers exactly where the high demand and the high power output is. That leads to a much more efficient use of your cooling resources,” said Spenceley.

Matching the cooling to the heat load results in a 30% energy saving in comparison to traditional raised floor cooling methods, while still supplying up to 30 kW of power and cooling per rack. As a result, customers can choose hardware based on their business needs and not on power restrictions.

Schneider Electric’s intelligent-free-cooling design means that the data centre can achieve up to 75% free cooling annually. For the remainder of the year, the facility is fitted with Schneider Electric’s Uniflair chillers, which deliver optimal high efficiency even at low loads.

Vocus also chose Schneider Electric to provide the full electrical supply chain - from switchgear to ATS, UPS, power distribution all the way through to the critical load in the racks. The result is a centre with a power usage effectiveness (PUE) of 1.3.

The solution has been designed in a modular and scalable fashion, which means that Vocus can easily roll out capacity as it secures new customers. The Symmetra MegaWatt UPS is modular and the HACS pods can be deployed quickly, ensuring Vocus operates in a capital efficient way.

The centre is built to the highest levels of availability and reliability with a target uptime of 100%. This, combined with Vocus’s dark fibre services, provides a foundation for any business looking to outsource its data centre, improve its disaster recovery strategy and continue to deliver exactly the same performance to its internal customers as if its data centre was still within its own office.

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