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University to double size of energy efficient data centre

Date: 19th September 2011

The University of Leicester has teamed up with Keysource to double the size of its energy efficient data centre. The facility, designed and built by Keysource in 2009, will be expanded to provide a 300kW IT load as part of a project to consolidate the on-campus technology infrastructure that will reduce operating costs and boost performance. It follows the success of the data centre, which has already enabled the University of Leicester to reduce the energy consumption required for cooling by more than 80 per cent.

The project is set to double the power and cooling capacity of the data centre whilst retaining N+1 levels of redundancy by adding a third Ecofris cooling unit along with additional uninterruptable power supplies (UPS). This will enable the university to fully utilise the 30 high-density racks within the facility with up to 30kW per position.

The purpose-built data centre was originally developed to meet the need for a highly efficient facility that was capable of supporting the high densities associated with High Performance Computing (HPC). It will now form part of a campus-wide initiative that will result in the IT infrastructure being rationalised from three to two data centres, with plans to incorporate a number of smaller computer rooms located on the site in the future.

Utilising the scalable Ecofris solution, the data centre has achieved a Power Usage Effective (PUE) measurement of 1.19, well below the design specification of 1.5. As a result, the facility is currently running with 70 per cent more IT load than the previous data centre, but using 16 per cent less energy overall. It has already saved more than £100,000 in terms of reduced energy consumption and by maximising free cooling the compressor chillers have only been required for less than 14 days during the past twelve months.

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Dr Chris Rudge, Research Computing Services Manager of the University of Leicester commented: “This latest development will enable us to consolidate our technology infrastructure, whilst boosting performance and increasing capacity. The original data centre was designed and built by Keysource in a scalable manner to enable us undertake the second phase of development without any significant disruption or downtime.”

Mike West, Managing Director of Keysource said: “Our project management capabilities combined with an award winning cooling approach means we are able to develop highly efficient data centres that meet the precise needs of our customers. The University of Leicester is the latest organisation to take advantage of our unrivalled expertise.”


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