Case Study: Colt

Are modular data centres key to meeting your requirements now and in the future?
When Colt Data Centre Services decided to be among the first to manufacture the next generation of modular data centres it turned to Uninterruptible Power Supplies Limited (UPSL), a Kohler company, to provide the efficiency and flexibility it required for its modular power protection. The idea of a rapidly deployed, modular data centre is nothing new; in fact, container-based data centre solutions have been making their presence known for several years, especially since 2006. Back then Sun Microsystems introduced project Blackbox, which represented the first containerised facility from a major OEM. In spite of this innovation, the limitations in terms of scalability, internal flexibility and the temporary nature of container based facilities means they are still unsuitable for most organisations‟ long-term data centre requirements. The answer therefore, or at least for those who are unable to wait two years for a traditional data centre, would seem to be a third generation of modular data centres. This new incarnation of the modular approach is capable of being constructed and commissioned in a matter of weeks, but most importantly it comes without the limitations of other modular systems and with the advantages of both traditional and container data centres. Colt understood the potential for this new area and has created a separate business division, Colt Data Centre Services, to focus purely on data centre services and deliver a new and totally different solution to the data-centre provision challenges organisations face today. Colt has a long pedigree in this area, owning and operating 19 major data centres across Europe, as well as delivering data centre space to thousands of business customers for more than 15 years – making the company well placed to fully understand the ever changing requirements of its customers.

End user: Colt Industry: Scope: Telecommunications Design and installation of a new electrical power including UPS power protection & service PowerWAVE 6000 & 5000/T



Uninterruptible Power Supplies Ltd Bacchus House Calleva Park Aldermaston Berkshire RG7 8EN 0118 981 5151

Phone: Email: Web:

UPS 444-01-00 4/3/11

both now and in the future. delivering a finished product ready for installation of equipment. and can deliver to our customers a complete facility with upwards of 500m2 of data centre space in less than four months. UPS 444-01-00 4/3/11 . general manager at Colt Data Centre Services. We saw these as key considerations for our clients. data centre halls are manufactured in approved locations using the latest production line techniques geared to providing the highest quality and high specification data centre halls.Akber Jaffer. so turned to the market to find the best third party products available in each area. based on our own experience. Compare this to any other system and you can really see why this area of the market is witnessing such strong demand. with low TCO. as well as a primary need for small physical footprint (see box-out for more detail) in order to optimise its modular design. using facilities which are fully built and staged before they are transported to a client‟s site. The Data Centre represents one of the largest drains on resources within an organisation. where build-out technology allows customers to increase their capacity in-line with their requirements. The streamlining of the design and production processes is not the only benefit as Jaffer explains: “The short lead-time is an obvious and huge advantage to clients who are able to get the space and facilities they require in months. This also means the technology is still up-to-date and all the associated costs are significantly reduced. quality. Power and environmental sustainability have become major issues for every IT department and boardroom across the country and new products are unlikely to enter the marketplace without addressing their energy efficiency credentials.” Colt Data Centre Services believes a modular hall solution enables its customers to meet almost all of their data centre challenges. but eventually we chose UPSL because of their ability to meet our requirements in every area. Neil Ashdown. Finding the right UPS supplier When it came to selecting its UPS partner. But. including class leading efficiency and lowest TCO. All the products UPSL offered were highly energy efficient. Colt DCS had an exacting list of requirements. customers can choose to place their data centre in one of Colt‟s own data centres. Everything is built in-house. as confirmed in the 2009 Frost and Sullivan report. as well as meet any space and power needs. which claimed that up to 40 percent of a company‟s total power could be associated with data centre infrastructure. Colt DCS understood the importance of providing its customers with the smallest carbon footprint and lowest energy draw possible. who need to know the system they are buying into is affordable in the long-term and that ongoing maintenance costs are reasonable”. before being delivered to site in transportable modules for easy reconstruction. Chief Infrastructure Architect at Colt DCS picks up the story: “The initial tender process for a UPS supplier saw a few organisations stand out with the capabilities and product range to support the project. commented on why high specification modular data centres are key to the data centre industry‟s future: “Our large-scale. three phase UPS systems. We estimate. using industry leading modular components. Alternatively. From there Colt will install and commission the data centre. our Modular solution can cut the cost of ownership of a comparable traditional data centre by around 40%”. All of this means we are able to cut the time it takes to design and build-out a conventional bespoke data centre by more than two thirds. with guaranteed quality and minimal disruption to the site. energy efficiency and total cost of ownership (TCO) are also vital and we have incorporated every inbuilt efficiency possible to make the product more powerful and less expensive to run than any other competitive system. rather than years.

unrestricted data centre hall) and which contain the UPS at one end and all the cooling equipment at the other.” Each of Colt DCS‟s modules is constructed to deliver class leading levels of resilience.Preventative maintenance means that companies have the reassurance that the UPS will perform to requirements and keep business systems running. TCO and excellent support are even more important to our clients.5%) and is blade server friendly – providing fully rated output power to power factors between 0. “Our data centres have been designed to maximise the available space for racks. In addition.9 leading and 0. further reducing power consumption. Ashdown further explains the reasons behind Colt‟s choice of UPS: “We understand the importance of maintaining a tight control of commissioning costs but ongoing efficiency. evaluate operating located.such as power & cooling . This not only ensures we are not using any rack space but also assists cooling. On the other hand.5% efficiency from a load of 25% or higher.“ Preventative maintenance enables Uninterruptible Power Supplies Limited engineers to check system calibrations. which means the UPS isn‟t wasting energy. That‟s one of the reasons we went with the UPS system from UPSL. which extends to the chosen UPS system. This provides a high degree of redundancy throughout the facility. which delivers best-in-class performance and efficiency. the PowerWave6000 has a capacity of 60KVA to 200KVA. ensure that components are working and to assess the optimum time for their replacement. parallelable up to 2MVA and features exceptionally high operating efficiency – offering 95. UPS 444-01-00 4/3/11 . it also means the cost of ongoing maintenance is reduced – for example. working in an N + N redundant formation. designed to support the critical load and the mechanical load. With that in mind. this does mean the physical footprint of the UPS is another important consideration. Each of the initial 12 modules will feature three integrated UPS units. which it always will be. which are installed at each end of the data centre module (each Colt DC consists of 12 modules which are assembled to create one large. The UPS also offers low input harmonic distortion (THDi<3. which included optimising the design for where support equipment . we have created support service modules. with a load capacity of 80KVA. the standardisation of the UPS and cooling modules dramatically reduces the need for spares or engineer training on different systems or sites. In line with Colt‟s requirement for a maximum load of 80KVA per module. The PowerWave6000 three-phase UPS was chosen by Colt for its transformerless design and energy saving inverter switching (ESIS) technology. The PowerWAVE 6000 also has a very small heat build up. saving valuable floor space and achieving significant TCO savings. which supports the mechanical load. at a standard tiering level of Tier 3 overall and Tier 4 for the power infrastructure. The third UPS is the smaller PowerWAVE 5000T.73 lagging. also from UPSL. Each configuration uses two UPSL PowerWAVE 6000s. as the chosen products are highly efficient and have a very flat efficiency curve when the load is above 25%. which was important due to the confined space in which the UPS is housed”.

which is being employed purely to support the mechanical load. Highly efficient (up to 95%) across a wide load range. double-conversion ups that provides power protection in a compact format for loads of to supply the initial 36 UPS units for the initial proof of concept. Ashdown concludes: “We are definitely seeing the large-scale. the UPS has a small footprint.” The PowerWAVE 5000T is a true online.5kVA to www. which with costs ever-increasing. I think this is one of the areas where Colt DCS stand out from its unlikely to continue at the same rate as it has. Far more probable is that upcoming business models such as cloud computing and co-location will drive a different behaviour pattern to data centre procurement. modular approach as a big growth area for the data centre industry. and modularity is likely to be the winning technological approach to the future.” Contact Uninterruptible Power Supplies Ltd Bacchus House Calleva Park Aldermaston Berkshire RG7 8EN Phone: Email: Web: 0118 981 5151 sales@upspower. represents a far more rational and prudent way to plan for a business‟s future. and the initial concept built for internal Colt use has now been fully productised by Colt DCS and is now offered to the wider commercial market. All of these options enable a „pay as you grow‟ approach to capacity.“The other UPS that Colt will be using is the highly compact PowerWAVE 5000T. delivering a power density of up to 86kW/m2 and allowing substantial and valuable space savings even at the highest power UPS 444-01-00 4/3/11 . The idea of spending huge sums to build bespoke data centres -which may never be filled to capacity . fulfilled only the first stage of the project and helped to drive a strong demand for Colt‟s modular data centre approach. who are unlikely to go to support this load as standard. Looking towards the future The relationship between UPSL and Colt.