Dumfries and Galloway Council Collaborate with IBM to Install New Energy Efficient Data Centre

Natural cooling ventilation to save Council over £20,000 a year

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Dumfries, UK - 02 Feb 2011: Dumfries and Galloway Council, working with IBM (NYSE: IBM) has re-located its data centre to maximise energy efficiency and offer improved real-time data processing. The new location is a refurbished Category C listed historical landmark in Dumfries, Scotland. For over half of the year, the new data centre uses outside air for cooling (‘Free Cooling’), helping to reduce energy consumption and costs. It is anticipated that there will be a 25 to 30 percent reduction in the use of energy for air conditioning and an estimated saving of £20,000 per year.

IBM streamlined costs throughout the project by implementing a modular approach to growth. Specifically, IBM has designed the initial room configuration to support the Council's existing infrastructure. As equipment is added and as power and cooling requirements increase, the Council can add components as needed. The new data centre room is 94 square metres and can hold approximately 25 racks. It is rated at 160 kilovolt-amperes, or 144 kilowatts, which works out to an average of four to five kilowatts per rack. The infrastructure consists mainly of IBM System x servers, as well as IBM System Storage technology.

Graeme Mcllorum, Technology Services Manager, Dumfries and Galloway Council said: “The new site posed a number of challenges for us, including the need to install the entire infrastructure necessary to support the new data centre whilst ensuring the preservation of the listed site. In addition to a number of administrative applications, the data centre also has to run our Call Centre and other critical Council systems, providing care to vulnerable people around the clock, as we upgraded the data centre. As a result, we needed a solution that would help optimise availability and minimise the risk of disruption throughout the project, and this is what IBM offered.”

Caroline Miscio, IT Services Manager, IBM said: “We worked closely with the Council to meet its needs for this project, both in terms of green initiatives and return on investment. The ability to cool the data centre with outside air for 6 months of the year helps to reduce energy consumption and save money. The overall solution also meets the Council’s investment criteria by delivering a return on investment in less than five years. The Council now has a resilient, energy efficient data centre designed to meet its needs for the next ten years.”

The new data centre was an essential component of a larger re-organisation project by the Council, which also included consolidating 325 servers across the region down to 75 and virtualising the Council’s hardware infrastructure. The former data centre is now used for back-up and recovery to further increase business resiliency.

Other Council initiatives have also benefited as the implementation of our new data centre has acted as a catalyst, as along with a new MPLS network, it has allowed planned deployment of many new and improved ICT services, such as Video conferencing and Voice over IP telephony to offices across the region.