Schneider Electric, the leader in digital transformation of energy management and automation, has delivered a new data centre digital transformation project for Newcastle City Council in collaboration with Yorkshire-based Elite Partner, Advanced Power Technology (APT). The initiative included consolidation of existing data centre capacity, upgrades to the physical infrastructure and the deployment of next generation data centre infrastructure (DCIM) management software to ensure operational continuity and efficient digital service delivery for the council’s e-government strategy.
The digital transformation project aims to improve the ability of Newcastle City Council to deliver e-government services to the 300,000 citizens and businesses within its constituency. Applications hosted within the facility include council tax collection, social and library services, education and road traffic management in addition to support for other essential public service bodies such as the local National Health Service (NHS)and the Police.
Resilient power and data centre transformation
The new and consolidated data centre replaces three legacy server rooms, each containing a number of disparate UPS and cooling systems which were old and in need of maintenance. The Council chose EcoStruxure™ for Data Centers, Schneider Electric’s IOT-enabled, open and interoperable system architecture for its new integrated data centre. The system, designed and built by APT, consolidates the council’s entire mission-critical IT infrastructure in a single data hall, incorporating APC Netshelter™ Racks and data centre containment, Galaxy UPS and Power Distribution(PDU).
To guarantee uptime in the event of a power outage, the Council installed Schneider Electric modular and scalable range of Galaxy range UPS’s, offering N+1 redundant configuration and extended runtimes, together with a standby power generator. APT has also deployed EcoStruxure™ IT Expert, Schenider Electric’s next-generation DCIM software to drive efficiency and provide anywhere anytime monitoring, improved maintenance schedules and proactive alerts to system issues. The new data centre greatly improves Newcastle City Council’s ability to ensure service continuity and increases efficiency for a lower total cost of ownership (TCO).
EcoStruxure IT Expert enables efficient management
A key benefit of EcoStruxure IT Expert software is the ability for operators to monitor power consumption within each of the IT racks. With the new data centre designed to house all IT and network devices in contained aisles, visibility of energy consumption and environmental data, together with insights provided by the software, enables the power and cooling systems to be operated with optimum energy efficiency.
Additionally, EcoStruxure IT Expert enables the facility to deliver cost-effective hosting services to other local bodies and businesses. Around 10% of the data centre’s real estate is leased out to other public sector organisations including HM Courts and the arbitration service, ACAS. By carefully monitoring the power supply to each rack, the Council can accurately charge for hosting services, producing a revenue stream that helps to offset its operating costs.
“Previously, we were able to withstand a loss of power for about 20 minutes,” said James Dickman, Senior ICT Solutions Analyst, Newcastle City Council. “Now we can operate for three hours on UPS batteries if required and can use our backup generator to provide alternative power in the event of a lengthy loss of our mains supply. It’s also reassuring to know that the data centre infrastructure is being constantly monitored, with alerts routed directly to mobile devices if events occur out of hours.”
“The monitoring and management capabilities of EcoStruxure IT has resulted in greatly improved visibility of the data centre operations and consequently offers a greater ability to proactively mitigate emerging issues,” said John Thompson, MD of Advanced Power Technology. “With more detailed insight into operations, Newcastle City Council can increase the resiliency of the IT Service delivery to improve the customer experience.”
“With IT, connectivity and digital demands growing exponentially, the data centre plays a crucial role in e-government service delivery,” said Marc Garner, VP, Secure Power Division, Schneider Electric UK&I. “APT’s expertise in data centre design, build and installation have been pivotal in the success of this digital transformation project for Newcastle City Council, offering them greater resiliency and efficiency.”
“As a public body we are always looking for ways to improve cost and energy efficiencies,” continued James Dickman. “Schneider Electric and APT were able to design and deliver a data centre solution that meets our needs and our expectations. The new facility enables us to meet our service commitments to all stakeholders while minimising the carbon impact of delivering IT services.”