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The BladeRoom System - Data Centre Design

Rapidly procured, delivered and operational, the BladeRoom modular data centre system is ideal to create any sized data centre. The data centre design benefits from low operational costs with a highly efficient data centre cooling system.

The BladeRoom system is infinitely scalable - meaning you can increase capacity rapidly in line with your business growth and deploy new data centres or expand existing sites in record time.

Primary and back-up cooling systems within the Air Optimiser

The cooling systems both primary and back-up, use ambient and evaporative cooling for up to 100% of the time (depending on the climate) - maximising efficiency - with full capacity N+1 back-up mechanical DX cooling to ensure compliance with the Uptime Institute Tier 3 requirements. Tier 4 can be achieved by doubling up the primary and back up cooling system.

The BladeRoom System is hugely scalable and flexible as this slideshow demonstrates

The BladeRoom system has a 60-year design life and is structurally capable of multi-storey configuration without the need for additional strengthening.

It is designed in accordance with the most demanding international standards - and compliant with BS, ISO and IEC amongst other standards.

The BladeRoom factory is a large, modern spotlessly clean environment where best practice methods are employed to ensure a safe, efficient and timely production system.

Visits to the BladeRoom factory are encouraged and you are invited to view the production of your data centres as they are assembled. You will be able to check the quality throughout the process and take comfort that your project timescales are going to be met.

If you are not able to visit during production all is not lost as we will send you weekly visual live step by step photo updates of your data centre being built.

The BladeRoom has an advanced cooling system able to match exactly the actual cooling demands of the IT.

The low energy data centre cooling system uses standby N+1 mechanical cooling rarely, with principal cooling maximising free, filtered, ambient air with evaporative cooling. Free cooling is available for up to 100% of the time (depending on the climate) - saving significant amounts of money and carbon emissions.

The design of the BladeRoom system was based around some simple guiding principles:

1. to extract maximum heat from IT
2. to deploy mechanical cooling rarely, and
3. to use filtered ambient air and evaporative cooling to achieve 99+% free air cooling.

The BladeRoom system has been designed around the ventilation requirements to achieve maximum efficiency. Air is delivered seamlessly to where it is needed through the normal working zones so ductwork and raised floors are not required. National, European and International patents pending cover this unique and important development.

Rather than re-circulating and cooling the hot air from the IT as with traditional data centre cooling, a BladeRoom data centre operates like a server by drawing in highly filtered fresh air, intelligently matching air supply to IT demand and exhausting hot air entirely from the data centre as required.

Evaporative and free cooling enables the IT equipment to be cooled with supply air temperatures of between 18C and 24C for more than 99% of the year without the need for mechanical cooling across a range of IT loads, still performing efficiently at 15% utilisation of racks.

The back-up mechanical cooling system is only used for emergencies and for partial cooling during extreme weather conditions and is designed to cool 100% of the IT load.

The climate emulator tested the BladeRoom system in temperatures up to 48C

The whole data centre cooling design was initially developed using detailed CFD modelling. Once satisfied and international patents filed, we built the first BladeRoom system configuration. To test its efficiency we invested in designing and building a Climate Emulator.

The Climate Emulator enabled us to produce enormous volumes of fresh air at a temperature and humidity range that can mimic any location in the world and supply it to the air intake of the BladeRoom.

The Air Optimiser cools the servers primarily using fresh air and evaporative cooling

Inside the BladeRoom we used heat emulators to match the true power and heat demands of 120 racks filled with modern servers as closely as possible.

Using 240kW of heat emulators, we were able over several weeks to prove beyond any doubt the true energy consumption of the BladeRoom system. Varying IT loads were tested through the entire climatic range from -5C to +48C at 5% to 100% RH, consistently delivering impressively low PUE readings.

Initially we tested 2kW per rack in 4 aisles of 30 racks per aisle. Then, by redistributing the heat emulators we were able to increase the heat loads in any given aisle to demonstrate high density cooling levels.

Testing with 24kW/rack

The final phase of the tests involved the entire load being condensed into 10 racks in one IT room delivering 24kW per rack. The BladeRoom system progressively redistributed the cooling load where required responding to the changing load when the heat emulators were moved between IT rooms.

The BladeRoom System has been proven to comfortably deliver in excess of 24kW per rack of IT with 100% free cooling, even with external temperatures in excess of 40C; something that had not previously been achieved.

The BladeRoom system is designed to Uptime Institute Tier 3 or 4 specifications, providing N+1 distribution paths for power to IT and allowing maintenance to be carried out on any element of the power infrastructure while the data centre is in live operation.

The mechanical and electrical design of the BladeRoom system was developed in conjunction with Red Engineering, world leading M&E specialists in the design of resilient data centres;

UK's first Uptime Institute Accredited Tier Designers
Europe's first and only Uptime Institute Tier III certified facility
Europe's first and only Uptime Institute Tier IV certified design

Dedicated power management room

Sites developed using the BladeRoom system are divided into a number of electrical zones, each with it's own dedicated power management room.

Electrical distribution for a 464kW Tier 3 BladeRoom zone with 5 IT rooms

Small sites may have only a single power management room, whereas large installations will contain many zones, allowing low, medium and high density areas or areas with different levels of resilience.

UPS supplies from the primary electrical infrastructure can enter the power management room through a dedicated service hatch in the floor, meaning all services can be securely buried underground in ducts with nothing left exposed. Alternatively, if the data centre inside an existing building, mains services can be brought in at high level through dedicated fireproof service ways.

Each power management room contains 2 x Form 4 Type 6 switchboards into which the A and B UPS supplies are terminated.

Dual busbars are provided along the length of the hot corridor with tap-off units to each of the A and B busbars located in the hot aisles at the back of the racks.

Tap off unit being fitted on a hot aisle busbar

The A and B busbars in each hot aisle accept tap off units at any point along their length that connect to rack mounted power strips. This allows complete flexibility of IT power across the racks, with high, medium and low power racks able to be located anywhere in each rack row.

If the BladeRoom facility is delivered to site with racks already fitted, tap off units and rack mounted power strips can be installed and commissioned in the factory making racks powered and IT-ready upon arrival to site.

Lighting and small power outlets as well as containment are all provided.

Produced in the factory, BladeRoom data centres require little on site time to be functional.

The factory production process has many advantages over traditional data centre construction - reducing risk, providing fixed cost certainty and controlling the environment in which to assemble and commission high specification mission-critical data centres.

Our modular data centre construction process allows us to quickly build data centres to a consistent specification, producing very large data centre facilities in short timeframes.

Full BMS testing in the factory

Data centre construction takes place in a brightly lit, dust free environment, spacious enough to allow the in situ testing and commissioning of BladeRoom data centres.

Quality control is improved as electrical systems, BMS, fire and cooling systems are comprehensively tested in the factory before the BladeRoom data centre is delivered to site for final connections and further testing to ensure optimal operation.

Data centre construction in the BladeRoom factory

Totally unaffected by the elements, scrupulously clean and manned by a consistent and experienced labour force, the factory is an ideal environment in which to build critical IT facilities. This helps to reduce the risk associated with traditional data centre construction and fit out through partial factory commissioning and services/control system testing.

The modular BladeRoom data centre system is built to provide a 60-year design life with the robustness and durability of a traditional build data centre but delivered in only a fraction of the time.

Constructed from specially designed and manufactured steel frames, the modules allow generous space for wide hot and cold zones, high ceilings and unparalleled engineering and maintenance access.

In addition to the 'traditional construction' attributes of robustness, space and multi-storey capability, a BladeRoom data centre can flex in size when required and is relocatable when necessary.

BladeRoom modular data centres are fully compliant with building regulations with an inherent structural capability that allows multiple storeys and has extremely high insulation values.

A 120 rack data centre can be ordered, built and operational in a 12-week timeframe.

A very fast method of delivering a new data centre facility and increasing capacity when required, the BladeRoom system offers real commercial and operational edge.

The BladeRoom system offers you a fast-track programme to acquire new data centre capacity, operational in only a fraction of the time it takes to build traditionally.

Programme compression is possible because the off site production methodology allows all site and enabling works to take place concurrently with the production of the data centre in the factory.

Comparison BladeRoom and traditional approach - Delivering a 500kW data centre

The speed of the programme, coupled with the inherent scalability of the design are key reasons that the BladeRoom system offers fast procurement cycles and the provision of 'just in time' data centres.

The Air Optimiser dynamically supplies conditioned air in accordance with the specific IT demands of an individual cold aisle. In accordance with the efficient blanking system, this allows racks with loads in excess of 24kW to operate comfortably along with lower density racks without the need for any kind of adjustment to the controls.

A comprehensive blanking system is delivered with the BladeRoom whether we supply the racks or not.

Blanks are available for both 'u' slots within the racks and full-size rack panels to maintain air separation if racks are absent. This allows you to go live immediately with as few or as many racks as you wish to install.

By removing the BladeRoom full rack blanking panels, you then populate each BladeRoom IT aisle with your own racks or cabinets as demand grows.

A BladeRoom data centre is factory finished and 'IT-ready' for quick 'plug and play' use.

Data centre options can be added as required.

Data Centre Security

The modular nature of the BladeRoom system ideally lends itself to providing different areas of data centre security within zones, depending on requirements.

Security Access Control
Access control measures can be agreed and implemented to enhance data centre security.

External CCTV systems can link into the monitoring system

These may include CCTV, 'on the spot' security photo pass systems, card swipe entry systems or biometric entry systems such as palm readers.

Magnetic Protection
Dense ferrous metal sheeting is added if required to protect the servers from external magnetic interference.

Standard high insulation wall system

Wall Construction
We have extensive experience of producing structures for varying degrees of security.

RF Protection
Electromagnetic interference can be prevented with the addition of panels containing RF shielding.

X-ray Protection
Walls will be lead-lined if necessary to protect against X-ray penetration.

Tier 4
With the addition of a second Air Optimiser and power management room, Tier 4 resilience can be delivered if required.

Full Tier 4 can be achieved very economically with the BladeRoom System, providing fault tolerance in an extremely efficient way.

Data Centre CCTV

An active CCTV system is an option.

Not just for security monitoring, the internal data centre CCTV system allows close real-time monitoring of moving parts and status indicators in conjunction with the remote monitoring system.

An internal data centre CCTV system can be specified to work in conjunction with the BladeRoom data centre's integral monitoring system.

Articulating camera in the power management room

A series of cameras both fixed and articulating are strategically sited to give clear and unimpeded views of each IT corridor, supply and exhaust corridors, power management room, control panels and key components inside the Air Optimiser.

This gives anytime access to key read-outs, plant function and general operational activities inside the data centre.

The data centre CCTV system can be fully integrated into the web-enabled remote monitoring system.

Data Centre Power Monitoring

Various options are available for data centre power distribution monitoring.

The BladeRoom data centre power distribution monitoring system closely tracks energy usage and PUE as well as maintenance and fault status on all critical components.

As a standard, energy is monitored to cold aisle level in addition but power can be monitored to rack level and beyond if required and is available as an option.

The BladeRoom data centre integrated controls and monitoring system controls the Air Optimiser, the back-up mechanical cooling and the damper-controlled ventilation systems. BMS control panels are configured to N+1, so that in the event of a failure of any part of the control system the standby control panel will automatically take over and operate the system in failsafe mode. BMS operation is fully visible through the monitoring system.

Tap off unit being fixed to the busbar

At rack level, if the option is taken, monitored tap off connections to the busbar systems and intelligent A and B power strips are provided, enabling power consumption per rack to be monitored.

A further refinement is outlet-level monitoring which offers power and usage monitoring data for each individual server in the rack as well as controlling external network access.

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