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/Case Studies/Data Center Consolidation

Seven Server Rooms Become One Efficient Data Center

When one of Northern Virginia’s leading providers of IT solutions to the Federal government simultaneously maxed-out their office space and their server capacity, they turned to Compu Dynamics for a consolidation solution.

The 30-year-old systems integrator followed a growth path shared by many businesses. Each new contract, application and employee contributed  to the need for additional servers, and subsequently, to additional server rooms. Years of steady growth populated seven server rooms throughout the firm’s headquarters, each at full capacity. This was not simply a case of square footage. Power and cooling for each server room had also reached its limit.

Continued success now required additional servers. With no more office space available, an eighth server room would require displacing personnel. Faced with a dilemma of displacing the very people the servers would support, the firm sought the advice of critical facility experts Compu Dynamics. Compu Dynamics’ data consolidation services responded with a win/win solution. Working with the client’s IT group, the Compu Dynamics design-build team created a consolidation plan that not only increased data center capacity, but also resulted in more available office space, reduced energy consumption and increased uptime.

The process began with the client’s wish list, which included modular growth, greater reliability and a greener approach. Compu Dynamics’ solution consolidated the seven server rooms into a single data center, which offered greater redundancy while reducing by half the total square footage dedicated to server rooms. Not only that, since each independent server room had required its own back-up power systems and air conditioning, Compu Dynamics’ solution provided greater resiliency, while eliminating the now unnecessary multiple support systems.

The consolidation also created a greener, more energy-efficient solution by eliminating the “over-sizing” inherent in most corporate server rooms. Each individual server room typically builds in 50% excess power capacity. Consolidating the server rooms provided a much more efficient approach to power and cooling management. In addition, the Compu Dynamics solution, implementing in-row cooling with variable speed fans, resulted in highly efficient cooling.

The Compu Dynamics design-build team developed a permit-ready plan and provided complete HVAC and electrical construction, installation and testing. The new consolidated data center included 14 IT racks flanked by eight state-of-the-art in-row cooling systems with redundant power to each rack, backed by two 80 KW UPS systems offering N+N redundancy. These scalable UPSs are right-sized for the organization’s needs (currently at 50 KW), and provides a built-in growth path to keep pace with the firm’s future needs.

Compu Dynamics’ in-depth knowledge and vast experience with electrical and mechanical systems in critical facilities, and providing design, construction, installation, commissioning, testing and maintenance services, provided the client with a unique perspective on the data center consolidation project. The result provided the best of all worlds: increased server capacity, reclaimed real estate, enhanced reliability, built-in expandability and greater energy efficiency. All with the peace of mind that Compu Dynamics’ service-first approach delivers.