Birkbeck College consolidates servers to cut PUE rating to 1.3

Birkbeck College has consolidated four equipment rooms into one £700,000 datacentre with a PUE rating of just 1.3

Birkbeck College has consolidated four equipment rooms into one £700,000 datacentre with a power usage effectiveness (PUE) rating of just 1.3.

The University of London college's datacentre will support the IT requirements of diverse teaching and research staff and facilitate ongoing innovation, including desktop virtualisation.

The datacentre was designed and implemented by 2bm, which included its Sensorium metering product. This keeps track of the performance of the equipment and ancillary plant, including the cooling unit, UPS and PDUs.

David Willcox, IT infrastructure manager for Birkbeck’s IT Services, said: “Birkbeck has a responsibility to act with due diligence and is committed to carbon reduction.”

“The development of this new datacentre would have happened anyway, but it also provided an opportunity to exploit innovative datacentre designs wherever possible with a view to maximising efficiency and reducing energy usage.”

Birkbeck needed 56 cabinets with 240kW technical load, which had to occupy 180m2 with a ceiling height of 3.1m. 2bm’s used an "overhead conditioned air delivery system" using contained cold aisle pods. Free cooling chillers are to be installed on the roof of Birkbeck College, with maximum free cooling achieved by high design water flow and return temperatures.

"The new datacentre also provides a platform on which we can build and develop future services, including desktop virtualisation. Without the new facility it is difficult to see how we could have considered it," Willcox added.

To fund the £700,000 project, Birkbeck took a £500,000 interest-free loan from Salix, an organisation set up to accelerate investment in energy efficiency technologies across the UK public sector.

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