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NHS hospital hails cost benefits of datacentre consolidation project

Conquest Hospital claims sever room upgrade has made its operations more cost effective and energy efficient

NHS-run Conquest Hospital in Hastings has revamped its 30-year-old server room to make it more energy efficient, saying the move will help it cut costs and carbon emissions.

The hospital, part of the East Sussex Healthcare Trust, enlisted the help of datacentre design firm Comms Room Services to oversee the work, which is predicted to save the organisation nearly £113,000.

The savings will be achieved in part through the use of a fresh air cooling technology called Coolvap. This, its makers claim, can help reduce infrastructure running costs by around 85%, as it does not rely on any additional refrigerants to work.

Other energy efficient features of the server room build include the addition of hot and cold aisle containment, raised flooring and a new lighting system, paving the way for the firm to consolidate two datacentres into one.

As a result of these changes, the facility is reporting a power usage effectiveness (PUE) score of 1.04 – to put that into context, the industry average is reportedly around 1.7.

Helen Allingham, sales director of Comms Room Services, said one of the most challenging things about the project was that the refurbishment had to take place while the server room was still live, so the hospital services it underpins could still operate.

“With lower capital and maintenance costs, the energy and carbon savings and PUE speak for themselves,” she said.

Richard Sunley, acting CEO of East Sussex Healthcare NHS trust, added: “It is not an area many people get to see, but so much of what our doctors, nurses and others do on the ward relies on technology. 

“This new facility gives us much more security and complies with government efficiency targets by almost halving the energy required to run our datacentre.”

Datacentre consolidation projects have emerged as a top IT spending area for enterprises in recent years, as hardware performance improvements have made it possible for users to generate more compute power in a smaller amount of space

Read more on Datacentre energy efficiency and green IT