Dimension Data employs Emerson’s design to deliver Tier III data centers for BSNL

Dimension Data delivered six Tier III Internet data centers to BSNL, helping the telco reduce its OPEX. By Pupul Dutta

Dimension Data, an IT solutions specialist and service provider, entered into a ten year contract with state-owned telco, BSNL to build and operate data centers and provide Cloud-based services from six locations namely Mumbai, Faridabad, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Ludhiana and Ghaziabad. Dimension Data, in turn, engaged the services of Emerson Network Power (ENP) India for designing the setups. The latter, which specializes in building data centers with an energy-efficient passive infrastructure, real time monitoring and remote monitoring solutions, helped Dimension Data and, thereby, BSNL set up Internet Data Centers. The project was named OneCloud and it was bagged by Dimension Data which outsourced it to Emerson Network Power.

“We evaluated all the existing players who were into building data centers and it was Emerson that cleared all the criteria. Our main criterion was that the player should create a differentiated model wherein the company would own the project end-to-end as Dimension Data did not declare any rules or choices about air conditioning, UPS etc. Also, we wanted a company that would have a long association with us including managing the life cycle of the entire IT infrastructure,” said Ananth Padmanabha, Head – Strategic Business, Dimension Data India Ltd.

While setting the criteria for the selection of its partner, Dimension Data outlined that it wanted a company that would offer better power and space efficiency and high uptime. After shortlisting a few companies, Schneider Electric and Emerson were zeroed in on of which the latter bagged the deal on account of higher uptime.

The business challenge

According to Padmanabha of Dimension Data, managing the quality of the data center was one of the critical aspects as there were quite a few sub-contractors involved in the project. “These sub-contractors were the responsibility of Emerson. However, the challenge was in identifying and evaluating the quality of contractors since we were delivering Tier III data centers,” he said.

Another big challenge was meeting the project timeline as it had anticipated that it would take about six to eight months. As it turned out, the project stretched to nine to eleven months.

Emerson bore the responsibility for the project. “Our responsibility was to handle the design and execution of all the data centers and build it as per Dimension Data’s requirements. We were also given the responsibility of operation and maintenance for the next seven years,” said Shrirang Deshpande, Director, Data Center Business, Emerson Network Power India.

ENP India chose to get all the data centers certified by the US-based Uptime Institute. “When you give Tier III certification to a data center, then it automatically gets a benchmark of reliability. Thereupon, customers gain the confidence to host and co-locate their applications at the facility,” said Deshpande.

The solution

ENP India took a differential approach to help Dimension Data move from a product Bill of Quantities (BOQ) based approach to a more holistic view of the data center that would prevent power loss from the processor level while ensuring availability. In order to achieve design optimization and make the data centers energy-efficient, the company adopted the energy logic approach, covering everything from facility lighting to cooling system design.

The Energy Logic approach tackles power loss points starting from IT equipment and it progresses to the facility’s support infrastructure, with the potential for reducing data center energy consumption by 50% and optimizing the three most critical obstacles faced by data center managers—power, cooling and space.

Results in evidence

The six IDCs were designed and built for an annualized PUE of 1.5 and service levels of 99.982%. The Uptime Institute awarded Tier III certification to the data centers.

The benefits will start to be realized within the first few months of operation, through reduced operational expenditure and cost-effective upgradation thanks to scalable power and cooling solutions. “Data center managers will be able to monitor and manage the facilities through a single-pane solution, and, as the business grows, the passive and active infrastructure can be scaled without any significant expenditure,” Deshpande said.

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