Protecting one of the world’s most eco-efficient data centres
Academica, a Finnish company founded in 1932, provides ICT services with decades of experience. The company’s product offering covers ICT management and operator services, including telecommunication, MPLS-based enterprise network, GSM, internet and hosting services. Academica puts special emphasis on energy efficiency and energy consumption measurability and is continually looking for new solutions to enhance the energy efficiency of their data centres.
The world of data centres is undergoing a fundamental change. As ever-increasing demands are placed on performance and capacity, the importance of cost- and energyefficiency are rapidly growing. Add to this the demand for continuous availability whatever the situation, and the result is a quest for solutions that balance efficiency, reliability and costs.
A Finnish ICT service provider, Academica, decided to take on these challenges and set a new bar for data centre development. Their effort produced a winning concept: in 2010 the US-based Uptime Institute, a leading independent think tank and IT research body, granted its highly valued Green Enterprise IT Award to Academica for their solution.
Built inside a cave under the 19th century Uspenski Cathedral in central Helsinki, the Finnish capital, Academica's data centre employs the latest and most energy-efficient technology, while placing special emphasis on energy consumption measurability. Innovativeness is clearly visible in the solutions: for the first time anywhere, heat generated by the servers is conducted into a central district heating system and is used to warm buildings and domestic water.
Another global first is their solution for energy-intensive cooling, accomplished costefficiently with district cooling technology, whereby cold seawater and surplus heat energy cool the servers.
“Energy efficiency in this data centre is not loose talk. We have carefully selected the most efficient technologies available, and with these novel solutions we can continuously control the level of energy consumption in the data centre,” says Matti Roto, director of Academica.
In Academica’s data centre, the power supply is now ensured with two 225 kVA Eaton 9395 UPSs, configured as a N+1 system and scalable for future demand. The UPS choice was based on Eaton’s spotless reputation, previous co-operation and the flexible solution Eaton could offer. The modular structure of the 9395 easily and reliably ensures the power supply as the data centre’s capacity grows.
Eaton’s advanced UPS technologies also played an important role in Academica’s choice of UPS partner. In its UPS setup, Academica can start using Eaton’s Energy Saver System (ESS) and Variable Module Management System (VMMS) technologies. With the ESS, the 9395 UPS reaches 99 percent efficiency, as the technology allows the UPS to safely provide mains current to a load when the input is within acceptable voltage and frequency limits. At lower load levels, the VMMS maximises system efficiency in doubleconversion mode by automatically concentrating the load on the minimum number of UPS power modules and switching the remaining modules to a ready state. Furthermore, Eaton UPSs allow for real-time power consumption monitoring.
“The visit to Eaton’s UPS plant in Helsinki reinforced our perception of their green ideology. For example, we saw the test bay for UPS systems that takes only 10 percent of the required power from the mains current. Like us, Eaton also develops innovative and ecologically sound solutions and, in cooperation, we have developed a vision of a modern, highly ecological data centre,” Roto says.
Eaton and Academica started co-operating on the data centre project back in autumn 2009, when the project was first launched.
“Typically, UPS devices are taken into account only at the later stages of data centre planning. Consequently, our solutions must be adapted to the given circumstances, which are often challenging and not optimal. With Academica, however,we have been working together since the beginning of the project, so we have built the best possible solutions for ensuring power supply in this data centre,” says Timo Hossi, country manager, sales and services at Eaton Power Quality Finland.
Academica’s data centre highlights the essence of green IT: new solutions save energy, decrease environmental impact and save costs. For customers, this means less money spent on IT.