MetService invests to boost datacentre resilience

MetService increases back-up power from 24 hours to five days

The MetService in Wellington is moving its 100 servers to a new datacentre and investing in new cooling, surveillance and power systems.

MetService has signed a contract with datacentre infrastructure provider APC and is implementing APC’s InfraStruXure solution, which integrates and manages power, cooling, racks, cable management systems and services.

“The equipment we had was quite old, possibly 20 years [old],” says Russell Turner, CIO of MetService. “Old process coolers [sat] in one end of the room, blowing cold air underneath the rails.”

One of the benefits with APC’s datacentre technology is scalability, as Turner expects MetService’s datacentre to expand, he says.

“We can add more racks and more cooling as we go down the line rather than ripping out and replacing whole sets of infrastructure,” he says.

Another benefit is that the technology is suitable for high density computing, with the cooling system placed in the rows of racks, rather than sitting in one end of the room, he says. APC’s InRow cooling technology is designed specifically to reduce the number of hotspots, which also dramatically reduces the probability of heat issues, says Turner.

To detect and monitor temperature, humidity, smoke and motion in the datacentre, MetService has also implemented a surveillance and environmental monitoring system. An important part of the system is power management of the racks, making sure the power is distributed appropriately and there is back-up power, he adds.

The MetService had 24 hours of power backup in the event of an outage, which is insufficient given that the service it is providing is part of the critical infrastructure for the country, Turner says. For this reason it is important that the MetService has a higher degree of independence from the power network, he says.

“Once the deployment of APC’s technology [is completed] we will increase [24 hours] to five days power back-up,” he says.

“Looking around the world — and at New Zealand in particular — power failures that last for many hours are becoming increasingly common,” he says.

The main challenge with the new datacentre is moving all servers across, says Turner.

“We can’t do it in one big hit, it has to be done piece by piece,” he says. “In our case that means taking 100 servers and making sure that you understand their place in the overall processing and working out how to move them without affecting the continuity of business.

“Because [our business] is 24/7, we [can’t] stop doing forecasting for a night,” he says.

APC and its local service provider partner IndeServe have designed the datacentre and are currently implementing the equipment.

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Tags coolingapcMetServiceback-up power

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