If the IT requirements are thoroughly analyzed and determined already in the planning phase of a data center project, overcapacities are avoided and sustainable growth is made possible.
Consultants Michael Wörster, Fabian Buda and the team of the DATA CENTER GROUP (DCG) know how this task can be mastered in the best possible way. "We examine the IT requirements and exchange views with our customers on essential topics such as virtualization, hybrid cloud or mirroring, so that IT and the associated infrastructure fit together in the best way possible," Buda emphasizes. "At first, the relevant components are still unknown, but then a concrete picture comes together. Gradually, a concrete concept emerges from a general plan. We piece together a concept for the planned data center from the acquired information based on our broad wealth of experience," Buda adds. "After all, every kilowatt that is not actually consumed is worth hard cash. For this, no planning has to take place, the space requirement and also the investment costs are reduced," Wörster emphasizes.
The correct determination of requirements arising from the IT strategy is the basis in terms of capacity planning. Only if all sections are correctly coordinated with each other as early as the consulting and planning stages of data center projects the energy consumed will only be the energy that is actually needed. This concludes a future-proof and ecologically environmentally friendly data center strategy. If the IT requirements are correctly assessed based on the information obtained, the IT infrastructure sections can be developed, planned and coordinated properly and in line with the requirements. Factors such as power and water consumption as well as PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) and WUE (Water Usage Effectiveness) are included in the design right from the start.
One example of this is the lighthouse project in terms of sustainability and energy efficiency that the DCG has realized: The PBIT Systems data center in Cottbus (read our reference report here). This state-of-the-art and environmentally friendly data center is a pioneering project in terms of efficiency and sustainability. Among other things, it is driving forward the areas of digital school, eGovernment, smart health solutions and Industry 4.0 in the region. The data center's intelligent energy management system ensures availability and constant monitoring of power consumption.
Here, even before planning, the IT strategy was discussed based on the know-how and in exchange with the IT managers and, related to this, the future data center strategy. It was possible to understand that the task for which the data center was to be designed was based on an absolutely future-proof IT concept. On this basis, it was then possible to find a modular and scalable solution for energy and cooling technology for the technical operation, which then became the basis for planning and was also eventually finalized.
Together with the customer, DCG's experts determined the IT requirements to ensure the energy efficiency and sustainability of the data center in order to develop a concept based on the information: Climate-neutral CO2 emission-free cooling is ensured by using cooling units with indirect free cooling and the natural refrigerant water. A photovoltaic system on the roof and facade ensures that solar energy is generated for part of the data center's own consumption.
"When designing our own data center, we first and foremost gave special priority to data protection and security as well as planning and implementation in accordance with DIN 50600, availability class 3," reports Kay Sander, Managing Director PBIT Systems. "In addition, the criteria of climate protection and environmental friendliness were in our absolute focus. We relied on the most environmentally friendly refrigerant - namely water. Our cooling units enable climate-neutral cooling with 0 % CO₂ emissions."
"The fully variable compressors achieve a high level of energy efficiency, which leads to cost savings - not only for us, but ultimately also for the customers of our data center services. To complement this, we worked with Prof. Timo Leukefeld, autarky expert and energy ambassador for the German government, to develop an innovative power concept that now enables us to supply the data center to a large extent with self-generated solar power," Mr. Sander adds.
"I am pleased that I was able to support the project planning of the data center as an expert for energy-self-sufficient buildings. By creating the Energetic Compass, my team and I determined that solar energy supply was the best solution for generating your own energy in the Lausitz region. PBIT Systems' data center has been equipped with a 500 m² photovoltaic system so that part of the power supply can be covered by self-generated solar power, guaranteeing cost savings but also lower CO₂ emissions. The contribution PBIT Systems makes to saving the greenhouse gas thanks to the solar power supply is equivalent to that of approximately 2.7 hectares of woodland. Remarkable and thus a big step towards sustainability," emphasizes Prof. Timo Leukefeld, energy expert & energy ambassador of the German government.
"The industry is facing the major challenge of operating data centers in an energy-efficient and climate-friendly manner. Those who do not follow suit here will find it difficult to survive on the market in the long run. It is an investment, but a sustainable one for the future. I am pleased that we have already taken this path with our new data center. We are using energy-efficient IT components to fundamentally reduce power consumption throughout our facility. With our power supply concept and climate-neutral cooling, we also achieve a very good PUE value. With a PUE value of less than 1.3, we are well below the standard value for the industry and already come very close to a good energy efficiency," Sander adds.
However, even the best optimization with regard to the use of energy-efficient components is only effective if an infrastructure is used that is adapted to the requirements. For this reason, an ecologically valuable, resource-saving IT strategy was first coordinated in exchange with PBIT Systems, while also taking into account expansion possibilities for the IT. However, the technical components will only be upgraded when the need of the IT becomes apparent.
Michél Düring (DCG Sales Manager Projects) emphasizes: "In the data center project of PBIT Systems, particularly high value was placed on resource-saving technologies that can be operated efficiently and also economically. As a pioneer and user of innovative technologies, the data center operator PBIT Systems is taking a special path that is trend-setting for other projects.“
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