Data Centre To Save Yorkshire Water £90k Per Year

Yorkshire Water is to save 31 tonnes of carbon per year, which will help save it approximately £90,000 per annum when a new energy efficient data centre comes online next year.

So said Tim Williams, IT project manager at Yorkshire Water, speaking to eWEEK Europe UK.

Yorkshire Water signed a deal with data centre solutions company 2bm back in April, and according to Williams construction on the new data centre will start next month.

Free Air Cooling

“Yorkshire Water has two data centres for disaster recovery and business continuity purposes,” explained Williams. “We replaced one data centre in Eastern Bradford four years ago, but the second one is now 17 years old so we are now replacing it. The technology in the old data centre was good for its time but it didn’t have any free air cooling.”

“Rather than reconstituting the facility, we opted for a totally new build,” said Williams. He told eWEEK Europe UK that this data centre will be located 40 yards from the old facility, and will be located on a spare piece of land at Yorkshire Water’s headquarters, in Bradford.

“We believe we can save £90,000 a year in operating costs, as well as saving 31 tons of carbon per year,” explained Williams. “We will do this by making use of ambient temperature (free air cooling), and cutting down on the use of air conditioning and air coolers.”

The new data centre is also expected to have a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) rating of below 1.2 compared to the industry average of 2.5.

According to Williams, the new data centre will host 300 servers, plus storage and the core network. He says it will operate at 70 percent capacity, with the spare 30 percent available for future expansion.

Yorkshire Water’s second data centre in East Bradford also contains 300 servers, and both sites have been designed to take over and operate if one data centre fails, to ensure Yorkshire Water doesn’t lose any IT capacity.

“We are also aiming to put photovoltaic panels (solar panels) on top of the building and make use of water harvesting as well,” said Williams. “Being a water company means that saving water is a very important issue for us.”

Green Build

“The new data centre is a green build,” said Williams. “We had to have a second data centre, so we said lets do it in the greenest way possible. We are trying to reduce our carbon footprint, not just with the data centre itself, but also our overall energy consumption. We are working with our energy suppliers as well to ensure that when the core network is installed, our power consumption doesn’t increase.”

“The construction of the new data centre starts next month and should be finished in December,” said Williams. “The fit out of the data centre will finish in March 2012, and the migration will be completed by 2012.”

The construction of the data centre comes after new research from Tariff Consultancy Ltd (TCL) predicted that the data centre sector will grow another 28 percent on average over the next five years. It also predicted that data centre revenue across Europe will increase by 53 percent over the 5 year period to the end of 2016.

Last September, TCL also found that that London remains the largest single data centre market in Europe, despite issues concerning the availability of appropriate power supplies within the M25.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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