data center BR 4 The systems safety is in the details

M.C.M. Ingegneria has designed and supervised the works for the realisation of the new Elmec data center in Brunello (Va): the infrastructure has obtained the TIER 4 certification for Design and Facility from the Uptime Institute

M.C.M. Ingegneria and Elmec have designed the new Tier IV BR4 data center in Brunello (VA). From the choice of materials to technology, from cooling systems to fire-fighting systems, everything has been studied to guarantee the maximum availability and reliability of the systems.

When it comes to data centers, the security of the infrastructure and the energy and thermal efficiency are the necessary conditions to guarantee the continuity of every IT service.

This is why M.C.M. Ingegneria and Elmec have designed the new Tier IV BR4 data center in Brunello (VA). From the choice of materials to technology, from cooling systems to fire-fighting systems, everything has been designed to ensure maximum availability and reliability of the systems.

Elmec started with a clear idea: to obtain TIER IV certification from the Uptime Institute. We have given some indications to improve the project, for example, in the energy field and in the management of air flows for the halls, following every phase up to certification. And given what the Uptime Institute has declared, it is one of the best projects evaluated so far by the American institution.

Andrea De Zan, partner of M.C.M. Ingegneria and Project Manager

The Challenge
The Elmec data center was born from the need to expand the offer of the Elmec infrastructures in Gazzada (VA) and Morbio (CH) already emerged in 2011-2012, to respond to a higher demand from companies. Elmec found itself at a crossroads: to rely on other players or to invest in the creation of a new IT infrastructure, and the choice fell on the latter solution.

It takes years to build a large facility: for this reason, the Italian managed service provider was looking for a partner able to implement a modular and scalable project to respond quickly to market demands.

Among the technical services Elmec has decided to rely on M.C.M. Ingegneria, for its long-standing experience in the design and construction of high-level infrastructures (they are the first in Italy to have designed a data center certified by the Uptime Institute), but above all for their open and collaborative approach that can develop non-conventional solutions and at the same time guarantee the standards set by international certification bodies.

The common goal was to create a data center offering the highest level of availability and reliability with a particular focus on energy efficiency.

The Solution
The company has decided to focus on a new building built by reclaiming an abandoned industrial area of 13,000 square meters in Brunello (VA), with an investment of about 12 million euros. M.C.M. has followed the project through all the way up to the pre-certification testing phase.

"After the design phase started in 2013, which lasted two years for merely administrative reasons, the data center was built in record time, in less than a year," explains Emilio Marchesi, data center Facilities Manager at Elmec Informatica.

The Elmec TIER IV data center consists of multiple, independent and physically isolated systems that provide redundant capacity to the IT load (up to 2.4 MW) through multiple, independent distribution paths, physically isolated and active at the same time. In the event of any component breakdown or in the event of a power failure, even prolonged, by the supplier, the data center continues to provide services.

The area of the data center is 75 meters long and 30 meters wide and occupies the entire ground floor of the building. The cooling systems are outside.

The M.C.M. project foresees 6 server rooms organized in two separate and redundant areas with a total power of 2.4 MW.

Electrical and mechanical installations
M.C.M. has built redundant and physically isolated electrical installations. All IT components have a dual power supply system and are installed in accordance with the site architecture. This allows the data center to deliver 99.99% system availability.

The Heating Systems of the data center
M.C.M. has designed a redundant (2N) "Cooling System" that provides three cooling modes based on the outdoor temperature. The solution adopted is that of the stand-alone compartmentalization with separation of hot and cold corridors allowing to maintain energy efficiency (PUE, Power Usage Effectiveness) equal to 1.15. According to the Uptime Institute census, the average value of the PUE of the data centers is 1.8. An energy gap between BR4 and other buildings, leading to a saving of about 4,818 MWh per year.

The Firefighting Systems
A gas extinguishing system has been installed to preserve the equipment even in case of fire. The release of the extinguishing gas is controlled and silenced to limit the possible damage to the equipment resulting from excessive noise levels.

Working with a partner such as M.C.M. Ingegneria has allowed us to continuously compare the best structural and technological solutions and to oversee the project down to the smallest details. All this has made BR4 a top-level structure in Europe, enabling us to guarantee the highest standards of safety and reliability to our customers.

Emilio Marchesi, Elmec Informatica

The BR4 data center was certified Tier IV for Design on 30 January 2015 and for Facility on 26 October of the same year.

The project enabled Elmec to achieve an IT load capacity of 2.4MW, which is eight times greater than that of its previous data centers.

Thanks to the air flow management and the cooling system, the building has achieved an energy efficiency well above the average of the global data centers with a PUE of 1.15.

An efficient and reliable infrastructure such as the Elmec data center is unique also thanks to the human factor: a team of 110 specialized Elmec technicians, who work on the upper floor of the building in 24x7 mode to meet the needs of any business.