Tier5 has adopted Dell's new Modular Data Centre offering (MDC) as a means of expanding data centre facilities to its own customers in a move expected to significantly reduce power costs.
The data centre consultation group and hosting company will be the first organisation in the world to deploy the MDC, which consists of cooling and power modules that 'snap' together to create 'building blocks' for its customers.
“Ultimately, the collaborative effort between Dell and Tier5 yielded a very practical solution,” Tier5 founder, Marty Gauvin, said in a statement on the move to Dell's MDC. “…[It was] designed not just by server people, but by data centre and server people working in tandem.”
The MDC solution houses some 12 standard server racks in each module and up to 2,500 servers; an option that Gauvin said allows for greater flexibility for the company.
“Flexibility and scalability are among the keys to Tier5’s success,” he said. “We were looking for a solution that allows data centre infrastructure to be deployed quickly and predictably to meet the demands of its customers as their businesses grow.”
Gauvin said Tier5 deployed with Dell due to the high level of data centre redundancy being offered.
“We wanted the ability to go to any customer, anywhere, and install a wide variety of equipment and demonstrate, at least initially, that we could do the highest level of redundancy,” he said. “We wanted a modular data centre where there would be no compromises.”
The MDC provides Tier5 with multiple cooling options that include evaporative cooling, outside air and chilled water.
Dell Australia and New Zealand’s managing director, Joe Kremer, said Dell moved to a new approach to data centre management due to a lack of capacity being felt in the existing data centre environment.
“Australia is experiencing a crisis with regard to data centre capacity,” he said. “Billions are being spent at fever pitch as government and corporate organisations race to develop new facilities as older data centres run out of power and space and present an increasing drag on the environment and our valuable resources.”
IDC analyst, Trevor Clarke, agreed that the Australian data centre market is facing challenges and the move to a modular model is one way to address these.
"Dell is trying to address a very real and pressing concern for many Australian organisations, and that is the lack of enterprise level datacentre space," Clarke said in a statement. "The use of a modular, building block approach is something IDC believes will be of interest to those developing new facilities as it allows them to grow as needed rather than coughing up a lot of money up front."
Clarke said it came as a pleasant surprise that the first use of the new Dell solution was in Adelaide, but said this was a positive step forward in building on its IT presense.
"The Tier5 facility is located in the colossal ex-Mitsubishi car factory in Adelaide, which is an interesting choice for a global launch of a new Dell offering, but a fact that South Australia and the country generally should be proud of," Clarke said. "One wouldn't normally picture Adelaide as a data centre hub, but Tier5 is aiming to carve out a niche for itself by acting as a primary site for local organisations and also potentially as a disaster recovery location.
"It could also play host to many telecommunications and media players that are looking to cache their content and applications closer to the South Australian audience due because of latency concerns. So it wouldn't be all that unreasonable for someone like Telstra to look at a facility like Tier5 to act as a caching site for its content offerings for example."
The deployment comes as IBM revealed earlier this month that a shortage of CBD data centre space is leading companies to seek data-centre-in-a-box solutions.
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