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How ARTC reduced data centre cooling costs

How ARTC reduced data centre cooling costs

Reduces cooling costs and rolls out improved train communication system

Adelaide based government agency, Australian Rail Transport Corporation (ARTC), has saved over $100,000 per year in cooling costs following the implementation of a new data centre.

ARTC technology and infrastructure manager, Steve Bogdanov, told delegates at the Gartner Infrastructure, Operations and Data Centre Summit that the corporation had an aged train control centre and its existing data centre was running out of resources.

“We looked at traditional rack units with raised floors and were almost ready to action this,” he said.

However, after Bogdanov attended VMware’s Vforum conference he decided to implement Schneider Electrics’ APC infrastruXture hot aisle contained data centre with water cooling.

“We have saved over $100,000 per year in cooling costs and have a standardised platform for future IT delivery,” he said.

Bogdanov added that even though South Australia is subject to extreme temperatures, there have been no heating or cooling issues since the implementation in 2011.

“To date, we have not had a failure and this is helping my staff sleep at night.”

Read more about ARTC’s data centre journey at Computerworld.

In addition to the data centre project, ARTC has rolled out a National Train Communications System (NTCS) and a virtualized environment for disaster recovery.

“To get from one side of Australia to another, trains cross through different territories with multiple radio bands. NTCS provides a single digital radio platform using the Telstra’s Next G service.”

Telstra filled in the rail network to cover black spots of communication with 88 additional Next G towers for ARTC. NTCS is currently been rolled out across the corporation's rail network.

ARTC has also partnered with Lockheed Martin for an Advanced Train Management System (ATMS) which uses the NextG environment.

ATMS is designed to replace trackside signalling with in-locomotive command displays for drivers delivered via satellite.

According to Bogdanov, it will mean the railway system can support 15 trains per hour at any given point.

“ATMS will also improve rail network capacity, operational flexibility, train service availability, transit times, rail safety and system reliability,” he said.

The system comes with authority enforcement, guidance information and alarms which will avoid problems with driver error or inattention.

ATMS may also lead to the shift of some freight off roads resulting in a lower environmental impact. A proof of concept for the system has just been completed with a rollout expected later in 2012.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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