The data centre market is growing worldwide, with $106 billion spent equipping data centres worldwide in 2012 and a bevy of other staggering statistics showing just how the field is booming.
Three billion photos per month are uploaded to Facebook, with 25 terabytes of data managed daily, and more video is uploaded to YouTube in a single month than NBC, CBS and ABC have broadcast collectively since 1948.
Some five billion devices are connected to the internet today, with forecasts suggesting that number could balloon to 20 billion by 2020.
An 800 per cent increase in growth has been predicted over the next five years and 33 per cent annual growth in IP traffic expected from 2012-2015. Furthermore, cloud-related businesses are expected to create upwards of 14 million new jobs globally over the next three years.
The challenge for engineers in data centres and the telecommunications industry is to provide innovative, lasting solutions to a constantly-evolving sector. Products, technology and business plans change rapidly, and today’s engineering solutions have to work in the future.
Modular data centre technology is evolving and this technology is enabling clients to build what they need today while still retaining flexibility for future growth. This also speeds up equipment deployment and scalability.
Modular technology also standardises modular expansion and provide flexibility to implement various tiers within the same data centre.
Modularity can be provided for power systems such as UPS and Power Distribution Units, which can be expanded depending of data growth demand. Cooling systems can also be provided in modular system and additional units can be added to the cooling plant without interrupting the operational plant.
Meinhardt has recently completed its fourth Telstra Telephone Exchange project in Sydney’s CBD with the upgrade of the critical, strategic site on Kent Street.
The improved M&E system infrastructure brings the existing 30-year-old telephone exchange up to date and doubles its capacity.
The first task was preparing a master plan report, which gave the client a road map for future development while also serving as a reverse brief and project document framework.
This enabled the development of a modular solution, which adopts a ‘plug and play’ method for easy future expansion.
By simply providing the necessary infrastructure for immediate load increase, significant cost savings were achieved. This modular design approach was also coupled with a similarly, flexible project delivery method that allowed easy dissection of the project into seven fully-integrated stages to minimise any impact on the existing building’s operation.
Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) techniques were used and studies were performed during design development to optimise the standby generation plant, associated plant room layout, andair flow for cooling and combustion air flow.
Converting existing disused storage areas, lift risers and roof level plant areas posed numerous spatial challenges. An imaginative approach had to be taken to reuse the limited available space for the major plant and switchboards.
This has enabled a fully flexible and reliable solution that is an essential requirement for a key strategic Telstra building.
Increasing flexibility and reliability will continue to be key drivers in the sector as the world embraces its exponentially growing hunger for technology.