DataHub Biel, a new Tier 3, High-Density data centre located in Switzerland, providing ultra-reliable, resilient and high-performance data services to local customers, has been shortlisted as a finalist for the New Design/Build Data Centre Project of the Year at the renowned DCS Awards, 2018.

The 4.5MW facility, which opens for business shortly, contains 3000m2 of technical space, with an average power density of 5kW/rack, which is unique in the region. It relies on an integrated, energy efficient data centre infrastructure solution from Schneider Electric, which includes Power, Cooling, UPS, Okken Switchgear and Data Centre Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software.

The Bozingenfeld area in the east of Biel is an important economic development site in Switzerland’s capital region. All of the industries nearby, ranging from sectors in which the Swiss have traditionally excelled such as finance, banking, precision watch making and Cloud services, require reliable, high-performance connectivity to global data networks. Consequently, there is an exceptionally large requirement for state-of-the-art colocation data centres.

As such, DataHub Biel had to embrace high standards in terms of the equipment and services it provides and in addition to high-speed connectivity and ultra reliability, the new facility set a number of key requirements, which included: high-density operations, given the cost of real estate in the region; efficiency of operation to keep operational costs to a minimum; and adherence to the highest possible environmental standards.

Ultra-efficient technology deployed in Switzerland in for the first time

The facility is the first data centre in Switzerland to make use of Lithium-Ion battery technology through deployment of Schneider Electric’s Galaxy VX UPS systems. Not only do they take up less floor space to maximize the deployment of customer IT, but performance is far more efficient due to the UPS’s +98% ECOnversion mode.

The cooling system at DataHub Biel was designed to be efficient and resilient with 2N redundancy on air-conditioning units and extra large units to access free-cooling potential. It uses Schneider Electric’s high-density racks, Hot-Aisle containment (HAC) and In-Row cooling, which have the advantage of permitting high space utilisation in contrast with other competing data centres using the Cold Aisle approach. The combination of tightly controlled cooling, HAC and continuous monitoring provide an exceptionally low PUE rating of between 1.15 and 1.17.

This is extremely beneficial from an economic point of view, ensuring efficient use of electricity, but is also essential for market acceptance in Switzerland where concern for the environment and maintenance of high standards of efficiency are important popular issues.