It’s no secret that infrastructure teams around the world are under intense pressure. They must balance the requirement of efficiency and economy while providing optimum reliability and performance. In the era of managed ICT services, teams must work hard to maintain and, where possible, improve their design skills and capabilities when implementing hardware and software systems.

This is exactly the task before us University of Turin (UniTO) – one of the oldest and most prestigious Italian universities with a reputation for ground-breaking technological innovation.

Within its 27 departments, hosting more than 80,000 students, UniTO has several interdisciplinary centers and laboratories dedicated to promoting research and technology transfer on specific topics. Among them is the renowned open access laboratory HPC4AI@UniTO, which focuses on methods and tools for cloud and high-performance computing (HPC), especially applications related to artificial intelligence (AI) and big data and analytics (BDA).

A new data center was required to support this innovation lab and support the university’s wider IT system. It had to be designed with the most innovative systems available for both cooling and uninterrupted power supply, and meet the most stringent parameters in terms of energy consumption and environmental impact. Moreover, it must also be sympathetic to its surroundings, as it is located within the university campus in the center of bustling Turin.

And this meant that a reliable technological partnership is urgently needed.

Leveraging the Vertiv experience

To achieve its ambitious goals, UniTO designed a Tier III data center (with N+1 redundancy) capable of supporting up to 250 kW of ICT equipment, containing 16 cabinets of at least 20 kVA each, and housing high-density servers (1.5 kW). per unit). The data center was built inside an armored and soundproofed glass room, clearly visible to students and researchers passing through the IT department. Exceptional levels of energy efficiency also needed to be achieved, which included Vertiv’s expertise as a technology leader.

Vertiv implemented an innovative, energy-efficient air cooling system that allowed the university to achieve significant reductions in cooling system complexity. The highly efficient external cooling solution uses indirect free cooling with integrated evaporative cooling and an optional direct expansion system. In addition, a water treatment system was installed to manage the water supply to optimize water use, implemented by the installer. The data center is also equipped with exhaust networks for new units and an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) room cooling system.

It is important to note that the building is located on the territory of a university campus in a crowded area of ​​Turin, the university used innovative Vertiv technology. free cooling evaporative solution to minimize both the noise pollution of the external area and the impact of the data center on the campus itself.

Modular, without transformer KBS allows UniTo to easily increase up to 250 kW of additional power without increasing the footprint of the device. It can also operate in dual talk mode, which can result in energy efficiency of up to 96.3% or up to 99% in ECO mode. The device is ETL (Energy Technology List) approved for UK customers who can claim back 100% of the first year’s capital under Enhanced Capital Benefit Scheme (ECA)..

UniTO also relies on Vertiv’s Life Services provide continuous visibility into critical equipment to improve performance, streamline service processes for faster diagnostics, and add equipment performance analysis and service optimization. With Life Services, Vertiv experts continuously monitor and analyze all relevant equipment management and performance parameters to maintain optimal performance. This data-driven approach enables UniTo to closely monitor current equipment health and operational trends, predict behavior and respond immediately to abnormal conditions, either by resolving issues remotely or dispatching an engineer within minutes.

A partnership that delivers long-term benefits

By leveraging Vertiv’s expertise, UniTO was able to reap countless benefits, such as not having wet services in the data center itself, resulting in increased security, reduced noise, reduced implementation time, increased rack space (so much more room to install dedicated servers HPC, AI and BDA) in the data center, as well as improving the security of the IT infrastructure.

And importantly, energy efficiency hasn’t come at the expense of power and performance. Thanks to Vertiv’s leading technology solutions, the university has benefited from a data center with a low environmental impact that also supports all of its operational requirements.

For more information, read the full case study on the Vertiv website.

Alex Brew is Vertiv’s UK and Ireland Sales Director.

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