26 July 2011
Vodacom’s new state-of-the-art, energy-efficient data centre on Cape Town’s foreshore was designed and built not only to help the telecoms group reduce its carbon footprint, but also so that cost reductions can be passed on to its customers.
Scalability of the seven-story data centre was a key design feature, with the data floor area being able to expand from an initial 1 552 to an ultimate 2 862 square metres.
With low energy usage being a key design goal, cooling is provided by a water-cooled chiller plant, and air-cooled step-down transformers with an efficiency of greater than 98% distributing power at the highest possible voltage as close to the source as possible.
The data centre is illuminated by a combination of T5 technology lamps and LED lamps, while lighting is controlled by individual light and motion sensors mounted to each fitting with a time delay to go off.
The building also makes use of service passages around the data centre floor areas, which improves thermal insulation, reduces the risk of water entrance to critical data floor areas and improves physical security.
“We’re excited about this data centre because it shows our commitment to our joint initiative with our parent company Vodafone, to ensure that we reduce our carbon emissions worldwide,” Vodacom head of corporate affairs Portia Maurice said in a statement this week.
Expansion of cloud computing
The data centre is the latest built to meet the needs of the growing community of Vodacom business customers and to prepare for the expansion of cloud computing, which is already gaining traction in South Africa.
Since the establishment Vodacom’s Business Services division just over three years ago, Vodacom Group executive Chris Ross said business customers of all sizes were demanding more and more services to run and grow their organisations.
As a result, virtualisation, hosted services such as hosted call centres, telepresence, and increased acceptance of convergence have all been major factors in the investment in a new data centre.
Scalable cloud computing plays a vital role in any modern data centre, and Vodacom has partnered with VMware and Novell to give customers all the benefits of efficient and cost-effective market-leading technology.
“Vodacom has reduced the space needed to host traditional servers in our data centre,” said Ross. “We have also reduced power utilisation to help reduce our carbon foot print. We will pass the benefits of cloud computing to our customers, enabling a truly flexible, agile and scalable cloud service.”
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