www.storagecraft.com

Winners and Runners Up

Cloud Project of the Year

WINNER



Hornetsecurity

INTRO:
This story started 10 years ago but the most recent chapter took place a few months back with the introduction of Hornetsecurity’ new solution 365 Total Protection Enterprise Backup, a unique cloud-based, all-in-one security and backup suite that protects Microsoft 365 against phishing, ransomware, advanced threats and data loss.

WHO:
Headquartered in Garbsen near Hanover Germany, LPKF Laser & Electronics AG is a technology company listed in the Prime Standard of the German stock exchange. With around 850 employees, it manufactures machines and laser systems for micro material processing at four European locations and sells them worldwide. IT operational security and the protection of data and innovations are very important both to LPKF AG, which is one of the world’s best in its sphere, and to its industrial partners in the electronics manufacturing, medical technology, automotive and solar industries.

WHAT AND HOW:

Starting point: Conversion from on-premise to low-maintenance cloud services

The growing use of resources for the protection of IT and communication infrastructures made a change of strategy necessary at LPKF AG as early as 2012. To be able to cope with the increasing demands on operational IT security from a performance and profitability point of view, the company decided to switch its virus scanner and spam management, which had been operated locally at individual workstations, to a central cloud service with better scanning capabilities and filtering options. In its next step, it converted its use of PGP-based email encryption, which was very complex in operation and maintenance, to the more widely used S/MIME encryption standard.

Today: All-round protection for Microsoft 365, email communication and data

Starting with spam and virus protection from the cloud, LPKF has been continuously expanding it use of the Hornetsecurity product portfolio over the years to combat the growing number of threats and increased security requirements.

Today, LPKF also uses Hornetsecurity’s email encryption and Advanced Threat Protection to protect against ransomware, fraud, and industrial espionage attacks. Hornetsecurity email encryption supports both the PGP and TLS and S/MIME standards and, if the recipient does not have the usual decryption technologies, offers a convenient solution with Websafe to maintain the confidentiality of email communication. So far, employees with regular external communication, which corresponds to around half of the LPKF workforce, have been equipped with S/MIME certificates.

With Hornetsecurity’s 365 Total Protection Enterprise Backup, launched last year, the company also secures the Microsoft 365 environments including emails, Teams and SharePoint files against threats and loss. The backup systems secure both the approximately 80% of the applications operated in the cloud, as well as the 20% on-premise-operated solutions and data. For this purpose, a local server was provided at each of the four European LPKF locations, which are completely managed by Hornetsecurity. For failover, a backup from the local servers to Hornetsecurity's data centers is backed up as a second cloud backup.

Result: High degree of automation and service with added value

The linchpin for Hornetsecurity’s services is its control panel. Via the control center, IT employees can switch directly from email management, for example, to connected services such as backup management. This makes monitoring, controlling, and optimizing filters and configurations much easier. The high degree of automation also contributes to the efficiency of IT processes: In the future, a new S/M IME certificate will be automatically booked and assigned directly in the Active Directory of Azure when a new user is created with an email mailbox. In backup mode, automation is already so advanced that every newly created team in Microsoft Teams is automatically transferred to the 365 Total Protection Enterprise Backup.


RUNNER UP



Granulate

Mobileye is the global leader in the development of computer vision and machine learning, data analysis, localization and mapping for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems and autonomous driving. Its technology keeps passengers safer on the road, reduces the risk of traffic accidents, saves lives, and has the potential to revolutionize the autonomous driving experience. Mobileye’s technologies make huge demands on their hybrid cloud infrastructure. Its Road Experience Management (REM) system, running big-data workloads on AWS, is compute intensive and requires continuous development to create accurate maps at scale while continually updating a database that maps over 625 million miles. Its RoadBook of drivable paths and visual landmarks, providing centimeter-accurate mapping for autonomous driving, requires rapid updates on a highly scalable, fault-tolerant infrastructure.

To address this, Granulate’s machine learning agents deployed on a Mobileye Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) workload as container side-cars and began learning the workload, dataflow, and resource usage patterns within minutes. The agents use US-patented algorithmic models to identify instances of data bottlenecks and resource contention within workloads and then adjust resource management decisions that accelerate dataflow through an application.

Mobileye’s research and development team had to grow in order to meet the technological and engineering challenges of building new and improved features. As the technology and product matured, and failure cases became more infrequent, testing and validation had to be done at larger scales. New map features required significant algorithmic effort to pass from idea to implementation, which ultimately took a few weeks. To improve mapping capabilities, Mobileye’s code was frequently changing significantly, to maintain a quickness to this process. By implementing Granulate’s autonomous workload optimization in their hybrid cloud environment, Mobileye was able to improve performance and reduce cost with no research and development efforts and without human intervention.

In a matter of days, Mobileye was able to see the value of Granulate’s autonomous optimization software solutions. With no code changes, Granulate’s machine learning immediately achieved:
-44.5% reduction in average job completion time.
-45% cost reduction due to fewer instance hours required to run the same workloads
-New Mobileye maps created in half the time
-Value generated in less than 21 days

Data Centre Company of the Year
Sponsored by   Huawei Digital Power Technologies Co., Ltd.

WINNER



CBRE Data Center Solutions

CBRE Data Center Solutions (DCS) delivers total lifecycle facility, maintenance, technology and real estate services for data centre owners and occupiers, including enterprise, hyperscale, and colocation clients. Our team of over 4,000 dedicated data centre technicians manage 75 million square feet of raised floor space across 700 sites in over 45 countries. We support over 90% of the Fortune 100’s companies and managed some of the most business-critical data centres for five of the six largest technology companies globally in 2022.

Expanding access to the data centre sector to wider communities and fostering diversity, equity & inclusion
GENDER EQUALITY AT CBRE DCS
To improve female representation in leadership within CBRE DCS, we adopted a multi-faceted approach to embed diversity, equity and inclusion through the Talent Acquisition lifecycle with a strong focus on bringing more women into the organisation. The following strategies were implemented:

Behavioural Assessments
To attract more female talent into the high competitive, job rich and candidate short data centre market, we reviewed our methods and focuses on the behaviours required to be successful in a critical data centre environment, rather than years of experience in the industry. This enabled us to challenge stereotypes of what a great candidate looked like, and opened up more diverse and sustainable talent pools, with transferable skills from outside of the sector, including sectors with traditionally higher female representation.

Women’s Network
The CBRE Women’s Network supports the attraction, retention, growth and development of all women at CBRE and make it a rewarding, flexible and engaging place to work. We officially partnered with the Women’s Engineering Society (WES), a charity and professional network for women who aim to support and inspire other women to achieve as engineers, scientists and leaders.

Ongoing efforts
All job descriptions are written in a gender neutral language to increase female candidates.
All jobs are advertised on at least one diversity job board, with an ongoing partnership with WomenInTech to raise our profile.

Our BD Director, DCS is the UK Chapter Lead at Infrastructure Masons, hosting industry events on Diversity & Inclusion to help raise our profile in the sector and attract more diverse talent.
Our supply chain works to the same DE&I principles that our in-house recruitment team were working towards, including providing gender diverse candidate shortlists for management & leadership roles.
We report on gender diversity in recruitment shortlists as a percentage, not just a ‘tick box’ exercise. This allowed us to advise the business on a percentage of female candidates needed in order to positively impact female hiring.

Introduced Unconscious Bias Training for hiring managers and a mandatory Recruitment & Selection ‘Licence To Hire’ training. This educates hiring managers on our overall recruitment processes, our DE&I recruitment principles and the importance of working towards gender balance through a positive and inclusive recruitment process.

The impact
In 2016 when CBRE Data Center Solutions launched, we had almost no female managers or leaders. Now in 2022, we have female managers and directors at all levels globally from entry level to Executive Committee AND in the High Potential category. This year, we have increased female senior managers by 10% and achieved gender balance at mid to senior management level in EMEA which is a significant achievement and market leading for our sector.

CBRE DIVERSITY & INCLUSION STRATEGY
Top down business-wide approach
At CBRE we have created a top down business wide approach to addressing diversity, equity and inclusion from appointing a Chief Diversity Officer, to building regional DE&I Steering Committees and offering enhanced Learning & Development, including Inclusive Leadership training to ensure that we’re not just recruiting exceptional and diverse talent, but that we are retaining them.

DCS Select
Our proprietary recruiting assessment tool assesses the behaviours and aptitudes required to be successful in CBRE DCS for all Critical Engineers and Technicians. DCS Select was developed in 2017 in partnership with Gartner CEB and their staff psychologists. Together, we conducted a series of global workshops, visionary interviews and assessments to establish priorities and designed a globally scalable candidate assessment tool, focusing on key behaviours and aptitudes needed to be successful in the data centre industry.

The program’s global standardised processes for candidate assessment include candidate selection, skills gap analysis, and development planning. The result is a globally consistent, mandatory recruitment process assessing the behaviours and abilities required to be successful in Data Center Solutions so we ensure the right cultural fit the first time, resulting in increased attrition and focus on strategic operations.

10,000 Black Interns
Founded in 2022, 10,000 Black Interns is a group responding to recent global events and an underrepresentation of Black talent in multiple industries by placing Black students and graduates in internship positions. CBRE DCS have committed to providing paid internships of £25K to as many students we can take for a minimum of six weeks, up to one year. Currently a UK-wide initiative, we are looking into expanding this in the near future.


DEVELOPING TALENT IN-HOUSE FOR TALENT RETENTION AND A THRIVING WORKFORCE
CBRE recognises the direct relationship between investing in people and exceptional service. We have developed an industry-leading suite of training and development courses to improve the performance of our people and provide them with additional skills and experience to further their career at CBRE and beyond. As of 2022, CBRE DCS provides twice the industry average for training and development.

CNet CCAM®
CCAM® establishes and assesses the baseline knowledge for each data centre technician, and monitors their improvement over time. CCAM® provides real-time analysis of competence and confidence for individuals and teams and exposes root causes of employee behaviour (positive and negative) in our facilities. Its complex software, supported by a team of psychologists and operates within International Test Commission guidelines, works through individual skillsets, knowledge base, and ability gaps to identify people risk.

Human Factor training
In partnership with renowned psychologist Dr. Tim Marsh, a world authority on behavioural safety, safety leadership, and organisational culture, we developed CBRE DCS Human Factors Training. The resulting program covers wellbeing and other factors which can affect a technician’s ability to perform well and how to act in stressful situations. This is achieved through classroom training, facilitation, group discussions and practical exercises, and aims to increase safety, quality, and efficiency in critical maintenance operations by reducing human error and its impact on maintenance activities. CBRE have implemented this training for over five years, and our latest results show that only 16% of unplanned downtime was related to human error versus an industry average of 70%.

CDCTP® & CDCMP® certifications
CBRE is the first company in the industry globally to commit to certify 100% of its global technical workforce.

Benefits for our technicians:
Understands all aspects of data centre operations including technical and physical constraints.
Recognises the dependencies on other work streams, can plan work efficiently and avoid unnecessary delays.
Understands the benefits of carrying out physical inspections of data centre components as routine.
Adopts a proactive attitude and can identify potential equipment failures before they occur.
Focuses on first-time compliance with codes, legislation and standards to avoid unnecessary rework.

CDCMP® benefits for our managers:
Develops a management strategy that aligns with the business operational requirements.
Develops a multi-disciplinary team supporting all operational functions of the data centre.
Identifies the processes within data centre operations that ensure consistent reliability, security and integrity of data and the availability of service.

Partnership with CNet Training
Through a strategic alliance with CNet Training, we deliver a comprehensive training and development program that requires all data centre technicians to achieve the highly respected CDCTP® certification.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Talent Coach
Our talent management platform aims to attract, develop and retain top talent, and combines multiple systems and processes into a single, integrated tool with mobile capabilities. It will also allow scalability, sustainability, ease of use and greater engagement.

Talent Coach has changed the way our people learn, grow and develop their careers, both personally and professionally. Prior to implementing Talent Coach, we used multiple tools for multiple uses, which was unscalable and unsustainable. As a company we wanted to provide our people with better tools to help improve their skills and accelerate career growth. The result is a single, best-in-class, integrated talent management platform implemented globally across all business units.

Professional Development plans
Our development programs apply to all team members including contract-based staff, central support staff, and direct CBRE personnel. Each is provided with the opportunity to progress professionally, undertake further education, and benefit from the rewards of such initiative and application.

By offering this training to all contract based staff, we can develop those who join the business in administrative roles, to ensure they are eligible for promotions and senior management opportunities as well as technical training to advance into specialist technical roles. Each segment of our development curriculum is customised for the individual and their role at work, enabling them to undergo a variety of programs that align with their personal interest and professional responsibilities.

CBRE Apprenticeship Scheme
CBRE’s award-winning Apprenticeship Scheme provides an unique opportunity for new talented individuals to start an exciting career within the Engineering and Facilities Management Industry. This four-year programme offers the opportunity to develop skills, build confidence and ‘earn while you learn’ in a supportive, hands-on environment with the tools needed to launch a career. Each year we take 50 talented engineering apprentices who work in some of the most famous and iconic buildings, supporting a spectrum of well-known clients.

Case Study
Jack Brown is diagnosed as deaf and has a cochlear implant to gain back some hearing and speech. After going through the CBRE Apprentice selection process, Jack was offered a position at a data centre in 2018, having completed three years of college and passed all exams in 2021.

Our teams and client shifted how to communicate due to Jack’s disability and in October 2022, Jack was promoted to Shift Engineer through his hard work and dedication. We’re proud to help Jack achieve a career in data centres and provide a platform to reach new heights.


SHOWING THAT CBRE, AND THE DATA CENTRE INDUSTRY, IS A CAREER DESTINATION OF CHOICE

Opportunities for career progression
We invest significantly in our people, offering upskilling and meaningful career progression to support professional development, showing CBRE as a career destination of choice. We prioritise internal talent to deliver on career development and mobility for our people. In 2022, we launched DCS Career Maps which is an internal program that demonstrates all of the possible career paths within DCS and how to get there through training, mentorship and certifications. This allows our people to upskill, explore new careers within the business and highlight transferable skills within the data centre industry

Recognition & reward
Our Exceptional Awards and Celebrate Success programmes have a clear focus on showing our staff how we value them, incentivising our people with recognition and reward schemes. Their aim is to acknowledge the outstanding performance of individuals and teams as a whole. We will continue to build on our reputation as an employer of choice as our headcount grows. We benchmark our highly competitive terms and conditions of employment and benefits packages on an ongoing basis to ensure that we continue to retain and attract the industry’s best talent.

Promoting the industry
Development of Data Centre Specific Education with UTC - In 2021 we teamed up with University Technical College Heathrow to develop a new Digital Futures Program, which will equip learners with the skills necessary for technical careers in the data centre industry. The partnership aims to tackle the long-term skills shortage in the UK data centre industry, with a data centre focused curriculum for 14 to 19-year-olds.

CBRE also partnered with JobOppo to expand our reach to ex-Armed Forces and spread awareness of valuable transferable skills within the data centre industry, giving them a new career ladder to climb. With these efforts, in 2022, we doubled our number of technicians from 2,000 to 4,000 and provide twice the industry average for training and development.

Women’s Network
The CBRE Women’s Network aims to ensure we are seen as an employer of choice for women, develop strong networks across all business areas and create a community and sense of belonging for every member. With an 8% increase in membership in 2022, there are now over 1,220 members with initiatives including:

Learn-Develop-Grow: This series aims to support the personal development and career enhancement of women. Monthly bespoke sessions provide practical guidance on the different aspects of personal development as well as actionable information.

MentorMe@CBRE: This programme pairs members of the Women’s Network with individuals from across the business to support their development and progression.

Events and Campaigns: Regular events hosted by CBRE invite external guest speakers (with £8,000 spent with women-owned businesses) to discuss topics including career progression, childcare, confidence skills, physical and mental health, and more. This created a safe space and support groups for sensitive topics (i.e. menopause) and supported the enhancement of family friendly policies.


RUNNER UP



Interact DC Limited

•;;;;; Interact is a business in which the Articles of Association are to create value for stakeholders not shareholders, including all employees. •;;;;; Diversity is championed within Interact by ensuring there is 50% female representation on the board, and that this is maintained as the business scales. •;;;;; Interact is a business built to do way more good than harm (using B Corp, UN SDGs to measure outcomes and report on this purpose-driven business). •;;;;; Employees are encouraged to help drive the conversations around server and data centre energy efficiency, carbon emissions and environmental impact. •;;;;; Members of the diverse team are enabled to take responsibility for their areas of the business, and to develop their expertise and interests. •;;;;; All team members are trained via IEMA-certified sustainability courses.


Data Centre Consolidation/Upgrade Project of the Year

WINNER



Schneider Electric, University College Dublin and Total Power Solutions

Schneider Electric™, the leader in digital transformation of energy management and automation, worked together with its Elite Partners, Total Power Solutions, to design and deliver a new, high efficiency cooling system and EcoStruxure Row Data Center solution as part of a new data centre consolidation and modernisation project at the University College Dublin (UCD).

UCD was facing significant challenges including an ageing cooling infrastructure, which presented the threat of downtime and failures. It also needed to consolidate its data centre infrastructure to create additional space that could be utilised for students, and wanted a solution that could cater for the universities future expansion, while maximising energy efficiency and minimising environmental impact.

The modernisation project would see Schneider Electric and Total Power Solutions reduce UCD’s data centre PUE from an average of 1.42 down to 1.37, helping the university reduce energy consumption, lower cost, and support its commitments to environmental sustainability.

Further, parts of the cooling system were relocated to the roof of the building, freeing up significant space formerly used for external cooling plant and equipment. This upgrade and redesign helped to release additional land for redevelopment and new student educational facilities, including an Applied Languages department.

Background
University College Dublin is the largest university in Ireland with a total student population of 33,000. It is also one of Europe’s leading research-intensive universities with faculties of medicine, engineering, and major sciences, as well as a broad range of humanities and other professional departments.

Its main campus at Belfield, near the centre of Dublin, houses two data centres that support all mission-critical administrative and academic IT functions, including high performance computing (HPC) clusters for computationally-intensive research. One of these, housed in the Daedalus building, also hosts all its centralised IT, including storage, virtual servers, and network connectivity.

As part of a new strategic development plan to free up space at its central Dublin location, its IT services department made the decision to revise and revitalise its data centre, including its cooling architecture, to make its facilities more energy and space efficient, as well as more resilient and scalable. The project would see if futureproof the campus for new IT and technology requirements to support student learning, while reducing energy consumption, cost, and environmental impact.

Project history
In response to a public tender, Total Power Solutions, experts in power and cooling infrastructure design and installation, worked with Schneider Electric to secure the contract with a bid to replace the existing data centre cooling system with a Schneider Electric Uniflair InRow Direct Expansion (DX) solution. When the data centre was originally built, it had a large number of HPC clusters and consequently, a high rack power density.

At the time, a chilled-water cooling system was deployed as the best solution for such a load. However, technological advances, have resulted in servers with much higher processing capacity. without the corresponding need for a large cooling requirement. Moving to Schneider Electric’s InRow DX cooling technology would offer many benefits, including a modular design, more predictable cooling, and variable speed fans which help to reduce energy consumption.

The new cooling system UCD is based on 10 independent InRow DX cooling units, which are rightsized to the server load, thereby optimising efficiency. The system is scalable to enable UCD’s IT Services Group to add further HPC clusters and accommodate future innovations in technology. This includes the introduction of increasingly powerful central processing units (CPUs) and graphics processing units (GPUs).

The units work in conjunction with UCD’s EcoStruxure Row Data Center system, formerly a Hot Aisle Containment Solution (HACS), providing a highly efficient, close-coupled design that is suited to high density loads. EcoStruxure™ Row Data Centers are the building blocks of physical infrastructure, and include integrated power, cooling, security, and management software directly inside the rack. They mean customers benefit from less construction, greater flexibility, and the ability to scale quickly as required - whether in a new build or retrofit data centre environment.

Each InRow DX unit draws air directly from the hot aisle, taking advantage of higher heat transfer efficiency and discharges room-temperature air directly in front of the cooling load, which significantly reduces the need for humidification.

Driving resilience
A major vulnerability in the original cooling solution was its reliance on a single set of pipework that supplied the coolant to the critical IT, presenting a single point of failure. Any issues encountered with said pipework, such as leaks, could threaten to impact the entire data centre with unprecedented levels of downtime, which would greatly impair both that of the university’s activities and its students.

Together Schneider Electric and Total Power Systems worked to increase the resilience of the system and remove this major single point of failure. Through the new InRow solution, each independent cooling unit now provides additional systems redundancy, so should one fail, the others ensure operational continuity of UCDs IT equipment and services. This is another major benefit to the university and eliminates risk of outages at critical times such as clearing and examinations.

Furthermore, another key challenge addressed was the need to keep the data centre operational, without any downtime. Thankfully the project ran to schedule and was implemented without any disruption to UCD. To achieve this, the IT department and Total Power Solutions adopted a modular approach first consolidating some of the existing servers into fewer racks and then deploying the cooling solutions into the new space.

Installing and connecting the new units on the roof took less than three weeks, during which the existing chilled-water system continued to function. After a further week and a half of commissioning and testing, the obsolete cooling equipment was decommissioned and removed.

Long-term benefits
Key benefits of the project included improved resiliency, with additional cooling units added to increase fault tolerance. The cooling system is now right-sized to the IT load, which reduces energy consumption and improves the data centres PUE (power usage effectiveness) rating.

For example, the project has reduced PUE from an average of 1.42 down to 1.37. This helps the university reduce power usage and its ongoing operational expenses, while meeting its commitments to environmental sustainability.
In addition, the new EcoStruxure Row Data Center is scalable to meet future requirements to add HPC clusters or accommodate innovations in IT, such as the introduction of increasingly powerful CPUs and GPUs. Up to four more cooling units can be added in the future should they be required. Further it has also released additional land for redevelopment, allowing new student and university facilities to be built.

With greater virtualisation of servers, the overall power demand for the data centre has reduced steadily over the years, diminishing from 300kW to less than 100kW over the past decade. With the new cooling system, greater efficiencies and cost savings are expected in future.

“We designed the system to allow for the addition of four more cooling units to meet future requirements for facility expansion and changes in server technology. The overall effects of installing the new system are greater resilience and peace of mind, more efficient use of space for the benefit of the university’s main function of teaching, greater efficiency of IT infrastructure and consequently, a more sustainable operation,” said Tom Cannon, Enterprise Architecture Manager at UCD.

“The Daedalus data centre at UCD hosts everything from high performance computing clusters for research to the centralised IT that keeps the University running. Total Power Solutions and Schneider Electric worked together to deliver a new, more efficient, and scalable data centre cooling system. The installation took place in a live environment with no downtime, in the midst of extensive construction activities on UCD’s Belfield Campus,” said Paul Kavanagh, Managing Director, Total Power Solutions.

“For UCD, having an efficient and highly effective cooling infrastructure was critical to both their HPC research infrastructure and their general IT operations,” said Marc Garner, VP, Secure Power Division, Schneider Electric UK & Ireland. “By working together with Total Power Solutions, we were able to successfully deliver the new cooling architecture, which will provide UCD with greater resilience of their critical IT systems and will meet the demands of this prestigious university for many years ahead.”

The data centre project at UCD is a perfect example of the benefits of both consolidation and modernisation, providing the university with a scalable, resilient and efficient system, that will safeguard student education for the foreseeable future. For this reason, in addition to the cost-saving and environmental benefits, we believe Schneider Electric and Total Power Solutions deserve to win the DCS Awards ‘Data Centre Upgrade / Consolidation Project of the Year’ category.


RUNNER UP



Sudlows

iomart are a world-leading cloud computing, managed services, and co-location provider who, as part of their global operations, operate 13 Data Centres in the UK, all connected to their own high speed dark fibre network.

As a publicly listed company with over £100m in annual revenue and growing, the business demands that its supporting infrastructure is of the highest resiliency while also supporting its ambitious sustainability and environmental goals.

A planned lifecycle upgrade for one of their existing facilities was due and initial design works had been completed to provide the facility with new cooling infrastructure, offering higher efficiencies and a greater level of resiliency for the facility overall.

Sudlows were appointed to deliver this significant upgrade. Our highly experienced Data Centre Design, Engineering and Construction Teams worked closely with iomart, their Designers, and their site Operations Team to ensure the project was completed smoothly with minimal impact to the operations of the live facility and critically, with no downtime.

The project centred around the replacement of 4 No. existing water-cooled chillers, located internally within the building, with 2 No. new central chiller plant systems distributed between the north and south rooftop plant areas.

A total of 7 No. Mitsubishi Electric inverter scroll, modular air-cooled water chillers were to be installed and each plant area was to be provided with an acoustic enclosure providing not only a visual benefit but also ensuring that noise levels were minimised.

The system was completed through the installation of new pipework, valves, heat exchangers and pumps to enable the new systems to interface with the ones already in place and take over the existing load without interruption. The associated electrical installation works included automatic transfer switches to allow the highest level of resilience supported by an N N A/B upstream electrical infrastructure. Finally, a new BMS system was installed to provide an enhanced level of monitoring for the new systems.

The site’s location in Central London means that there is a large number of surrounding buildings which affect the air flow, and the density of development is known to result in an elevated temperature within the local microclimate due to heat output from neighbouring buildings and the increased surface area absorbing solar energy. The requirement for an enclosed acoustic enclosure introduces further challenges as it can present a barrier to the fresh air flow required for the heat rejection to operate with stability. Because of these risks and challenges, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) offered the best tool to be able to model the plant, proposed installation, and extreme design conditions to ensure that the equipment remained able to operate without compromise during peak ambient conditions, considerate of the local environment and potential wind and building eddy interactions.

The final model produced by Sudlows was comprehensive and ensured a high degree of accuracy from the output simulations.

Initial results from the first design iteration were found to be unfavourable in a small number of conditions, with recirculation possible between the intake and exhaust sections of the acoustic enclosure. In response to the simulation outcomes, changes were made to the proposed design to mitigate these issues and a subsequent simulation was produced which demonstrated an improved air flow pattern which improved the fresh air supply substantially.

Without such design optimisation, the heat rejection systems would not only have potentially struggled at high temperatures but would also have operated at a lower overall efficiency during lower temperature days. Thanks to this technique, the final solution is not only a highly resilient installation but also a highly efficient solution too, resulting in a tangible ROI on the CFD exercise over and above the additional confidence gained from it.

The project was delivered successfully with a substantial improvement to the facility’s efficiency. The facility now also benefits from an enhanced level of resilience and maintainability which has been possible due to the decision to not only replace the existing infrastructure with a like-for-like upgrade, but to take the opportunity to upgrade and improve wherever possible, incorporating the latest in critical engineering design approach.

The newly upgraded facility now also benefits from an enhanced cooling infrastructure, and the benefit of knowing that adverse ambient conditions and wind velocities have been considered as part of the design process, and potential issues mitigated wherever possible.

Data Centre Cooling Innovation of the Year

WINNER



Huawei Digital Power Technologies Co., Ltd.

• What are your product's/solution's key distinguishing features and/or USP?

Huawei indirect evaporative cooling solution uses the free cooling sources to perform heat exchange through air-to-air heat exchangers and water spray evaporative cooling. It implements convergence of cooling, power and AI energy efficiency optimization, reducing the energy consumption of the cooling system in the data center.

The indirect evaporative cooling system is prefabricated with DX cooling and key functional components, shortening the delivery period and reducing O&M difficulty. The solution has three cooling modes, including dry mode, wet mode and hybrid mode, helping customers build green, simple, smart, and reliable data centers.

• What tangible impact has your product/solution had on the market and your customers?

Compared with the traditional chilled water cooling system, the indirect evaporative cooling solution features short delivery period, simple O&M, low PUE, and high reliability. The modular and prefabricated architecture reduces the TTM of the cooling system by 50%. By maximizing the use of free cooling sources, a typical Zhangjiakou, China data center with indirect evaporative cooling solution can save power by 61%, water by 65%. Besides, with an an innovative cooling-power integration architecture, zero cooling interruption and as low as 5% harmonics are achieved.

• What are the major differentiators between your product/solution and those of your primary competitors?

Simple: By pre-installation and pre-testing in the factory, the cooling system is prefabricated in one module, reducing the TTM from six months to three months. With the use of modular controller and fan driver, the indirect evaporative cooling solution features hot-swap maintenance, replacement in 1 minute.

Green: The dedicated key components, including polymer air-air heat exchanger and EC fan, are leveraged to maximize the cooling efficiency and optimize the energy consumption of data centers.

Smart: The cooling system works with AI-based iCooling technology to reduce the CLF by delivering the optimal cooling policy to IT load in real time.

Reliable: The system uses dual power supply and ensures zero temperature fluctuation during power switch. Indoor and outdoor air are isolated to prevent contamination.

• Please supply any supportive quotes and/or case study materials to demonstrate the value of this product/solution to your customers/partners.

Dongguan Cloud Data Center T1 project pilot lab building is a five-storey prefabricated modular data center infrastructure, consisting of 189 prefabricated containers, six chillers, and nine diesel generators. The indirect evaporative cooling solution was used to reduce the annual PUE to 1.28, saving electricity consumption by 4.91 million kWh each year.

A big data center is located in Linyi, China, covering an area of 95 acres, with a total floor area of 13,315 square meters. Ten sets of Huawei indirect evaporative cooling systems were used. All components were installed within three months, shortening the TTM by 50%. Compared with those in a conventional solution, the annual average PUE is reduced to 1.25, and the annual electricity fee of the data center is reduced by 11.3%.

Ulanqab northern cloud data center uses the indirect evaporative cooling solution and the annual PUE is as low as 1.15. Compared with the traditional chilled water solutions, the data center can save more than 30 million kWh of electricity per year and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 14000 tons per year.


RUNNER UP



Iceotope Technologies Limited

- First known study to test precision immersion cooling for high-density data storage successfully demonstrates efficiency
- Virtually silent operation helps mitigate acoustic vibrational issues associated with air-cooled solutions
- The introduction of sealed helium-filled HDDs opens the door for more effective precision immersion liquid cooling in storage racks

Iceotope, the global leader in precision immersion cooling, announces a new study with meta confirming the practicality, efficiency and effectiveness of chassis-level liquid cooling technology to meet the cooling requirements of high-density storage disks increasingly being deployed and utilised by hyperscale data centre service providers.

The recently published study with meta suggests the advantages of improved thermal management, reduced vibration and equalised temperature across the JBOD, which leads directly to lower failure rates and costs for data centre operators. The hard drive systems supplied in a rack form factor in chassis drawers are an ideal fit for precision immersion cooling technology.

meta study liquid cooling for high-density storage

The study showcases an air-cooled, high-density storage system re-engineered to utilise single-phase immersion cooling. The standard commercial storage system consisted of seventy-two hard drives, two single socket nodes, two SAS expander cards, NIC and a power distribution board in a 4OU form factor. The hard drives were hermetically sealed, and helium filled.

The liquid cooling system tested was an Iceotope precision immersion liquid cooling system - the air-cooled version was modified with the addition of a dedicated dielectric loop connected to a liquid-to-liquid heat exchanger and pump. meta proceeded to measure temperature variation across the hard drives and cooling pump power in the air-cooled and liquid-cooled systems.

The results are conclusive

The study successfully demonstrated precision immersion cooling was a more efficient means of cooling the HDD racks with the following results:
- Using precision immersion liquid cooling, the variance in temperature between all 72 HDDs was just 3°C, regardless of location inside the JBODs
- Liquid cooling demonstrated that the HDD systems could operate reliably in rack water inlet temperatures up to 40°C.
- System-level cooling power was less than five percent of the total power consumption.
- Liquid cooling’s virtually silent operation helps mitigate acoustic vibrational issues for drives often encountered with air-cooling solutions.

While precision immersion is found to be a superior alternative to air-cooling high-density disk arrays, other forms of liquid cooling including cold plates, tank immersion, or two-phase immersion, don’t preserve the operational benefits such as HDD density, user access for serviceability and ability to hot swap drives to the same degree.

Data Centre Facilities Vendor of the Year
Sponsored by   Bridgeworks Ltd

WINNER



Huawei Digital Power Technologies Co., Ltd.

• What are your company's key distinguishing features and/or USP?

Established in June 2021, Huawei Digital Power Technologies Co., Ltd. (Huawei Digital Power for short) is a leading global provider of digital power products and solutions. We are committed to integrating digital and power electronics technologies, developing clean power, and enabling energy digitalization to drive energy revolution for a better, greener future. In the clean power generation sector, we help create new power systems that primarily rely on renewable energy. In the green ICT power infrastructure sector, we help build green, low-carbon, and intelligent data centers and communications networks. In the green transportation sector, we redefine consumer driving and safety experiences in electric vehicles, accelerating transportation electrification. Huawei Digital Power continues innovating through open collaboration with global partners to promote carbon neutrality. With approximately 6000 employees, Huawei Digital Power serves one third of the world's population across more than 170 countries and regions.

In the domain of data center facility, Huawei integrates advanced power electronics technology, thermal management technology and AI technology and focuses on three scenarios including large data centers, small- and medium-sized data centers, and critical power supply, to build simple, green, smart and reliable data centers. Specific products and solutions include outdoor prefabricated modular data centers, indoor modular data centers, power supply systems, cooling and management systems.

•What tangible impact has your company had on the market and your customers?

Thanks to continuous investment and technology accumulation in the field of data center facility, Huawei’s data center facilities performance have grown steadily. According to ththird-party authority Omdia and frost & sullivan report, the indoor modular data center ranked No. 1 in global market share, and the modular UPS ranked No. 1 in global market share. At present, Huawei ’s data center facility solutions cover Carriers, ISP, governments, transportation, finance, manufacturing, energy, etc. Multiple industries.

•What levels of customer service differentiate you from your competitors.

There are some cooperative customers who have not been authorized publicly. Listed below are just some of the customers that have been served.

Carrier: Dreamline, Converge, China Unicom, China Mobile, China Telecom etc.
ISP: Global Switch, CloudExchange, Xdata, Singapore Keppel, Noris Network etc.
Transportation: Dubai International Airport, Singapore LTA, MNG Kargo, CCTIC, Shenzhen International Airport etc.
Manufacture: HKC, China FAW Group etc.
Financial: China Construction Bank etc
Energy: China Southern Power Grid, Saudi Electricity Company, Electricity Generation Company Turkey etc.

•What are the major differentiators between your company and your primary competitors?

From the perspective of the entire data center, Huawei can provide full-stack data center solutions, from L1 power, cooling, management, services, to L2 server, storage, network and L3 cloud. In addition, after extensive and in-depth discussions, Huawei have defined four characteristics of next-generation data center.

Sustainable: Next-generation data center facilities will be fully green and energy-efficient while maximizing the recycling of all data center materials. In this way, the overall data center ecosystem will be eco-friendly and environmentally sustainable. Sustainable data centers can be achieved by utilizing green resources - electricity, land, and water - and maximizing the recycling of used materials throughout the life cycle. In addition to the extensively-used Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE), other indicators, including Carbon Usage Effectiveness (CUE), Water Usage Effectiveness (WUE), and Grid Usage Effectiveness (GUE), will also be used to measure data center sustainability.

Simplified: Simplified architecture, power supply, and cooling embody the evolution of the data center facility. simplified architecture brings innovative forms of buildings and equipment rooms. If the prefabricated modular construction mode is used to construct a 1000-rack data center, the construction period can be reduced from more than 18 months to 6–9 months. simplified power supply reshapes components and links. It shortens the delivery period from 2 months to 2 weeks. Simplified cooling maximizes heat exchange efficiency by changing multiple heat exchanges to one heat exchange, and shortening the cooling link.

Autonomous Driving: O&M automation, energy efficiency optimization, and operation autonomy reshape the management of data centers’ operation and maintenance. O&M automation enables engineers to complete the inspection of 2000 racks in 5 minutes remotely. The energy efficiency optimization means an optimal cooling strategy can be delivered via 1.4 million original combinations within 1 minute, achieving smart cooling. Operation autonomy maximizes the value of resources.

Reliable: Proactive security and secure architecture ensure high quality and sustainable development of data centers. Proactive security means using big data and AI technologies to implement predictive maintenance from components to data centers, based on the visibility and perception of all domains in the data centers. Automatic fault response means it will take only 1 minute to spot a fault, 3 minutes to analyze, and 5 minutes to recover. Secure architecture means security will be ensured at various levels, such as components, devices, and systems. At the system level, the E2E visualizable, manageable, and controllable platform enables the system availability to reach 99.999%.

•Please supply any supportive quotes and/or case study materials to demonstrate the position of your company in the market.

Regarding market share, please refer to the attachment “Global market share and worldwide recognition”, which have been submitted separately


RUNNER UP



EnerSys

EnerSys® is a key partner in the data centre industry with a proven track record over many years. Our customers have grown to rely on our products to deliver resilience in their site infrastructure.

If there is a power outage, batteries designed for UPS applications help to ensure mission-critical facilities stay online without interruption. Our best-in-class UPS battery technologies can ensure the reliable power that is crucial to maintaining data centre operations around the world.

If you operate a cloud, colocation, edge, or enterprise data centre there are increasing demands on cooling, power and space efficiency and ensuring reliable system availability. At EnerSys® we offer scalable high-energy density storage options, cabinets, and racks to meet these requirements. Together with our specialist installation and battery maintenance services, we safeguard your data during power outages by delivering near-instantaneous protection.

In the supporting document to this award submission, you will discover how EnerSys® differs from other energy storage suppliers, as well as learn about some of the recent data centres facilities projects that we have supported, and why for many we are their partner of choice.

Data Centre Hosting/co-location Supplier of the Year
Sponsored by   EkkoSense

WINNER



Vantage Data Centers

What are your company’s/solution's key distinguishing features and/or USP?

Vantage CWL11 can respond rapidly to the private and shared data centre space requirements of all types of colocation customers due to the facility’s unrivalled scalability and abundant power. It allows large enterprise organisations and IT service providers to consolidate power strapped and/or multiple smaller estates, while also accommodating hyperscale cloud providers, and even small growing businesses. All have the flexibility to scale as and when required.

Future proof scalability: Long-established and new customers have future-proof solutions with the convenience, cost savings and peace of mind from being able to continue to expand in the same data centre location.

Security, resilience and abundant power: Built to exceed Tier III standards, the highest levels of security and resilience are underpinned by Vantage CWL11’s unprecedented power supply from an adjacent on-site sub-station supplying a direct connection to the SuperGrid. In 2020 the power supply was further increased to 148MW: this will continue to ensure unprecedented forwards power available to customers for many years to come and assures a smooth delivery and control of power into the building, minimising risk of surges or spikes. There has not been a single outage since the facility opened more than 10 years ago.

Sustainability: Vantage is a signatory of the Climate Neutral Data Center Pact and is actively involved in ongoing sustainability initiatives including water reduction. This further strengthens CWL11’s established energy optimization credentials as follows:
• The first data centre campus in the UK to be powered by 100 per cent renewably sourced energy when opening in 2010 and the first to commit to the Government’s CCA initiative
• A custom Energy Management System designed by Schneider Electric for enabling real-time monitoring, measuring and reporting on energy and environmental performance.
• Leveraging the lower ambient climate in Wales for harnessing free-cooling to its state of the art intelligent cooling systems from Stulz GE and Vertiv. These indirect free cooling units also allow CWL11 to control the ingress of contaminants and humidity, ensuring sealed white space environments.
• Industry leading PUE rating of 1.2

Rack densities: All Vantage CWL11’s shared and private data halls offer unprecedented power to rack: up to 125kW per rack is currently available for the most demanding high performance computing requirements. This allows Solution Architects to decide the best technical solution for their users’ needs rather than be blocked by unsuitable data centre designs and minimal rack power densities.

Diverse Connectivity: Vantage CWL11 is a direct point of presence (POP) for all the major international, national and regional carriers, as well as the LINX Wales Internet Exchange. An ongoing connectivity programme ensures customers have the maximum choice, bandwidth and resilience of diverse networks. This includes direct gateway connections into the network infrastructures of the major public cloud providers, bypassing the public internet to ensure the delivery of extremely responsive, secure and reliable cloud-enabled services. CWL11 is also directly connected to Telehouse in London so customers can remain in London while leveraging the considerable cost savings of operating their server racks remotely at CWL11’s out-of-town rates.
Price Performance: The Cardiff campus’s huge size, economies of scale and low out of town cost base combine to offer world-class colocation at half the price of comparable facilities in the London/M25 region.

Accreditations: Quality, environmental, security, data privacy, and process management certified including BSI ISO 9001:2015, BSI ISO 14001:2015, BSI ISO 27001:2013, BS 10012:2017, PCI DSS, ISAE-3402, SSAE-16, SOC 1, SOC2 and SOC3.

On-site support and services: 24/7/365 assistance on all aspects of installation and capacity planning remote hands service and hands and eyes support for performing tasks such as power cycling, visual inspections and cable replacements advice on regulatory matters, IT issues and products specialist server migration and de-installation/installation services get customer racks transported, up and running in hours – not days extensive range of on-site private meeting suites and conference facilities available to clients.


What tangible impact has your product/solution had on the market and your customers?

With pricing half that of London/M25, Vantage CWL11 has evolved into a world class and highly affordable regional alternative to large metropolitan areas.

Vantage’s Cardiff campus is now ‘home from home’ to the IT Systems of an impressive and growing list of blue-chip organisations. From UK government departments and major banks to BT, CGI, IBM, WiPro and other global giants, including some of the world’s largest software and cloud companies. Its huge scalability and power source has and is enabling large organisations and IT service providers to consolidate power strapped and/or multiple smaller estates while also allowing growing businesses the flexibility to scale up as they expand.

With 148MW of power available, the site offers more than enough forward power and power to rack densities for meeting the most demanding Cloud Hyperscalers, as well as Hybrid Cloud and HPC (High Performance Computing) requirements including specialist semi-conductor, engineering, and life sciences organisations - of which there are many in the Wales region. Moreover, having Vantage Data Centers practically on their doorsteps is proving attractive to local enterprises looking for secure and cost-effective space to house perhaps an initial one or two server racks.

A 100 per cent commitment to renewably sourced energy and certified commitment to the government CCA initiative, affords customers Zero Carbon Tax and enhanced Green credentials. The semi-rural location also offers customers a more naturally secure environment than a metro one.

As a supporter and key proponent of Digital Strategy for Wales, the continued success of the campus in attracting major businesses to the Cardiff Capital Region brings significant ongoing investment into the local economy. Vantage has also evolved into a growing UK employer, intentionally focusing on diversity and inclusivity, as well as generating regular on-site construction engineering work for hundreds of local subcontractors.

Looking forward, Vantage’s 1,450,000sqft/50 acres campus offers considerable scope for growth with enough space to keep pace with continuing strong demand for high-quality data capacity. With this, the company completed in late 2022 the construction of a further data centre with another in progress.


What levels of customer service differentiate you from your competitors?

At the heart of Vantage CWL11’s success is its ability to consistently leverage the vast space available and low cost base location to maximise economies of scale for the benefit of existing and future customers:
Equally, our onsite operational and engineering excellence is a further major differentiator as the following real-life examples will demonstrate:

Data Centre WUE Excellence
Vantage CWL11 currently utilises evaporative coolers for the critical cooling topology of many our white spaces and of which their primary source of cooling is via adiabatic. This means that they utilise water, which is provided via our local water utility provider.
As a new initiative we currently have a project where this water with the addition of rainwater harvested from the roof is fed back through a water treatment plant consisting of grey water tanks, reverse osmosis, and several other filtration systems such as activated charcoal and micro membrane filters.
This water then leaves the water treatment plant in near pure water condition which is perfectly designed to meet the EFC water quality requirements. This system becomes a cyclic system, so we conserve and reuse as much water as possible.
The benefits of doing this are substantial and include vastly improved WUE, removing reliance on the local water utility provider, substantially increasing cooling hold up times in a loss of utility water scenario, supporting the UK governments drive to conserve natural resources such a water and extend its usable life, far greater water hygiene management and control, and it ensures that the water being supplied to our critical cooling is of the best quality possible and extending the life cycle of those assets.

Data Centre PUE Excellence
Vantage CWL11 is in a constant drive for efficiency. Below is a list of initiatives we have deployed,
• Deploying indirect cooling systems which are designed with maximum efficiency as a goal. Both evaporative free cooling and dry air cooling support our mechanical systems utilising the ambient temperature to achieve free cooling during spells of a low ambient.
• Summer/Winter standard operating procedure: We alter setpoints on equipment depending on the season to allow more efficiency to be driven out of systems-compressor on and off setpoint’s can be widened in the winter month’s meaning we stay of mechanical cooling and utilise free cooling longer, driving down mechanical usage and reducing PUE.
• We have recently changed our return air cooling strategy to supply air on several of our data hall’s. This gave us more control on the mechanical cooling allowing us to raise supply air set point’s which resulted in staying of mechanical cooling for longer.
• Isolating equipment that doesn’t need to be on. Basically, we track the load of an infrastructure. If that load doesn’t require all the equipment designed for that room, then we isolate which save’s energy. This is also part of our low load strategy.

Battery Monitoring
Vantage CWL11’s battery monitoring system is an ethernet-integrated battery monitoring and management system, which uses web management technology to monitor the temperature, internal resistance, and voltage of every single battery. With the number of batteries installed on CWL11, a single pane of glass visual is imperative for the quick response needed for changing any block’s out of parameter. The Operations team has designed this single pane of glass which captures all our batteries, both VRLA and Li-Ion, and shows when a block needs changing. We hold 30 x batteries in critical spares on bespoke charging frames giving us the ability to swap blocks that are out of parameter in a 12-hr time frame.

Training
Currently Vantage CWL11 has a Centre of Excellence project where we are building a full training centre and conference hall. This training centre has been designed to provide real world scenario training on critical path topologies and systems. Training on these types of systems is very difficult once a data centre has become live, so this training centre will provide valuable and real-world experience throughout the engineering teams both existing and new, especially as the design of the training centre will be flexible at its core, meaning we can operate the same critical infrastructure as on CWL11 or even infrastructures on our other sites making it a valued support network.


What are the major differentiators between your product/solution and those of your primary competitors?

• Meets Global, National and Regional demand for colocation and hosting – all from a highly scalable single site campus at pricing half that of London

• A world class regional colocation and telecommunications hub for Wales and West England

• Future-proofed – 420,000sqft net technical capacity under one roof with room for further expansion on the campus with three further data centre buildings planned

• Stable, forward power – up to 148MW available connected to national SuperGrid via private sub-station

• Power to rack –125MW scalable power - to support the highest density requirements

• Diverse carrier/ISP connectivity with latency as low as 1.2ms between Cardiff and central London a Point of Presence for LINX Wales Peering Exchange direct gateway connections to hyperscale public cloud provider network infrastructure direct layer 2 connections into London Telehouse for added customer convenience


RUNNER UP



Telehouse

Telehouse is a world-leading secure, resilient and carrier-neutral data centre operator and co-location provider with over 40 sites in 18 countries around the world, each strategically placed to offer customers maximum data centre connectivity potential. Telehouse boasts one of the world’s most highly connected networks of carriers, ISPs, internet exchanges, cloud service and data centre providers. The operator has over 3,000 customers worldwide to which it upholds a 99.999% uptime service level agreement. One of Telehouse’s key USPs is its unrivalled experience and expertise having first established itself in the industry since 1988. The organisation has been providing connectivity to businesses across the UK and Europe for over 30 years. It is trusted by industry leaders worldwide including leading carriers, enterprises, and service providers.

Data Centre ICT Automation/Orchestration Innovation of the Year
Sponsored by   Schneider Electric

WINNER



Park Place Technologies

ParkView Discovery&trade (PVD) automates and simplifies the asset discovery process, allowing data centre operators to: Eliminate the need for manually collecting and documenting IT inventory Achieve real time visibility for acquired assets and assets in remote locations Accelerate audit preparation and readiness Easily obtain serial number and product life cycle information Park Place supports the installation and execution of scanning and inventory reporting Discover physical, virtual and cloud assets across your infrastructure &ndash automatically. Identify and track assets deployed to remote workforce. Retire internal discovery tools Reassign internal resources Reduce software licensing costs and maintenance costs



RUNNER UP



eClerx

CONCEPT The Great Resignation has caused a massive employee shortage throughout businesses, large and small. According to the Wall Street Journal, more than 4.3 million workers quit their job over the past year, leaving organizations unable to operate as usual. Experts predict that a full recovery in the global labor market could take two years or more. Our product, Roboworx, a revolutionary Robotic Process Automation (RPA) platform developed by eClerx, is specifically designed to fill the global employee shortage gap, universally known as The Great Resignation - a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. VALUE With over six years and 100,000 hours of R&D, Roboworx empowers organizations with an RPA platform designed to mimic the actions of employees who have resigned as part of The Great Resignation, leaving companies short-staffed. Roboworx allows users to computerize repetitive high-volume activities, such as transaction processing, data manipulation, and interaction with multiple systems. Roboworx also automates all repetitive tasks with a logical process flow and a defined set of business rules. This ensures efficiency and high-quality results for automated tasks and cost savings. DELIVERY In one case study, Roboworx automated 80 percent of one of the world's largest cable & telecom company's manual processes. As a result, Roboworx filled the gap of 10 full-time employees, saving $65,000 per month. In a second case study, Roboworx filled the gap of eight full-time employees for one of the world's largest bedbank companies, saving $55,000 per month. Roboworx also filled the gap of three full-time employees at a Swiss Bank, saving $20,000 per month. In all three case studies, Roboworx saved the company money and allowed each company to become more efficient than its competitors while improving its quality control. IMPACT Roboworx is extraordinarily innovative. Roboworx has a societal impact. It allows organizations to improve their quality control. Here's how: Bots don't call in sick, take breaks, or need vacation time. Instead, they work 24/7, 7 days a week. Bots don't form unions. Instead, they allow the company to operate smoothly without the potential for interruption. Roboworx is specifically designed to learn from people how to handle unstructured data and automate end-to-end processing using the latest AI technologies. An additional reason why Roboworx is relevant today and for years to come, a recent U.S. Pulse Survey found that 65 percent of employees are looking for a new job. Plus, staff turnover is pricey&mdashit costs an estimated one-half to two times an employee's annual salary to replace them. Roboworx, however, is solving this global employee shortage problem.


Data Centre ICT Management (DCIM) Innovation of the Year
Sponsored by   Interact

WINNER



E-TEC Power management

What are your product’s/solution distinguishing features and/or USP?
• High Availability(HA) without incurring any significant increase in configuration complexity.
• A second node can be added without hours of downtime for the existing node whilst manually copying the entire database file system, our solution automatically manages the data copy and is usually complete with a few minutes when used via a fast network, the existing node database will assume a read only state during the time, but no data is lost as the SCADA application buffers this data and forwards to the database once the file sync is complete.
• Scale, unlike synchronised virtual machines, this solution scales well.

What tangible impact has product’s/solution had on the market and you customers?
• High Availability in larger systems better than 99.999%
• Easier maintenance

What are the major differences between your product’s/solution and those of your competitors?
Most SCADA systems use a built-in database and neither the SCADA application its self or database natively support redundancy, if redundancy is required this is usually supplied via custom virtualization system that maintains two synchronised copies of the SCADA application running in a virtual Machine, this works well for smaller projects, but does not scale well.

The baseline – What were the high level aims of the project? What existed in the market? Why couldn’t we purchase a solution?
To provide full redundancy in our monitoring solutions, whilst the SCADA monitoring platform we used has a good built-in redundancy, the backend database that provides for alarm and history storage did not.

The Technological Advance – What were the technical advances that the project sought to create?
To have both the SCADA project and the backend database auto replicate, i.e. if one, the master server powered down for maintenance the standby server should take over, on reboot of the master server it should auto replicate up to date from the standby server, any history recorded whist the Master server was offline should be copied over from the standby server.

The Technical Uncertainties – What significant/major technical uncertainties did the project face that had to be resolved to create the technical advances?
The database we use has always supported a very manual clunky form of replication, but this is totally inappropriate for our used case, recently the database has come with built-in clustering options, clustering is normally the preserve of large IT depts., but reading through the documentation it appeared to offer a much better replication, you could just plug a new node into the cluster network and it would automatically bring itself up to date, there were some noteworthy caveats though, namely: Tables cannot be locked and normal restoration was not recommended, as this would normally require a table lock.

The Actions Taken – Describe how the project sought to resolve the uncertainties, e.g., development of prototypes, iterative development processes, software/technology used.
First we configured a two node cluster and connected it to our monitoring solution, this worked well as it does not need to apply table locks to perform its day to day functionality, however the restoration process was a bit problematic, basically most restoration solutions are built to be as fast as possible, most applications required the database to be fully restored before they can run, so in the case of a disaster recovery it needed to be as fast as possible, most of the data our application stores is time series data like alarms and historical meter values, so only the most recent table needs to be restored prior to starting the application, all other table/partition can be restored at leisure with the application running.
Unfortunately clustering does place extra overhead on the database process as each data insert has to be replicated across all nodes before signaling to the application that the insert is complete, so a fast restoration process could overwhelm the database and prevent the monitoring application for inserting data, whilst there were some options within the restoration process that could be used to slow its progress, ultimately we had to create script that would call the restoration process and then apply a CPU limit to that process in order to throttle it’s throughput to a sustainable level, allowing enough band width for our monitoring application to continue uninterrupted.


RUNNER UP



Turkcell

Introduction
For end-to-end management of the white spaces and asset infrastructure in Turkcell data centers, a DCIM application has been developed that directly addresses customer needs with internal resources.

Drivers and objectives
The processes of assets, capacity reporting, consumables, reservations, malfunctions, announcements, 2D hall layouts, in-cabinet equipment layouts for internal and external customers, which are planned to be managed within the scope of the project It is to be managed with a flexible structure in web and mobile application environments with flexible configuration options available to the end user. A structure has been designed in which location-specific AGILE teams can manage their processes in accordance with this philosophy. During the project, systems such as rack PDU, environment sensors, server and switch equipment, which are managed indifferent applications and touch data center processes, were integrated with the DCMAN application.

Timeline
Project plan was created as Process design(1 month)-Development and deployment processes(4 months), Production Configuration(3 weeks). For the design processes of the software ecosystem planned to be implemented within the scope of the project, an efficient design process was carried out by forming an AGILE team, which includes development and customers. In addition, benchmarking and netnography studies were conducted for the product by holding workshops with potential user groups of the application. Completed the production configuration process, which is one of the important milestones, by configuring all data groups required by the system in a way that can be migrated instantly.

Key innovations
*Dynamic Data Migration: The data on different platforms and infrastructures were made meaningful and gathered under the DCMAN roof, definition-oriented instant transfer infrastructure for future new integrations was established.
*Mobile and Web Resposive Application: Web and mobile infrastructure was made manageable from a single platform.
*2D Configuration Management: System rooms, cabinet and device infrastructure were dynamically mapped in 2D.
*Real Time Definition Driven Architecture Model: All parameters used in the management of the application were left to the control of the application managers, and compliance with the real-time parameter definitions was ensured.
*KPI: The KPIs needed in the data center are reported to the user in a flexible structure.

Key Outcomes
With the realization of the DCMAN project, the outputs listed below have been made available to the customer
*Making dynamic reports
*KPI tracking
*Energy capacity management and PUE monitoring
*Follow-up of reservation processes
*Sales process management
*Consumables inventory tracking
*Fault notifications
*Routine report issuance
*Inventory entry and exit operational processes
*Routine system room and equipment checks
*Digital signature processes
*Asset management

Data Centre ICT Networking Innovation of the Year

WINNER



Bridgeworks

WAN Acceleration technologies accelerate data transfers that eliminate data management challenges are known as ‘WAN acceleration’. Bridgeworks patented artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies accelerate organisations existing technologies and dramatically accelerate their Wide Area Networks (WANs). AI underpins the patented technology to provide process intelligence, mitigating latency and mitigate packet loss. Our solutions, such as PORTrockIT, dramatically improve data throughput up to 98% of bandwidth – regardless of distance.

Hybrid cloud, object storage and metro clusters

Steven Umbehocker (SU), CEO and CTO of OSNEXUS Corporation explains why this is important to organisations that are accelerating their adoption of hybrid cloud strategies: “This can be in the form of object storage for backup, disaster recovery sites, and all this puts a greater importance on efficient use of the WAN. This is important across all sectors. However, it is especially important in sectors such as healthcare to protect data like PACS images.”

Before implementing Bridgeworks PORTrockIT what issues was OSNexus facing? Umbehocker comments: “OSNexus was facing performance challenges in deploying metro clusters and disaster recovery (DR) sites over WANs – suffering with particularly high latency over large distances. There was a 200-700% boost in performance by implementing PORTrockIT which is a game changer. The highest performance improvement was 7 times higher than without any WAN acceleration.”

Critical: Recovery Time objectives

Recovery time objectives (RTOs) are critical to IT organisations, so it is imperative to have adequate WAN bandwidth and throughput to keep the remote replication to DR sites within the required RTO. OSNexus is also seeing increase demand for metro clusters where the storage is distributed across multiple sites to achieve zero downtime in the event of a site outage.

Umbehocker therefore adds: “That’s only possible when the latency is low enough to provide sufficient and adequate performance for the workloads. PORTrockIT solves these latency issues so that metro clusters and DR sites can be deployed across a much larger geographic area. If you have an earthquake in one zone, that larger metro cluster offers benefits. You can avoid downtime, enabling organisations to link their disparate sites together. There is much latency between New York and Tokyo, and so you need something like PORTrockIT to mitigate latency.”

With high latency and packet loss, he explains that data transfers are delayed and may need to be resent which reduces performance – the transfer rate. WANs are typically spanning portions of the public internet and/or shared dark fibre infrastructure that IT organisations don’t have much control over, and simply upping bandwidth doesn’t address the latency issues. What is required is a different approach to boosting WAN performance that is designed to specifically address the inherent latency issues and packet loss.

Before approaching Bridgeworks, OSNexus experimented with various network tuning options, including adjusting the frame sizes and queueing techniques, but these adjustments do not come anywhere close to the range of benefits offered by PORTrockIT. The three biggest benefits were the reliability of the link, the visibility of the performance, and increased performance with PORTrockIT.

Joshua Blake, Regional Support Lead – EMEA at OSNexus Corporation therefore says: “It definitely increased performance, but I couldn’t tell you if there was more smoothness. It was easy to set up once you understand it. There were some things I needed to read up on, but it was otherwise easy to set up.”

The company has a disaster recovery site between Seattle and Las Vegas, and so it found it helpful to include PORTrockIT into their automated test systems. To that extent, PORTrockIT is now certified for use with QuantaStor, and this enables OSNexus customers to leverage it for disaster recovery sites and metro cluster use cases.

Performance improvements

The QuantaStor VM endpoints shown in Figure 1 use the PORTrockIT virtual appliances as gateways for replicating data from a ZFS file system. For the data payload, OSNEXUS used a randomly generated 5,124 MB test file. The ZFS data was sent and received via SSH on TCP port 22.

By using WANulator to simulate the scenarios presented in Table 1, the OSNEXUS team was able to test transfer speeds both with and without PORTrockIT data acceleration and make direct comparisons between the two data transfer strategies. The test was conducted five times for each different latency, and the average transfer time in seconds can be seen below. Packet loss equated to 0.1%, and latency ranged from 0 milliseconds to 160 milliseconds.

At 0ms the unaccelerated the unaccelerated transfer time equated to 107.0 seconds. When accelerated this amounted to 105.6 seconds, with an improvement factor of -0.01. At 20ms the unaccelerated transfer time was 333.6 seconds, while the accelerated time was 117.6 seconds – leading to an improvement factor of 2.83.

At 40ms the unaccelerated transfer rate was 1,724.6 seconds, and the accelerated transfer time was 245.0 – an improvement factor of 7.03. At 80ms the unaccelerated transfer time sat at 2,945.4 seconds, while accelerated it stood at 454.6 seconds – an improvement factor of 6.47. Lastly, at 160ms the unaccelerated transfer time was 3,789.0 seconds. Yet when accelerated it stood at 871.6 – an improvement factor of 4.34.

Blake therefore comments: “Aside from the performance benefits, being able to identify as a complementary product – architecting it with storage – adds another string to our bow effectively. We have mentioned PORTrockIT as a goal. We go in to speak about it, and then they see the benefits themselves – it’s like planting a seed.”

OSNexus has clients that are implementing hybrid cloud strategies who want or need the benefits that, according to Umbehocker, need to the benefits that PORTrockIT solves. This is because PORTrockIT allow data to be moved over WANs quickly and efficiently is a core challenge in implementing hybrid cloud strategies.

He concludes: “We have already started adding more features like automatic tiering from file to object storage and these new features around replication and tiering of data are putting an increased importance efficient use of customers available WAN bandwidth. PORTrockIT enables organisations to get increased value and performance out of their monthly WAN bandwidth investment, with an increase in throughput up to a 700%.”


National Institutes of Health

The NIH was originally a PORTrockIT 400 customer. However, it found an additional need to add two of Bridgeworks’ new high end PORTrockIT 800’s last year. They are moving four protocols over the WAN at ‘breakneck speed’.

A spokesperson from BKJ Works - New York comments: “This is a non-engineering group, but they have had no problem in installing the devices (each in under 1 hour!). Don't be surprised if they come up with future needs on an even grander scale in the future. I cannot thank Bridgeworks enough for their continued support, fast turn around and meeting all and any of our requests with a willingness to say, ‘Yes we can’. This relationship will only deepen going forward.”

WAN Data Acceleration powers the National Institutes of Health’s global data transfer requirements at the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. It is also the world’s largest biomedical research agency. One Bridgeworks' healthcare customer, US-based CVS Caremark, connected two virtual tape libraries over 2,860 miles at full WAN bandwidth. This achieved a performance gain of 95 times the unaccelerated performance.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has gone from never being able to achieve fast datacentre replication over a distance between sites of 2,000 miles, to be able to attain it. The difference between doing it between two machines in the same datacentre and in two machines across two datacentres was 6 MB/s on NetApp Snap Mirror replication. So, they now lose only this amount of time.

The NIH wasn’t able to address this issue for a couple of years. NetApp and Aspera couldn’t achieve this. Bridgeworks was brought in to conduct a quick POC that took a couple of days to set it up, and then that was it. The savings come from not having anything previously to protect their data. Bridgeworks has also helped NIH to resolve network infrastructure issues. Although successful, the results aren’t yet in the public domain. Yet it is a substantial multi-million U.S. dollar contract.

Accelerating IT security

The project with the major IT security firm is also a game-changer. Between November and December 2021, a storage subject matter expert within this company came to Bridgeworks with details about a file transfer problem on a 2Gbps WAN circuit between Colorado, USA, and Bangalore in India.

Problem:

With data equating to 700TB storage estate, backups are only as good as the ability to restore the data. In order to allow an acceptable transfer time of this data requires a robust solution

There were 2 NetApp units involved in the data migration: one in Bangalore and another in Denver. The transfer was performed using the inbuilt NetApp Snap Mirror feature. It involved migrating data in a follow the sun requirement, and critical data and security was paramount. The allocated WAN bandwidth for transfer was a 1Gb/s controlled by a SD-WAN. But the raw WAN bandwidth was 2 Gb/s. Before PORTrockIT, throughput was typically equating to 2MB/s using Incumbent technology WAN-Optimisation with only 2% unitisation of WAN, and the time to transfer the data was 8.4 days.

Phil Hill, Customer Solution Architect at Bridgeworks explains: “Our PORTrockIT solution for this company mitigated the effects of Latency and Packet loss. He says the latency between Denver and Bangalore at 350ms is a lot of latency! The biggest single factor causing latency is distance - even though the speed of light is around 186,282 miles per second – this figure is actually around one third lower when going through fibre optic cables.

Although the units can be hardware, sometimes virtual images or cloud machine images are more useful. As time was of the essence and the customer had real looming deadlines, the IT security firm opted for a Virtual Machine (VM) running in VMWare ESX. This made the turnaround for the evaluation-solution really quick. The following table shows the technical specification of the virtual products which would server the customer best.

After installing and configuring the PORTrockIT virtual instances the transfer speed increased to 80MB/s – a 40-fold increase and the time taken was reduced to under 6 hours. In this case the benchmark figure we were given was that the customer was only able to move data at around 2 Mega Bytes per second.”

Results

A spokesperson from the IT security company remarks: “The rate of throughput was incredible. PORTrockIT from Bridgeworks is a game changer. I am a storage engineer with limited networking knowledge. I was able to configure and deploy PORTrockIT in less than 2 hours”. The IT security firm believes that with ‘unthrottled’ conditions and utilising their full 2 Gig WAN, they would be able to transfer data at 200 MBs per second. PORTrockIT is working over a SD-WAN, and they required no other changes to the LAN or WAN configurations.

Speaking about the project, Kevin St. Cyr, Tributary Systems inc. of Dallas, Texas says: “We have always impressed with the capabilities of PORTrockIT product, but what they have achieved with the IT security company’s installation takes it to another level. It is a showcase for the capabilities of PORTrockIT. The beauty is, it’s easy to install and it shows the performance that can be achieved over a WAN that was once thought impossible.”

WAN Accelerating F1

A Formula 1 (F1) team undertook an evaluation, a proof of concept (POC), which showed the ability of PORTrockIT to make their WAN data transfers 60 times faster than before. The trial was so successful that the team ended it early. Bridgeworks’ brief was to help them speed up data the transfer of data from the Cotswolds in the UK to New England, in the USA.

A new Partnership with Prodec Networks was formed in the process, and a spokesperson from Prodec comments: “Regarding the F1 team, from wind tunnel analysis to engineering documents, Formula 1 teams accumulate significant volumes of data. The cars’ sensors (over a hundred of them) tell their own story about the race for the duration of the race and for referral later.”

“Needless to say, up to date revisions of the cars’ specific designs need to be easily accessible. How the teams deal with the pressures of reacting quickly to the vast amount of information is often the difference between winning and losing each race. With race data exceeding 150Gb per race weekend, it’s easy to see how our F1 team needed a fast data-transfer solution.”

Bridgeworks continues to keep its customers on track by enabling them to mitigate latency and packet loss. Even organisations that are implementing SD-WANs can benefit from a WAN Acceleration, which is data agnostic and which permits the transmission of encrypted data at speed over large distances. This is something that tools such as WAN Optimisation will never be able to achieve.


RUNNER UP



Opengear

The CM8100 is Opengear’s latest rack-mountable family of console managers for data centres and enterprise networks. Part of the company’s Smart Out of Band product line, the solution set enables organisations to ensure resilient remote access to their business networks, with enhanced security and automation.

It does this by providing out of band access to routers, switches, power distribution units (PDUs) , firewalls, other serial consoles, and virtualised network functions at scale. Rather than simply providing emergency access to a device, this capability enables customers of the CM8100 to gain access to set up and configure onsite systems and devices on their first day of use. They can then help post applications to ensure that devices are delivering optimum value every day they are in operation.

The CM8100 can also host docker containers: small applications that can ride in the device, such as network monitoring agents and lightweight services like DHCP or syslog server that don’t require powerful compute resources. This enables customers to minimise IT spend, take shadow IT out of the environment and run IT applications easily and efficiently. Finally they can also help mitigate issues when they occur by providing engineers with access to devices in order to recover, helping to mitigate the impact of outages and reduce downtime.

What differentiates the CM8100 further from most console servers is that it can automatically detect the type of device it is connected to. That removes the need for engineers to manually configure and label serial ports connecting the CM8100 to other devices. With the CM8100 offering 96 serial ports in total, this capability offers organisations the opportunity to make significant time and cost savings, by relieving the burden on their engineers to do this job while freeing them up to focus on higher value tasks.

In short, by using the CM8100, engineers can automatically find out the connection details of remotely located devices and ensure that those systems can easily be configured with minimum expenditure of time and effort on the engineer’s part. It also gives engineers the confidence that when they connect, they are connecting to the intended device.

Offering 96 ports all on one side of the device in contrast to competitors who typically favour 48 on the back and 48 on the front, further streamlines the implementation process. It is much easier for customers to manage the CM8100 in a rack enclosure because all the cables are facing in the same direction, making the cabling much easier to manage once the device is installed.

Why passive cooling matters
Another key feature of the CM8100 is it is four times faster than the previous generation while maintaining power-efficient, passively cooled operation up to 50°c. Designed and purpose-built to be energy-efficient, it requires less power and cooling to offer lower total cost of ownership (TCO), combined with performance and high reliability. Passive cooling also helps to lower the overall failure rate of the device by removing the need to run active fans, further reducing the cost to customers.

In addition to all this, CM8100 is a hardware-based trusted platform module (TPM) 2.0 security module, providing data encryption and a secure boot process. It has open architecture REST API-based firmware supporting automation tools, Docker and Python scripting. Fully redundant and indepently monitored dual power supplies ensure reliable operation and notification when localised power disruptions occur.

Docker support enables the CM8100 to host containerised applications to monitor, test, or investigate connectivity tools, providing new levels of agility and efficiency. Dual Ethernet ports enable redundant network connections and the CM8100-10G is equipped with two additional 10GbE SFP ports for direct connectivity to high speed network segments. Lighthouse Management software provides extensive capabilities for management at scale, across all Opengear appliances, enabling access to ports via all connected resources at each location.

Warranty benefits
Opengear also offers customers a four-year warranty as standard on the CM8100, compared to the two or three years offered by most of its competitors. Unlike Opengear also, most of its competitors offer a return and replace warranty, meaning that customers have to send the device back to the vendor in the event of a failure. Opengear, in contrast, offers advanced hardware replacement for four years standard. This means should a customer need a replacement device should a customer need a replacement device. Opengear sends out a replacement immediately, helping them to get up and running again faster, drive operational efficiencies and make further TCO savings.

Data Centre ICT Security Innovation of the Year

WINNER



@RACK

@RACK has its foundation in the security and defence sector. We are notable for designing, manufacturing, and selling the most advanced and cost-effective range of data destruction technologies in the UK.

The @RACK MDDS is an innovative, mobile, powerful, and fast data destroyer that erases and crushes both HDD and SSD storage devices. The system is compact, durable, secured, and safe to operate giving you a guaranteed media destruction process. The innovative applications range from the secured process of erasing hard drives and backup tapes, erasure of broadcast audio and video tapes for recycling purposes, and the physical destruction of hard disk and solid-state drives – all securely done within your own environment with no 3rd parties involved.

@RACK MDDS has been built with unique features to fit into all data centres, defence and security sectors, financial institutions, government and public agencies, and private sector requirements in compliance with all management standards. @RACK MDDS truly makes our clients the master of their own data destruction needs in controlling, erasing, and destroying their data all in one place.

@RACK MDDS offers the the following features to all users:

• Auditable chain of custody
• Generate data audit certificates
• Supports HDDs and SSDs
• Revenue generation for Data Centres without hassles
• Seamless Internal control of your own data
• Tested and approved industry technology standard
• In-house total data destruction with no third-party data processing
• Compact and reliable technology
• Self-management and training for engineers

The benefits of using @RACK MDDS by our customers includes the following:

• Compact, powerful and rugged
• Simple and easy to operate
• Designed in compliance with industry standards for media destruction
• Cost-effective and durable system
• Seamless Internal control of your data within the same environment
• Compliance with stringent regulatory standards for all users
• Safe waste containment and disposal system
• Free product life cycle maintenance and customer services

The @RACK MDDS also complies with all management standards including the DoD, NSA, NIST, NCSC / CESG, among other EMEA regulations that guarantees the safety and security of all our clients and stakeholders.
Our team of sales, customer agents, and engineers are always ready and exceptional in providing our customers with unmatched presales and post-sales customer service experience for total satisfaction throughout the system life-cycle.


RUNNER UP



Data Dynamics

Data Dynamics is a leader in managing unstructured data via its Unified Unstructured Data Management Platform, providing data Analytics, Mobility, Security, and Compliance. By leveraging the Platform's insight, intelligence, and automation, customers drive risk mitigation, enhance data security, and optimize their storage, all from a single platform. Utilizing all three Data Dynamic products - StorageX, Insight AnalytiX, and ControlX - together as a unified unstructured data management platform helped secure and effective data consolidation from the extensive data sprawl that the customer was facing as a considerable challenge.

Unique features of the three products that constitute the unified unstructured data management platform include the following:

StorageX creates a next-generation capability around file storage management, giving customers more real-time insights and automation around file access security, anomaly detection, intelligent multi-cloud, and agile metadata and access pattern analytics, which are used to drive data management actions. This, coupled with StorageX scale and the ability to easily manage 1000s of policies or scan 10s of billions of files, is at the forefront of our product design. Workload mobility is made seamless from local file storage to cloud platforms, including but not limited to Azure File and Blob storage, file and S3 object storage in Google Cloud Platform, and Amazon Web Services. Heterogeneous object storage migrations are simplified via prefix filtering, versioning support, and preserving retention periods from source to destination. These functionalities ease the process while ensuring scalability.

Insight AnalytiX, as a part of the Unified Unstructured Data Management Platform, provides a holistic approach to data management. Machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) enable Insight AnalytiX to support over 200 file extensions for actionable insights, risk assessment, and remediation. Insight AnalytiX delivers over 88% accuracy in its scanning profile and improves the accuracy after each scan with fewer false negatives and false positives to minimize manual auditing.

ControlX empowers enterprises to proactively mitigate risk and provides scalable security remediation with the ability to quarantine at-risk datasets and intelligently re-permission files, all while creating an immutable audit log backed by blockchain technology. ControlX's file control operations can be integrated into enterprises' existing environment service management, data management, and governance workflow automation via RESTful APIs.
The client is a Fortune 500 healthcare multinational with two business divisions: pharmaceuticals and diagnostics, which operate globally. By mining and distributing data from hundreds of billions of data files, the customer wished to enter the data market. Using patient data to its fullest potential, the customer required data integration to aid in allowing data accessibility, interoperability, and reusability. The customer wished to classify their unstructured data into dark, hot, and cold, as well as sensitive, categories with the aid of context and content analysis. The customer sought to strengthen data protection after identifying the sensitive data to implement strict security and compliance measures. It was also important to identify data pathways to develop a robust data security policy and have efficient data access and sharing capabilities to derive value from the data. After classifying the data, the customer intended to use various storage tiers to reduce the cost of data storage by storing cold data in inexpensive object storage. To provide patients with comprehensive and preventive treatment, the customer wanted to improve their access to diagnostics.
It was challenging to meet the customer's IT service requirements which doubled every two years. With 15 PB/year growth, the company wanted to increase its storage capacity every three years. As a result of unstructured data sharing, it faced challenges related to security and compliance. With a retention period of 25 years, the company wanted to implement data lifecycle management. To extract value from data, the customer needed to develop a shared data library in the Cloud for smooth sharing and accessibility.

Data Dynamics, a leading provider of enterprise data management solutions, helped customers structure their unstructured data with their Unified Unstructured Data Management Platform. The Platform encompasses four modules- Data Analytics, Mobility, Security, and Compliance. Proven over 28 of the Fortune 100, the Platform uses a blend of automation, AI, ML, and blockchain technologies and scales to meet the requirements of global enterprise workloads. The customer could eliminate individual point solutions with siloed data views with Data Dynamics. Instead, it utilized a single software platform to structure its unstructured data, unlock data-driven insights, secure data, ensure compliance and governance and drive cloud data management. Ultimately, the company's vision is to help enterprises achieve data democratization so that users, no matter their technical background, can instantly access, understand, and derive maximum insights from unstructured data sprawls.

Data Dynamics implemented the following capabilities to mitigate the challenges and fulfill the needs of the customer:
Data Lifecycle Management was implemented by using Data Dynamics’ unified unstructured data management platform

Enabled in-Place Data Discovery:
Visibility into storage resources and data that is shared/exported
metadata analysis for storage efficiency & optimization - metadata Analytics scanned and discovered data on file storage resources across the customer's infrastructure, tagged the scanned data set, and brought it into a database, where the customer could query that data and determine if anything required action.
PHI data & sensitive data exposure identification with file content analytics and Data Classification and cataloging using AI and ML - Privacy Risk Classifier recognizes 49 different types of personally identifiable information, which include names, email addresses, mobile numbers, social security numbers (SSNs), and addresses. This application is built on top of pattern recognition technology, keyword recognition technology, and artificial intelligence (AI). It has AI models, a pattern dictionary of 500 advanced patterns, and a 200,000 keyword dictionary.

Privacy risk management by taking control of data - Ability to quarantine at-risk datasets and intelligently re-permission files, all while creating an immutable audit log powered by blockchain technology
Secured data sharing using Blockchain technology
Data Pipelining and Orchestration-Enabled APIs
Policy Driven Data Placement - Automated policy-based data migration with no vendor lock-in. The software enabled seamless data center migration and consolidation, cloud data migration, and storage optimization to drive intelligent, swift, and secure petabyte-scale unstructured data migrations.

The corporation's entry into the data market was made possible by the unified unstructured data management platform of Data Dynamics. The use of content and context analysis, which helped classify data into redundant, outdated and trivial (ROT), cold and hot data, and sensitive data, assisted the customer in getting visibility into its data estate. This further helped the customer make wise data storage decisions, avoiding wasteful data storage and maximizing its storage cost. With content and context analysis, actionable intelligence for hundreds of billions of data files was made possible. The customer could adopt improved decision-making and efficient data control by having knowledge of the data. The client benefited from an average data reduction from primary storage of 50% and an 80% reduction in access risk. The customer could also integrate policy-driven file re-permissions, automatic access control, and file security management to implement secured access to patient diagnostics.

Data Centre ICT Storage Innovation of the Year
Sponsored by   Spa Communications Ltd

WINNER



Open-E

Open-E® JovianDSS is a ZFS- and Linux-based data storage software designed especially for enterprise-sized storage environments. With its unique features, the product ensures the highest data reliability and integrity and addresses the needs of enterprise users seeking a unified NAS and SAN solution with thin provisioning, compression, and deduplication.

Open-E JovianDSS provides unlimited options to architect storage environments with iSCSI, Fibre Channel (FC), and NFS, SMB (CIFS) protocols for companies of any size. The Linux-based architecture provides Open-E JovianDSS with much better hardware compatibility than competing products based on other operating systems.
Open-E JovianDSS is a perfect choice for any virtualized storage environment as it supports VMware, Citrix, Microsoft Hyper-V, and ProxMox. It can be set up on physical servers or as a virtual storage appliance (e.g. in hyper-converged environments).

The On- & Off-site Data Protection feature in Open-E JovianDSS Data Storage Software allows users to back up and restore crucial company data in case of an unexpected disaster as it enables creating consistent snapshots and asynchronous snapshot replication to local and/or remote destinations. The replication tasks can be set according to the specific user requirements thanks to advanced retention plans.

Recently, Open-E released the latest update of Open-E JovianDSS. The Open-E JovianDSS up29r2 is full of new functionalities, which are directed to improve the work of the software and to make its usability more convenient.

RDMA protocol support for mirroring path connection dedicated to Mellanox and ATTO 100GbE NICs

RDMA protocol increases the performance between the nodes in a non-shared storage cluster configuration by using RoCE (RDMA over Converged Ethernet)-compatible controllers for the accelerated data mirroring between nodes (which will impact in the increased performance of the whole cluster). For RDMA in Open-E JovianDSS, we use iSER ( iSCSI extensions for remote direct networking) internally Over Converged Ethernet (RoCE).

Self-Encrypting Drives (SED) feature support

With the recent update, we are happy to announce that Open-E JovianDSS can now support the self-encrypting drives feature in the case of single nodes and shared storage clusters. Thanks to it, you can encrypt and decrypt drive data without the need for user input or additional disk encryption software. Users can benefit from the increased safety of a system.

SSD TRIM support

Thanks to SSD TRIM, users get an improved performance of the solid-state drives in the data storage solution and increase its life expectancy. Alternatively, Intel NVMe Intel P4510 disks with 2TB capacity working as a single drive have shown even better results.

NMe Write Log devices mirror over Ethernet for HA Shared Storage Cluster

We have integrated the NVMe Write Log devices mirror over Ethernet for High Availability Shared Storage Cluster. Thanks to it, users benefit from the outstanding cost-effective performance of the cluster nodes’ built-it one-port NVMe devices while utilizing Open-E JovianDSS up29r2 in a HA shared storage Cluster.

Custom OU (Organization Unit) parameter in Active Directory

It gives the opportunity to change the default location where the group policy objects and assign permissions to other users or groups that should be created. In Open-E JovianDSS up29r2, users can customize the Active Directory catalogs’ locations and yet have easy access to them. Additionally, users can create subdirectories with the permissions on a more precise path location.

Additional scheduler to pause a scheduled scrub process, e.g. to suspend it during working hours

In the new Open-E JovianDSS up29r2 version, users can manage and customize the periodical inspections of the system called the scrub process. For example, the scrubbing can be set in the exact hours in order to avoid the system overload with the commands. This way, the data storage solution can be inspected after the workday and paused when the workday starts.


RUNNER UP



Lightbits Labs

Founded by the inventors of the NVMe/TCP standard, Lightbits introduced the world to software-defined, high-performance block storage that enables data center cloud modernization. It's simple, flexible, and easy to deploy at scale on ubiquitous TCP/IP networks, requiring no special hardware, NICs, drivers, or hypervisor on the storage nodes&mdashsimplifying storage for hybrid multi-cloud implementations on bare metal, VMware, Kubernetes, or OpenStack environments. The native NMVe/TCP and clustered architecture, coupled with innovative Intelligent Flash Management, eliminates storage complexities and high-costs endemic in data centers today. Today, Lightbits is used on-premises and on the public cloud by many Fortune 500 organizations, including several of the world's largest financial services companies, e-commerce providers, webscalers, and CSPs in response to growing business demand for fast, resilient, and secure cloud services that maximize profitability and improve margins.


Data Centre ICT Systems Vendor of the Year
Sponsored by   Schneider Electric

WINNER



METCLOUD

METCLOUD is a multi-award-winning cybersecurity hybrid cloud platform that harnesses sophisticated cyber defence, surveillance, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) technologies. METCLOUD helps businesses adopt next generation, cybersecurity and cloud computing technologies to ensure that they remain secure, effective and efficient in today's economy. We recognise the burgeoning value of data security and seamless connectivity to facilitate effective collaboration across any business. Our multi-award winning team of experts are committed to prescribing solutions that are specifically suited for the unique needs of any business with a people-first approach.



RUNNER UP



Data Dynamics

Data Dynamics is a leader in managing unstructured data via its Unified Unstructured Data Management Platform providing data Analytics, Mobility, Security and Compliance. By leveraging the insight, intelligence and automation of the Platform, enterprises drive risk mitigation, enhance data security and optimize their storage, all from a single Platform.

Proven in over 25% of the Fortune 100, the Data Dynamics Platform scales to meet the challenge of global enterprise workloads. Enterprise customers no longer need to deploy individual point solutions nor have siloed views of their data through the power of the Data Dynamics Platform. The Platform accelerates the adoption of hybrid, public and multi-cloud strategies, builds higher quality SLAs, and improves business process modernization.

Data Dynamics' StorageX is an award-winning solution as a part of our unified unstructured data management platform. It addresses cases for cloud migrations and storage consolidation and refreshes ongoing asynchronous replication and data life cycle management. StorageX is a proven solution that provides support for all file and object platforms locally and to and from the Cloud. This ability makes it a one-stop solution for migration applications across a broader set of industries. This allows customers to correlate file access, file ownership, and utilization, which can then drive data management policies to reduce the surface area for ransomware attacks, make immutable copies of data, drive data tiering, and location optimization. StorageX uniquely combines data analytics technologies with data mobility to address use cases spanning multiple IT functions in a unified platform. StorageX creates a next-generation capability around file storage management, giving data security and storage teams more real-time insights and automation around file access security, anomaly detection, intelligent multi-cloud, and agile metadata and access pattern analytics, which are used to drive data management actions. This, coupled with StorageX scale and the ability to easily manage 1000s of policies or scan 10s of billions of files, is at the forefront of our product design. Data science, Cloud, and governance teams can use StorageX to drive secure data workflows for data sharing in data lakes and data pipelines for applications and provide an agile cloud capability with support across multi-cloud and on-premises that StorageX uniquely delivers in a single platform. When StorageX is combined with Insight AnalytiX and ControlX, Data Dynamics offers a unified unstructured platform that can be used to help enterprises unlock the power of end-to-end data management with the capabilities of mobility, analytics, security, and compliance.


Data Centre Industry Contribution of the Year
Sponsored by   Huawei Digital Power Technologies Co., Ltd.

WINNER



James Rix

James has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to bring to life and widen out the appeal of the data centre industry. He has regularly spoken at conferences highlighting the appeal of the industry and the pathways to this. Through his management of apprentices these have become know as rising stars of the industry and his apprentices regularly appear on industry know podcasts. He has, through Arcadis been an early supporter of the Rising Stars programme. He is also the innovator of the data centre seminar for young talent, which is an industry first, giving prominence to young talent by giving them the conference floor to talk about what is important to them.


RUNNER UP



Rich Kenny, Managing Director, Interact

• Interact’s Managing Director Rich Kenny identified gap in the market, secured the right people and facilitated research to build and launch a world-first business model to decarbonise the data centre sector as much as possible.

• Rich led and authored the research project published in IEEE Journal of Sustainable Computing, leading to the creation of Interact, the only product on the planet which optimises the IT hardware for energy efficiency.

• Rich created a vision to scale the business (profitable from year 1).

• Rich was awarded the CTO of the Year: IT Hardware in 2021 on the back of the work done to create interact and the associated research demonstrating not just impact in the sector but much wider to the whole IT market.

• Interact delivers energy efficiency solutions for server estates, saving energy, carbon and cost, seeing average reductions of 60-75%.

• Rich has driven the conversation around server and data centre energy efficiency, carbon emissions and cost by publishing 5 research papers, speaking at over 100 industry events, training 200 people in sustainability by end of 2023 and writing dozens of industry articles.


Data Centre Intelligent Automation/Management Innovation of the Year

WINNER



Panduit

Why SmartZone-Cloud?

* SmartZone Cloud's platform was built from the ground up to take advantage of cloud flexibility and scalability for customers' data and enterprise centres.
* With accurate visualisation of device connectivity and status, the SmartZone Cloud reduces downtime and makes it quicker for change planning and issue resolution.
* Unlimited users and locations can be accommodated on the Cloud's intuitive software.
* SmartZone Cloud is equipped with user-friendly dashboards and reports along with 2D and 3D visualisations.
* Power and environmental monitoring across the platform shows available and used rack power capacity and provides historical power trends.
* Automated updates simplify the update process by automatically installing updates and patches.
* Security In and Out - Obtain peace of mind with a cloud-based platform that includes encryption on data at rest and in transit, two-factor authentication, fine-grained access control and security-focussed development lifecycle.
* Flexibility at the Core - The platform tightly aligns with the SmartZone PDU and UPS and is compatible with multiple vendor IT and facilities devices.
* Lower Total Cost of Ownership - As a self-service solution, SmartZone Cloud eliminates the need for professional services saving both time and money.



Panduit SmartZoneTM Cloud Software is an enhanced Azure cloud-based enterprise web application, that integrates power and environmental monitoring with cabinet access, asset tracking and connectivity management.

Data centre managers, engineers, operators, and customers can now monitor critical infrastructure resources and make informed decisions about capacity, changing environmental conditions and performance from any authorised device world-wide.

Maintaining real-time monitoring, dashboard visualisation, management, and reporting of key attributes across assets, power, cooling and provisioning, as well as the physical infrastructure, is a vital step to aid data centre agility. Panduit’s SmartZone Cloud DCIM solution offers unlimited authorised users accurate, automated, and centralised physical infrastructure visibility to help stakeholders achieve SLA (service-level agreements). It tracks critical infrastructure resources and provides a single pane of glass, visual representation of rack and outlet level power management, rack access management, environmental monitoring, and asset management.

Open Access Solid Security
The software is aligned with Panduit’s SmartZone G5 Intelligent Power Distribution Units (PDUs) to bring visual representation of rack-level power, environment, and cabinet access. In addition to floorplan layout and rack elevation, power path enables operators to identify single points of failure, reduce overprovisioning and clearly assess risk levels.

Agentless auto-discovery of IT devices eases installations and reduces set-up time. Its open API is REST based and integrates with ITSM systems whilst also supporting industry PDUs and competitors’ devices to ensure customers' preferred systems integration.


RUNNER UP



Serverfarm

What is novel about the product/process innovation?
A complete Data Center Management as a Service (DMaaS) platform solution, InCommand is delivered through the cloud to manage all physical aspects of every type of data center including those owned and operated by enterprises, commercial colocation, and cloud environments. Whichever hybrid IT strategy is pursued, and wherever an enterprise locates its entire IT infrastructure estate (be it on premise, in third party data centers or on cloud platforms), InCommand can remotely monitor the data center operations to provide real time data on what is happening inside data halls down to the component level. This enables customer teams to create flexible, efficient and agile environments.

How does the product break with conventional ideas or processes in the field?
How does it go beyond marginal improvements on something that already exists?

InCommand DMaaS data uniquely enables oversight and management spanning FM operations, FM DCIM, change control and management, CMMS, and IT DCIM. It does this remotely using a combination of an evolving cloud platform, a NOC staffed 24/7 by Serverfarm experts, and using proven management processes and automated monitoring. It is unique in its depth and range of asset management and reporting.

Most DCIM solutions are based on premise, requiring customers to run the software, maintain and ensure data accuracy – this is often true even for cloud hosted DCIM and other DMaaS offerings. InCommand removes the pain of data management from the customer by providing accurate up to the minute updates on infrastructure behavior and performance. This reduces the number of maintenance interventions, uses predictive analytics to prevent outages and provides insight to planned changes to optimize efficiency and utilization of assets.

• For FM DCIM, InCommand provides MEP monitoring, environmental sensor monitoring and power/space/ cooling monitoring.

• InCommand CMMS provides MEP asset lists, MEP maintenance schedules, MEP servicing vendors and MEP maintenance ticketing.

• It handles IT moves/adds/changes ticket tracking and approvals at all levels.
Customer and IT teams retain total control of their application performance.

• InCommand provides every stakeholder with data ranging across green energy, metrics and accurate asset lists and locations.

• InCommand DMaaS clients benefit from accurate dashboard data presented in real time backed by analytic algorithms that efficiently manage data center assets without direct physical interaction.

• InCommand removes the reliance on high touch, time intensive and expensive client or third-party physical intervention.

How do customers benefit from the product / process or innovation?

Customers save millions of dollars in data center operating costs through energy savings from greater efficiency. This combined with increased utilization of existing physical infrastructure in terms of improved use of physical space, high efficiency power and cooling infrastructure operation. More power is available in the right place at the right time, it cuts losses, and drives day to day operational and long-term sustainability planning.
InCommand extends the life of existing data centers by several years. InCommand deployments have been credited with $30m in CapEx savings where an enterprise was able to put off planned new data center construction projects.

Data Centre Managed Services Vendor of the Year

WINNER



Deft

To understand what makes Deft different, just listen to client David Heinemeier Hansson, co-founder of 37signals: &ldquoWe love our friends at Deft (https://www.linkedin.com/company/meetdeft/). Good service is its own marketing!&rdquo After 14 years of depending on Deft to host flagship product basecamp, 37Signals decided &mdash loudly (https://www.linkedin.com/posts/david-heinemeier-hansson-374b18221_five-values-guiding-our-cloud-exit-activity-7034068191572058112-jzxG/) &mdash to move its entire business to private cloud. Public cloud kept prices unpredictable, and control in invisible hands. Deft colocation offered an opportunity to own that infrastructure, without needing their own people to manage it. Having trusted Deft's managed services for more than a decade, 37 Signals knew we could do the work without oversight and without running up a big bill. In fact, the company's cofounder estimates a savings of roughly $7 million over the next five years, all without ever having to touch their own hardware. That may sound like a unique story. Long-time client, big-name brand, major transformation. But it's not. It's just what Deft does. They do the work, offering services across all infrastructure types so they can honestly advise on the best solution for each and every business, whether it's public cloud, colocated servers, or somewhere in between. That's probably why basecamp isn't our longest-term client at 14 years &mdash not by a long shot. Our average colocation client has been with us for more than 10 years, some more than double that. That's longer than the lifespan of most companies, and certainly longer than the lifecycle of any technology trends. The managed services we offer may change, as we listen to clients and learn about new tools, but the quality of our interactions never will.



RUNNER UP



Navisite

Over the last two decades, Navisite has evolved to become a trusted digital transformation partner for growing and established global brands. Every step we’ve taken—from multiple acquisitions to our expanding service portfolio to our people—has been about providing the global capabilities, customer-centric solutions and flexible approaches that are specifically rightsized for the needs of mid-market and smaller enterprise companies.

Today we empower customers to navigate change and drive business outcomes with comprehensive strategic advisory and transformation services. Through our highly specialized teams, industry solutions, business process expertise and application services, we guide customers through every part of the modernization lifecycle, from cloud migration and management to enterprise application, intelligent automation and cybersecurity solutions.

Data Centre Physical Connectivity Innovation of the Year

WINNER



Corning Optical Communications

Today’s data centres must be capable of storing and managing massive amounts of information, be reliable and flexible enough to support customer needs 24/7 and be up and running as quickly as possible.

Operators are under more pressure than ever before and when it comes to large-scale projects, time is money – operators can’t allow delays in network installation to stand in the way of meeting ever-increasing demands for bandwidth.

Beyond the need for speed and sustainability, common pain points for data centre operators and installers can include overcrowded cable trays, unmanageable quantities of cabling parts to order and keep in inventory, as well as cumbersome labeling processes.

What are your product's/solution's key distinguishing features and/or USP?

To help tackle these challenges, the Corning EDGE™ Distribution System (EDGE DS) has been developed as an innovative new solution for server row cabling, replacing large quantities of patch cords with one single assembly.

The solution is pre-engineered to meet customer specifications with access points at defined locations along the assembly, where fibre legs are dropped to provide the connectivity exactly where it is required at each cabinet.

Drawing upon Corning’s history of innovation, the EDGE DS employs “plug-and-play” technology, with rigorous testing done off-site, in a controlled environment, so the solution is ready to be implemented as soon as it reaches the customer site. Its key capabilities and features include:

• Fast, easy installation: EDGE DS is just one plug-and-play assembly, significantly cutting installation times and reducing congestion in cable trays and pathways compared to using the same amount of fibres with single patch cords. Manufactured with Corning CleanAdvantage™ Technology and shipping with optimised dust caps, EDGE DS is engineered to maintain connector end-face cleanliness until the first mating connection. CleanAdvantage eliminates the need for scoping and cleaning before the initial field connection, reducing installation time and cost.
• Unmatched accessibility: With colour coding of connectors to map the legs of the assembly to each switch plane fabric, polarity options based on connector type and Tx to Rx port configurations, as well as labeling of each connectorised leg, EDGE DS is designed to minimise frustration. Its user-friendly design also prevents the need to hire specialist contractors to do large fibre installs.
• Reduced packaging: By shipping as one SKU, in one box, EDGE DS requires fewer boxes and plastic bags than individual patch cords, enabling a more eco-friendly approach. For a single row of server cabinets, this means a transition from around six cardboard boxes and plastic packaging for patch cords, to one cardboard box. Across dozens of server rows, this reduction is a significant one.
• Minimised risk: Simplified cabling installation translates into less time spent standing on ladders – helping to alleviate the safety risks – and with options for custom labeling and color coding, the risk of port connection errors across switch fabrics are also mitigated.
• Flexible to network switch architecture: Whether utilising centralised leaf switches in the main distribution frame (MDF), or distributed leaf switches in the rows, each drop length will be customised to individual length requirements.
• Designed for high-density fibre deployments: The EDGE Distribution System is ideal for larger scale enterprise data centre deployments and pre-build data halls – such as for hyperscale/cloud or colocation providers whose major portion of the business is in wholesale.
• Engineered to meet customer needs: Ultimately, the solution saves time, alleviates congestion, and with an easy-to-use configuration tool, a user-friendly design software platform for personalisation, and expert technical support on hand to help, customers can plan and order exactly to their required specification.

EDGE DS overcomes many of the typical challenges which can make data centre projects a cumbersome process.
What tangible impact has your product/solution had on the market and your customers?

In the equipment distribution area (EDA) patch cord installation, management and labeling can be complex and time consuming. When dealing with hundreds of single patch chords down a row, installing and dressing them uniformly requires hours on a personnel lift or ladder and many consumables such as Velcro and labels.

Not only is the EDGE DS consolidating multiple patch cords into a single, pre-engineered assembly, but it is also labeled from the factory according to end user specifications. With EDGE DS, the installation time is reduced to as little as 45 minutes compared to the average three hours (a 75% time saving) for a typical patch cord deployment.*

This time saving enables a safer environment by reducing time of working at heights and allows faster uptime, reducing the overall cost of labour needed to connect the network. It can also be utilised by a data centre’s own personnel instead of special trained contracted labour.

*base case is a row of 18 server cabinets with four fibres provided to each cabinet.

What are the major differentiators between your product/solution and those of your primary competitors?

Other cable manufacturers offer bundled patch cords, and those are mostly limited to a point-to-point application with like-connectors on each end, with the outer diameter of the overall assembly growing with increasing fibre counts.

With EDGE DS, Corning not only offers a pre-measured, point to multiple point solution that allows distribution across multiple racks down a server row, but can also customise and manage the polarity of MTP® and LC connectivity, all while being packaged in one consistent 15.5mm assembly jacket.

Compared to individual patch cords, a single assembly better protects the fibre legs and with a fully integrated pulling grip and protected tap points, allows up to 144 fibres to be installed at once. As of today, there is no equivalent offering in the market to the EDGE™ Distribution System’s customisable multi-drop, multi-connector, pre-labeled, single pull assembly.

Please supply any supportive quotes and/or case study materials to demonstrate the value of this product/solution to your customers/partners.

“EDGE™ DS is a great fit for our data centres. Once we saw how quickly we could connect an IDF row, we converted from patch cords to EDGE™ DS for our new installs.”

“I convinced the team to trial EDGE™ DS and now that we use the product at multiple locations, it’s been a success I can take credit for.”

Anonymous hyper-scaler customers


RUNNER UP



Scolmore Group

Scolmore’s innovative and award-winning IEC Lock™ range has been expanded to include a new C14 dual locking connector – the first on the market that features secure locking tabs on both the side and the bottom of the connector.

IEC Lock™ is a unique mechanism for locking IEC Connectors and is designed to provide protection against accidental disconnection of computer equipment, servers and most network devices by way of a unique and patented locking mechanism.

The new C14 dual locking connector is compatible with most major PDU manufacturers. It is fitted with a slimline C13 IEC Lock connector on the other end of the cable to prevent accidental disconnection from either the PDU or the server, thus maintaining uptime and avoiding costly downtime.

It also features a globally approved power cord which means this one product meets the requirements for use across multiple countries: Europe (VDE & ENEC), US & Canada (cULus), and Australia (SAA).

The C14 dual locking connector is available in six lengths - 0.5m, 1m, 1.5m, 2m, 2.5m, and 3m - and in four colours - black, blue, red and white. Alternative colours, lengths and connector options are available on request.

Summary of IEC Lock Dual Locking C14 Connector features and benefits:

• Only widely available power cord that provides security and protection against unintentional and inadvertent downtime to most PDU/UPS and Server/Switch/UPS.
• Secure Locking C14 IEC Lock with Side and Bottom Tabs compatible with most PDUs and UPS’.
• Secure Locking Slimline C13 IEC Lock Connector compatible with ANY Server/Switch/UPS.
• Slimline design allows for use in High Density Servers.
• Minimum 100N withdrawal force for accidental disconnection protection.
• Plug, Connector and Cable - dual approved for UK/EU and North America meaning it can be used across territories. Reduces stock requirement.
• No additional assembly effort.
• No further components or brackets required.
• Attractive design, bright red colour for easy recognition and distinguishable from conventional mains connections.
• Simple and self-explanatory operation to plug in and remove.
• Available for IEC 60320 device plug connections 10A and soon for 16A.
• Available in various lengths.
• Available in various colours for A and B power recognition/visibility.
• Slimline C13 IEC Lock connector available with various appliance plugs and country specific power cords.

Tangible impact of the IEC Lock Dual Locking C14 Connector on the market and customers:

The IEC Lock Dual Locking C14 Connector inherently prevents downtime. Any downtime at a datacentre has the potential to have a significant impact on a business, for example:
• Physical damage to servers/switch/PDU/UPS.
• Financial costs to the business.
• Reduction in service levels.
• Reduced business reliability.


Major differentiators between our product/solution and those of our primary competitors?

The IEC Lock Dual Locking C14 Connector is the only product available on the market that utilises Side AND Bottom Tabs to lock into various PDUs. Not only this, but it is the only product widely available that also has the innovative Slimline C13 IEC Lock on the appliance end that will lock into ANY Server/Switch/UPS without the need for adaption or use of a proprietary system.

Plug, connector and cable is dual approved for UK/EU and North America meaning it can be used across various territories. This reduces the requirement to stock various country approved products.


Data Centre Power Innovation of the Year
Sponsored by   EnerSys

WINNER



Huawei Digital Power Technologies Co., Ltd.

• What are your product's/solution's key distinguishing features and/or USP?

Huawei PowerPOD 3.0 solution integrates the full-power link from the medium-voltage transformer to the load feeder, to provide a MW-level integrated power supply, distribution, and backup solution for large-scale data centers. As the preferred solution for the power supply and distribution system of large data centers, PowerPOD 3.0 solution features smaller footprint, higher efficiency, faster delivery and higher reliability. By using the integrated design and high-density components, the footprint of the power system is reduced by 40%. With prefabrication and commissioning in the factory, the delivery period of the power system is shortened from 2 months to 2 weeks, accelerating service rollout for customers. The iPower intelligent feature, which provides end-to-end visualized management as well as predictive maintenance, ensuring system security.

• What tangible impact has your product/solution had on the market and your customers?

Compared with the traditional power supply and distribution system (maximum system efficiency: 94.5%), the link efficiency of Huawei PowerPOD 3.0 solution can be improved to 97.8% under different rated linear load working conditions. For example, using PowerPOD 3.0 in a 12 MW data center will save nearly 300,000 U.S. dollars each year.

• What are the major differentiators between your product/solution and those of your primary competitors?

Footprint saving: By using a converged architecture and ultra-high-density UPS, the number of cabinets is reduced from 22 to 11, resulting in saving footprint by 40%. In a 12 MW data center, for example, the footprint saved by the PowerPOD 3.0 solution allows for deploying more than 170 additional racks compared with a traditional power supply solution.

Power saving: All links are converged. PowerPOD 3.0 raises the efficiency from 94.5% to 97.8% while shortening the link length.

Time saving: With prefabrication and commissioning completed in the factory, onsite construction can be completed only in 2 weeks, shortening the delivery time by 75%.

Worry free: The iPower intelligent feature, which provides E2E visibility as well as AI temperature prediction, life prediction of key components, achieving predictive O&M.

• Please supply any supportive quotes and/or case study materials to demonstrate the value of this product/solution to your customers/partners.

In Shanghai, China, CTTC Cloud uses Huawei PowerPOD 3.0 solution. Compared with those in a conventional solution, the power supply and distribution systems used in the new solution take up 40% less space, allowing the customer to deploy 350 more IT cabinets and save more than 16,000 meters of power cables. In addition, products are prefabricated in the factory, ensuring faster onsite delivery in two weeks. AI technology is used to implement predictive maintenance, making the power supply system safer and more reliable.


RUNNER UP



Scolmore Group

Scolmore’s innovative and award-winning IEC Lock™ range has been expanded to include a new C14 dual locking connector – the first on the market that features secure locking tabs on both the side and the bottom of the connector.

IEC Lock™ is a unique mechanism for locking IEC Connectors and is designed to provide protection against accidental disconnection of computer equipment, servers and most network devices by way of a unique and patented locking mechanism.

The new C14 dual locking connector is compatible with most major PDU manufacturers. It is fitted with a slimline C13 IEC Lock connector on the other end of the cable to prevent accidental disconnection from either the PDU or the server, thus maintaining uptime and avoiding costly downtime.

It also features a globally approved power cord which means this one product meets the requirements for use across multiple countries: Europe (VDE & ENEC), US & Canada (cULus), and Australia (SAA).

The C14 dual locking connector is available in six lengths - 0.5m, 1m, 1.5m, 2m, 2.5m, and 3m - and in four colours - black, blue, red and white. Alternative colours, lengths and connector options are available on request.

Summary of IEC Lock Dual Locking C14 Connector features and benefits:

• Only widely available power cord that provides security and protection against unintentional and inadvertent
downtime to most PDU/UPS and Server/Switch/UPS.
• Secure Locking C14 IEC Lock with Side and Bottom Tabs compatible with most PDUs and UPS’.
• Secure Locking Slimline C13 IEC Lock Connector compatible with ANY Server/Switch/UPS.
• Slimline design allows for use in High Density Servers.
• Minimum 100N withdrawal force for accidental disconnection protection.
• Plug, Connector and Cable - dual approved for UK/EU and North America meaning it can be used across territories. Reduces stock requirement.
• No additional assembly effort.
• No further components or brackets required.
• Attractive design, bright red colour for easy recognition and distinguishable from conventional mains connections.
• Simple and self-explanatory operation to plug in and remove.
• Available for IEC 60320 device plug connections 10A and soon for 16A.
• Available in various lengths.
• Available in various colours for A and B power recognition/visibility.
• Slimline C13 IEC Lock connector available with various appliance plugs and country specific power cords.

Tangible impact of the IEC Lock Dual Locking C14 Connector on the market and customers:

The IEC Lock Dual Locking C14 Connector inherently prevents downtime. Any downtime at a datacentre has the potential to have a significant impact on a business, for example:
• Physical damage to servers/switch/PDU/UPS.
• Financial costs to the business.
• Reduction in service levels.
• Reduced business reliability.


Major differentiators between our product/solution and those of our primary competitors?:

The IEC Lock Dual Locking C14 Connector is the only product available on the market that utilises Side AND Bottom Tabs to lock into various PDUs. Not only this, but it is the only product widely available that also has the innovative Slimline C13 IEC Lock on the appliance end that will lock into ANY Server/Switch/UPS without the need for adaption or use of a proprietary system.

Plug, connector and cable is dual approved for UK/EU and North America meaning it can be used across various territories. This reduces the requirement to stock various country approved products.


Data Centre Safety & Security Innovation of the Year
Sponsored by   Schneider Electric

WINNER



EfficiencyIT

EfficiencyIT, a specialist in data centres, IT and critical communications environments, has introduced ModularDC – its dedicated range of fully customisable, prefabricated data centres for on premises, distributed IT, and edge computing environments. Designed, manufactured and precision-engineered in the UK, ModularDC combines best-in-class technologies from Schneider Electric with EfficiencyIT’s data centre deployment and engineering expertise, meeting demanding timescales for customers within government, defence, and other businesses-critical sectors in as little as 12-16 weeks.

ModularDC’s range includes dedicated power modules, featuring the customers’ choice of uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), backup generators, low voltage (LV) power equipment, and switchgear. It also offers customisable all-in-one modules, containing integrated racks, UPS, cooling, physical security features, environmental monitoring, and data centre infrastructure management (DCIM) software. Further, the range offers highly efficient cooling modules, featuring the latest energy saving cooling equipment, including choices for In-Row cooling, hot and cold-aisle containment, and liquid-cooled solutions for high performance computing (HPC) requirements.

Engineered for security and resilience
ModularDC provides customers with the ability to specify a highly secure, bespoke and ruggedised data centre solution for mission-critical environments, and includes customisation options for RF-shielding, enhanced physical security, acoustic mitigation, and SCIF-compliance. All ModularDC solutions utilise EfficiencyITs own range of UK-manufactured external enclosures, providing a quick-to-deploy prefabricated data centre for remote locations, where speed to market and agility are vital.

“Since 2017, our company has been designing, specifying and installing prefabricated systems for customers’ application-specific data centre requirements,” said Nick Ewing, Managing Director, EfficiencyIT. “By enhancing our offering with dedicated UK manufacturing capabilities, all of which are fully complementary to the solutions offered by our partners at Schneider Electric, we’re ensuring our customers’ demands for bespoke, agile and ultra-secure data centre environments can be met quickly, efficiently, and with the engineering reliability our business has built its reputation upon.”

Immersive design experience
ModularDC solutions incorporate a tailored design process and are precision-engineered to deliver a highly resilient, scalable, and application-specific data centre environment. EfficiencyIT’s turnkey approach uses virtual reality (VR) to provide the customer with an immersive experience, enabling its customers to see their data centre in the virtual world before the build process begins.

The use of VR fast-tracks the design and specification process, ensuring customers are confident in the component security criteria, and that the system is built for their critical application requirements. As an Elite Partner to Schneider Electric, ModularDC also incorporates best-in-class components from Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure for Data Centres and APC physical infrastructure portfolios, including its EcoStruxure IT DCIM software.
Further, ModularDC incorporates the latest in energy efficient and sustainable data centre technologies, including Green Premium components, which comply with key environmental regulations such as RoHS and REACH. By adopting a greener and more sustainable approach to data centre deployments, customers can also lower operating costs, reduce their carbon footprint, and minimise their data centres’ environmental impact.
To learn more about ModularDC visit https://www.modular-dc.co.uk/


RUNNER UP



@RACK

@RACK has its foundation in the security and defence sector. We are notable for designing, manufacturing, and selling the most advanced and cost-effective range of data destruction technologies in the UK.

The @RACK MDDS is an innovative, mobile, powerful, and fast data destroyer that erases and crushes both HDD and SSD storage devices. The system is compact, durable, secured, and safe to operate giving you a guaranteed media destruction process. The innovative applications range from the secured process of erasing hard drives and backup tapes, erasure of broadcast audio and video tapes for recycling purposes, and the physical destruction of hard disk and solid-state drives – all securely done within your own environment with no 3rd parties involved.

@RACK MDDS has been built with unique features to fit into all data centres, defence and security sectors, financial institutions, government and public agencies, and private sector requirements in compliance with all management standards. @RACK MDDS truly makes our clients the master of their own data destruction needs in controlling, erasing, and destroying their data all in one place.

@RACK MDDS offers the the following features to all users:

• Auditable chain of custody
• Generate data audit certificates
• Supports HDDs and SSDs
• Revenue generation for Data Centres without hassles
• Seamless Internal control of your own data
• Tested and approved industry technology standard
• In-house total data destruction with no third-party data processing
• Compact and reliable technology
• Self-management and training for engineers

The benefits of using @RACK MDDS by our customers includes the following:

• Compact, powerful and rugged
• Simple and easy to operate
• Designed in compliance with industry standards for media destruction
• Cost-effective and durable system
• Seamless Internal control of your data within the same environment
• Compliance with stringent regulatory standards for all users
• Safe waste containment and disposal system
• Free product life cycle maintenance and customer services

The @RACK MDDS also complies with all management standards including the DoD, NSA, NIST, NCSC / CESG, among other EMEA regulations that guarantees the safety and security of all our clients and stakeholders.
Our team of sales, customer agents, and engineers are always ready and exceptional in providing our customers with unmatched presales and post-sales customer service experience for total satisfaction throughout the system life-cycle.

Data Centre Sustainability Innovation of the Year
Sponsored by   Legrand

WINNER



Interact DC Limited

Interact’s USPs/Differentiators:

• Interact is the only business offering a transparent grading mechanism of energy efficiency for any server configuration of any make, model or generation.

• Interact offers consultancy solutions that reduce data centre energy use, carbon emissions and waste and wrap-around IEMA-accredited sustainability training.

• No other company provides accurate energy efficiency reports based on server configuration. Most efficiency reports are based on existing benchmarks across 900 records, but Interact is based on 11,000 of our own records on top of existing benchmarks.

• Our senior team are recognised for their thought leadership across the sector, leading Special Interest Groups, contributing to The Data Centre Alliance Sustainability Best Practice whitepaper and presenting alongside the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy at Data Centre Transformation conference.

• Interact is based, on and contributing to, peer-reviewed research published in multiple journals including: IEEE Journal of Sustainable Computing, Elsevier Life Cycle Management.

Tangible Outcomes:

• Companies using Interact have saved on average:
o 60-75% of their energy usage
o 60-75% of their carbon emissions
o 70% in space savings
o Millions in cost savings each year

• Interact is a profitable business that turned a profit in year 1 and doesn’t require external funding.

• Our first-to-market server energy efficiency solutions have been taken up by customers such as large cloud providers, global leaders in banking, healthcare technology and telecommunications.

• ‘Thanks to the team at Interact, and the granular level of their reporting, we are able to make informed decisions on the most efficient configurations for our servers, significantly reducing our energy costs.’ Paul Deans, Head of the Research Platform, BT


RUNNER UP



Deep Green and Keysource

Award Submission Project overview and challenges addressed The data centre sector is facing a number of challenges. First, data centres produce a huge amount of heat. At many sites, up to 50% of energy used to run data centre servers is spent trying to keep them cool. Although many innovations are being developed across the sector to increase cooling efficiency, they do not address the fundamental problem that lots of heat is wasted, expelled into the atmosphere. At the same time, outside of the data centre sector, many local businesses need heat and face increasing energy bills for their fossil-fuel intensive gas boilers. Second, data centres generally are large. Demand for data centres is growing exponentially, and the size of the network is expected to increase ten times to meet demand for the 'third industrial revolution' of AI and machine learning. It will be difficult to meet this demand with large scale data centres that take up lots of space and put huge amounts of pressure on the energy grid. Finally, innovations in technology require data centres that are much closer to the end-user. From self-driving cars to the metaverse, there will be an increase of demand at the 'edge' with very low latency connection. Deep Green's approach addresses these three issues. At Exmouth Leisure Centre, in Devon in the UK, Deep Green has launched its first 'digital boiler': a small data centre that recaptures waste heat from its servers, donating it to the pool - free of charge. This is the first of its kind in the United Kingdom. The data centre is very energy efficient. It utilises the energy efficiency benefits of immersion and direct liquid cooling in combination with heat re-use to deliver a PUE of 1.005 or lower and runs on 100% renewable energy. Also, freed from expensive cooling costs, Deep Green is able to offer more affordable servers to meet the increasing global demand for data. The units require no new buildings or large spaces to deploy. By installing on-site at swimming pools or other local business with consistent heat demands, Deep Green can install at new sites in a matter of weeks, or scale up servers at existing sites easily to meet demand. No large warehouses or huge construction costs. This is another reason Deep Green can offer its compute at such a competitive rate. Also, by using a modular approach and building data-centres within 'the fabric of society', Deep Green spreads its centres across the country offering both very low latency compute and sharing the load on the energy grid evenly. Finally, the project has the additional benefit of supporting local communities. Passing the otherwise waste heat from Deep Green's servers to the swimming pool - Deep Green will cut the amount of gas required to heat the pool by 62%. This will save Exmouth Leisure Centre over £20,000 a year and reduce their carbon emission by 25.8 tonnes. De-centralising the network of data centres globally is the next step in the industry's development. Rapidly growing industry energy requirements and carbon footprint is an existential threat to the existing DC business model - producing significant negative publicity manifesting itself in moratoriums on new project developments. Deep Green has found a solution that solves two sets of problems in one - addressing all of the above threats to the data centre sector while creating a positive benefit to society. The appetite for solutions like this was apparent in how successful the launch of unit in Exmouth was - covered globally after the BBC published the story across online, radio and TV. Deep Green is now following up on the hundreds of leads this positive news story for the sector generated. Innovation This installation in Exmouth was the first time in the United Kingdom that modular edge data centres were deployed on-site in public swimming pools to re-capture and supply heat. This approach utilises small pockets of 'spare' and already allocated grid capacity to deliver edge and HPC capabilities within the fabric of society. The energy recapture model saves pools at least 62% on their energy requirements to heat the pool. In exchange, the pools provide space, power and connectivity to support the deployment. It utilises the energy efficiency benefits of immersion and direct liquid cooling in combination with heat re-use to deliver a PUE of 1.005 or lower and runs on 100% renewable energy. Rishi Sunak recently highlighted the £800m investment in supercomputing, and what better way to achieve this in a sustainable manner, to support NetZero 2030 than an integrated Metropolitan Edge data centre within every community. Deep Green are working with Keysource, specialists in deploying and supporting edge and Direct Liquid Cooling (DLC) projects from the Arctic to Dubai, to scale this approach across the UK and into Europe. Project Challenges As with many projects in the sector, we faced supply chain delays and had to also manage the programme with the swimming pool. Given this is the first time this approach of heat re-capture was deployed in the UK, the availability of people skilled to support with installation was an issue to overcome. We looked for specialist partners to work with, with strong supply chain and coverage, to support the installation. Benefits •;;;;; Low latency, scalable, de-centralised data centres to meet rising global demand sustainably. •;;;;; A cut in gas consumption for pool by 62% - saving over £20,000 a year, and a cut in the pool's carbon emissions by 25.8 tonnes a year. •;;;;; A current PUE of 1.005 with a projected PUE of 1.003 •;;;;; Scaling this approach, 1% of the UK's data centre workloads could heat all of the 1,500 public pools in England. Deep Green will be cutting pipes on the next tranche of projects in the weeks ahead. •;;;;; The swimming pool in Exmouth is expecting energy costs rise £100,000 next year. Deep Green's kit is pivotal to start to address this surge in costs ensuring the pool stays open as a vital asset for its community.


Data Centre Sustainability Project of the Year
Sponsored by   Bridgeworks Ltd

WINNER



Green Mountain

Our client, the Volkswagen Group, has a goal to make all its data center operations run balance sheet carbon-neutrally by 2027. When they requested a 3 MW HPC installation with us, we had to take this goal into consideration. The solution was to expand one of the mountain halls at Green Mountain’s SVG1-Stavanger site. This way we could re-purpose an already existing NATO facility without any impact on surrounding nature and biodiversity, and also fulfil their request of a data center with no CO2-emissions. The site runs on 100% renewable and certified hydropower and has an extremely energy-efficient cooling solution using the adjacent fjord. This cooling solution use less than 3kW of power to gain more than 1000 kW of cooling delivering our clients significant cost reduction while supporting their requirements and targets for energy efficiency. These factors combined, makes the site one of the most sustainable data centers in the world.

Construction wise, building inside a mountain was a more complex challenge compared to an open-air construction site. This forced the design and project team to rethink their procedures, and be innovative in their approach to designing this mountain hall expansion. Since space is a limiting factor inside a mountain, the design had to be extremely compact. This, however, was beneficial in terms of sustainability. Building inside an existing facility requires less building materials and smaller-sized equipment, resulting in less Scope 3 emissions compared to traditional DC buildings.

In general, we have a holistic and sustainable approach to building data centres. We consider four important elements of environmental sustainability in any new DC building project. These are:
- Carbon Footprint – Mainly relating to Energy Use
- Water Usage
- Waste management and
- Eco-system – How does the data center affect the surrounding eco-system?

In all the phases of a building project these four mentioned elements have to be evaluated. It starts with site selection where the main concern is placing the data center where you have access to clean energy and with as little impact on the surrounding eco-system as possible. In the design phase we make critical decisions that will impact the level of DC sustainability. Relating to choice of cooling solutions, monitoring systems, building materials, certifications. Finally, during the building phase we must make sure we use appropriate building materials and handle/minimize waste sustainable and safely. This entails that we also set strict environmental requirements to the numerous suppliers involved in the project. We also try to estimate our projects as precisely as we can to avoid overconsumption and waste of material. With our strict regime for waste handling we obtained a waste sorting rate at the site of 94% in 2022. When it comes to water usage, the WUE-factor was 0.52 in 2021. This is significantly better that the industry benchmark.

Finally, most of our vendors and labor in this project were locally sourced. Within a radius of 20 km of the site we could find most of the services and workers needed, so this project gave positive ripple effects in the local community as well.

With this expansion, one quarter of Volkswagen Group’s total computing power run carbon-neutrally, corresponding to annual CO₂ savings of 10,000 tons, according to their calculations.
Moreover, Norwegian Lobster Farm, is currently building their new and bigger lobster farm at the site. It will use the residual heat from the data center to breed lobsters in their land-based facility. This means that the Volkswagen expansion will be part of a greater circular project, saving a lot of energy that would otherwise be wasted.

For Green Mountain, this project has been a commercial success as well. We would probably not have been awarded the contract with Volkswagen had it not been for the fact that we could deliver on their strict sustainability requirements. This is a trend we see increasingly in the market as well. Sustainability has become one of the key decision factors for our clients. As our sustainability manager, Torkild Follaug, explains: “We have come to the point where a company’s sustainability strategy is not only a “nice-to-have” but a “must-have” for survival. Companies that take sustainability efforts seriously will increasingly gain a competitive edge in the market. Companies need to have an organization, systems and ability to support and execute their sustainability strategy. I am afraid that companies who don’t succeed in this area will face difficulties.”

Press Release from Volkswagen Group: https://www.volkswagen-newsroom.com/en/press-releases/volkswagen-ag-aims-to-make-data-centers-climate-neutral-by-2027-15283


RUNNER UP



Deep Green and Keysource

Award Submission Project overview and challenges addressed The data centre sector is facing a number of challenges. First, data centres produce a huge amount of heat. At many sites, up to 50% of energy used to run data centre servers is spent trying to keep them cool. Although many innovations are being developed across the sector to increase cooling efficiency, they do not address the fundamental problem that lots of heat is wasted, expelled into the atmosphere. At the same time, outside of the data centre sector, many local businesses need heat and face increasing energy bills for their fossil-fuel intensive gas boilers. Second, data centres generally are large. Demand for data centres is growing exponentially, and the size of the network is expected to increase ten times to meet demand for the 'third industrial revolution' of AI and machine learning. It will be difficult to meet this demand with large scale data centres that take up lots of space and put huge amounts of pressure on the energy grid. Finally, innovations in technology require data centres that are much closer to the end-user. From self-driving cars to the metaverse, there will be an increase of demand at the 'edge' with very low latency connection. Deep Green's approach addresses these three issues. At Exmouth Leisure Centre, in Devon in the UK, Deep Green has launched its first 'digital boiler': a small data centre that recaptures waste heat from its servers, donating it to the pool - free of charge. This is the first of its kind in the United Kingdom. The data centre is very energy efficient. It utilises the energy efficiency benefits of immersion and direct liquid cooling in combination with heat re-use to deliver a PUE of 1.005 or lower and runs on 100% renewable energy. Also, freed from expensive cooling costs, Deep Green is able to offer more affordable servers to meet the increasing global demand for data. The units require no new buildings or large spaces to deploy. By installing on-site at swimming pools or other local business with consistent heat demands, Deep Green can install at new sites in a matter of weeks, or scale up servers at existing sites easily to meet demand. No large warehouses or huge construction costs. This is another reason Deep Green can offer its compute at such a competitive rate. Also, by using a modular approach and building data-centres within 'the fabric of society', Deep Green spreads its centres across the country offering both very low latency compute and sharing the load on the energy grid evenly. Finally, the project has the additional benefit of supporting local communities. Passing the otherwise waste heat from Deep Green's servers to the swimming pool - Deep Green will cut the amount of gas required to heat the pool by 62%. This will save Exmouth Leisure Centre over £20,000 a year and reduce their carbon emission by 25.8 tonnes. De-centralising the network of data centres globally is the next step in the industry's development. Rapidly growing industry energy requirements and carbon footprint is an existential threat to the existing DC business model - producing significant negative publicity manifesting itself in moratoriums on new project developments. Deep Green has found a solution that solves two sets of problems in one - addressing all of the above threats to the data centre sector while creating a positive benefit to society. The appetite for solutions like this was apparent in how successful the launch of unit in Exmouth was - covered globally after the BBC published the story across online, radio and TV. Deep Green is now following up on the hundreds of leads this positive news story for the sector generated. Innovation This installation in Exmouth was the first time in the United Kingdom that modular edge data centres were deployed on-site in public swimming pools to re-capture and supply heat. This approach utilises small pockets of 'spare' and already allocated grid capacity to deliver edge and HPC capabilities within the fabric of society. The energy recapture model saves pools at least 62% on their energy requirements to heat the pool. In exchange, the pools provide space, power and connectivity to support the deployment. It utilises the energy efficiency benefits of immersion and direct liquid cooling in combination with heat re-use to deliver a PUE of 1.005 or lower and runs on 100% renewable energy. Rishi Sunak recently highlighted the £800m investment in supercomputing, and what better way to achieve this in a sustainable manner, to support NetZero 2030 than an integrated Metropolitan Edge data centre within every community. Deep Green are working with Keysource, specialists in deploying and supporting edge and Direct Liquid Cooling (DLC) projects from the Arctic to Dubai, to scale this approach across the UK and into Europe. Project Challenges As with many projects in the sector, we faced supply chain delays and had to also manage the programme with the swimming pool. Given this is the first time this approach of heat re-capture was deployed in the UK, the availability of people skilled to support with installation was an issue to overcome. We looked for specialist partners to work with, with strong supply chain and coverage, to support the installation. Benefits •;;;;; Low latency, scalable, de-centralised data centres to meet rising global demand sustainably. •;;;;; A cut in gas consumption for pool by 62% - saving over £20,000 a year, and a cut in the pool's carbon emissions by 25.8 tonnes a year. •;;;;; A current PUE of 1.005 with a projected PUE of 1.003 •;;;;; Scaling this approach, 1% of the UK's data centre workloads could heat all of the 1,500 public pools in England. Deep Green will be cutting pipes on the next tranche of projects in the weeks ahead. •;;;;; The swimming pool in Exmouth is expecting energy costs rise £100,000 next year. Deep Green's kit is pivotal to start to address this surge in costs ensuring the pool stays open as a vital asset for its community.


Edge Innovation of the Year
Sponsored by   Power Control Ltd

WINNER



Proximity Data Centres

Proximity Data Centres – Case study
Customer: The GRID Factory
Proximity meets requirements for Edge-based immersive VR and AR experiences

Introduction

In May 2022, Proximity Data Centres completed an advanced implementation of a sophisticated edge computing platform at its Edge 7 data centre in Swindon. This was for The GRID Factory. The 25kW high density racks, supported by a highly efficient climate control, use a three-stage cooling system to ensure IT equipment performs efficiently.

Description of Application

The GRID Factory is an Immersive Technology Integrator and Cloud Services Provider who specialise in NVIDIA technologies such as CloudXR, vGPU, Omniverse and EGX Server. Their client required a new approach for delivering highly accurate 3D city models which enable designers, architects, and engineers to work from a variety of remote locations, enabling a building to be conceived, co-designed, engineered and deployed as a 3D model both off and on site. The 3D city models starting initially in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Detroit and Dublin have been added to the portfolio, with more available on request.

Powered by NVIDIA RTX data centre technology, the application allows high levels of collaboration through the design, approval and build phases and so reduces the associated costs to the client. It allows key stakeholders to quickly visualise and understand any changes and to measure progress without physically being together.

The GRID Factory platform uses a combination of high performance, low latency, Edge networking provided by their partner BT, which connects customers to NVIDIA RTX 8000 and NVIDIA A40 datacentre GPUs to allow highly performant, real time, 3D, and immersive experiences.


Key Requirements & Challenges

The GRID Factory platform requires high levels of power (25kW) in a single rack as well as cooling in a secure environment. Power requirements of this level are still very rare in the data centre market and are challenging to deliver cost effectively.

Due to the design of the Proximity Edge 7 data centre, Proximity was able to create an extremely comprehensive package that not only allows support for these new 3D and immersive workloads to be delivered but will also support resource intensive computational workloads such as Blockchain, AI and ML on The GRID Factory platform.

Lastly, The GRID Factory required an edge data centre partner who could support the deployment of multiple platforms across the UK to ensure a best-in-class service, minimising latency and reducing network costs.

The Solution

Commencing in February 2022 Proximity and The GRID Factory worked closely to understand the unique requirements for the computing platform and to develop the solution.

In April 2022 Proximity’s Edge 7, 89,000 sq ft edge data centre in Swindon was chosen as the initial deployment site for the application. Along with significant power, the facility offers easy access to digital fibre routes connecting London to Ireland and the USA. It is also highly accessible to the major R&D hub at Harwell which is home to numerous research organisations in biotech, genome, and space-tech.

The site uses a modular and flexible blade room design to support The GRID Factory platform which will allow the platform to grow as well as ensuring continuity of power and high levels of cooling.

The cooling unit uses primarily fresh air cooling for external temperatures up to 24 degrees centigrade, with secondary evaporative cooling controlling temperatures up to 34 degrees centigrade. However, the system has been tested up to 48 degrees centigrade. Direct Expansion (DX) refrigerant cooling provides final backup for temperatures exceeding 34 degrees centigrade. DX cooling is also used during full re-circulation mode should the outside air become contaminated, or to contain the fire-extinguishing gas system in the event of an internal fire.

The GRID Factory technology stack uses specially designed cold aisle technology which is sealed and pressurised with blanking panels to stop cool air loss. Thermal imaging is used to check for leakage from the hot aisle. A key factor was not only the ability to support a 25kW rack today but be able to increase to 50kW in the future.

In addition, the availability of diverse high-capacity fibre connectivity was a key consideration to minimise latency. This was achieved through Proximity Edge 7 and BT.

Further benefits:
To support the required future deployment of multiple platforms, Proximity Data Centres has 10 edge facilities in the UK on stream and has identified another 10 sites to acquire in the next 12 months. Proximity’s policy of full on-site support, transition and onboarding and provision, along with server migration services and a straightforward contract with a single set of SLAs covering one or multiple sites was also a key factor in the decision to partner.

Ben Jones, founder and CTO of The GRID Factory commented: “GRID Factory have delivered a variety of Virtual and Augmented Reality experiences for partners and clients including NVIDIA, Autodesk, Cavrnus, BT, EE, Vodafone, Coventry University, Ericsson, Hyperbat and DivisionX.
“As an Immersive Technology Integrator and Cloud Services Provider who specialise in NVIDIA technologies such as CloudXR, vGPU, Omniverse and EGX Server, we make major demands on data centre power, connectivity, and engineering support. Proximity has ticked all the boxes in this respect when it comes to power availability, scalability, low latency, and onsite support.”


RUNNER UP



Deep Green and Keysource

Award Submission Project overview and challenges addressed The data centre sector is facing a number of challenges. First, data centres produce a huge amount of heat. At many sites, up to 50% of energy used to run data centre servers is spent trying to keep them cool. Although many innovations are being developed across the sector to increase cooling efficiency, they do not address the fundamental problem that lots of heat is wasted, expelled into the atmosphere. At the same time, outside of the data centre sector, many local businesses need heat and face increasing energy bills for their fossil-fuel intensive gas boilers. Second, data centres generally are large. Demand for data centres is growing exponentially, and the size of the network is expected to increase ten times to meet demand for the 'third industrial revolution' of AI and machine learning. It will be difficult to meet this demand with large scale data centres that take up lots of space and put huge amounts of pressure on the energy grid. Finally, innovations in technology require data centres that are much closer to the end-user. From self-driving cars to the metaverse, there will be an increase of demand at the 'edge' with very low latency connection. Deep Green's approach addresses these three issues. At Exmouth Leisure Centre, in Devon in the UK, Deep Green has launched its first 'digital boiler': a small data centre that recaptures waste heat from its servers, donating it to the pool - free of charge. This is the first of its kind in the United Kingdom. The data centre is very energy efficient. It utilises the energy efficiency benefits of immersion and direct liquid cooling in combination with heat re-use to deliver a PUE of 1.005 or lower and runs on 100% renewable energy. Also, freed from expensive cooling costs, Deep Green is able to offer more affordable servers to meet the increasing global demand for data. The units require no new buildings or large spaces to deploy. By installing on-site at swimming pools or other local business with consistent heat demands, Deep Green can install at new sites in a matter of weeks, or scale up servers at existing sites easily to meet demand. No large warehouses or huge construction costs. This is another reason Deep Green can offer its compute at such a competitive rate. Also, by using a modular approach and building data-centres within 'the fabric of society', Deep Green spreads its centres across the country offering both very low latency compute and sharing the load on the energy grid evenly. Finally, the project has the additional benefit of supporting local communities. Passing the otherwise waste heat from Deep Green's servers to the swimming pool - Deep Green will cut the amount of gas required to heat the pool by 62%. This will save Exmouth Leisure Centre over £20,000 a year and reduce their carbon emission by 25.8 tonnes. De-centralising the network of data centres globally is the next step in the industry's development. Rapidly growing industry energy requirements and carbon footprint is an existential threat to the existing DC business model - producing significant negative publicity manifesting itself in moratoriums on new project developments. Deep Green has found a solution that solves two sets of problems in one - addressing all of the above threats to the data centre sector while creating a positive benefit to society. The appetite for solutions like this was apparent in how successful the launch of unit in Exmouth was - covered globally after the BBC published the story across online, radio and TV. Deep Green is now following up on the hundreds of leads this positive news story for the sector generated. Innovation This installation in Exmouth was the first time in the United Kingdom that modular edge data centres were deployed on-site in public swimming pools to re-capture and supply heat. This approach utilises small pockets of 'spare' and already allocated grid capacity to deliver edge and HPC capabilities within the fabric of society. The energy recapture model saves pools at least 62% on their energy requirements to heat the pool. In exchange, the pools provide space, power and connectivity to support the deployment. It utilises the energy efficiency benefits of immersion and direct liquid cooling in combination with heat re-use to deliver a PUE of 1.005 or lower and runs on 100% renewable energy. Rishi Sunak recently highlighted the £800m investment in supercomputing, and what better way to achieve this in a sustainable manner, to support NetZero 2030 than an integrated Metropolitan Edge data centre within every community. Deep Green are working with Keysource, specialists in deploying and supporting edge and Direct Liquid Cooling (DLC) projects from the Arctic to Dubai, to scale this approach across the UK and into Europe. Project Challenges As with many projects in the sector, we faced supply chain delays and had to also manage the programme with the swimming pool. Given this is the first time this approach of heat re-capture was deployed in the UK, the availability of people skilled to support with installation was an issue to overcome. We looked for specialist partners to work with, with strong supply chain and coverage, to support the installation. Benefits •;;;;; Low latency, scalable, de-centralised data centres to meet rising global demand sustainably. •;;;;; A cut in gas consumption for pool by 62% - saving over £20,000 a year, and a cut in the pool's carbon emissions by 25.8 tonnes a year. •;;;;; A current PUE of 1.005 with a projected PUE of 1.003 •;;;;; Scaling this approach, 1% of the UK's data centre workloads could heat all of the 1,500 public pools in England. Deep Green will be cutting pipes on the next tranche of projects in the weeks ahead. •;;;;; The swimming pool in Exmouth is expecting energy costs rise £100,000 next year. Deep Green's kit is pivotal to start to address this surge in costs ensuring the pool stays open as a vital asset for its community.


Edge Project of the Year

WINNER



Keysource

Award Submission Project overview and challenges addressed The data centre sector is facing a number of challenges. First, data centres produce a huge amount of heat. At many sites, up to 50% of energy used to run data centre servers is spent trying to keep them cool. Although many innovations are being developed across the sector to increase cooling efficiency, they do not address the fundamental problem that lots of heat is wasted, expelled into the atmosphere. At the same time, outside of the data centre sector, many local businesses need heat and face increasing energy bills for their fossil-fuel intensive gas boilers. Second, data centres generally are large. Demand for data centres is growing exponentially, and the size of the network is expected to increase ten times to meet demand for the &lsquothird industrial revolution' of AI and machine learning. It will be difficult to meet this demand with large scale data centres that take up lots of space and put huge amounts of pressure on the energy grid. Finally, innovations in technology require data centres that are much closer to the end-user. From self-driving cars to the metaverse, there will be an increase of demand at the &ldquoedge&rdquo with very low latency connection. Deep Green's approach addresses these three issues. At Exmouth Leisure Centre, in Devon in the UK, Deep Green has launched its first &lsquodigital boiler': a small data centre that recaptures waste heat from its servers, donating it to the pool &ndash free of charge. This is the first of its kind in the United Kingdom. The data centre is very energy efficient. It utilises the energy efficiency benefits of immersion and direct liquid cooling in combination with heat re-use to deliver a PUE of 1.005 or lower and runs on 100% renewable energy. Also, freed from expensive cooling costs, Deep Green is able to offer more affordable servers to meet the increasing global demand for data. The units require no new buildings or large spaces to deploy. By installing on-site at swimming pools or other local business with consistent heat demands, Deep Green can install at new sites in a matter of weeks, or scale up servers at existing sites easily to meet demand. No large warehouses or huge construction costs. This is another reason Deep Green can offer its compute at such a competitive rate. Also, by using a modular approach and building data-centres within &lsquothe fabric of society', Deep Green spreads its centres across the country offering both very low latency compute and sharing the load on the energy grid evenly. Finally, the project has the additional benefit of supporting local communities. Passing the otherwise waste heat from Deep Green's servers to the swimming pool &ndash Deep Green will cut the amount of gas required to heat the pool by 62%. This will save Exmouth Leisure Centre over &pound20,000 a year and reduce their carbon emission by 25.8 tonnes. De-centralising the network of data centres globally is the next step in the industry's development. Rapidly growing industry energy requirements and carbon footprint is an existential threat to the existing DC business model &ndash producing significant negative publicity manifesting itself in moratoriums on new project developments. Deep Green has found a solution that solves two sets of problems in one &ndash addressing all of the above threats to the data centre sector while creating a positive benefit to society. The appetite for solutions like this was apparent in how successful the launch of unit in Exmouth was &ndash covered globally after the BBC published the story across online, radio and TV. Deep Green is now following up on the hundreds of leads this positive news story for the sector generated. Innovation This installation in Exmouth was the first time in the United Kingdom that modular edge data centres were deployed on-site in public swimming pools to re-capture and supply heat. This approach utilises small pockets of 'spare' and already allocated grid capacity to deliver edge and HPC capabilities within the fabric of society. The energy recapture model saves pools at least 62% on their energy requirements to heat the pool. In exchange, the pools provide space, power and connectivity to support the deployment. It utilises the energy efficiency benefits of immersion and direct liquid cooling in combination with heat re-use to deliver a PUE of 1.005 or lower and runs on 100% renewable energy. Rishi Sunak recently highlighted the &pound800m investment in supercomputing, and what better way to achieve this in a sustainable manner, to support NetZero 2030 than an integrated Metropolitan Edge data centre within every community. Deep Green are working with Keysource, specialists in deploying and supporting edge and Direct Liquid Cooling (DLC) projects from the Arctic to Dubai, to scale this approach across the UK and into Europe. Project Challenges As with many projects in the sector, we faced supply chain delays and had to also manage the programme with the swimming pool. Given this is the first time this approach of heat re-capture was deployed in the UK, the availability of people skilled to support with installation was an issue to overcome. We looked for specialist partners to work with, with strong supply chain and coverage, to support the installation. Benefits •;;;; Low latency, scalable, de-centralised data centres to meet rising global demand sustainably. •;;;; A cut in gas consumption for pool by 62% &ndash saving over &pound20,000 a year, and a cut in the pool's carbon emissions by 25.8 tonnes a year. •;;;; A current PUE of 1.005 with a projected PUE of 1.003 •;;;; Scaling this approach, 1% of the UK's data centre workloads could heat all of the 1,500 public pools in England. Deep Green will be cutting pipes on the next tranche of projects in the weeks ahead. •;;;; The swimming pool in Exmouth is expecting energy costs rise &pound100,000 next year. Deep Green's kit is pivotal to start to address this surge in costs ensuring the pool stays open as a vital asset for its community.



RUNNER UP



Proximity Data Centres

Proximity announces regional Internet Exchange roll out Proximity Data Centres, the UK's fastest growing edge colocation data centre provider announced in January plans for the roll out of a network of regional internet exchanges across the UK and Europe. This initiative is the first of its kind and is in line with Proximity's ongoing commitment to reducing latency by bringing data and services physically closer to the end users, devices and customers that need them. From Q1 2023 the company's newly formed Edge IX division will commence a phased build out of internet exchanges which will be based at each of Proximity's regional colocation data centres. Currently there are 10 such facilities strategically located to conurbations and cities in the North, North West, Midlands, Thames Valley, South West and South Wales. Further data centres equipped with exchanges will be added to the portfolio during 2023 as the company continues to expand to be within reach of 95% of the UK population. &ldquoSolving latency and data transit challenges are high priorities for Proximity and our growing portfolio of customers, especially those developing virtual reality, gaming and IoT services,&rdquo said John Hall, Managing Director-Colocation, Proximity Data Centres. &ldquoThe wider availability of regional internet exchanges will enable the lowest latency possible for demanding edge computing applications and services including those for gaming, healthcare, manufacturing and smart cities, while also offering a more efficient and cost-effective solution for the backhauling of rapidly growing data volumes.&rdquo He added: &ldquoInternet exchanges in the UK have been successful in supporting the development of the digital economy but the increasing demands of low latency bandwidth-hungry applications requires a new approach, complementing the existing infrastructure model. The proliferation of edge data centres and internet exchanges will play a vital role in regional economic development. The availability of these resources at a local level will support digital businesses, regional tech hubs and bring significant economic growth to the regions. These will in turn bring new opportunities to the benefit of local communities.&rdquoProximity Data Centres operates a rapidly growing trusted network of regional carrier-neutral edge data centres across the UK. These allow clients to locate their data in local markets, close to the data end user. By choosing Proximity's network of edge data centres enterprise, public cloud and content service provider organisations maximise competitive edge through reduced latency, enabling improved response times and reduced transit costs. The company is fully committed to providing energy efficient and sustainable facilities which are built to tier 3 industry standards and are ISO 9001, 14001 and 27001 compliant. Full on-site support, transition and onboarding is provided to customers. For maximum convenience, a straightforward customer contracting model is provided with a single set of SLAs covering one or multiple sites, as required. Scope of services is tailored to suit regional demand.


Excellence in Data Centre Services Award

WINNER



Ultra Support

Ultra Support Services are an industry-leading Channel Only Hardware support and maintenance organisation focused on Data Centre products & technologies, including current and legacy Data Storage, Servers & Networking products.

Ultra Support is somewhat unique in that they are 100% Channel Only. Providing competitive and quality-focused subcontracted hardware service & support to the UK’s leading VARs, MSPs and system integrators.

Unlike many organisations, Ultra Support has a strict policy to promote product reuse to aid sustainability. This is achieved with an efficient reverse logistics process, followed by repair & refurbishment, including any required data erasure, prior to re-stocking and re-use.

To ensure the highest possible SLA attainment, Ultra Support has a philosophy of only using internal Field Engineers, rather than externally sub-contracting contracts. This is paired with a country-wide network of 22 Forward Stocking Locations (FSLs) containing company-owned inventory and spare parts to support the specific local Data Centre contract-base.

Customers benefit from working with a non-conflicting Channel Only partner, matched by reliable and high-performing SLA fulfilment to deliver unsurpassed End-User customer satisfaction with maintaining the highest possible uptime.


RUNNER UP



Critical Facilities Solutions

Critical Facilities Solutions Ltd (CFS), a specialist, multiskilled Data Centre solutions and services provider. Founded in 2018, CFS is ISO 9001 accredited for the delivery of solutions and services including Data Centre fit-out, raised access flooring, firestopping and ISO level technical cleaning. CFS expanded into Europe in 2021 with a wholly owned subsidiary set up in The Netherlands to facilitate our service delivery into the EU and we also have a sister company, trading under the same name, in the USA for 25 years. CFS’s main objectives are to continue to be the market leader and subject matter experts in our fields of service and a trusted delivery partner for our customers either directly or through our established partnerships with the world’s leading Facilities Management Companies. CFS is equally comfortable delivering through our end customers preferred outsource partner or engaging directly as a preferred supplier. CFS wishes to have a long-lasting direct impact on the market for both service providers and end customers. We believe education, standardisation and communication are key to achieving that goal and therefore we have dedicated an enormous amount of time and resources to industry bodies such as the Data Centre Alliance (DCA). Our operations director is the Chair of the Data Centre Anti-Contamination specialist interest group of the DCA, and he has spent countless hours rallying our industry competitors and customers together to contribute to a guide he has produced, and edited year on year, under the DCA banner, which is now freely available to all.

In a recent contract award, we re-specified the customer’s cleaning regime and approach and saved them approximately 50% on their annual operating expenditure while guaranteeing the same, if not better, quality and the required ISO levels of cleanliness as per OEM guidance. Our service offering is further strengthened by our operational delivery, quality of workmanship, communication, stakeholder management and in-depth reporting and recommendations. All our contracted customers also benefit from our complementary services including assessments and reporting on their flooring, firestopping, airflow or cleanliness when delivering one of our other services. CFS delivers 280 separate projects and cleans 900,000 sqm of data centre space each year. Working with CFS you are guaranteed multi-skilled NVQ/Diploma certified, fulltime employed cleared staff from an international data centre/mission critical specialist with decades of first-hand experience. The experience and depth of knowledge within our entire team converts to an unparalleled ‘customer first’ philosophy with a 98% satisfaction rate in 2020 and staggering 100% in 2021 & 2022, Our current overall rating on Survey Monkey from business inception is 4.88 out of 5.

Hosting/Colocation Innovation of the Year

WINNER



PeaSoup

Why this entry should win

An inspired collaboration between two innovators in cloud and infrastructure has brought significant customer benefits, not least:

• Heat dissipation capacity of 50kW
• 17% less power used on cooling when at full capacity
• Estimated annual saving of 2 tonnes of CO2

Together, we have created a green and sustainable solution for colocation eco-friendly IT based on mutual collaboration and support to drive through new technology.


A green and sustainable solution for eco-friendly colo

PeaSoup’s data centres use liquid immersion cooling technology that helps to reduce environmental impact and improve latency and cloud resilience this also allows for high-performance applications. Liquid cooling helps to cut data centre build time, and servicing costs and provides a higher quality resilient cloud infrastructure compared to legacy data centre solutions.

Immersion cooling provides higher capacity and better energy efficiency compared to traditional cooling technologies that use air circulation. However, it requires specialist infrastructure to host it, and has different maintenance requirements, meaning it isn’t commonly available. PeaSoup’s challenge was to identify a partner with the capacity of hosting its high-performance servers while doing so in a sustainable way. A lot of data centres didn’t have the expertise or infrastructure to be able to host immersion cooling.

The match between PeaSoup and 4D competencies (part of Redcentric now) was perfect and resulted in an industry-leading data centre with high capacity but sustainable infrastructure. A further 4D data centre site is located close to PeaSoup’s offices, which made it easy for us to collaborate and plan out this complex innovative project.

PeaSoup’s servers are immersed and cooled by liquid. It’s a fully biodegradable dielectric cooling fluid, supplied by Submer, that ambiences the IT hardware delivering instant cooling power one thousand times more efficiently than air. This dielectric liquid allows configuring CPU and GPU clusters much closer together, i.e., in high-density configurations, while protecting vital components from thermal and environmental risks.


The drive for net-zero

The move to find new eco-friendly data centres/cloud infrastructure technology in the UK has been primarily driven by Government targets: to aggressively reduce carbon footprint by over 68% to 1990s carbon emissions levels by the end of 2030 and ambitious net-zero emissions by 2050. This is very much aligned with much higher levels of consumer carbon footprint consciousness, and secondly by market demands for clean reliable ecological cloud services without carbon offsetting or greenwashing.

In recent years a huge surge in data usage globally has been seen, mainly from new technologies such as AI, mobility, IR 4.0, and the IoT. The outcome is an increased demand for cloud services and therefore data centres.


Laying the legacy to rest

But most data centres still utilise air conditioning technology to cool the rack servers. With no efficient method currently available to cool the equipment, data centre operations use 30–55% of the overall energy consumption for cooling and ventilation systems. So, efficient cooling solutions for data centres are urgently required to reduce their carbon footprint.

PeaSoup and 4D have addressed the challenge by introducing an IT infrastructure design that embraces advanced liquid immersion technology to cool data centre equipment – the ECO Cloud. This method of cooling reduces power usage by at least 30% and allows higher processor utilisation by maintaining temperatures below the thermal limit. This environmentally friendly high-density data centre proven and innovative method allows for extremely efficient and simplified service deployment which also incorporates low noise pollution.


Why not water?

PeaSoup uses Submer SmartPodX units which are turnkey solutions for cloud providers. The PODs have been designed simply and environmentally friendly, addressing data centres’ current challenges, such as power and water consumption.

The power usage effectiveness (PUE) ratio of this unit is lower than 1.03 even in harsh climate conditions regions which is an excellent achievement compared to the average PUE ratio for older facilities. For example, in 2020 the average PUE for data centres globally was still around 1.58. The POD power consumption is 750W only which is again one of the lowest in the data centre market.

Furthermore, traditional data centres employ water to cool and control the data centre environment. From an operational and resilience perspective, this is as important as electricity. In contrast, our data centre solutions guarantee almost zero water consumption thanks to the closed-loop cooling system.


Power down, performance up

The SmartPodX gives at least 30% saving of power and it’s like a catalysator for carbon emissions, increasing performance and reliability from the underlying hardware and hyper converged infrastructure (HCI) whilst providing the edge against the hyper-scale cloud providers like AWS and Azure. This cloud architecture setup helps to shrink carbon footprint and improve energy self-sufficiency.

To summarise, PeaSoup’s new ECO Cloud uses liquid immersion technology for efficient cooling to reduce the environmental impact aligning with the Government's carbon-emission plans. This will result in reduced power consumption and reduced carbon emissions. No other UK cloud provider has commercially adapted an HCI cloud architecture to immerse it in liquid.


Taking on the world

One of PeaSoup’s mottos is to constantly evolve providing better services to our clients. ECO Cloud does exactly that and with a unique data centre tool to disrupt the UK cloud/data centre market. Our liquid immersive technology allows us to reach new organisations seeking a low carbon footprint cloud infrastructure and data centre solutions. Our services provide our clients with high computing power plus a resilient and secured cloud platform.

Green data centres and cloud infrastructure platforms are fast-growing segments and we fully expect our services to expand beyond the UK and further contribute to net-zero emissions.


Ushering the future of sustainable IT with 4D

PeaSoup’s ECO Cloud service allows our customers to deploy an environmentally friendly cloud. 4D’s ability to offer colocation hosting of immersion cooling makes the technology available to a much wider variety of companies who couldn’t otherwise host it.

We can guarantee excellent uptime to clients taking advantage of our ECO Cloud, thanks to 4D’s 99.999% network uptime record, and the fact that they’ve never had a power failure. The number of clients using ECO Cloud continues to grow, and we look forward to further collaboration with 4D in the future.

4D is an award-winning managed data centre and infrastructure provider. Its colocation, cloud, connectivity and cyber security services are operated using energy-efficient and award-winning infrastructure and the company’s sustainable practices are also applied to its range of high-power computing hosting services.


Some wise words

“It has been a joy to support PeaSoup on its journey to create its ECO Cloud. Their enthusiasm for immersion cooling is infectious and we’re always happy to go the extra mile in supporting them to make this a success.”
Ryan Jordan, Senior Account Manager, 4D

“I’m very happy that we’ve been able to deliver the immersion cooling system PeaSoup requested and become one of the few data centres in the UK to be able to offer this kind of
cutting edge technology.”
Jack Bedell-Pearce, ex-CEO, 4D


RUNNER UP



phoenixNAP

1. What are your product’s/solution’s key distinguishing features and/or USP?
phoenixNAP's Bare metal Cloud offers organizations a way to deploy, manage, and scale physical servers with cloud-like flexibility, simplicity, and elasticity. Built for cloud-native applications and teams, the platform lets you provision dedicated hardware resources via API, CLI, or WebUI in a matter of minutes.

The solution gives you turnkey access to over 40 pre-configured dedicated server instances powered by the latest Intel® Xeon® Scalable CPUs, NVMe flash drives, DDR RAM, and up to 50 Gbps network. Expandable with terabytes of low-cost network storage or S3-compatible object storage, it allows for easy scaling and workload portability without hardware upgrades. Through integration with popular Infrastructure as Code tools, Bare metal Cloud lets DevOps teams effortlessly optimize their CI/CD pipelines and automate infrastructure management while maintaining full control over their IT.

phoenixNAP’s Bare metal Cloud can be deployed globally in minutes for as low as $0.08/hr. With flexible billing and bandwidth options and discounts for monthly or yearly reservations, the platform helps organizations cut their IT costs and accelerate digital transformation without capex. To help SMBs and enterprises alike streamline container adoption and creation and management of production Kubernetes clusters, Bare metal Cloud integrates with SUSE Rancher. Via a single POST request, this solution lets users deploy multi-node upstream and downstream Kubernetes clusters at different locations in about 5 minutes.

2. What tangible impact has your product/solution had on the market and your customers?

Bare metal Cloud allows for lightning-fast deployment of dedicated hardware resources and delivers enhanced automation capabilities consumable at a very attractive price point. At the same time, it redefines the alternative cloud. Instead of settling for poor visibility, unpredictable costs, and suboptimal performance of hyperscale public cloud solutions, Bare metal Cloud lets organizations accelerate cloud adoption with no “noisy neighbors” or fear of vendor lock-in.

As an example, it helped Glimpse.me embrace automation without locking their teams into proprietary technologies. Also, by choosing Bare metal Cloud over similarly-performing public cloud solutions, My Party Album Inc. were able to cut their IT spend by 80%.

3. What are the major differentiators between your product/solution and those of your primary competitors?

Bare metal Cloud enables on-demand access to ground-breaking hardware and software technologies. This lets SMBs with small IT teams and budgets gain access to powerful, transparent resources that enable them to achieve big results. In minutes and with just a few lines of code, developers can deploy anything from a low-cost sandbox for pilot workloads to an enterprise compute environment running on dedicated servers. If you want to multiply the performance for processing data-intensive workloads with next-gen hardware technologies, you can choose a Pliops XDP or Intel Optane PMem-powered instance. If you need private IPs, custom OS installations, or wish to run a virtualization layer on top of your deployment, the solution allows you to do it with minimal effort and investments. Bare metal Cloud bridges the gap between the security and performance of raw hardware and the flexibility and ease of use of the cloud delivering the best of both worlds.

4. Please supply any supportive quotes and/or case study materials to demonstrate the value of this product/solution to your customers/partners

My Party Album Inc. experiences an 80% drop in spending with Bare metal Cloud compared to public cloud solutions.

“Cost management was our main issue. We needed a solution that has a simple and transparent pricing structure in order to accurately calculate our month-to-month costs. We also needed a solution that was easy to understand and simple to use. The team at phoenixNAP helped us understand how BMC works and what we could do with it.”
- Grant Street, Co-founder/CEO, at My Party Album Inc.

Full feature list (and counting):
● Non-virtualized physical machines
● Lightning-fast deployments in minutes
● Powered by latest gen Intel Xeon Scalable CPUs
● 40 pre-configured server instance types
● Up to 50 Gbps network capacity per server
● Public and private networking options
● SUSE Rancher Integration
● Free 20 Gbps DDoS protection
● Flexible bandwidth packages
● Local NVMe and access to network and S3-compatible object Storage
● Certified Terraform, Ansible, Pulumi, Chef, and Puppet modules
● Repos, Actions, and SDKs on GitHub
● Robust and easy-to-use API, CLI and WebUI tools
● Available in Phoenix, Ashburn, Amsterdam, Singapore, and edge location in Austin TX
● Hourly pricing with discounts for monthly and yearly reservations


Managed Services / Colocation Project of the Year
Sponsored by   H2H

WINNER



Node4

Introduction and project context
Company name: ArrowXL
Sector: Supply Chain & Logistics
Number of employees: 1,200 (approximate)
Turnover: £115 million (approximate)
Number of sites: 20
Number of customer orders per year: 2 million

With over 25 years of experience, ArrowXL is the UK’s largest and longest-established two-person delivery and warehousing specialist. Headquartered in Wigan, the company focuses on delivering large, heavy and unwieldy orders such as sofas, domestic appliances and gym equipment. It also offers additional value-add services, including appliance fitting, furniture assembly and removal of old items.

What was the driving force behind the project – what business or technology challenge needed to be addressed?
Finding a replacement for unreliable, outdated network connectivity and IT security infrastructure
ArrowXL places exceptional service at the centre of all its operations, ensuring deliveries are made on time and with minimal disruption to customers. This requires fast, reliable and secure IT across the company’s distribution network. So, when ArrowXL’s multi-site network began to suffer sustained outages and the incumbent supplier breached SLAs, it was time to take action.


How did the solution address the challenges, and were there any particularly innovative aspects that made it stand out?
Secure SD-WAN and renewed structured cabling
After looking at several competing solutions, the decision was taken to roll out Node4’s fully managed Secure SD-WAN across eight sites and replace the structured cabling, comms cabinets and access points. This infrastructure would help provide improved connectivity indoors and outdoors for each location. Rachel Hopkins, Chief Information Officer at ArrowXL, explains: “Right from the outset, there was a high degree of consensus about choosing Node4’s Secure SD-WAN. Node4’s bid team demonstrated the solution’s superior speed, versatility and security very clearly. They also made a compelling case for how their additional services and solutions could add further value to the business in the future.”

Security Operations Centre (SOC) Managed Service
With the initial phase of the SD-WAN rollout completed, Rachel and her team turned their attention to sourcing and implementing a managed threat and detect service. She takes up the story: “Node4 was our incumbent network and data centre provider by this stage, so partnering with them to deliver further security-related services enabled a much more responsive proposition. However, to ensure best value, we approached several other potential providers during the procurement process.

Rachel continues: “Ultimately, we chose Threat Detect, Node4’s Security Operations Centre service — or SOC. We were particularly impressed by the solution’s use of the latest AI technology and third-party intelligence sources. But the real added value for us came from the fact that our network would be monitored round the clock by Node4’s team of expert security analysts — which removed the need for us to hire an Information Security team.


What major challenges were faced during the project, and how were they overcome?
The project encountered several challenges, including the following:
Hardware shortages because of several external factors, including shortages of semiconductor materials, global supply chain challenges due to the COVID pandemic and Brexit-related disruptions. At certain points in the project, this created delays that the team had to mitigate.
Minimising disruption to ArrowXL’s 24/7 operation and ensuring downtime was kept to a minimum, meaning that implementation work needed to be carried out during time-constrained maintenance windows generally out of hours.
Logistics challenges of delivering this project to multiple sites in warehouse environments where conditions can be quite rugged.


What tangible benefits has the organisation seen because of the project's implementation?
An IT network that delivers on its promises
Today, Node4’s Secure SD-WAN forms the backbone of ArrowXL’s network technology. Its centralised provisioning, consistent performance, network traffic visibility and ease of deployment have played a pivotal role in ensuring that deliveries happen on time and with minimal stress for customers, warehouse personnel and drivers. No matter when and where there are spikes in usage, Node4’s SD-WAN can adapt and maintain network speeds — ensuring the system is not overloaded and does not crash. The solution also features a next-generation firewall at each location to protect users from internal and external cyber threats. All this for £15k per annum less than the predecessor service!

ArrowXL used to experience frequent network-related outages, and, as there was no resilience, this created outages for the business. “Node4’s Secure SD-WAN provides us with a faster, more robust IT network that, to date, hasn’t experienced any significant outages,” explains Rachel. “There’s no doubt that this leading-edge technology has delivered significant benefits to our business. We now have a resilient network that spans all our main locations, with plans to roll it out to all our outbases.”

She continues: “We expect to see further longer-term benefits as ArrowXL continues to evolve and grow. Node4’s SD-WAN will enable us to manage that change, allowing us to add or remove sites as necessary. It means we can be more flexible, adaptable and agile in our approach.”

Enhanced IT security
Within two weeks of mobilisation, the SOC had already demonstrated its worth — identifying and isolating several accounts targeted by cybercriminals. It confirmed Rachel’s belief that taking a managed service approach to security was the correct choice. She explains: “Our sector has suffered an increasing number of cyber-attacks in recent months, so it’s an incredible relief to know we have that skill on tap to neutralise these threats when they present themselves.”

Rachel continues: “With Node4’s SOC solution in place, it’s really brought home just how little sense it would have made for an organisation of our size to try and deliver its own 24/7 capability — and why it was such a sensible choice to take a managed services approach.” To hire a suitably qualified manager plus several analysts to provide the 24-hour coverage required would cost significantly more than using the Node4 managed threat and detect service and wouldn’t deliver an equivalent service. The annual saving each year to ArrowXL is circa £70k not to mention the challenges for ArrowXL of attracting and retaining a team with these highly sought-after skills.

A trusted, long-term IT partner
Taking stock, Rachel explains that Node4 has made a substantial contribution to ArrowXL’s IT infrastructure and information security — and that, today, the company also plays a vital role in providing advice and consultancy on future projects. Rachel notes: “Our partnership with Node4 is so important because we have a relatively small in-house IT team. They supplement our skills, knowledge and expertise in specialisms we’d be unable to attract and retain.”

She concludes: “They’re not afraid to talk about new technology and help us drive innovation — just as they did when proposing the SD-WAN and the managed service security offering. That’s why I see Node4 as an extension of my team — and much, much more than a service provider. It’s a partnership that will only strengthen as we embark on more IT infrastructure improvements over the coming months and years.”


RUNNER UP



Custodian Data Centres

Custodian Data Centres has become the lead technology partner for Crossways Business Park, in Dartford, Kent. As the business park’s only data centre operator, Custodian’s 10MW, DA2 facility will provide low-latency connectivity, resilient power, and foundational critical infrastructure for local businesses. As such, the technology partnership will directly enable local digital transformation efforts and create opportunities for organisations based within the Bluewater, Crossways, Dartford, Lakeside and Swanscombe vicinities to drive growth and future business developments.


Crossways Business Park is situated in the heart of Kent Thameside. With high-speed domestic travel links to Central London and immediate access to the M25, it is a premier destination for enterprise, logistical and retail businesses. Custodian’s DA2 data centre will provide resilient power, dedicated dark fibre connectivity and dynamic technical expertise, offering key benefits to the residents of Crossways Business Park.


The partnership, for example, will enable businesses in Crossways to future-proof their operations and capitalise on new technological developments, such as advanced robotics and automation within retail and logistics. By providing access to dedicated, on-site and agile mission-critical infrastructure, Custodian’s presence on the park will not only support current business owners’ digital transformation ambitions, but will provide a key point of differentiation for Crossways, allowing room for further technological expansion and the arrival of new customers.


A Spokesperson from Crossways Management Company states “Having a sustainable data centre partner in Crossways will provide key ecological, operational and technological benefits to the owners and occupiers based in the Crossways business park. By partnering with Custodian we can offer unparalleled technical support and access to cloud connectivity as customers embrace new technologies to drive growth. Further, by partnering with a brand that’s equally as eco-conscious, we can work together to transform the business park sustainably and raise awareness of Crossways as a premier location for today’s businesses.”


Sustainability is a key attribute of Crossways Business Park, whose owners have made several commitments to biodiversity and sustainable, ethical business practices. Its existing commitments include rewilding of key locations around the park, the installation of bird, bat, and bee boxes to encourage greater biodiversity, and zero waste from green materials. Custodian, therefore, stood out as the perfect business partner, aligning with its sustainability goals, providing a low power usage effectiveness (PUE) data centre, powered by renewable energy. The collaboration between the two organisations will pave the way for both existing and new occupants to take steps towards becoming greener and more ecologically forward-thinking.


“At Custodian, we want to empower businesses to grow and we do so by offering them agile mission-critical infrastructure combined with dynamic technical service,” says Rowland Kinch, CEO, Custodian Data Centres. “Our new DA2 data centre at Crossways will allow us to directly support businesses based locally and those looking to


relocate outside of the City with sustainable, environmentally conscious infrastructure. As the lead technology partner for Crossways, we’re delighted to have a partner whose ethos echoes our own, and to be supporting their digital transformation efforts.”

New Design/Build Data Centre Project of the Year
Sponsored by   EnerSys

WINNER



Green

Green is the leading colocation service provider in Switzerland and currently operates six modern, multi-certified data centers in the Zurich area. In recent years, Green has been rapidly expanding, going from a single site to multi-site, multi-campus company. It has doubled its capacity in the last three years and will accelerate its growth and innovation program further. In close cooperation with leading end users at our industry, Green has been enabling the growth of hyperscalers to build and expand their Swiss footprint in a fast timeframe and to build their housing on a highly secure, geo-redundant and energy-efficient data center infrastructure. At the same time, Green addresses the needs of enterprise customers by offering modular space concepts, complementary services and, in collaboration with major customers and partners. Green has thus not only established itself as a strong and reliable partner, but has also created the conditions for customers and partners to use Green as a central and leading data hub, fully networked and inter-connected.



In 2022, Green constructed, commissioned and achieved full occupation of an 11MW Hyperscale module introducing a new campus site which integrates digital infrastructures, work and life - with a unique project compromising 3 data centers (up to 50MW) office buildings and district heating - contributing to circular economy for the benefit of the region.



As the largest commercial operator in Switzerland, Green is committed to operating sustainably in all areas - with a focus on a long-term and close customer relationship, on quality and operational excellence - which we constantly and systematically optimize, and in the energy efficiency and sustainability of our data centers. E.g. Green is setting an example with the use of waste heat on the new campus. The data center M will supply more than 3,500 households as well as industry and commerce with heating and process heat. This will save 20,000 tons CO2 per year. The sustainable concept is rounded off by photovoltaic systems on the roof and façade. In addition, the architecture, room design and furnishings, cooling concept, power supply and all systems are meticulously designed for maximum energy efficiency and efficiency is continuously optimized at all locations. For instance, to ensure the reliability and high efficiency of the power supply system, Green has deployed Huawei modular UPS solution. The solution shows advantages in saving footprint, simplifying O&M and achieving fast delivery compared with the traditional solutions.



Green intimately understands the challenges of hyperscalers and enterprise customers. Further it serves SMB-customers by providing tailored colocation-zones. Green has an extensive customer base that includes over 400 clients. Key customers include the financial industry (major banks, insurance companies, specialist banks and blockchain/crypto, notably Six Group) as well as pharma (including medical), integrators (such as specialist integrators, international such as HCL) and leading hyperscalers who have very high availability requirements for their IT systems.



Green regularly and independently review its performance, and have already been named market leader in 2020, 2021 and 2022 by ISG, the independent consulting group. Green's sustainable success is based on customer-oriented processes and highest operational excellence - which demonstrates its 'M&O Stamp of Approval' of Uptime Institute, which Green holds as the only swiss data center provider.



RUNNER UP



Vertiv

MEEZA is an end-to-end managed IT services and solutions provider. It was one of the first companies in the region to help accelerate growth while bridging the digital divide that existed between Qatar and the rest of the world. The company's mission is to be the preferred managed IT services and solutions provider in the Middle East and North Africa. Its vision is to make service excellence the expectation, not the exception. MEEZA's offerings include data center, cloud, and IT security services. With its three Tier III certified data centers, known as MVaults, the company guarantees an uptime of 99.98%. With the pandemic pushing the boundaries of digital breakthrough throughout the globe, it was crucial for Qatar to remain the country of choice for international hyperscalers. Therefore, when a leading hyperscaler needed 4.9 megawatts (MW) of computing power within 14 months &mdash the largest IT capacity for any data center building in the country &mdash MEEZA sought an integrated modular data center solution. Knowing that the traditional build of MEEZA's MVault, built prior to 2019, took three years, MEEZA realized there was no other way to meet its customer's tight timeline. In fact, another data center of similar size, which was being built in this region from the ground up at the same time as MEEZA's modular alternative, took 22 months to complete. Plus, MEEZA was able to tap a local, skilled workforce from QSP (Qatar Site & Power), a Vertiv partner for more than 40 years. The project, from start to end, took a total of 14 months. MEEZA's new data center was built using a Vertiv™ integrated modular solution, which offered a simple way to install capacity in a fraction of the time it would take for a traditional data center build, due to its pre-engineered and prefabricated nature. With this method, Vertiv was able to complete 20 modules in five days, with the solution integrating Vertiv critical power, thermal management, and monitoring and control technologies &mdash systems that are designed to work together. The project was unique in terms of the deployment timeline and scalability while being a complete hyperscale solution. Meeting capacity needs through space optimization To deliver the capacity needed within MEEZA's limited footprint and within the 14-month timeline, the project team opted to divide computing infrastructure among two locations &mdash a 900-kilowatt (kW) expansion within MEEZA's existing MVault, and a greenfield site - the newest MVault hosted on QSTP - designed for 8 MW. While adding this capacity had to happen quickly, MEEZA also wanted to ensure energy efficiency that could help lower operating expenditures (OPEX). Therefore, colocating to its existing MVault location that has sophisticated thermal management meant the IT infrastructure would be protected from the environmental impact of Qatar's hot summer weather and the tenant could capitalize on the region's cooler winter months. Modular data center solutions for fast, scalable deployment Ideal for rapid data center deployments, the Vertiv integrated modular solution offered a simple way to install capacity in a fraction of the time it would take for a traditional data center build due to it being pre-engineered and prefabricated. The solution integrates Vertiv critical power, thermal management, and monitoring and control technologies &mdash systems that are designed to work together. This type of modular solution also provided business agility, as it allowed MEEZA to scale along with its customers. In other words, the managed IT services and solutions provider didn't have to overprovision, allowing better alignment of capital to business objectives. More details in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_2V6QfBzcA And here: https://www.vertiv.com/en-emea/about/news-and-insights/news-releases/meeza-deploys-4.9-mw-data-centre-capacity-in-qatar-in-just-14-months-by-leveraging-vertiv-integrated-modular-solutions/


Outstanding Contribution to Sustainability and Efficiency Award
Sponsored by   Hornetsecurity

WINNER



Carbon3IT Ltd/John Booth

I'm nominating the company and myself for the 3rd time in the hope of being successful, third time lucky etc.
Carbon3IT Ltd/John Booth has been a runner up in this category for the past two years, missing out to Schneider Electric (good company to be in)
In 2022 we have had our best ever year and have completed data centre sustainability projects for UK and european clients, and have assignments scheduled for more sustainability projects in 2023.
These are true sustainability projects relating to the measurement and calculation of GHG emissions and overall embodied carbon and this work is bleeding edge (no one else to our knowledge goes into the level of detail that we do). We contributed to the development of the TIC Council EUCOC redraft in late 2022, which is the foundation of the EU Taxonomy regulations, the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive and the Energy Efficiency Directive (In revision).
We continue our work with the EU Code of Conduct for Data Centres (Energy Efficiency), we have completed revised the criteria for the Certified Energy Efficient Data Centre Award (DCD) so that an organisation undertaking a CEEDA assessment can be assured that they will be given a report that can be used for all the impending EU compliance requirements.
We continue our work with the National Data Centre Academy, a digital infrastructure - centre of excellence for which, we have recently submitted a West Midlands Combined Authority Innovation Accelerator Funding proposal, we will find out if we've been successful on the 20th Jan (In which case we expect to publish a press release and to be able to update this entry!)
Our activity is thus cutting edge and thus is innovative and sustainable, we don't sell product, we think deeply about how to make digitial infrastucture sustainable and efficient, we sell consultancy and compliance.
We're not a big company so dont have 100's of staff worldwide being told to vote for us!
We strongly believe that we make a truly outstanding contribution to sustainability and efficiency in the data centre space.
www.carbon3it.com
www.nationaldatacentre.academy



RUNNER UP



Schneider Electric

As the global leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, sustainability and efficiency have been at heart of Schneider Electric’s business since inception. Today it operates across 115 countries and has more than 137,000 employees globally, all of whom have a key role to play in the sustainable data centres, grids and infrastructure systems of the future.

For more than a decade Schneider Electric has sought to carve a path to net zero, and enable both its customers and partners to accelerate their decarbonisation strategies. It does that through innovation at every level, and through dedicated investments in research and development, which have enabled it to disrupt and diversify, creating sustainable, connected products, data analytics and software, industry-leading sustainability services and, now renewable energy procurement. The company has, for example, recently been recognised as one of the world leaders in power purchase agreements (PPA), being formally recognized as the number one PPA marketplace solution provider by Guidehouse Insights.

In addition to its net zero commitments, which include accelerating its 2030 goal of carbon neutrality in its extended ecosystem by five years to 2025 removing gas and ensuring the end of SF6 by the end of 2025 reaching net zero operational emissions by 2030 as part of validated SBT target and achieving a net zero supply chain by 2050, the company’s Schneider Electric Sustainability Impact program has had a hugely positive effect on businesses’ across the spectrum of digital infrastructure.

For example, since 2018, Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure solutions and services have helped customers save and avoid 440 million tonnes of CO2, with more than 90 million being saved in 2022 alone. Further, the company’s top suppliers reduced their own CO2 emissions by 10% through its Zero Carbon project, and over the last twelve months, Schneider Electric has expanded access to green and reliable electricity to 5.5 million people through its solutions and projects. This commitment to sustainability has made it a leader in the companies racing to reach net zero.

Energy security and efficiency
Across the UK, Ireland, and mainland Europe, power has become a key focus for both businesses and consumers, and stories of an emerging energy crisis have been fuelled by the media. Many publications have sought to position the data centre sector as one of the key reasons for energy shortages, however, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

While data centres are today said to account for around 1% of global electricity consumption, during the last decade they’ve become more sustainable and energy efficient. The Uptime Institute states that average PUE’s across the industry remain around 1.55, demonstrating considerably reduced energy consumption across the sector, despite the accelerated growth in data centre construction and the prolific digitalisation taking place globally.

For many businesses in the data centre industry, PPA’s have become a vital source of energy security, and have emerged as a key component of said companies’ decarbonisation strategies. Schneider Electric believes that data centres will play a vital part in the green energy transition, providing a key vehicle for renewable energy generation by becoming integrated with the grid.

This is something that the industry has already begun to see, with world-leading tech companies harnessing the power of microgrids, wind, hydro, and other decentralised energy mediums to move data centres from consumers to prosumers. In line with local Irish legislation, Amazon, for example, has been responsible for wind farm developments in Cork and Donegal, with the latter expected to generate 91MW of green, renewable power. This is just one example showcasing the industry’s commitments to generating green and renewable energy.

It is also here, in the world of renewables, that Schneider Electric is well placed to help businesses build the sustainable data centres of the future, and the company has created many of the technologies that the industry relies upon to drive both resiliency and efficiency. For example, the companies expertise in data centres, electrical systems and grids has made it a leader in uninterruptible power, and today it has combined that knowledge to create microgrids that can be interlinked with data centre systems

For those unaware, microgrids are networks of distributed energy generators and storage systems that are intelligently coordinated with the utility grid to optimise costs and power stability. In some circumstances they can be temporarily removed from the grid to avoid exposure to outages and disturbances, using stored energy to ensure operational continuity for mission-critical systems, including data centres. In essence, microgrids allow operators to integrate on-site renewables such as wind and solar, and generate new revenue by both storing electricity and selling it back to the grid during peak demand.

Data centres and climate change
Schneider Electric also believes that data centres are becoming a key part of the solution to the climate crisis and will likely serve as a net zero template for other industries. For example, as the heart of the digital economy, data centres will be essential to address climate change head on, providing the connectivity, the critical IT infrastructure and processing power necessary to deliver the next innovations in sustainability and decarbonisation.

What’s clear is that the world cannot address the impacts of climate change without data and digitization, and it can’t act upon the data without data centres, and to to fight climate change businesses across the world must continue to reduce and eliminate carbon emissions - over 80% of which are caused by energy production and consumption. The solution to this, Schneider Electric believes, is a more electric and more digital world, something which the company calls this Electricity 4.0.

Electricity 4.0 and data centres
Electricity 4.0 is the fastest path to net zero, and the fuel for a more sustainable and resilient net-zero world. Digital, for example, builds a smart future and makes the invisible visible, eliminating waste and driving efficiency, while electric makes energy green. It is, for example, the most efficient form of energy and the best vector of decarbonisation, being proven to be 3-5x more efficient than other sources.

Schneider Electric believes Electricity 4.0 will enable a new generation of sustainable data centres and will ensure that in time, they become carbon negative, have zero waste, and are water optimized. The company also has the widest breadth of green offers to help data centre operators overcome the energy crisis and drive sustainability throughout their operations - providing software to digitise the lifecycle and hardware systems to drive resilience, while acting as its customers’ partner throughout their sustainability journey.

Its technology portfolio includes lithium-ion uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) such as its Galaxy series, which provide up-to 99% efficiency in the company’s patented eConversion mode, without compromising availability. Its SF6-free switchgear also utilises pure air instead of SF6 gas, which has a high Global Warming Potential (GWP), and mitigates any harm to the environment.

Furthermore, its software portfolio enables operators to digitise the entire data centre lifecycle, using digital twins to improve speed, accuracy, and sustainability. Here customers can build digital designs, run simulations to optimise efficiency and sustainability, and create a streamlined construction process to improve resource efficiency, costs, and accelerate the use of sustainable components.

Finally, the company continues to invest in technologies that prioritize efficiency and sustainability including those which deliver the lowest greenhouse gas emissions, use circular materials, and recyclable packaging. This can be demonstrated again through its Sustainability Impact program, and today 45% of all its packaging is now made without single-use plastic and uses recycled cardboard - up from 21% in 2021.

Why should Schneider Electric win?
Data centres will play a vital part in a green and sustainable future and for many, will be a catalyst in the quest to accelerate decarbonisation efforts. As a world leader in the digital transformation Schneider Electric’s work to help its data centre customers reduce emissions, energy consumption and waste is unparalleled.

As such, the company continues to demonstrate an outstanding commitment to sustainability and efficiency in every aspect of its organisation – be that through its work to become a leader in renewable energy, the continued carbon emissions savings being enabled via its Sustainability Impact program (SSI), and its mission to create the green and truly carbon neutral data centres of the future.


Rising Star of the Year
Sponsored by   EnerSys

WINNER



Xavier Plowright

Career Path From working one day a week voluntarily in the data centre transactions team with CBRE, I secured an apprenticeship with Colt DCS for 2 years: conducting business analysis whilst studying business administration. My key deliverables at Colt were to introduce a business intelligence tool to the business to improve efficiency as well as creating a standalone DCS intranet system tool. Following my time at Colt, I joined the JLL Data Centres team on a contract 6 month contract. After 2 years of contracting, I managed to secure a permanent position as the team evolved. Since then, I have been promoted to a senior analyst where I conduct data centre strategy for JLL's key clients and track the statistics for the key European data centre markets. Key achievements include: •;;;;; Securing a permanent position from being a contractor. •;;;;; Underpin majority of team transactions through data research and reporting. •;;;;; Help generate over £900,000 of revenue, within 2022, via data centre strategy. •;;;;; Revamped the database through a data audit to transition a non-revenue generating work stream to a recurring paid piece of work. •;;;;; Maintain new and existing relationships with industry experts to create potential business opportunities. Ways I support the sector: •;;;;; Attending industry events - bringing a young face to internal and external events/workshops •;;;;; Participating in a panel discussion at DCW to discuss 'barriers to entering the data centre industry and retaining talent'. •;;;;; Looking to raise the industry profile by speaking to school leavers about the sector •;;;;; Supporting graduates internally with getting into the data centre team inside JLL. •;;;;; Acting a buddy for current graduates in the JLL data centre team. Since joining the industry, I have had two core goals: 1. Be the 'Delivery Man' - I have always wanted to be known as the individual that provides insight to support decision making. Not only do I want to add value but I want to be dependable, so much so that once you have asked for support, you automatically know the task will be delivered to a high standard. 2. Inspire - Growing up in my area there aren't many understood career paths aside from footballer, rapper or trader. I want to show people that it is possible to be successful having a career job. I want to do this in two ways First being a successful role model to show that is possible. Second, working with the younger generation and sharing my experiences to let them know it is possible.



360 Video Gallery

Sponsors for www.storagecraft.com

name
name