'Pandemic-busting' containerised data centre - the perfect medicine

Unique design and build process during the Covid-19 pandemic meant the ModCel containers were only viewed in-person on installation and all site visits were virtual.

Secure I.T. Environments Ltd, one of the UK’s leading design and build companies for modular, containerised and micro data centres, has announced the handover of its latest ModCel Containerised data centre project to Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (NNUH), which has 1,200 beds and carries out one million outpatient appointments, day case procedures and inpatient admissions annually.

This unique project undertaken during the Covid-19 pandemic meant that the project team needed to take special precautions to ensure the safety of staff and patients, whilst ensuring the mission critical project went ahead. Based on Secure I.T. Environments’ bespoke ModCel energy efficient containerised data centre solution, it was constructed and fitted out off-site. All design and update meetings were conducted virtually, with no site visits conducted in-person by Secure I.T. Environments before installation. The project was completed in its 90-day planned schedule and to budget, with Secure I.T. Environments also awarded a five year maintenance contract for the data centre.

The new ModCel containerised data centre comprised of two units each measuring 10m x 3.1m, supporting a total of 14 server cabinets on delivery, with additional capacity available for future needs. The design principles of the ModCel architecture allows for expansion to the existing structure, thus futureproofing the data centre.

The ModCel container included all the critical mechanical and electrical systems needed in any data centre, including downflow precision air conditioning in 2N redundancy configuration, modular UPS and electrical infrastructure in 2N configuration, NOVEC 1230 fire detection and gas extraction systems. In addition, the ModCel was fitted out with 19” server / communications cabinets, raised access floor, intelligent PDUs, CCTV, access control and incorporated a structural 4 hour fire rating throughout, including fire doors.

Working closely with the team at NNUH ground works and supplies provision were completed ahead of the delivery of the ModCel containerised data centre, which could then be craned into its final position, the units joined together, and tests conducted to ensure its overall structural integrity. The switch over of services was closely managed to ensure the minimum level of downtime as the data centre supported critical services for patients and staff.

Chris Wellfair, projects director at Secure I.T. Environments, added “This project really demonstrates all the strengths of our project teams and the ModCel containerised technology. We were able to design and build this data centre with no visits prior to installation. But you can only do that with a strong and close client relationship, our partnership with NNUH was critical to making this project a success, especially given the restrictions in place during that point in the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The ModCel Containerised Data Centres are available with complete flexibility of power, UPS systems and energy efficient cooling design, quick deployment and scalable capacity – they can be deployed anywhere in the world. Containerised modular data centre solutions can form small data centres where they help resolve space, deployment time, build complexity and cost challenges. The flexibility of the internal configuration means that ModCel data centres can also perform very well in edge high density applications and be stacked up to 9m high.

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