Large international bank achieves global standard with local remote site
Philip Young of The World Bank recently faced some IT infrastructure challenges that were impacting his ability to effectively manage one of his sites remotely. In his role as Information Officer, ITSNI – Network & Infrastructure Delivery Asia, Philip is responsible for overseeing a number of remote sites, including one here in Sydney.
The site is spread over three levels of a high-rise building in Sydney’s CBD and one server room supports all IT services for the site.
BDC Services was engaged to do a thorough review of the infrastructure set-up within the server room, to allow Philip to remotely monitor and control equipment, and to improve the efficiency and layout of the racks.
Ad hoc growth leads to infrastructure issues
The site had been established more than 20 years ago. The physical infrastructure supporting the equipment within the server room had been added to ‘as needed’ over time, and was no longer meeting the company’s global server room standards.
Three open frame cabinets housed the IT equipment, which lacked the security and protection required to meet the company’s global standard. Because of the tight space, the racks were also positioned in a way that was causing cooling efficiency issues.
Philip works with and relies on local IT admin staff to manage equipment within the server room. He was keen to mitigate the risk of injury to his staff or damage to equipment.
Because the infrastructure had grown organically over time, there was a mix of surge suppressors, UPSs and PDUs from different vendors, resulting in compatibility issues that made the equipment difficult to manage, especially remotely. There was no cable management, making network changes laborious.
BDC recommends new infrastructure equipment and re-cabling
After completing a site audit and working with the customer on the pros and cons of all possible options, BDC Services recommended a new infrastructure solution comprising:
- Networking suitable Netshelter 45U racks
- APC 3kVA Online Double Conversion Smart UPS
- Individually Switched and Metred PDUs with remote management
- Horizontal and Vertical Cable Management, user friendly and compatible with APC Netshelter racks
- Environmental sensors and remote monitoring
- PatchSee traceable Cat6 within the racks, which uses a fibre optic and LED pulse tool to assist users to identify patched cable
Challenging installation requires experienced project manager
The site installation for the project was complex and BDC Services offered their infrastructure project management expertise to ensure the best possible outcome for the client. This included co-ordination of stock arriving from multiple locations and pre-site staging and configuration at BDC Services’ warehouse.
A number of factors combined to present an unusually tricky brief:
- Parking time limits outside the building
- No loading dock access
- Restrictions on foyer use for large deliveries
- Small doorway and lift entrances
The small size of the server room and the wider width of the new racks also meant the racks had to be disassembled to get them into the room, presenting another complex challenge.
Thankfully, these factors were uncovered in BDC Services’ pre-site review and could be planned for, with the installation scheduled out of hours on a weekend.
With 100 staff relying on everything being tested and ready to go first thing Monday morning, there was no room for error in the project timeline. The BDC Services team rose to the challenge and it was business as usual come Monday morning, but with significantly improved infrastructure supporting the business.
Improved infrastructure will support the business well into the future
A critical part of the on-site work involved disconnection, tracing and labelling of all equipment and cabling prior to dismantling the racks. Then once the new racks were in place, correctly positioned, and all equipment correctly and safely installed, the BDC Services team undertook the complex job of re-wiring, re-connecting, labelling and documenting all equipment, wiring and cabling.
The new infrastructure set-up gives Philip the ability to effectively manage the site remotely. Environmental sensors and monitors give visibility to issues and the switched PDUs allow him to remotely power equipment on and off when needed.
Consolidation from three to two racks makes much better use of the space in the room. Securing the equipment in a cleaner easier to manage environment, with better directed airflow to the front of the cabinet, greatly increases cooling efficiency and prolongs equipment life.
Better visibility of infrastructure status and layout
The use of lighted fibre cabling, means that on-site staff can now easily trace connections to and from equipment and patch panels, making network changes safer and easier, especially now that they have a thoroughly documented wiring diagram for the site that can be used and maintained by IT Admin staff.
The techs improved the practical IT infrastructure layout for day-to-day operations and management. They replaced power cabling and re-balanced the IT loads across new Smart PDUs, ensuring the dual UPS and ATS (Automatic Transfer Switches) maximised the power redundancy within the critical environment. Using the Smart features of the UPS, ATS and PDUs, the client is now able to monitor and manage their Sydney IT Operations from their US Network Operations Centre.
Making day-to-day operations easier, more efficient and safer
Remote management of the infrastructure within this remote Sydney site is now so much easier for Philip and making changes and working within the room is safer, simpler and faster for the local IT admin staff.
To find out how BDC Services can help with your complex infrastructure call us on 1300 00 11 95 or email firstname.lastname@example.org