2bm embraces technology innovations to improve patient outcomes

Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Luton ICT Shared Services

Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Luton ICT Shared Services (HBL ICT) currently provides a range of services, including ICT procurement, to a number of NHS organisations and their partners.

HBL ICT Shared Services’ aim was to become the IT provider of choice to their 6 partners, by delivering cost effective services which embrace the technology innovations from the industry to improve patient outcomes, in accordance to regulatory authorities.


Following circa 6 years of underinvestment, HBL ICT has been undergoing a major investment programme for its core infrastructure providing ICT services to 6 NHS organisations, including 9,500 service users. The primary objective was to design and build a highly resilient IL3 compliant on-prem data centre, with reliability, capacity and efficiency being critical deliverables for the data centre solution.

The new data centre is the foundation of HBL ICT service and therefore the look-and-feel of the final solution was of paramount importance, as this helps provide confidence to the NHS partner organisations of the service.

In addition to the need to replace the aging infrastructure, there was a need to build a new Data Centre.

Having a resilient hub for IT services is of paramount importance to the HBL ICT Partnership, therefore a total redesign is needed.

The ambition was to have an IL3 (Impact Level 3) Accredited Data Centre to provide the required capacity, security and governance standards for the total infrastructure service.


As HBL ICT provide IT services to clinical service providers, it was of vital importance to minimise any disruption during the design, build and mobilisation phases of the programme.

The Data Centre will be a highly resilient N+1 solution with contingency for loss of power to the building, loss of cooling and any power interruptions. Its secure location needed to be protected from fire, with further resilience in the form of a back- up generator, capable of taking the ‘full data centre’ load for 72 hours. Services within the Data Centre had to be replicated across the HBL ICT to the Secondary Data Centre, with a further 10GB point to point back-up network link, providing a high level of redundancy within and between Data Centres.


2bm’s proposal, based on providing a new highly resilient, IL3 compliant Primary Data Centre, included:

› Strip out of existing internal walls, floor and ceiling;

› New modular room to create a 1hr fire compartment, raised modular floor and suspended ceiling to provide supply and return air plenums;

› Installation of Data Centre electrical power infrastructure, from the existing supply within the external LV room to the new data centre LV distribution panel, for sub-power distribution to the IT services, general power, mechanical services and general lighting;

› N+1 UPS with 120kW/160k VA frames to support IT load at 60kW in an N+1 parallel configuration;

› Rack level proximity card locking, Data Centre main entrance and plant room door locking and access control system;

› Installation of new general low energy lighting and fully compliant emergency lighting;

› DX and Chilled Water Free Cooling Solution. The design incorporates high efficiency Stulz DX down flow units utilising the latest inverter compressor and EC fan technologies and Stulz CyberAir GES hybrid DX and chilled water down flow free cooling units;

› Double-knock fire detection and gas suppression system;

› An environmental monitoring system provides remote monitoring and alerts via SNMP, which includes temperature and humidity sensors within the room;

› Full IST testing, inspection, commissioning and demonstrations of the Data Centre and failure scenarios under fault conditions utilising a simulated in rack data centre load providing Level 4 & 5 integrated system testing;

› Sensorium DCiM Monitoring software connects all main plant items, providing detailed Data Centre infrastructure monitoring solution to communicate with all monitoring devices using SNMP over a dedicated dashboard.


“Throughout the data centre programme, 2bm project managed to a very high standard and were very flexible in their approach to working with us, keeping us informed throughout, and responding to inevitable and unavoidable requirement changes.

2bm transformed a defined ground floor area into the new data centre, which they achieved to time, budget and required specification. 2bm have been a an excellent 3rd party supplier partner.”

Phil Turnock, ICT Director

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