New data centre extends life of legacy applications

US Pharmaceutical Distributor

Our client, an US Pharmaceutical distributor, is recognised for its development and provision of the world’s largest integrated HR and Payroll system, the Electronic Staff Record (ESR). Paying a workforce of over 1.3 million NHS employees, 7% of the working population in England and Wales, they also provides workforce solutions, clinical and business intelligence, and tailored disaster recovery services to over 90% of NHS Trusts.

As part of a continued technology refresh program, this large US Pharmaceutical distributor required a legacy data centre facility to be upgraded.

 

Requirement

The requirement was to implement a high speed network infrastructure compatible with legacy applications, resulting in the most efficient data centre design possible utilising a mix of cabinets and connections. The solution involved one of the first installations of metric Raised Floor Enclosures within the UK.

Challenge

Given the nature of solutions and services they provide, the client has to meet strict service level targets and in turn they demand superior levels of performance from technology and communications systems to ensure the delivery of key services to over a million NHS employees in the UK.

A legacy data centre in need of updating gave our client an opportunity to consider the needs of their business in the future. Their new facility needed to support many different types of applications and services whilst also providing the highest levels of resilience, scalability, simplified management, security and environmental efficiencies.

Working within an occupied building and working around live systems was critical to the success of the overall solution.

At a technical level, a key consideration was how to deliver network connectivity to a variety of critical legacy services from the old data centre alongside the provision of new services. Varying factors such as available space, size and type of cabinets, connection type and number of presentations within the cabinet, meant that a flexible approach would be required.

Result

Multi-level plans showing cable routes and presentations, communications room layouts, cabinet designs and cable management systems were created.

Detailed health and safety and project plans documenting timescales, were provided. It was important to identify, evaluate and manage environmental and operational risks within the live workplace.

Before work could begin, an office was refurbished to accommodate the relocated employees making way for the new data centre. Legacy cabling was then removed or redeployed where appropriate. Existing cabinets were tidied and new cabling installed to complement the legacy cables.

Meeting the challenge of providing a flexible approach to cable presentation and network connectivity meant a number of potential options were considered including presentation from overhead positions from within cabinets and from within the raised floor.

Limiting aesthetic, logistical and environmental factors meant a unique raised floor cable presentation of the copper and fibre links represented the ideal way forward.

Limited under floor space was a constraint due to the larger Cat. 6a cabling, however this was overcome by designing an infrastructure capable of supporting the larger sized cables, providing scope for future expansion, without compromising airflow.

The complete installation included 17 x Chatsworth M Series Cabinets, 50 x Raised Floor Enclosures, 160 x 12way Copper Cat6A SYSTIMAX X10D Links and 100 x 12core Fibre SYSTIMAX LazrSPEED OM3 Links.

All copper and fibre cables were installed into ceiling basket tray routes.

The project was completed in advance of the planned completion date as well as within budget.

Testimonial

“The team were an essential and key component of the overall project to deliver our new data hall – their professionalism and attention to detail was second to none and I would not hesitate to recommend them to other clients.”

Facilities & Property Manager

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