The power of ingenuity turns an old warehouse into a world-class data center.
The Joint Research Center (JRC) is the European Commission’s in-house science service located in Ispra, Italy. The JRC was expanding and asked Daniel Robbins, GIGA’s head of Program Development, to build a data center that was on the cutting edge in terms of performance and efficiency. The challenge was figuring out a way to put it in an ancient concrete warehouse. Thanks to our modular technology and creative team of experts, there’s now a data center at the foot of the Alps that is the envy of a whole continent.
- The generations-old, concrete-walled warehouse greatly limited our modification options. Constraints included lack of space and lack of power.
- Due to the lack of available power at the building, additional power had to be brought through distribution to the site.
- Extremely high efficiency goals were set – a targeted PUE of 1.25, meaning the power to support the data center infrastructure would need to be just 25% of the total power that the IT equipment consumed. Usually this is one for one, or a PUE of 2.0.
- Location was near the Swiss border at the foothills of the Italian Alps.
- Situated nearby Lake Maggoire, Italy.
- Our second-generation modular enclosure design allowed the data center to be built right on the concrete floor.
- Utilizing modular skid-mounted electrical and mechanical infrastructure, we overcame the power limitations and eliminated centralized power rooms.
- We took advantage of the times when cooler outside air temperatures allowed using outside air to provide free cooling.
- When temperatures rose, we took advantage of the plentiful water supply from Lake Maggiore for inlet server supply. In hotter periods, our adiabatic cooling units were used.
- The facility beat the ambitious efficiency goals, delivering a PUE of 1.15.
- The enclosure’s modular design has the flexibility to accommodate any of the JRC’s future growth in rack capacity needs.