NAB outs Melbourne data centre plans

 

To consolidate up to 30 computer rooms into new facility.

National Australia Bank will replace an ageing data centre and up to 30 smaller computer rooms with its upcoming, 'green' data centre on Melbourne's outskirts within the next two years.

The bank last year agreed to be the anchor tenant of a 5000-square-metre Digital Realty facility in Melbourne, taking up one of two buildings to be built by early 2013.

It revealed this week that its data centre would be designed in collaboration with IBM, which was also responsible for hardware in NAB existing data centre facilities.

A NAB spokesperson told iTnews that structural works on the building had been completed and that installation of mechanical and electrical base infrastructure was underway.

Up to 30 other smaller computer rooms were to be retired or consolidated into the new data centre, according to a white paper by the Open Data Centre Alliance (pdf).

The new data centre was expected to host an infrastructure on-demand private cloud platform, with a pilot of the private cloud platform scheduled to run by July 2013.

NAB expected to complete full migration of systems from the old data centre and computer rooms by September 2014.

Solution architecture and detailed design, including relocation planning of existing services, was underway, the spokesperson said.

The new centre was expected to operate in an active-active configuration with NAB's other main data centre facility, which would stay online for at least another 20 years.

NAB's spokesperson said the new facility would operate in a "primary all" model with the existing data centre.

"It will position us well to continue to support the bank's technology infrastructure demand,' the spokesperson said.

Green credentials

The new facility was designed to feature a free cooling system and have a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of 1.35, down from the 2.1 of its predecessor.

PUE is a measure of data centre power usage efficiency, and is the ratio of the total facility power divided by the IT equipment power. A lower ratio indicates higher efficiency thanks to less power being used to cool the IT equipment.

A recent survey (pdf) by Digital Realty found the average reported PUE in Australia was 2.41.

The new NAB data centre was expected to be fed with 2.8MW via dual redundant power lines from the national grid.

To date, the bank's other facility has generated 60 percent of its total energy requirements with a tri-generation system, which also boosts NAB's green IT credentials.

The improved efficiency and PUE of the forthcoming facility was expected to further support NAB's ongoing environmental sustainability agenda by contributing to reduced CO2 emissions and water usage targets.

NAB announced in 2008 that it would become carbon-neutral and in 2010, the bank said it had reached its target.

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