Founded in 1872, Aberystwyth University in Wales has won an enviable reputation for academic excellence and now features amongst the top 200 universities in the world for agriculture, English, geography and politics. Its state-of-the-art IT facilities allow it to offer students access to the internet in every residential room as well as providing Wi-Fi across all of its campuses.
In today's connected world, the health of its IT infrastructure is a crucial factor in maintaining this position. In particular, storing and managing the vast amounts of data generated every day plays an important part in this. To meet this challenge, the University relies on its Llandinam and Visualisation data centres located on its Penglais campus.
Continuity of power supply to these data centres is vital to make sure they continue to function throughout the year. This is achieved through the use of an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) system which provides an emergency back-up power source in the event of the mains supply either failing or dropping.
In early 2015, the University decided that the UPS systems it had been using for nearly 20 years were no longer fit for purpose. Roy Hill, the IT Technical Services Manager for Aberystwyth University explains:
"Our UPS systems had served us well but they had reached the end of their life and were becoming inefficient and expensive to run. The increasing price of replacement batteries and capacitors meant it would be more cost effective to replace the UPS systems."
Being comprised of seven separate in-cabinet units the existing UPS systems were also cumbersome to maintain. Replacing them would make power issues easier to manage, free up valuable space and allow the University to standardise on a single specification across both data centres.
Installing new UPS systems in each data centre presented its own challenges. Access to the Llandinam centre is difficult and can only be achieved via a flight of stairs and the Visualisation centre needed a total shutdown to complete the work. In addition, the work needed to be completed without any disruption to service and in a timeframe that would meet the University's financial budget.
It was against this background that Aberystwyth University went to open tender for replacement UPS systems. After reviewing all the responses, it selected the Huawei UPS 5000A provided by 5 star certified Huawei partner Thamesgate Group Limited. Roy Hill continues:
"The Huawei system really stood out in terms of price it was around 50% cheaper than its nearest competitor.”
The UPS5000-A is an online, double-conversion UPS featuring high reliability, high efficiency, and high power density. The all-digital control technology provides excellent output in harsh work environments, supplying uninterruptable power to large and medium-size data centres.
As part of the deal, the University has also taken a maintenance contract with Thamesgate which is supported by Huawei CoCare. Through this solution, Huawei provides warranty services and also responds to requests for remote troubleshooting and advance hardware replacement within short pre-defined timescales. This helps its service partners offer and maintain a more effective and responsive support service.
The new Huawei UPS systems were both successfully deployed within the time planned and to the University's budget. This included a phased commissioning process to tie in with data centre workloads and switchover windows.
Although early days, the University is pleased with the way the new systems are performing and is looking forward to benefiting from the high levels of stability and reliability they offer. The anticipated halving of its energy costs will contribute to its future financial health while the up to 95.7 per cent efficiency rating will help it meet its environmental targets.
Roy Hill concludes:
"With a tight budget to meet and a very difficult operational environment to work in, we wanted to find the most cost-effective and easy-to-manage system available. We believe the Huawei/Thamesgate solution has more than met these requirements."
Huawei UPS5000A 60kVA UPS System with a 30 minute runtime at 48kW complete with SNMP remote management interface
About Huawei Enterprise Business Group
"Huawei Enterprise Business Group (“Huawei Enterprise”) is one of the three business groups of Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider. Leveraging Huawei’s strong R&D capabilities and comprehensive technical expertise, Huawei Enterprise provides a wide range of highly efficient customer-centric ICT solutions and services to global vertical industry and enterprise customers across government and public sector, finance, transportation, electric power, energy, commercial businesses, and ISPs. Huawei Enterprise’s innovativenand leading solutions cover network infrastructure, unified communications and collaboration (UC&C), cloud computing and data centre, enterprise information security, and industry application solutions."
For more information, please visit: huawei.com
About Aberystwyth University
Aberystwyth University is a public research university located in Aberystwyth, Wales. It has over 7,500 students in the University's three main faculties of arts, social science and the sciences. It comprises 18 academic departments, grouped into six institutes and has an international reputation for the excellence of its teaching and research.
For more information, please visit: aber.ac.uk
Thamesgate was founded in 2003 by Nick Watkins as an electrical contracting company based in South East England. Over the past decade, Nick has become one of the leading experts in his field gaining prestigious certifications.
The company and its team of experts offer its clients numerous services including:
Thamesgate has developed a close relationship with Huawei over a number of years and is a highly acclaimed certified service partner for Huawei UPS.
Thamesgate are highly accredited with prestigious certifications which assures their clients that they are committed to delivering a consistently high level of service and that their procedures are robust and effective. These include: NICEIC, ISO14001, ISO9001, ISO 27001, OHAS18001, amongst others and are Uptime Institute Accredited Data Centre Tier Designers.