Case Study: Skanska, TELUS & the Next Gen Data Center
Building The Next Generation Cloud-Enabled Data Center
Working with Skanska’s Mission Critical Center of Excellence, Canadian telecom giant TELUS is implementing a data center solution that provides a whole new level of flexibility and efficiency for managing the cloud computing environment.
The appeal of cloud computing from the customer standpoint is clear: it provides a seemingly limitless, on-demand way to deploy needed computing power and data storage with minimal investment in systems, personnel, and infrastructure. But for the service providers behind the scenes, it is not quite so simple: the process of deploying cloud platforms to meet growing demand is hardly effortless.
To keep up with customer expectations and market growth, data centers have to build and maintain new capacity, sometimes at a rapid pace. They must guarantee availability and performance even during times of peak load, and every public outage or security breach further emphasizes the need to design for end-to-end reliability and security.
Large investments in facilities and infrastructure are the norm as providers attempt to stay ahead of capacity demands, but this approach ties up capital and results in large inefficiencies. To adapt to the dynamic nature of cloud computing, a new approach to modular data center deployment is needed.
Case Study: “Just-In-Time” Infrastructure
TELUS is one of Canada’s leading telecommunications providers with more than 12.7 million wireless and wireline customer connections for the consumer, large enterprise, and small-to-medium business segments. It also provides transaction support for many of the country’s largest healthcare organizations. Facing explosive growth in usage, TELUS realized that legacy infrastructure expansion models were inadequate for the data center industry’s new economic realities, especially with increasing demand for cloud services. It wanted a more flexible solution that would align infrastructure and IT investment with business goals and keep pace with the dynamic marketplace, while ensuring high security and reliability for all services.
TELUS turned to Skanska’s Mission Critical Center of Excellence team to help devise a multi-year framework agreement for a Super Internet Data Center (SIDC), making use of Skanska’s innovative modular data center solutions, and taking a holistic view of IT infrastructure incorporating all elements of design, build, and operations. The first phase has been constructed at a new prototype TELUS facility in Rimouski, Quebec.
Together, Skanska and TELUS developed a detailed capital and cash flow analysis for the life of the Rimouski project and a phased build-out plan designed to provide maximum flexibility to respond to the inevitable changes in TELUS’ multi- year load growth profile. A key goal was optimizing capital deployment while minimizing Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). The final solution delivered a $60 million savings on day one compared to traditional design approaches.
A Truly Modular Solution
In a traditional data center facility, up-front capital investments in infrastructure and mechanical systems are required, e.g., for large-scale centralized chiller and air handling units. Yet much of the capacity of this infrastructure goes underutilized until the IT systems (racks, servers, etc.) are built out over time. By contrast, the TELUS facility infrastructure – both IT and mechanical – is completely modular, enabling rapid deployment of new capacity in increments as small as 300kW.