How CRIS re­vamped its data cen­ter power and cool­ing tech­nolo­gies

To meet the ever-in­creas­ing IT needs of In­dian Rail­ways, the Cen­ter for Rail­way In­for­ma­tion Sys­tems has re­vamped its data cen­ter and de­signed it on Tier III pa­ram­e­ters with 99.99 per­cent re­li­a­bil­ity

InformationWeek - - Contents - By Am­rita Prem­ra­jan Am­rita Prem­ra­jan am­rita.prem­ra­

To meet the ever-in­creas­ing IT needs of In­dian Rail­ways, the Cen­ter for Rail­way In­for­ma­tion Sys­tems has re­vamped its data cen­ter and de­signed it on Tier III pa­ram­e­ters with 99.99 per­cent re­li­a­bil­ity

C en­ter for Rail­way In­for­ma­tion Sys­tems (CRIS) was es­tab­lished in the year 1986 by the Min­istry of Rail­ways to pro­vide con­sult­ing & IT ser­vices to In­dian Rail­ways. With In­dian Rail­ways’ need for IT ser­vices grow­ing by leaps and bounds, CRIS was re­quired to scale up its ser­vices. The or­ga­ni­za­tion was re­quired to re­vamp its data cen­ter, which was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing an ex­po­nen­tial growth in power, cool­ing and space re­quire­ments.


At CRIS, ini­tially the load of data cen­ter and fa­cil­ity was served to­gether by sin­gle UPS, which was in­stalled in March 1989. In Fe­bru­ary 1995, an­other UPS was in­stalled. In this ar­range­ment, data cen­ter load was dis­turbed in case any mal­func­tion­ing de­vel­oped due to the fa­cil­ity load. In or­der to re­solve this is­sue, a ded­i­cated UPS was de­ployed for the data cen­ter and a sep­a­rate UPS was de­ployed for the fa­cil­ity.

With ever-in­creas­ing load, there was a need to closely look at the power dis­tri­bu­tion and man­age­ment tech­nolo­gies in the data cen­ter. There was a need to eval­u­ate the ef­fi­ciency of ex­ist­ing thryris­tor-based UPS, and ad­dress the is­sue of lack of sys­tem­atic ar­range­ment of server racks, which were cur­rently placed in a highly scat­tered man­ner.

In the year 2006, the process of re­vamp­ing the UPS ar­range­ment to stream­line the server racks was started, and by Septem­ber 2008 both th­ese is­sues were ad­dressed. Elab­o­rat­ing on the whole process, Ju­gal Kishore Dhu­lia, Deputy Man­ager - Elec­tri­cal, CRIS says, “To cater to the is­sue of elec­tri­cal load of data cen­ter, our pre­de­ces­sor, Surekha Sahu, Chief Man­ager, Elec­tri­cal, CRIS, planned the de­ploy­ment of 4x120 KVA UPS (with 100 per­cent re­dun­dancy and equipped with IGBT-based sys­tem), which is 98 per­cent ef­fi­cient com­pared to thyris­tor-based UPS. Th­ese UPSes were in­stalled in N+1 con­fig­u­ra­tion in two groups and UPS sup­ply was pro­vided through dual path — up to server rack level by the UPS feed­ers, sub-feed­ers and in­dus­trial socket. In this sce­nario, the re­dun­dancy is main­tained up to server rack level. The UPS were di­vided in two groups, and each group had two UPSes. We planned UPS feed­ers and sub-feed­ers in one unit with a sep­a­rate com­part­ment.”

Talk­ing about the over­haul of UPS ca­bling, he adds, “Pre­vi­ously, power con­nec­tions were made from inside the rack and the ca­bles were jum­bled, but now all net­work and power ca­bling lies on cable tray un­der the false floor.”


In or­der to im­prove cool­ing ef­fi­ciency, CRIS re­placed the tra­di­tional cen­tral­ized air con­di­tioner sys­tem in use with mi­cro­pro­ces­sor-based pre­ci­sion air con­di­tion­ing sys­tem and adopted the hot-aisle/cold-aisle con­tain­ment ar­range­ment. “Firstly, all the scat­tered server racks were stream­lined in such a way that racks got cool air from per­fo­rated grills pro­vided in front of racks to sep­a­rate hot-aisle and cold-aisle for­ma­tion. Also, the spa­ces in the racks, which were not used, were cov­ered with blank­ing pan­els to im­prove the cool­ing at the data cen­ter. Such re­struc­tur­ing in the cool­ing ar­range­ment en­abled CRIS to achieve 30 per­cent en­ergy sav­ing,”

in­forms Dhu­lia.


With new projects com­ing up, the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s data cen­ter re­quire­ments are only grow­ing. A sep­a­rate area in the data cen­ter is now be­ing prepared to ad­dress the fu­ture needs. Shar­ing in­sights on the fu­ture plans, Dhu­lia up­dates, “CRIS is plan­ning to opt for the lat­est power man­age­ment and cool­ing tech­nol­ogy for up­com­ing projects. In this con­text, mo­du­lar UPS and In-Row Pre­ci­sion unit ac­cord­ing to load and cool­ing re­quire­ments has been planned for the de­mand that is be­ing gen­er­ated cur­rently. We are also look­ing at de­ploy­ing tech­nolo­gies that would en­able rack-level mon­i­tor­ing of power and tem­per­a­ture. Our data cen­ter is cur­rently de­signed on Tier III data cen­ter pa­ram­e­ters with 99.99 per­cent re­li­a­bil­ity and we en­vi­sion op­ti­miz­ing the data cen­ter in line with Tier IV data cen­ter for the fu­ture IT growth of In­dian Rail­ways.”

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