by Rebecca Merrett

Brisbane Airport slashes capital costs by outsourcing data centre

Jul 01, 20143 mins
Data Center

Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) has saved millions of dollars in upfront capital costs by outsourcing its data centre to iseek.

Brisbane Airport needed to expand its data centre to handle growing volumes of flight and operations data. More than 207,000 flights arrived and departed the airport in FY14.

BAC considered building its own secondary data centre, as its primary data centre had reached capacity. After doing a financial analysis, this proved to be too costly.

BAC discovered it would be more cost-effective to take up iseek’s co-location services after speaking to one of the data centre’s tenants. The Eagle Farm data centre was up and running within three months.

“We can continue to expand without incurring huge cost of expanding the building because that scalability can be easily achieved as business requirements grow; you just buy the extra capacity as you grow,” said BAC’s general manager of assets, Krishan Tangri.

“Whereas if you are building your own, you would have to build for future needs upfront and you pay for that upfront and will not use it for a long time.”

Tangri said he is satisfied with the level of redundancy in the outsourced data centre. “We need N+1 redundancy, which is the power supplied by two separate cables. We also have emergency power and a backup fuel tank.

“To build all of that redundancy on our own would have incurred a huge extra cost,” he added.

Tangri said he has full visibility over all of Brisbane Airport’s data. “We [also] have CCTV cameras and things like that where we can see the infrastructure itself at all times as well. These cameras are securely networked and provide us with real-time video of individual racks and equipment via a Web-based interface.”

Energy efficiency was a main factor when deciding to go with iseek’s colocation services, Tangri said.

In addition to cool aisle containment, the data centre uses hot/cold aisle configuration. This is where the N+1 configuration air handling units supply cold air into the cold aisles via perforated grilles in the floor and extract the hot air through heat extraction grilles in the ceiling in the hot air aisles.

The data centre also uses fresh air cooling. The building management system (BMS) monitors internal and external temperatures to control the inflow of filtered air from outside to cool recycled warm air from inside.

Read more: How to green your data centres and save money

“The other thing for us is if a building is energy efficient that means less cost to the service provider, which effectively means less cost to us as those cost savings will ultimately flow onto us,” said Tangri.

“The iSeek data centre was classified as one of the best in this league in terms of energy efficiency.”