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Part 1: Fidelity's Centercore Model Offers Data Centers Greater Design, Construction Flexibility
Part 2: Centercore Model Was Designed To Give Fidelity Options When It Comes To Meeting IT Needs
Part 3: Centercore Design Delivers Complete Data Center In Each Module
By John T. Moran
February 2014 -
Data Centers Article Use Policy
As the demand for IT applications grows exponentially, data center requirements are spiraling in both complexity and cost. As an international financial services company with several existing data centers, Fidelity recognized the challenge of forecasting future IT capacity needs, and found limitations with the traditional data center procurement model. The centercore model was designed to give Fidelity options when it comes to meeting IT needs.
Fidelity determined it had to develop a new paradigm to be able to respond to upcoming requirements in a sensible way. During an eight-month conceptual design process, a data center program was developed and refined. The resulting concept design demonstrated the benefits of a data center constructed entirely off-site. Fidelity agreed to develop the concept further into a full-scale prototype.
At the end of conceptual design, a firm was selected as the fabricator to produce a comprehensive set of production documents. The highly complex, precision technology requirements of this data center required close coordination between the engineer and the fabricator. Unlike stick-built construction, there was the added challenge to develop core units, already equipped with electrical and mechanical systems such as raised-floor and overhead cable trays, which could withstand the rigors of transport.
A critical component of the planning that informed Centercore was the premise that the data center can be built incrementally, and expanded in units that can vary in capacity, as the need arises. The 500-kW North Carolina proof of concept was fabricated in four months and erected in a week, providing Fidelity with needed IT capacity in a completely scalable design.
Capacity on demand, or load on demand, refers to the ability of Centercore's offsite fabricated data center solution to deliver additional customizable IT capacity as it is needed (within a significantly shorter delivery time than traditional construction methods) as opposed to building a facility to meet future anticipated need. Traditionally, data center managers must forecast their IT needs over a five- to 10-year period, which often results in the decision to over-build a large shell to accommodate demand. There is a significant capital cost associated with over-building that can result in space, power, or cooling becoming "stranded" — meaning that the capacity is unable to be used due to changed requirements and conditions. "Capacity on demand" or "load on demand" refers to the ability to build what is needed, when it is needed. Centercore is flexible in that at each deployment, the configuration can respond to the specific and immediate needs, with the flexibility to adapt to future requirements seamlessly.
As an adaptable data center solution, Centercore allows owners to define design requirements, place an order, and commission the facility within months instead of years. This is significantly less time than it would take to commission a ground up construction project. While other delivery models, such as co-location, satisfy the time-to-market concern, they do not provide owners with the same degree of design customization, or the ability to place a data center in their location of choice.
Along with being faster to market, Centercore uses many of the industry's proven technologies to optimize energy performance. Fidelity's decision to make Centercore vendor-agnostic for both the mechanical and electrical systems provided enough latitude to bring together some of the best solutions in the data center market into a flexible and scalable unit.