Bluebird was looking to grow and attract new customers to its existing 80,000-sq-ft underground data center and enlisted Schneider Electric’s specialized knowledge to deal with the many challenges of expanding 16,000 sq ft within an underground limestone mine. Schneider Electric’s Data Center Service Provider (DCSP) team developed a three-phased approach for expanding Bluebird’s underground data center to implement tailored solutions throughout the data center lifecycle, including Building Management System (BMS) integration services, Uniflair cooling solutions, Remote Power Panels (RPPs) and more, without interrupting ongoing operations.
“The acquisition and expansion of the underground data center are key accomplishments for the Bluebird leadership team, resulting in major opportunities to grow the Bluebird business and bring economic growth to the local community in southwest Missouri,” said Jeff Holland, director, design services, Schneider Electric. “Our team of data center experts understand the unique considerations of implementing an underground data center compared to traditional above ground facilities. We took an innovative and holistic approach to ensure everything from the outlet customers plug equipment in to, to the 2MW back-up generators, are operating efficiently and reliably.”
“Our support and services are mission critical for many of our customers, and we needed a partner that could help us maintain connectivity for our day-to-day operations during the data center expansion,” said Michael Morey, president and CEO of Bluebird Network and Bluebird Underground. “With Schneider Electric as a partner, the completion of this initial stage of our expansion enables us to focus on future updates in order to meet the increasing demands of our data center customers, while also providing ongoing support through our carrier-class Internet and transport services.”
Bluebird selected Schneider Electric to support the company’s philosophy of “Below Ground. Above Standards,” because of its breadth of knowledge, broad product line and ability to develop a long-term, step-by-step strategy. Key capabilities include:
- Design guidance through three-phased approach: To allow Bluebird operations to continue without interruption, Schneider Electric implemented a three-phased approach, beginning with an existing infrastructure assessment through potential design options for the expansion. This approach offered the ability to scale and grow in three phases, initially preserving capital expense and laying out a plan to add capacity in the following phases as required by future demands.
- Support of 100% uptime assurance: The Schneider Electric Building Management System (BMS) integration services empowered Bluebird to provide customers with 100 percent uptime assurance by ensuring the newly developed space is integrated into their existing BMS, allowing visibility into overall building and IT operations. Through this interoperability, Bluebird is able to gain greater control, improved performance, enhanced reliability and more real-time operation visibility to immediately react to issues. Additionally, Remote Power Panels (RPPs) enable agile, safe and efficient power distribution to the IT racks.
- Complete control over environment: The Schneider Electric leading edge precision Uniflair cooling solution supports temperature and humidity maintenance within the Bluebird data center. These intelligent units monitor the status of components and environmental parameter to ensure correct and efficient functionality during all modes of operation. The underground environment, coupled with Schneider Electric solutions, gives Bluebird complete control over the data center temperature for a more sustainable IT environment.