Basefarm, a leading, global IT hosting and colocation services provider, securely hosts more than 35,000 services and reaches over 40 million endusers worldwide in industries ranging from finance and government, to media and travel. Headquartered in Oslo, Norway, Basefarm offers its customers advanced technology solutions, high-end cloud services, application management, and colocation from its six data centers located throughout Europe.

In response to growing demand for its colocation services, Basefarm set out to design and build a green, state-of-the-art data center–Basefarm Oslo 5.

Planning for an Energy-Efficient Data Center

“The brief for the new site was to create the most energy-efficient data center in Oslo,” said Ketil Hjort Elgethun, senior system consultant, Basefarm. “Cooling was a key factor in the design, so we set out to find an airflow containment and cabinet package that could maximize the return on our cooling equipment, and provide a thermal solution for all the racks and cabinets within, whilst being flexible and easy to use.”

What Basefarm sought was a customized cabinet and containment solution, one that would allow it to rapidly respond to the future deployment of integrated cabinets, as well as accommodate a variety of cabinet sizes. With Chatsworth Products’ (CPI) Build To Spec (BTS) Kit Hot Aisle Containment (HAC) Solution and GF-Series GlobalFrame® Gen 2 Cabinet Systems, Basefarm found the optimal solution.

 “The cabinet platform on which your enterprise is built is just as critical as the equipment it stores. Using a properly configured cabinet that is designed to fit your equipment and work with your data center’s cooling system is crucial,” commented Magnus Lundberg, regional sales manager, CPI.

Cooling through Hot Aisle Containment

Integral to the design of Basefarm Oslo 5 was a state-of-the-art, ‘air- to-air’ cooling system, designed to deliver high levels of cooling with exceptionally low power consumption.

This innovative cooling technology demanded a containment strategy that could effectively manage the separation of hot and cold airflow. The solution needed to be of the highest quality, easy to work with, and flexible enough to accommodate a mix of cabinets and equipment from multiple suppliers.

HAC solutions isolate hot exhaust air from IT equipment, and direct back to the CRAC/CRAH through a vertical exhaust duct, which guides the hot exhaust air away from the cabinet to support a closed return application, resulting in more efficient cooling units. This ability to isolate, redirect, and recycle hot exhaust air was exactly what Basefarm was looking for in its new super-efficient data center design.

Basefarm worked closely with CPI engineers to create a layout that included the BTS Kit, allowing the flexibility to field-fabricate ducts over the contained aisle. This was key to the ongoing needs of Basefarm Oslo 5 because the BTS Kit can be used over a mix of cabinets of different heights, widths and depths in the same row and can be ceiling- or cabinet-supported. BTS Kit also features an elevated, single-piece duct, allowing cabinets to be removed, omitted, or replaced as required. With a high-quality Glacier White finish that reflects more light, a durable construction and a maintenance-free design, the BTS Kit has given Basefarm the security of enduring performance in building its new mission critical data center.

Along with the BTS Kit, CPI supplied Basefarm with a range of GF-Series GlobalFrame Cabinets with Finger Cable Managers installed. The GF-Series GlobalFrame Cabinet System is an industry-standard server and network equipment storage solution that provides smarter airflow management.

Also in a Glacier White finish, GlobalFrame Cabinets feature perforated areas on the doors that are 78% open to maximize airflow.

“During the design phase, we considered many different options for cabinet and containment solutions. CPI’s GlobalFrame Cabinets and the BTS Kit stood out as the best-in-class to meet our needs in building a super-efficient data center,” added Elgethun.

With CPI’s cabinets and aisle containment, Basefarm had deployed a solution that allowed them to eliminate hot spots; support 4x higher heat and power densities (6 kW to 30+ kW); utilize 100% of supplied air and reduce chilled air waste; improve CRAC unit efficiency because of the higher supply-to-return temperature differences (Delta Ts); allow increased room temperature and higher setpoints on cooling equipment for more free cooling hours using low-cost economizers; and provide flexibility for supply air delivery through the ceiling, wall, or floor.

The Result: A Reliable and Sustainable Data Center

The dream of building Oslo’s most reliable and sustainable data center became a reality, just one year after the design process began, when phase 1 of Basefarm Oslo 5 was completed. In Spring 2016, the new data center went live, offering Basefarm customers access to more than 10 megawatts of critical capacity and up to 6000 square meters of white space. Located only five kilometers away from Basefarm’s existing data center, Basefarm Oslo 5 will be used as part of a dual site solution for customers requiring high levels of redundancy.

Finding an innovative and low-cost cooling solution was a top-level priority for the Basefarm design team from the start. In a facility designed to grow over the next five years, beyond meeting the desired power usage effectiveness (PUE) goal of 1.1, this was a chance to break new ground and become a model for other green data centers to follow.

With the flexibility CPI’s BTS Kit and GlobalFrame Cabinet Systems provided, Basefarm can now quickly scale the new data center to accommodate its clients’ future colocation needs.

“The combination of the quality and design of CPI’s products and their responsiveness during deployment, meant it was a win-win situation for Basefarm. The cost of improving our PUE numbers by 10% is a small cost compared to being able to use the space 80% more effectively. And it looks great!” Elgethun stated.

Taking a team approach was the key to building the trust needed for Basefarm and CPI to work together to successfully design and build Oslo’s biggest and greenest data center yet–Basefarm Oslo 5.