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IBM and Tulip Telecom Build Massive, Sustainable Data Centre In India

IBM Tulip Data Centre featured
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IBM has helped to create the largest and greenest data centre in India as a modular, stacked design for Tulip Telecom

IBM has announced that it has worked with Tulip Telecom to design and help build the largest data centre facility in India to deliver new cloud and networking services.

Tulip Telecom is a leading telecommunications network and data service provider in India. Its services reach more than 2,000 cities and towns throughout India.

Demand blossoming

IBM’s data centre and SmartCloud infrastructure services will support Tulip in extending its existing offerings to meet customer demand quickly. With the number of people using mobile devices to access the Internet increasing dramatically, IDC estimates that the amount of information managed by enterprises will grow 50 times over the next decade, and in the next two years alone the number of servers installed will increase by 49 percent over those installed today.

Covering more than 900,000 square feet, with 20 Enterprise Modular DataCenters in a four-tower building, the facility is engineered to support up to 100 megawatts of power, making it the third-largest data centre in the world, IBM said.

In an interview with eWEEK, Steven Sams, vice president of global site and facilities services at IBM, said Tulip Telecom teamed with IBM to design a  product that could easily scale to its customers’ infrastructure needs quickly and efficiently. IBM brings deep expertise in building modular data centres worldwide, and its enterprise-focused, secure SmartCloud services.

“Our goal is to be the largest data connectivity and managed services provider, and to succeed, we needed a modernised data centre that could support both business and operational requirements,” said Lieutenant Colonel HS Bedi, chairman and managing director of Tulip Telecom, in a statement. “With a project of such magnitude at hand, we chose to partner with IBM because the company has global expertise in designing and building innovative, energy-efficient cloud data centres that should support our needs now and in the future.”

The new highly efficient data centre is designed to international green building standards and engineered with power, chillers, cooling, rack layout and uninterrupted power supply systems. Sams said Tulip is aiming to have the facility being gold certified according to the US Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system.

“A typical data centre has a PUE [Power Usage Effectiveness measure] of 2.5,” Sams said. “The PUE for Tulip’s data centre is targeted to be 1.5.”

Green credentials

Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) is a measure of how efficiently a computer data centre uses its power; specifically, how much of the power is actually used by the computing equipment – in contrast to cooling and other overhead. PUE is the ratio of the total amount of power used by a computer data centre facility to the power delivered to computing equipment.

PUE was developed by a consortium called The Green Grid. And it is the inverse of data centre infrastructure efficiency (DCiE). An ideal PUE is 1.0. Anything that isn’t considered a computing device in a data centre – such as lighting and cooling – falls into the category of facility power usage.

“A data centre that can last decades when information technology is changing every two to three years is critical for Tulip to support its growing business,” Sams said in a statement. “IBM’s data centre and SmartCloud services will allow Tulip to take the next step in meeting the fluctuating demands of its customers, as well as meet India’s environmental efficiency regulations.”

IBM has designed and delivered more than 1,000 modular data centres for customers around the globe, helping customers save up to 30 percent in energy costs per year, compared with traditional data centres. Around 40 percent of these are in growth market countries – including a large number in India, Sams said. IBM also has eight data centres in India supporting its own IT needs in the country, he said.

“What we’re seeing in India with Tulip is what we’re seeing across all the growth markets,” Sams told eWEEK. “There is exploding demand as they build out their information systems platforms. We’ve seen $11 billion spent on data centre infrastructure across the growth markets. That’s up 28 percent overall in the growth markets and 36 percent in India. There is a massive build-up to support IT in India, China, Russia and Brazil.”

Sams said the plans for the Tulip data centre came together “amazingly fast”, in that IBM began working with Tulip in early 2011. IBM is the master planner of the complex, and Big Blue designed and built the first IT modules. In addition, now IBM is training Tulip on how to offer cloud services to its customers, he said.

“We have around 70,000 to 80,000 employees in India, and we’re the largest systems integrator supporting Indian companies,” Sams said.