Orion's mobile datacentre

Canterbury power firm chooses Rittal prefab model

Christchurch’s electricity provider, Orion, has taken delivery of a transportable datacentre container to house its data centre technology.

It is the first containerised datacentre delivered to New Zealand by German manufacturer Rittal, which was commissioned by Orion to provide the pre-fabricated plug and play concept. Only data and power cables were required to power up the datacentre.

Orion’s computer facilities building was damaged in the Christchurch earthquakes though the equipment was still functioning. Rittal account manager for datacentres Richard Sullivan says that despite the computer room sinking partially on February 22 the facility has been maintained with Rittal racks and cooling, all of which survived with no damage or interruption to the service.

Orion chose to move away from chilled water for cooling in favour of Rittal ambient air direct free cooling. Sullivan says Rittal used custom-built 3-metre-wide containers to meet user requirements.

The datacentre container comes with 40kW of direct free cooling, fully redundant UPS with two hours battery backup, remote IP-based management, and the Novec 1230 gas extinguishing system with integrated early active smoke detection. All data and power cables are managed in a 300mm-high raised floor with heavy duty rating.

The 15-tonne portable facility is the only one of its kind in Australasia. It was custom-built in Germany.