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  • DataCentres Ireland is on 17-18 November, RDS, Dublin

Run of the mill or ‘architects of data centre change’

Let me start by saying when it comes to the services offered by the top companies in our industry, none of us has any USPs. And before the emails start hitting my inbox, let me explain what I mean.

Firstly, the top ten companies within the data centre design and build sector all promote similar services. Not always to the same ‘standard’, but most of us reference a familiar list of bullet-pointed deliverables within our respective marketing blurb.

Each company will talk about undertaking a design assessment of a proposed facility to ensure it will do what’s required. ‘Fit for purpose’ is a term often used at this stage in the process, with each company going on to explain how they will ensure a facility will be completed on time and to the ‘standard’ necessary. Most will promise to deliver a tried and tested design, construction and installation methodology – basically, they know what works, so they stick to it”.

Each company will also offer everything required to design, build and manage a state-of-the-art data centre and, potentially, include the installation of mechanical and electrical systems.

With such similarities, it’s little wonder on the face of it prospective clients cannot see the real value of one proposal against another. Except probably on cost.

That’s why it’s not what 2bm does, that’s our differentiator. It’s how we do it and who we do it for that counts.

A bold statement I know, but something that explains why 2bm has a growing reputation as the turn-to company for expertise, quality, innovation, care and value.

Our ethos is to always create the very best data centre solution for each and every client. Delivered by our highly skilled project management team – the department within the business which underpins the breadth of our expertise – and the people that enable us to correctly interpret our customer’s requirements, no matter how complex the issue.

A desire to challenge everyday thinking is what also makes 2bm different – hence our brand signature of ‘architects of data centre change’. This is particularly relevant when it comes to design and the on-going efficiency of data centres, where our overall passion for the industry breeds confidence in customers.

We do what we say we are going to do when we say it will be done by and we never leave a project until the client is 100% satisfied with the outcome – that’s more than a promise, it’s our company ethos.

We often turn down opportunities where we feel we cannot offer added value beyond an existing proposal that our clients may already possess. We also look to inspire a client to have a positive impact on their immediate and wider environment. So, this is another consideration when accepting commissions.

2bm’s stance on being vendor neutral combined with extensive expertise and experience has led us on a journey of constant discovery – which includes delivering projects around the world – and the reason why we believe that innovation isn’t a word used by many of our competitors.

One example, for which 2bm received industry-wide recognition in 2019, was for cooling innovation. Here a combination of industry education, intelligent specification and considered plant design delivered up to 85% reduction in cooling plant energy consumption with PUEs of 1.12 and below – even during the warmest months of last year.

However, the overarching challenge within the industry remains to find the most efficient ways to cool the heat generated through the excessive use of power. Perfectly illustrated by an HPC centre which commissioned 2bm recently to design a cooling solution in an environment where individual racks demand up to 40 kW of power.

With more data being created in the last two years than in the previous twenty, the volumes of network traffic have led to unprecedented levels of investment in next-generation data centre infrastructure.

Such transformation introduces the need for new hardware designs, which often deploy different types of optics and cabling systems. This presents a challenge for most companies, but here again, our team constantly provide innovative power and data cabling solutions.

Another challenge 2bm overcame recently was when we were working in one of only three high-security psychiatric hospitals in the country. This meant we not only had to be extra vigilant but had to manage the logistics and safety issues associated in providing staff, products and materials in and out of such a secure environment.

Today, there’s not really any job that doesn’t present a challenge. In a world where every business relies on quick access to data, the uptime of systems is critical. Therefore, more often than not, 2bm finds itself working within live environments.

Perfectly illustrated in a project for a large OEM car manufacturer. The brief required us to maintain power in order that full vehicle production could continue despite us upgrading and refurbishing the entire cooling system. Suffice to say, we succeeded.

We have just handed over a new HPC facility for a leading university running 420kW at a PUE of 1.035. With 14 cabinets in total, the facility was designed for 40kW with an average load of 30kW per cabinet. In monetary terms, this means the whole facility will cost the university just under £1000 per day to operate at full load.

2bm has a strong track record of working within the NHS too. This has been possible due to several key factors, including the leadership and agility of our project management team including working in a busy hospital environment which is critical to life.

And when it comes to making informed decisions, I believe in empowering all of our talented staff to challenge the status quo, both in terms of the technology used and the way in which it is applied within projects.

As 2bm looks to the future, we will continue to search out new opportunities that fit within our core business strategy: In this way, we can continue to add value and, in doing so, always be recognised as a very honourable and reputable business, not only work for but work with.

https://www.2bm.co.uk             Tel: 0115 925 6000

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