Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  21 Nov 2010

INFOTECH: Tullow Oil's New High Tech Facility


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TULLOW Oil, one of the largest independent oil and gas exploration and production companies in Europe and a dominant player in Africa, has successfully implemented a state-of-the-art data centre at its new premises in Cape Town, with the assistance of global leader in critical power and cooling services, APC by Schneider Electric and local gold partner, Dimension Data.

The moving of offices gave Tullow Oil the impetus to create a new data centre from scratch, addressing historical issues such as air conditioning restraints and a lack of scalability. “Our old data centre used split level air conditioning, which could not be proportionately expanded as our company grew,” explains Ansaar Isaacs, information systems manager at Tullow Oil. “Part of the reason for the office move was the substantial expansion Tullow Oil had seen over recent years and, with further growth predicted, we realised that a new approach was needed moving forward.”

The organisation took a scientific approach to the design of its new data centre, ensuring that all limitations were understood – from the amount of heat generated by equipment, the physical size of the room and the need for future growth. “Hardware has become more powerful and yet at the same time, smaller and more compact. This means that more servers can be packed into a data centre rack, but heat generation has also increased comparatively.

This, as well as future proofing and adaptability were all key considerations for Tullow Oil’s new data centre,” says Isaacs. “Our new premises are leased for five years, extendible by another five years, so Tullow Oil does not want to have to make changes to its data centre for the next eight years.”

Tullow Oil undertook extensive research when looking for a data centre partner and found that APC’s value added tools, like the Data Center Efficiency Calculator, were most valuable. Says Isaacs: “We had not used APC solutions in the past and when issues around air conditioning arose in the new data centre, APC’s InRow cooling solution was highly recommended by a visiting data centre designer from Germany.

APC’s offerings have also afforded us with our required scope to grow, improve stability and enhance availability during power outages. So far, the data centre has not been impacted by any power issues,” he adds.

According to Mark Jenniker, enterprise sales account manager at APC by Schneider Electric, Tullow Oil has rolled out a complete InfraStruXure solution, which includes InRow cooling units, NetShelter rack enclosures and in rack Power Distribution Units (PDUs) as well as NetBotz security and environmental monitoring appliances and uninterruptible power supplies (UPSes). “The company has also implemented the InfraStruXure Manager management platform, which increases the visibility of the data centre by outlining the health and status of all APC devices used by Tullow Oil.”

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