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IT Service Provider Client Case

How to co-locate data rooms at same data center

An IT service provider (the client) has been using Green Mountain’s colocation services since 2014. Recently they wanted to move an additional data room with customer data from a data center where responsibilities also included datacenter operations to Green Mountain’s SVG-Rennesøy. Their customers have strict requirements regarding location and constant access to data and services through High Availability solutions. Green Mountain delivered an additional but completely separated data room to meet these requirements. The client can now offer their customers even higher quality and security and maintain their ISO-27001 certification.  By outsourcing the data center operations, the client can focus on their core services and at the same time reap the benefits of lower power cost and professional services.

The challenge

The client has several data center locations in Norway. Some are facilities that they operate themselves while others are managed by colocation providers.

For some of their operations and customers, they have used Green Mountain’s SVG-Rennesøy as their main data center since 2014. In addition, they have also operated their own data center locally. This is because several customers have specific requirements regarding geographic location, back-up, redundancy etc.  Many of these customers have important “High Availability” applications that they are dependent on.

Nevertheless, the client saw that the best solution was to scale down their own data center and outsource the DC operations. “An important element in this decision was to maintain the ISO27001 certification. And also to relieve the organization of data center operations and focus on core capabilities.”, the client’s DC Operations Manager explains.  “We wanted to solve the challenge of moving our remaining customers to new DC facilities and still fulfill our contractual obligations.”

These requirements included:

  • Data and applications had to be stored locally.
  • High Availability solution to be stored in separate data center with physical separation, power and connectivity.
  • ISO271001 certification.

The solution

Runar Espeland, Service Manager in Green Mountain, worked with the client to find a solution; “The first item on the list of requirements, geographic location, was easy to fulfill. The DC1-Stavanger was in the same municipality as their own data center.”  To meet the second requirement of separate data centers, Green Mountain offered the following:

  • A separate data room in another mountain hall at the facility.
  • An independent infrastructure from their existing data room. This means separate high voltage transformers, UPS, and other critical infrastructure.

In practical terms, they could now have two separate data centers at the same site. “Although not geographically separated, the data rooms are physically separated by 70m of mountain rock. Two totally independent infrastructures ensure that an incident will not affect both their data rooms simultaneously.” Espeland explains.

In addition to these specific customer requirements it was also important for the client to have a flexible and scalable solution. They are expecting growth but would like to minimize costs and instead scale-up gradually.

The client’s Project Manager was involved in the process of moving the data center: “I am very pleased with Green Mountain’s assistance in the process. We ensured all our customers that this move would not affect them negatively. Instead it would actually improve the service. Some of them had a lot of questions but we always received quick answers from Green Mountain.”

During the process Green Mountain also assisted on the more practical side.  “Green Mountain helped us remember all the little important details. With their extensive experience they were a partner we could count on.” the project manager adds.

Progress / Results

The benefits of moving to Green Mountain were numerous. “We now have a Tier III certified data center, which our customers appreciate. The high quality at Green Mountain also means we can maintain the ISO27001 certification.” the project manager says. During a recent audit, the auditor was very impressed with the Green Mountain facilities and services.

The client’s DC Operations Manager is also satisfied that they no longer have the responsibility of operating the DC facility and can instead focus on the IT delivery. “As a bonus the electricity bills and fees are reduced compared to our old data center.”

We have a long track-record with Green Mountain. No matter what type of question or request, they always show a positive attitude and a willingness to cater for our needs. There is little bureaucracy but rather a “yes we can do it”-mentality.

Project Manager, IT Service Provider