Security for a reputation spanning 500 years.
Edinburgh’s Royal College of Surgeons has been dedicated to the maintenance and promotion of the highest standards of surgical practice, through education, training, rigorous examination and liaison with external medical bodies since 1505.
While keenly aware of its antiquity, the College is a sophisticated modern organisation, working at the forefront of medicine with a powerful reputation for innovation and adaptability.
The College departments are spread over a number of buildings around Hill Square including The Playfair Building, designed by Scottish architect William Henry Playfair for the surgeons of the day and opened in 1832.
As with most contemporary organisations, the IT infrastructure is critical to the smooth running of the College, ensuring accessibility to information for its surgical community and allied professionals, as well as the community at large.
Keeping the data centre live, while working in a city centre Grade A listed building, with a switch over scheduled for the week between Christmas and New Year, created unique challenges for RMD’s team tasked with the design and installation of a new data centre.
Added to that, the power supply to the College was inadequate, with the existing system running at full capacity, urgently needing a level of resilience that would avoid a business critical incident that could damage the College’s reputation.
RMD UK Power and Cooling is an independent specialist in integrated power and cooling. From small server rooms to cutting edge data centres, RMD is one of the few UK companies that can design, supply, install and maintain power and cooling.
Having worked with the Royal College of Surgeons for two years, undertaking various small works, RMD knew that a robust data centre strategy was needed to safeguard the reputation of the College and ensure business continuity.
RMD’s first task was to run a 120m power feed through the Grade A listed building, home to the College’s priceless archive, to provide the data centre with a new power supply.
The data centre power and cooling experts then replaced the existing chilled air system and multiple small UPSs, replaced all the electrics and installed two UPS Riello 20 KVA, Daikin Cooling, APC racks, APC PDUs and APC Netbotz security.
RMD’s track record working with the Royal College of Surgeons London, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in Glasgow and the Royal College of Physicians Edinburgh stood it in good stead. It understood the unique needs of these organisations and the constraints of the historic buildings they occupy.
The College now has enough power to provide resilience and remove any restrictions on the load they can put into the server room. Dual redundancy and power distribution to the racks means it is now possible to manage the UPS and control the shutdown of servers in the event of power loss.
Full UPS bypass allows maintenance to be carried out and additional UPS or generators can be added in future, without having to go back to do more electrical work. Battery run time has been significantly improved from five minutes to two hours.
Any disruption to the service the College provides its members would have damaged the reputation of the organisation. A smooth switchover on 28 December by RMD ensured continuity of service and business as usual for the College and its members.
Jamie Parker comments: “Working with the guys on site was excellent, because they really knew what they were doing. They brought a wealth of knowledge and understanding about power and cooling and this was demonstrated when we reviewed our initial specification. RMD was able to advise us of a more appropriate UPS and cooling solution that would provide a better fit for our needs now and into the future”.