Serverius, a Dutch data center operator of colocation data centers in the cities of Zwolle and Dronten, the Netherlands, has completed its new SDC1 data center in Dronten. Netherlands-based fire suppression system specialist ANSUL Solutions as well as global technology leader ABB acted as strategic partners for the renovation and expansion of the company’s existing data centers and new facility.

Serverius is a provider of colocation, connectivity, cybersecurity and compute infrastructure services, often delivered as an integrated total solution. With its own IP network and a growing global customer base, Serverius currently operates two data centers located on the data highway between Amsterdam, the Netherlands and Frankfurt, Germany. Following rapid growth in recent years, Serverius selected a range of solutions and services from ABB – a company operating in more than 100 countries, counting about 147,000 employees – to modernize its data centers in Meppel and Dronten.

Gijs van Gemert
“With colocation customers whose expectations are constantly increasing, we want to continue to meet this demand, now and in the future. By partnering with ABB, we are assured that we will continue to succeed,” said Gijs van Gemert, Managing Director of Serverius.

Serverius was also given the opportunity last year to purchase the building next to their Dronten data center. When the property next to SDC1 became vacant, the acquisition was quickly taken, even though the property was not set up as a data center. It means that the company doubles the colocation space at the location where the company once started.

“While we started in a barn in 2009, we have now grown into a major data center player with international visibility and reputation,” said Gijs van Gemert, Managing Director of Serverius. “With colocation customers whose expectations are constantly increasing, we want to continue to meet this demand, now and in the future. By partnering with ABB, we are assured that we will continue to succeed.”

Combine 2 Buildings Into 1 DC

Serverius faced two main challenges. To expand their capacity with a limited amount of space and keep the power running for their existing data center load. The six-month project saw ABB supply a range of electrification solutions and data center installation capabilities. The modular design of the ABB system meant that Serverius did not need to shut down any server racks while it was able to maintain service delivery during upgrade works.

“Extending an existing data center by adding the building next to it is not that simple,” said Alfred van den Berg, Head of Technical Infrastructure at Serverius. “You can’t just tear down a connecting wall and combine the two buildings into one data center.”

Van den Berg explained that both buildings had to be totally stripped and then rebuilt as one building. In addition, everything had to be in conformity with the requirements that apply to Serverius’ other data center locations.

“The power supply had to be upgraded to 2N, the cooling and other equipment to be modified in line. It was also critical for us to invest in a complete electrification solution, which would help us build quickly and guarantee high uptime during the build phase,” said Alfred van den Berg, Head of Technical Infrastructure at Serverius. “We utilized ABB’s international know-how for the execution of the entire project right from project management to final delivery.”

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Serverius DC

PDUs, Busbar System

Central to the new power infrastructure is ABB’s distribution system, a “proven solution that would combine high levels of reliability and quality with safety.” The central switchgear contains ABB solutions all the way down to the Emax breakers giving Serverius additional visibility into the health of the system.

ABB was able to install Power Distribution Units (PDUs) under the raised floor to deliver additional server power without taking-up valuable space in the server room and therefore delivering greater capacity within a confined area and an ability to keep data loads running.

ABB’s SMISSLINE TP system, a touch-safe busbar system, allowed for load-free modules and components to be removed and made live without the need for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to protect against electrical hazards. The plug-in modules would save installation time while providing a clean and sleek cabinet design.

The distribution system is combined with a number of redundant DPA 500 UPS systems, thus optimizing the availability of the power supply. One module will be used as an additional ‘safety system’ while the total installed UPS capacity of this 2N+1 solution will equal 1 MW.

New Fire Suppression Installation

ANSUL Solutions, also a Dutch company, founded in 1927, has completed the new fire suppression installation of the new Serverius data center in Dronten. ANSUL had not built the installation in the existing data centers, but they carried out the maintenance for years, so the other Serverius locations are also known to ANSUL.

The gaseous fire suppression systems built in the new part of SDC1 required dozens of canisters. We are talking about more than 100 canisters here. Serverius also opted for silent nozzle technology. These silent nozzles are designed in such a way that the sound level remains below 100 decibels when the extinguishing installation is used. This reduces vibrations, preventing damage to mechanical components, especially the hard drives in a data center.

The high-sensitive smoke detection (HSSD) applied in the new data center by ANSUL also measures inside the air conditioning and heating system. This prevents unnecessary switching off. It allows Serverius to continue its operations uninterrupted and meet the continuity requirements of their colocation customers.

Furlow consulting