With over 25 years servicing the IT industry, Edmonton’s F12.net has witnessed a sea of evolving technology and constantly changing trends. But one thing has remained constant for the solutions provider: ensuring customers excel at their business by entrusting their IT needs to experts. F12 offers comprehensive managed IT programs include IT strategy, cloud services, disaster recovery planning, simplified employee onboarding, and next-gen cybersecurity.
Launching a geo-redundant data center
F12 decided that the ability to host client data and applications within data centers in Canada was not enough as more and more clients seek hybrid cloud options, with the ability to selectively host services. In early 2017, F12 decided to complement its existing Alberta based data center with a new, fully-hosted facility across the country in the Greater Toronto Area. To avoid disruptive outages for Canadian businesses F12 set out to launch a geo-redundant data center facility with reliable, cost-effective and clean energy.
A more energy efficient and visible solution
“Part of our go-to-market strategy was to bring our cloud offerings internally,” says Engen, Director of IT at F12. “Unlike the typical cloud or a collocated center, our centers are staffed, allowing us to react to any issues in real-time. A physical facility also demystifies the cloud for many of our customers because they know exactly where their data is stored. This really helps to foster trust.”
Top of mind for the new center was energy reliability – to deliver clean, reliable power to its IT infrastructure so that customer data is accessible 24/7 without any unexpected downtime. F12 was also adamant the facility have a high degree of visibility so that staff is able to see the different thresholds within the center and be able to respond in real time if there is any deviation outside of those thresholds.
F12 turned to Schneider Electric Canada to power all its data center needs. Engen worked closely with the Schneider Electric team, exploring the company’s many options to find the perfect match for F12’s specific requirements.
Connected power increases efficiency and lowers OPEX
They decided on a full solution that included Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) monitoring, the EcoStruxure-ready Galaxy VM and EcoStruxure IT on-premise data infrastructure management solution, and StruxureWare software, a management software suite for collecting and managing data throughout the data center lifecycle. Together, this solution forms a key step toward operating a data center that is reliable, efficient, productive and green.
Another advantage offered by Schneider Electric’s solutions is the ability to scale easily, thanks to their modular capabilities. “Scalability was a key requirement for us in addition to the basic efficiencies we wanted to gain,” says Engen. “Growth is a vital part of most of our customers’ strategies. We wanted something more modular so as we expand much easier.”
The journey continues
One unexpected bonus in the implementation was the addition of Schneider Electric’s new Lithium-Ion (Li-ion) battery solution, to improve critical backup storage in data centers. The original thought was to use a standard valve-regulated lead-acid (VRLA) battery like in the Edmonton facility, but when Engen learned of the new solution he was impressed by the many advantages over VRLA such as up to 60% less footprint, less weight, faster recharge time and longer life, to name a few.
With the important decisions made, deployment of the data center solution began in the summer of 2017, with the facility’s grand opening taking place in September. As customer data begins its migration into the center, Engen is highly optimistic, both for the facility’s capabilities and its role in F12’s continuing success.
Go deeper into F12.net’s journey by accessing the full case study. Click here