Updating the Sagrada Familia: Why a World-Famous Church Needs a Micro Data Center solution

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We often talk about the need for data centers to scale and be flexible in order to meet business needs and, even though Sagrada Familia is not what we would traditionally think of in “business” terms, the centuries old church is no exception when it comes to technology requirements.

Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia is the most visited tourist attraction in Barcelona, Spain and it needed a reliable infrastructure to better manage and control its unique needs. Such as the church’s security, along with significant construction operations.

And to keep up with the call for being “on” 24/7, the church also realized it needed more capacity to match demand and enable new digital ticketing, validation and baffle gate systems for visitors.


Finding the Solution

When Sagrada Familia chose Schneider Electric, it was in the midst of a complex construction project and there was no fixed space available for constructing a system on site. So, since building a new data center was out of the question, the question became: how could we upgrade the small server room and turn it into a more robust data center?

When evaluating different alternatives, Sagrada immediately dismissed outsourcing as a viable option. Instead, a micro data center makes it easy and cost effective to add data center capacity in specific areas as-needed, either metropolitan or remote. In fact, some critical applications that are managed out of the micro data center required reduced latency, enhanced bandwidth and processing speed that could not be achieved through servers hosted in a third party data center.

Not to mention that Sagrada’s micro data center is also specifically ruggedized with enhanced air filtration and shock absorption systems as it has to withstand the harsh environmental conditions of the church construction camp.

The solution is comprised of two modules that got assembled on site. Equipped for deployment, Sagrada Familia’s micro data center has 10 racks and current capacity of 64KW to 96KW extended, UPS, power distribution, cooling and management all pre-installed, so it required minimal fitting on site.

The micro data center solution was also fully quality tested prior to delivery, so it was up and running on day one and is performing without fail.

In the reverse, these micro data centers can also be easily disconnected and moved when the time comes and construction at the church is finished. As the project evolves, Schneider Electric is also helping with maintenance services and remote monitoring.

Spearheaded by Fernando Villa, Director of IT for Sagrada Familia, it was key for our Schneider Electric team to work closely with all the stakeholders in the church’s project including engineers and maintenance. We wanted to not only fully understand their current needs, but also advise and guide them in provisioning future needs.

Walk through the process with Fernando in this video and understand the journey from business case, to selection and implementation.

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