IBAarau – renamed Eniwa in 2018 - upgrades data centre services

Eniwa built their own data centre with two server rooms at their new head office. It means that they can keep their data in-house. They are also planning housing and cloud services for clients. To successfully implement the hot corridor strategy, Eniwa worked with Minkels AG from Switzerland.

Urban energy supplier ‘Industrielle Betriebe Arau’ (IBAarau) is now called ‘Eniwa’. Eniwa is an innovative, regional full-service provider for energy supplies, mobility, telecoms and electrical installations. The new data centre, designed to provide redundancy, satisfies the toughest security requirements. It has enough space to offer other companies a full-service package – from housing through to running external IT infrastructures in a Swiss cloud.

Eniwa spent around a year orienting themselves before Minkels were finally awarded the contract to plan, develop, build and install the data centre infrastructure. Head of IT Beat Wyss had several objectives: to improve security – Including providing protection against physical threats – to reduce energy consumption; to be able to expand the offer to other companies; and to align the system with the building’s FTTO (Fiber-to-the-Office) cabling.

Eniwa was looking for a partner that would be able to implement the required ‘hot corridor’ strategy and build racks that would make the most of the ceiling height. They also required the flexibility to add components to existing racks. The provider Eniwa was looking for was to be responsible for managing the project and be the on-site interface to the construction managers. Minkels impressed Eniwa with their know-how, references, and cost-benefits ratio. It was also a plus that Minkels, being a partner of fibre glass specialist Connect Com AG, had equipped the building services rooms earlier on with custom-built cabinets and was very familiar with the site’s characteristics and the FTTO strategy that was already in place.

The server rooms in the new operations building were designed specifically for Eniwa. The two parties worked together to develop the best solutions. The hot aisle containment with the racks makes use of the ceiling height, while the cabling comes from above and connects all the building’s IT users in compliance with FTTO principles. The decision to go with Minkels was taken in spring 2017, and the data centres went live six months later. Beat Wyss is happy that he chose the right partner. He says, “We more than achieved our objective. The Minkels partnership worked extremely well. I was able to totally rely on the building work going according to plan, and I got exactly the data centre that I wanted. Working together to achieve the objectives, plus open communication – that’s how a project should be!”

The security and high availability of the redundant infrastructure tell a tale: the building is earthquake-proof, and it has its own emergency power, photovoltaic system, rainwater harvesting system and heating system so that it can be cut off from the outside world for up to seven days. The single mode fibre glass cabling is secure, efficient, scalable and ready for future bandwidths and network protocols. It also consumes up to 70% less energy than copper networks, which is environmentally friendly and economical. At the moment, Eniwa is only using 20% of the available infrastructure. Wyss is already in touch with companies who are interested in outsourcing all their IT, or parts of it, to Eniwa AG. One change is going to be made: sectioned rack doors would be better for clients who require less server room space. Thanks to the modular system, altering components to meet new requirements is no problem for Minkels.

Eniwa is a regional energy service company with headquarters in Buchs AG. Eniwa offers a wide range of supply and installation services that provide the region – around 30 municipalities – with long-term security of supply and added value. The range includes electricity, natural gas / biogas, heating / cooling, hydrogen, water, telecommunications, energy services and electrical installations.

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