University in Wageningen chooses Minkels


Wageningen UR (University & Research centre) is the association between Wageningen University and the Stichting DLO, the former agricultural research institute of the Ministry of Agriculture. A total of 6,500 employees and 10,000 students from 100 countries work and study healthy nutrition and the living environment at Wageningen UR. Most of the different organisational units within Wageningen UR have been operating from a central location at the Wageningen Campus for a couple of years now. The IT department of Wageningen UR has 170 employees.


Wageningen UR follows a twin data centre concept to guarantee high availability of its services. These same data centres also provide basic services, such as a High Performance Computing (HPC) environment. One of the two existing data centres was still located in a building off campus. Once this old location was sold, the decision was made to build a completely new data centre on campus. The result is a stand-alone data centre of 120 square metres, with indirect adiabatic cooling for maximum energy efficiency. Minkels was selected to supply fully integrated and energy-efficient solutions for fitting out the data centre. “We had heard from colleagues at other universities that Minkels supplies very high quality solutions and that they are flexible and can adapt to the needs and requirements of the data centre environment, even if the details change during the building phase,” says Ron Lukassen, Senior IT Consultant at Wageningen UR. “Minkels was immediately on our shortlist during the tendering process. The fact that they can supply an integrated solution as an end-to-end supplier is more efficient and reduces the risks in the data centre.” Minkels was involved during the early stages of the project in order to provide knowledge about best practices for fitting out a data centre. Lukassen: “Knowledge sessions were held in the time leading up to the project, in which we had in-depth discussions with specialists from Minkels. We explored different topics such as floor load, power distribution, rack depths and cable management. We don’t build data centres on a daily basis and these sessions were extremely enlightening for our IT organisation. One thing that strikes me, which is indicative of their company culture, is that their staff are very helpful.”


In line with the energy-efficient adiabatic cooling concept and the environmentally conscious identity of Wageningen UR, Minkels implemented intelligent power distribution units (PDUs) and a power monitoring & management solution (Minkels VariControl-C). “We want to know where power is being consumed in the data centre, and the numbers tell the tale,” says Lukassen. “This is why we opted for intelligent PDUs, custom made by Minkels, which will show us exactly how much power the different pieces of equipment are using. VariControl-C gives us the ability to manage all power-related parameters in a simple and easy manner, without having to purchase an expensive DCIM solution.” It is also important for Wageningen UR that the layout of the data centre can adapt to the cooling needs of the equipment. Lukassen: “We have a diverse selection of brands and types of equipment. The cooling requirements differ and, right now, we do not know what kind of equipment will be added two years from now. The modular design of Minkels’ solutions allows us to effectively facilitate those needs.”


- Aisle containment for energy efficiency

- Data centre racks

- Power distribution (PDUs)

- Solution monitoring & control

- Cable management infrastructure

- Integrated total solution from a single data centre supplier

- Availability of technical knowledge in fitting out data centres


Minkels implemented and integrated an innovative total concept for the new data centre for Wageningen UR. It is a modular solution, which includes Cold Corridors, 19 inch racks, custom intelligent PDUs, VariControl-C monitoring & control, and a variety of cable management accessories. Minkels also held knowledge sessions with Wageningen UR to supply technical knowledge, so that the IT organisation could make well-informed decisions about structuring and fitting out their new data centre.