Country: The Netherlands

With 2 modern data centers, e-Quest is a local IT partner for reliable IT environments

With its head office in Helmond and branch offices in Veghel and Venlo, e-Quest is a dynamic IT company with over 90 employees. They meet all of their customers’ IT needs, from data centers and optical fibre to cloud solutions. By combining these three areas, e-Quest has positioned itself as a uniquely powerful IT service provider. Martijn de Koning, Commercial Director at e-Quest, and Berry Smits, Business Unit Manager for IT Services at e-Quest, explain how their twin data center solution including server cabinets, PDUs, and switch and control gear from Legrand is an essential part of an efficient and reliable IT environment for their customers.

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Twin data center services

Martijn: “In 2012, we built a new facility in Helmond with a brand-new data center using Legrand products. We continued to see steady growth, and decided to expand our services to new regions while maintaining a strong regional focus. So we expanded our IT services to Venlo, and our second modern data center in Veghel has been operating since 2022.”

With two full data centers and its own optical fibre connections, e-Quest has the capacity to serve all of the Netherlands. “One of the big advantages of our second data center is that we can offer twin data center services. Many larger companies need a complete backup scenario, which we can provide because we manage everything from A to Z. Our clientele ranges from big corporations and hospitals to manufacturers and government agencies, and they know that their infrastructure is in safe hands at our data center.”

Working with Legrand again

When designing the second data center, e-Quest took a critical look at what they already had and what they were satisfied with. Berry: “Quality and value were important considerations in this process. It’s essential to have a good end product, but the price also has to be right. After all, data center customers all have one key expectation: that our service will never go offline. And so far, we haven’t had a single minute of downtime at either Veghel or Helmond.”

“Setting up a data center is a significant investment,” Martijn adds. “So we compared several different vendors. The price and quality met our expectations, and we’d had a good experience with Legrand for our data center in Helmond. The supplier’s availability is also important to us, in terms of being able to adjust course quickly. Together, all these factors led us to choose Legrand as our partner once again for our brand-new data center in Veghel.” to grow at the Veghel data center

The data center in Veghel has over 400 m² of space, and is designed for growth. “Right now, there are 60 Minkels server cabinets in room 1, about half of which will be occupied by the end of the year,” Martijn explains. “We have another room just like it available, where we can set up an exact copy of room 1. Each of the rooms can host up to 120 server cabinets. Preparations for the design of the data center are already under way here: the required electrical components are in place, and the only things we still need are the cables, flooring and server cabinets.”

Energy efficiency for an exceptionally low PUE factor

Berry: “Our customers want to use the server rooms as efficiently as possible. Ten years ago, you had to leave space between the servers in order to cool them properly. Nowadays, servers are equipped with powerful fans that effectively draw cold air through the equipment, even when the servers are placed right up against each other. That enables us to put more equipment in each rack, so customers can use their server cabinets more efficiently.”

“We used Minkels aisle containment in the server room,” Berry continues. “That offers us a number of technical advantages, particularly in terms of energy efficiency. The system works on the principle of separate warm and cold corridors, something we already had experience with in Helmond. In Veghel, we opted for a closed cold corridor. The cooling system is located under the raised floor, and only blows cold air into the cold corridor. A glass ceiling is placed over the corridor, and it’s lit by a nice-looking LED solution. This approach guarantees both quality and energy efficiency for our data center.” addition, e-Quest’s data center in Helmond is cooled adiabatically. For the data center in Veghel, e-Quest opted for conventional cooling. Berry: “Our Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) factor is about 1.07 in Helmond, and 1.10 in Veghel. That’s exceptionally low compared to the average data center, which is around 1.30 PUE. We cool to 24 degrees, while some data centers cool to 18 degrees. That’s not really necessary, so it’s a waste of valuable energy. In Helmond, we also have a sizeable solar panel array that lowers the PUE factor even further, to about 1.03. Our choice of this cooling technology and a green approach to energy production are an important part of our sustainability DNA. It also allows us to offer data center services at very competitive prices. So e-Quest’s customers benefit from sustainably produced energy as well.”

Insight into power consumption

Power consumption is an important cost factor for a data center. “Legrand’s products, including its PDUs, are designed to easily provide live insight into power consumption through intelligent measurement systems,” says Martijn. “Totally transparent. With that insight, our customers can adjust their power consumption by downscaling at night to save energy, for example, and then scaling their usage up again during the day when their staff are at work. That allows them to efficiently save energy while also meeting their operational requirements.”

New construction in a time of covid

“There were a few challenges during the construction and set-up of the data center,” Martijn notes. “For example, some components took a little longer to arrive during the covid crisis. But we were able to adjust our planning thanks to timely notifications from Legrand. Good communication is really essential when collaborating on such a big project, and we had a very positive experience with Legrand in that regard.”

“Another important factor in a successful collaboration was that Legrand really worked with us to figure out the set-up,” Berry adds. “For example, at the Veghel data center, there was a support beam in the way, but with Legrand’s advice, we were able to use another type of server cabinet to build nice, clean server corridors that fit the space perfectly. They helped us to solve problems and make well-informed choices. So working with them was really a pleasant experience for us.”

Looking forward

“The past few years have brought plenty of changes,” Martijn concludes. “We now have a second location in Helmond, a new office with a data center in Veghel, and a new branch office in Venlo. For the longer term, we’re not ruling out the possibility that we might build another data center. At that point, Legrand will most definitely be on our short list of preferred vendors!”