HAWAII MEDICAL SERVICE ASSOCIATION

Hawaii

DSI Designs and Builds New Data Center to Meet Health Insurer’s Growing IT and HIPAA Requirements

The Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA) is a nonprofit health insurer. Founded in 1938, HMSA is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, and is the largest insurer in the state of Hawaii covering more than half of the state’s population. HMSA’s headquarters are located in Honolulu.

THE CHALLENGE: Infrastructure Unable to Meet Growing IT and HIPAA Demands

HMSA’s IT staff recognized the shortcomings of their existing data center. Over the years, the space had been expanded and infrastructure upgrades were made to address immediate needs, but long-term demands from growing IT and HIPAA requirements presented significant challenges. Because the data center’s main services were not sufficient to meet operating requirements, HMSA experienced unplanned outages and equipment failures.

The existing single generator was not large enough to support the building life safety, backup power supply (UPS) and the central plant required for cooling the data center. In addition, the space under the raised floor was cluttered with years of unused power and communication cables creating problems with the cooling system.

In addition, because the site had no available space for new generators and UPS systems, a variance with the city of Honolulu would have to be obtained, further complicating the project.

THE SOLUTION: Assess, Design and Install New Data Center

HMSA selected Data Specialties Inc. (DSI) to assess, design and install the new data center and all of the necessary infrastructure upgrades. Following a thorough review of existing requirements, DSI worked with the HMSA management team to define the specific IT growth and redundancy needs for the new data center equipment and budgetary limitations.

DSI built a steel platform above the mechanical room which housed:

  • Two 1000 kVA Generators
  • Paralleling Switchgear
  • A Load Bank
  • Two containerized UPS systems
  • A 5,000 gallon fuel tank with a redundant pumping system to the generator base tanks
  • A fuel polishing system to clean the fuel as it sits in the main tank
  • Eight Automatic Transfer Switches to provide the entire building, Chiller Plant and Data Center with redundancy and backup power
  • A new 3,000 amp service to the building, replacing the existing service

DSI also installed new PDU’s for power distribution to the cabinets and cable trays above the cabinets allowing the removal of all the unused cables under the floor, which helped increase the capacity of the existing underfloor cooling.

All systems were exhaustively tested. In addition, in order to meet city requirements, a 17’ wall was constructed to match the existing building and conceal the equipment.

THE RESULTS: Robust Data Center Meets Current and Future Needs

DSI designed and built a robust data center that meets HMSA’s current and future IT needs. One of the biggest challenges that was overcome was the need to have the existing critical load maintained during the construction, while the UPS system was relocated to provide space for other equipment. To accomplish this vital task, the entire building was supported by a generator during the installation and cutover process. DSI was able to ensure seamless operations throughout the entire project.

Data Specialties Inc.