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University of Texas Health Science Center

San Antonio, TX

DSI Delivers a Pre-fabricated Modular Data Center with Room for Future Growth  to a Major University in Record Time

UT Health San Antonio is working to become a world-class academic health center transforming health and health care for a diverse society. The UT Health San Antonio provides the best in health careers education, biomedical research, patient care and community service to San Antonio and the South Texas/Border Region. Through undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate programs, the faculty is committed to educating health professionals who will provide excellent patient care and research that can be applied to treat and prevent disease.

THE CHALLENGE:

The University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas required a new data center to consolidate several smaller server rooms located in multiple buildings throughout the campus. The existing server rooms were reaching the maximum limits of physical space and electrical and cooling capacities. To sustain operations, the University planned to construct a new data center facility in an existing library building on campus.

The University asked the DSI/IBM Data Center Consulting Team to assess this plan and provide guidance for constructing a new data center capable of keeping up with the evolving technologies and demands of an educational institution. The new data center had to be designed, constructed and brought online in 18 to 24 months.

THE DSI SOLUTION:  Design and Construct a Pre-Manufactured Modular Data Center “PMDC” Solution

After evaluating the University’s plan to locate the data center within an existing library building, the DSI/IBM team quickly determined the proposed location was not adequate and recommended constructing a new PMDC facility on raw land within the existing campus. Erecting a new building on campus was not an option – due to the lengthy construction process, costs, and the need to be scalable to adapt to future growth. To meet the budget and timeline requirements, the team recommended a Pre-Manufactured Modular Data Center “PMDC” solution to be placed in available space, such as alongside an existing building or in a parking lot.

DSI designed and built the Pre-Manufactured Modular Data Center which consists of:

  • four (4) IT equipment modules
  • one (1) power module
  • space for a future power module
  • one (1) vestibule module

All components bolt together on-site to form a complete data center facility sized to support (80) standard 42U equipment racks with a load density of 550kW. Inside, the IT equipment module has the same look and feel of a traditional data center with raised floors, finished walls and ceilings.

THE RESULTS: A Pre-fabricated Modular Data Center with Room for Long-Range Expansion

Locating the PMDC near the existing campus central plant, which operates 24x7, provided a high level of redundancy required for the University’s data center. Additionally, there was no need for a dedicated chiller plant located at the site, thereby reducing the size of the backup generator and utility service. Once the project was approved by all parties including the local AHJ, using a PMDC concept allowed the project to be constructed and commissioned in less than 12 months.

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