Powering NSW Police's data centre

Schneider Electric IT Australia

Wednesday, 27 March, 2019

Powering NSW Police's data centre

Schneider Electric and Dell EMC recently partnered to help complete a full refurb of the NSW Police Force’s radio communications data centre.

The NSW Police Force serves a population of more than 7.8 million people via a network of 430 police stations, and employs around 20,000 operational and administrative personnel. It receives approximately 2.1 million requests for assistance from the public each year via Triple Zero and the Police Assistance Line (131 444).

Police still use LMR as their primary means of communication when operating in the field, for everything from routine enquiries about a vehicle registration through to the coordination of hundreds of officers during major events and emergencies.

It is critically important that this communication capability has high availability, so close attention to the reliability of all layers of the solution is required — from the radio terminal all the way through to the environment in which components of the back-end infrastructure are housed.

Challenging environment

The facility housing the NSW Police Force mission-critical radio communications infrastructure had barely evolved over recent years to cater for the growing demand of additional equipment and services. Due to significant advances in technology and the introduction of increasingly sophisticated, and often sensitive, ICT infrastructure, new power and cooling systems, server racks and equipment cabinets were required.

During the construction phase of the refurbished centre, a number of challenges had to be met:

  • The facility needed to continue full-time operation with minimal interruption to ensure the ongoing provision of radio communications to frontline police.
  • Stringent security and workplace safety requirements meant that those working on the project were required to meet NSW Police standards at all times.
  • The location of the building within the Sydney CBD, home to numerous operational policing units, complicated delivery of product and external installation work.
  • The work could not impede the day-to-day operations of policing services.

The specific requirements of the new data centre set out by the customer meant that the design was quite complex. Part of the reason for this was that the specific electrical load was unknown, requiring a solution that would suit a data centre of between 50 and 70 kW.

Police power

Reliability of systems was the number one objective for the NSW Police Force. After a competitive tender process, APC by Schneider Electric worked with the police engineers and their IT partner, Dell EMC, to offer a turnkey solution.

Right from the start, Schneider Electric appointed a project manager. In the early days of the project, this person worked with the end user and the solution partner to ensure the scope of the project was fully understood. Upon gaining a deep understanding of the situation, the project manager worked with the team, and the wider Schneider Electric community, to evaluate possible systems to suit the communications centre upgrade. In particular, multiple cooling options were investigated during the process.

After stringent evaluation, a solution was devised with multiple redundancies and high-quality products to ensure continual uptime. Supporting this equipment is Uniflair Access Flooring, which enables cabling for server racks and equipment to be run neatly under the floor. APC by Schneider Electric server racks, fitted with electromagnetic locks for increased security, power distribution units and InRow cooling units have all been installed to produce an energy-efficient, robust and reliable solution. The APC by Schneider Electric equipment also features variable speed drives to reduce overall power usage.

Successful solution

Completed on schedule and within budget, the refurbishment of the radio communications data centre has been deemed a success, partly because of the initial deep engagement by the Schneider Electric sales team lead by Sergei Vovchak as well as the work performed by the company’s delivery team under Project Manager Andrew Spicer.

“No matter the project, we work hard to maintain the uptime of our customers, and the quality of our products and solutions, as well as the expertise of our personnel, supports this,” said Joe Craparotta, Vice President, Schneider Electric Secure Power and Strategic Segments.

“The NSW Police Force communications centre provides a critical service to the citizens of this state,” said Jade Porter, Senior Director, Infrastructure Solutions, Dell EMC ANZ. “We’re proud that Dell Technologies infrastructure solutions underpins this vital data centre.”

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Gorodenkoff

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