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Enterprise LANs , IDCs

Case study of HDFC Bank
Grouping of servers as per their application owners led to ease of maintenance and manageability, and also made optimal utilization of floor and rack space.

The Company
HDFC Bank is headquartered in Mumbai. The Bank, at present, has a network of over 233 branches spread across 125 cities country-wide. All branches are linked on an online real-time basis. Customers in 39 locations are also serviced through Telephone Banking. In addition, the Bank has a network of over 725 networked ATMs across the cities.

HDFC Bank operates in a highly automated environment in terms of information technology and communication systems. All the Bank's branches have connectivity, which enables the Bank to offer speedy funds transfer facilities to its customers. Multi-branch access is also provided to retail customers through the branch network and ATMs.

HDFC Bank has made substantial efforts and investments in acquiring the best technology available internationally so as to build the infrastructure for a world-class bank. The Bank has prioritized its engagement in technology and the Internet as one of its key goals, and has already made significant progress in web-enabling its core businesses.

HDFC has their centralized information and data centre at Chandivali, (Andheri East), Mumbai.

HDFC has been expanding their business nationwide. The Data Centre in Mumbai supports their branches and has connectivity with international banking operations on a day-to-day basis.

While drawing up the guidelines for the new data centre, the following points were emphasized.
  1. The need to make the data centre secure
  2. To minimize requirements of available floor space
  3. To maximize utilization of available rack space
  4. To minimize utilization of power and optimize use of air conditioning facilities
  5. To monitor servers from remote locations
  6. To maintain aesthetics
  7. To visually identify the equipment configuration in each rack.

The Problem
The customer already had an existing Data Centre with a capacity for about 90 servers & networking equipment, housed in 30 racks.

The following problems were noted in this facility

  • Server/Communication equipment was not grouped application-wise, user-wise or model-wise. Hence users and maintenance personal had to be given access to all the racks.
  • No space for future expansion was available. Hence all new servers were kept open on tables.
  • Since HDFC had various models of Compaq, IBM, Dell & Sun servers, racks of different footprints were being used. For example 600W x 800D, 600W x 900D, 600W x 1000D, 800W x 800D, 800W x 900D, 800W x 1000D, and 1000W x 800D.
  • Correct cable control accessories for CAT5/ Optic Fibre cable were not used, resulting in congested and untidy cabling as well as Data Transfer loss.
  • Since some of the racks were densely populated with compact rack mountable servers of 2U and 3U size, the cooling arrangement was insufficient, resulting in hot spots forming at certain points within the cabinets
  • Dual power supply was not provided for the new servers, as required.
  • Multiple monitors, key boards and modems were occupying 40-45% of the available rack space.

The Solution
APW President suggested several floor plans, indicating various rack configurations. These configurations were drawn-up taking in to consideration the applications, users, and future expansion.

Following features were planned for the new Data Centre, which was to have a capacity for 120 racks divided over 3 floors, each with approx. 3,000 sq. ft. area
  • APW President suggested the top-of-the-line S-12 racks, along with the newly introduced CYBERacks. The colour of the racks was matched to the colours of the Data Centre. Both the cabinets suggested are designed for ease of equipment integration.
  • Servers were grouped according to application, user and make, so as to limit access to a designated set of users and maintenance personnel only.
  • Two footprints for the racks were suggested: 600W x 1000D for all rack-mountable compact servers (1U/2U/3U), and 800W x 1000D for tower-type/ high-end servers and communications equipment.
  • About 110 servers and communications equipment for 500 nodes (for call centers) were housed in 80 racks. This provided 50% unutilized rack space for future expansion.
  • 8 Port KVM rack-mounted switches for the monitoring of servers, thereby saving 30% rack space earlier lost by having multiple monitors.
  • Cable Control accessories such as Window Mouldings, Cable Retention Bobbins, 1U/2U Cable Managers and Cable Baskets are used to neatly route the cables (CAT5 & Optic Fibre) in the networking racks.
  • Since AC flow was through the false flooring directly into the bottom of the racks, base frames were provided so as to prevent leakage of incoming AC air from the gap between the false floor & the racks. Also, in a departure from convention, plain doors and side panels (ie, without ventilation slots) were provided. This created a chimney effect within the rack as the cold incoming air had no path for escape anywhere but to flow upwards within the cabinet to the top, where exhaust fans were provided. This arrangement eliminated hot spots within the cabinet and optimized the use of the air conditioning facilities.
  • Dual power supply facilities are provided within each rack (for redundancy), with precalibrated MCBs, to ensure safe and uninterrupted power to critical servers.

Server Room

Servers grouped as per application

Cable Baskets

800mm wide cabinets

Cable control accessories
The Benefits

• The new Data Centre is aesthetically highly appealing.
• Grouping of servers as per their application owners led to ease of maintenance and manageability, and also made optimal utilization of floor and rack space.
• Selective Access to the data centre Ė and the equipment therein- is now possible.
• Adequate Rack space for future expansion is available.
• KVM solution replacing monitors saved 30% of rack space
• Neat routing of cables- with no danger of loss of data transfer rates over time.
• Saving on air conditioning and power costs
• Easy installation of rack mountable servers and other equipment within the racks

The Future
APW Presidentís ability to identify, solve and satisfy the customerís requirements by offering innovative solutions has helped in gaining the customerís confidence. HDFC has now offered APW President the chance to work with them in their branch expansion programme- to the mutual benefit of all concerned.
Products Used

  |copyright apw president 2003