How resilient is your smart cities backbone infrastructure?

Behind the scenes of the smart city, often hidden away out of plain sight, is the backbone infrastructure that keeps it all together – the data centre. At the Council, we refer to the core functions of the smart city as being collect, communicate and compute.

And whilst we talk frequently about the data gathering and the data analysing, we too often neglect the storage infrastructure that stitches the collecting and computing together.

But that’s changing, thanks to Smart Cities Council Australia New Zealand (SCCANZ) Associate Partner Vertiv, which is helping cities build the necessary future-forward infrastructure needed to keep the ‘smarts’ powered. But what does this look like?

One example is the recently completed new data centre for Redland City Council, in Queensland’s southeast. This project took only four months to complete, and features leading edge sustainable design and is powered using a disaster-resilient innovative solution. And in the sunshine state, there is no other option but to build in these qualities.

The new data centre is 42-square-metres in area, self-contained and has a 10-rack capacity. This new modular design replaces its existing ageing primary and secondary data centres that were close to end-of-life and had become increasingly inefficient and expensive to operate.

The benefits
Glynn Henderson, chief information officer of Redland City Council, said the efficient design of its new modular data centre is expected to reap benefits. Aside from moving to a well-ventilated area, the new data centre space is also more compact. Henderson anticipates a 30% reduction in electricity costs and 70% reduction in CO2 emissions due to the use of more efficient plant and equipment.

But in addition to these characteristics, given the coastal location of Redland City, its ability to remain operational during natural disasters and ensure coordination of emergency responses was of utmost importance

“One of the great things about having a compliant and highly resilient data centre is the ability to react quickly around disaster management. That’s a big thing for us,” Henderson said. “As the City develops into the digital age and we increase the digital footprint in some of our newer city expansions, we’ll see a lot more requirement to connect services and utilities globally.”

Robert Linsdell, managing director of Vertiv in Australia and New Zealand, said, “A robust, scalable and secure infrastructure is needed for cities like Redland that are looking to become smarter for the future.”

“There’s plenty of hype about smart cities and Internet of Things, but it’s important to consider what infrastructure you need to pull that off," Lindsell said “Redland City Council understands this, and they’re taking the steps now to make sure they can do the exciting part in the right way later.”