Companies Go Green

VoicenData Bureau
New Update

The telecom industry can have consistent growth only with a backbone that can deal with futuristic technologies and market dynamics. Here comes the need of energy efficient green data centers for the expansion of business where data is huge.


Total data center capacity in India is expected to reach 5.1 mn sq ft by 2012, representing 31% growth from 2007 to 2012. And within the next 2 years, the industry is projected to double up. The growth over here is primarily being driven by demands of the financial, telecom, manufacturing, and service sectors.

Looking at the rapidly growing telecommunications industry, in particular the need for a well-equipped data center that streamlines each operator's network, has become the need of the hour. Data center for every telecom operator has become an indispensable component of their business that offers specialized facilities to host mission critical applications and back-end operations. It is a very secure facility with highly reliable and scalable infrastructure.

On an average, data centers consume 30-80% more power than the office buildings as the server stacks emit a lot of heat which in return demand more cooling and as a result increases the opex besides impacting the environment. An energy efficient data center is designed keeping both cost and social responsibility in mind.


The same need cropped up with a service provider that commenced its operations from Tamil Nadu in 1999-Aircel. Aircel soon started looking at expanding its footprints across the length and breadth of the country. The brand, as a result, chose to position its backbone on value added services and data which indeed required network as well as the data center to support these services, had to be future-ready. They had to be geared up for 3G and Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO) services and so on. The backbone had to be highly available and secure as well.

As a result Aircel had to look at setting up its own field data center that has eco energy practice. Aircel was looking at setting up its National Technology Center (NTC), a green field data center of over 50,000 sq ft in Gurgaon. Taking into account the huge size of the data center, cost was a sizeable imperative and Aircel wanted to keep the costs in check. Aircel was interested in technologies available that would help minimize operating costs and keep TCO low.


Aircel explored the technologies and best practices available that would help in this objective. It was Wipro's Eco Energy practice that impressed the Aircel team the most.

Thus with the help of Wipro's EcoEnergy practice, Aircel now boasts of a 50,000 sq ft data center which not only follows DC best practices, but implements a range of ecofriendly solutions.

Of the total 50,000 sq ft of gross area, 18,000 sq ft is allotted to raised floor catering to 550 racks. The data center adheres to the best practices prevalent in the world. It has an optimum redundancy, meeting tier-3 standards as per Uptime Institute. Tier-3 is composed of multiple active power and cooling distribution paths, but only 1 path is active, has redundant components, and is concurrently maintainable. This provides 99.98% availability, as per the institute.


Ravinder Jain, CIO of Aircel explains, “As part of the corporate responsibilty intiative, it is our endeavor to be environment friendly and promote green IT. We chose Wipro for the green initiatives in a conscious manner as their office is 100% green and they have green campuses in Bengaluru.”

The objective of the initiative was to build a green data center, whose primary goals were energy efficiency and redundancy for dependable business continuity. Wipro adopted appropriate design concept in the infrastructure, design, a capacity plan that was optimum for infrastructure, redundancies meeting the standards and, products and systems of the infrastructure having high efficiency.

The NTC is modular and uses products that can be easily expanded as business grows, rendering saving in capex and operational costs. Security is monitored round the clock with camera installed in strategic positions. All the products are monitored to fit their critical parameters with intelligent building management systems.


Wipro's EcoEnergy team came with many ideas that helped Aircel bring down costs in the long run-motion that switches lights off when no one is around using LEDs instead of high wattage lamps and earth-air tunnels; a geo-thermal exchange for reduced loads on chillers; adaptive cooling for reduced load on air conditioning; solar power for water heating needs, and rainwater harvesting systems.

There are also engineers dedicated to the site for round-the-clock management of the data center. Wipro has also laid out detailed escalation and disaster prevention and recovery plans.


Validating the point, Prasenjit Mazumde, vice president, global communication provider Vertical, Wipro “As a part of our sustainability and green IT initiatives, Wipro has been developing solutions that optimize the energy usage efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint. Our eco-sensitive solutions while building the green data center for Aircel makes optimal usage of geothermal energy, leading edge lighting solutions such as LED lights, rainwater harvesting, and solar heating. These allow Aircel to optimize its energy usage for HVAC, reduce water usage, and lower the total cost of operations. The EcoEnergy solutions allow our customers to be environment friendly and develop a sustainable corporate lifestyle.”

Aircel'sdata center's Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) ratio of 1.8 and reduction of its overall carbon footprint by over 400 tons per annum speaks volumes about the layout design of NTC that is based on Wipro's best practices of cooling, ergonomics and modularity of business expansion.

Ritu Singh