A Maxi-Cool Gemini User Story
The NHS in the UK is a highly complex organisation, and the demands on the services available are ever-changing and wide-ranging. Apart from the specialist medical teams working as clinicians, the NHS has many non-medical teams that support the NHS services and the support the buildings that house the services. The demands on the non-medical teams in hospitals reflect the changing and dynamic nature of the working practices of the medical teams. They, therefore, are constantly being upgraded and improved to support clinical practice. At Maxi-Cool, we have kept the IT function of several hospital trusts for entirely different and unrelated reasons and here are two examples.
In the first example, the hospital trust wanted to change the location of stored confidential and unspecified data in server cabinets held in the offices on the hospital site. The objective was to relocate the data storage to the loft space of a secure building on another part of the site. They wanted to use the existing space available to avoid the cost and time considerations required to modify the building.
When we visited the site, we agreed that housing server cabinets were possible in the loft space, as it was vast and had more than adequate airflow. However, as the area had been previously unused, it was very dusty, and as it was close to the outside, it got very cold in the winter and very hot in the summer. For the servers to operate properly in this location, the server cabinet needed to be dustproof and have an integrated cabinet cooling system, temperature controlled and monitored remotely. Access to the loft was difficult via a narrow and awkwardly located staircase. In addition, the customer required a non-standard cabinet primarily for cable management and wanted us to install the unit on the site.
Modified Bespoke Cooling
These considerations required us to adjust our standard cooler server rack product and server cabinet installation service. Firstly, we modified the layout of the server cabinet cooling system to be fully operational on a larger-than-usual server cabinet. We supplied a cabinet that would prevent dust ingress. Secondly, to address the access issues, we delivered the server cabinet in kit form, and our team built the cabinet on-site. We fitted the Maxi-Cool Cooling system onto the built server cabinet, and it was tested and left ready for the IT team to install the servers.
In the second case, the hospital trust needed to install small localised server cabinets (or micro data centres) around the hospital to support the increased provision of Wi-Fi for patients and visitors. The hospital IT team were interested in using empty spaces around the hospital, such as stairwells and cupboards, as the floor space in the hospital corridors was unavailable. The team also wanted the server cabinets to be secure and out of sight.
We visited the site and agreed that 15U server cabinets complete with the Maxi-Cool Cooling System could be wall mounted in corridors and stairwells as a solution. We then designed and supplied modified server cabinets suitable for wall mounting, complete with the Maxi-Cool server cooling system. These were delivered to the site and installed by the building services contractor.
We provided a bespoke server cooling system and cabinet configuration for NHS sites in both examples. We successfully interpreted each brief and worked with various teams and services to reach the required outcome. These installations demonstrate that adequate server cooling in confined and unusual spaces is achievable with careful investigation of the location and the requirements of the site in question. Providing secure servers with proper server cooling in challenging and sometimes unusual places is one of our primary objectives and the type of client interaction that makes our work enjoyable.