Case study: Worldstream continues their growth by partnering with Eaton without compromise

News Wednesday, November 11, 2020

“When choosing a partner for our uninterruptible power supplier, we made a deliberate choice to look further than pricing. We were interested in a partner that was not only able to offer quality, but would also be able to offer scalability and reliability with a sustainable character. These preferences led us to Eaton.” – Robin Lim, Sales Director Worldstream.

Case study: Worldstream continues their growth by partnering with Eaton without compromise

Case study: Worldstream continues their growth by partnering with Eaton without compromise

  • Location: Naaldwijk, South-Holland
  • Challenge: Data center
  • Solution: 4x Eaton 93 PM 500 kVA-installation with HotSync-technology using Energy Saver System
  • Result: Ultra-low energy usage, high reliability, and easily scalable. Customized to their customers growth.

Background

Worldstream is founded in 2006, a fast-growing Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) hosting provider located in Naaldwijk, in the Dutch province South-Holland. The bandwidth capacity of their network backbone (>10Tbit/s) offers customers both a redundant and scalable availability of their IT-infrastructures. Worldstream protects its customer with an in-house developed DDoS Shield. At the moment of writing Worldstream has over 15.000 active dedicated servers, which are located at company-owned data centers in Naaldwijk where IT-infrastructures of customers all over the world are housed. The carrier-neutral data center activities are offered and marketed through sister company Greenhouse Datacenters. Their second and newest data center is energy efficient and has a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) value of 1.15, which is low compared to the standard.

In June 2019 Worldstream announced their second development phase of this ‘sustainable’ data center. At the same time, plans for a third data center are being made for the site next to one of their current buildings. Their total server capacity will grow to 90.000 within a few years. In anticipation of expected international growth, the organization has been fully certified. (ISO 9001:2015, ISO/IEC 27001:2013, ISO 14001:2015, and PCI-DSS).

Challenge

When Worldstream started working on its first commercial data center in 2013, this also marked the start of their search for a reliable supplier to offer a suitable backup power distribution. At that moment, around eight thousand servers were active and required a reliable net. “We ask for a high quality from our suppliers, which we translate to the IaaS hosting service that we provide to our customers,” explains Robin Lim, Sales Director at Worldstream. “Our customers include international cloud providers, broadcasters, and regional health care providers. These organizations value continuity over anything.”

In order to maintain the continuity of Worldstream’s customers worldwide, a reliable backup power distribution is our highest priority. Apart from reliability, the system should be scalable, as Worldstream is growing rapidly internationally. Finally, Worldstream also required an energy-efficient solution that aligned with their sustainable vision. “Our data center activities are profiled as highly redundant, by using a N+1 setup with eco-friendly capabilities,” adds Jeroen Meijer, datacenter site manager at Greenhouse Datacenters. “In order to emphasize this, we would need an energy-efficient backup power solution.” The modular setup of the UPS-systems contributed to the low and energy-efficient PUE-value from day 1 of utilisation.

Solution

The infrastructure of Worldstream’s latest data center was built with redundancy as a starting point. Simply put, this means that both an A- and a B-feed exist. Our data center does not have one backup system for the entire data center, but two systems linked to their own space. Both feeds are utilized separately and are backed by their own UPS-system. So when one of the two feeds has an interruption the other picks it up without the customer noticing this switch.

At Worldstream the backup power distribution is not only setup in parallel, but also has a 93PM model modular UPSs. In practice, this indicates that per feed there is one backup power system that consists of different modules, which are interconnected in the sense that if one module fails or is set to inactive another module will take over without any interruption. On top of that, the UPSs use the patented HotSync-technology of Eaton. Normally UPSs system communicates through a wired connection, to exchange if the system is working correctly or not. However with the HotSync technology, the UPSs do not exchange information through a cable, but on basis of the output of other UPS-modules to conclude if the system is optimal. If this output is negative, another module will utilize the workload instead.

Lim: “When choosing a partner for our uninterruptible power supplier we made a deliberate choice to look further than pricing. We were interested in a partner that was not only able to offer quality but would also be able to offer scalability and reliability with a sustainable character. These preferences led us to Eaton.”

Marcel Brand, account manager at Eaton: “Worldstream has reached out to us in 2013. From that year onwards the solutions that we offered have grown side-by-side with the data center: in September we delivered a new set of UPSs, which gives Worldstream the possibility to deliver more servers before the end of this year.”

Even on a sustainable level, the UPS-systems were able to deliver. The backup power distribution systems at Worldstream used Eatons Energy Saver System (ESS), which reduces the amount of energy wasted by 85% without making a compromise on reliability. The Energy Saver System works in the background when the main power supply is utilized, this system is only in effect when it is necessary. Only 2 milliseconds is needed to make the change.

Result

At the moment four 93PM UPS-systems of 500 kVA are active in our data center, which are responsible for providing a safety net for over 20.000 servers. The distribution systems, the breakers, and the emergency lighting throughout the building were supplied by Eaton. Since these components were all provided by the same company, this makes for a comprehensive and reliable system.

Both the UPS-systems as the space where the backup power distribution resides are adjusted to the growth that Worldstream expects over the coming years with Greenhouse Datacenters. Lim: “When building the latest data center we calculated how much UPS-capacity we need, with the help of Eaton we were able to fit the UPS-system in the space that we allocated. By thinking ahead we were already able to allocate space for extra backup power for when we need it.”

Marcel Brand adds: “Eaton has been involved from the very start of this project, which resulted in their involvement on many factors. This is apparent when looking at the final results. Extra UPSs are possible as we had calculated this beforehand.”