Microsoft Corp announced its first IT pre-assembled component (ITPAC) data centre technology in Africa and the developing world. The facility was launched by UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, together with the energy-neutral building UN office in Nairobi. IT servers consume lots of power in any building. Microsoft’s ITPAC data centre is a big boost to UN’s green technology endeavours of a carbon neutral facility. The ITPAC centre came about as part of a public-private initiative launched in 2009 where Microsoft provided consulting advice on why the data centre would be the best for UNEP and Habitat. The facility will initially host a maximum of 400 servers and UNON says that they might need an extra two of such to replace the current energy intensive server rooms. The data centre will also provide flexible IT capability through cloud computing.

 

The ITPAC is easy to assemble with the UNON one taking only a few hours to put up. Microsoft’s cloud solution looks to reduce carbon emissions by 30% when compared with the Microsoft business applications installed on-premise. The ITPAC increases energy and IT efficiency by using fresh air for primary cooling while removing the need of a mechanical AC system.  It reduces the need for water, concrete, steel, piping and copper which would have otherwise been used in a regular data centre. All the diagnostics and operations of the ITPAC are electronic and speeds of the cooling can be reduced and monitored remotely. The total savings though will depend on how much UNEP will utilise the server space, the weather conditions and the computing capacity availed. The ITPAC is manufactured from materials which are 98% recyclable and in case of any failure, the facility will be able to run on emergency mode and display the appropriate warnings. The materials are manufactured and installed by Savier and the components and spare parts are locally available. Microsoft is Set to launch its 4th generation Cloud Data Centres at the United Nations Offices in Nairobi, UNON. The Generation 4 data centre are touted to reduce the cost of expansion of data centres by 60%. The facility is new and has been previously installed in Dublin Ireland and Chicago US centres. According to Microsoft, “An IT Pre-Assembled Components (ITPAC) is a pre-manufactured, fully-assembled module that can be built with a focus on sustainable materials such as steel and aluminum and can house as little as 400 servers and as many as 2,000 servers, significantly increasing flexibility and scalability”.

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