In 2012 Blue Chip built its own software-defined data centre (SDDC) – a move that would prove critical in keeping customers’ IBM Power systems up and running at full capacity during the 2020 lockdown.
“We’ve been able to stay open because we’ve invested in our data centre,” explains Chris Smith, Blue Chip’s Chief Marketing Officer, adding “as well as the networking and storage, the automation and orchestration software that we’ve developed allows us to deliver systems completely remotely.”
As a result, Blue Chip’s team were able to deliver systems over the Easter weekend without anyone having to travel to the site. “Everything from the data migration and the transition into our infrastructure and cloud was done remotely from home on behalf of the customer.”
When it comes to control, data centre ownership is key. Using a third party data centre, on the other hand, takes the control out of the managed service provider’s hands and ultimately compromises the security and resilience of the end user’s system.
As well as investing in technology to enhance and safeguard customer data, data centre ownership also enables Blue Chip to have complete control over its carbon footprint. (Again, something that wouldn’t be possible with a third-party facility.)
Designing an eco-friendly data centre
To keep it safe and functioning in peak condition, the cold aisle air in a data centre needs to be at a constant temperature of 20 degrees celsius.
“We have two different types of aircon systems,” says Chris. “We have a traditional air con system based on refrigerants, but it’s not very eco friendly so we reserve that as a backup. Instead, we use a technique that involves utilising the air from outside.”
So, how does it work?
Chris continues: “In the winter when the air is colder we mix it with the hot air that comes out of the IBM

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