Following a nationwide consultation, Hardis Group has called on the expertise of DCforDATA to design its fourth datacenter: a tailor-made private room responding to the Grenoble-based IT company's technical and operational demands. 

* Press release written by DCforDATA

With this first private room project, DCforDATA has positioned itself in the market for advice and support for the implementation of tailor-made datacenter projects, from conception through to production. Since then, other private rooms have been designed and delivered.

The Cloud: a strategic activity for Hardis Group

Hardis Group was created in 1984. It is both a software publisher and an IT services company. For more than ten years, the company has offered its clients hosting and facilities management services for of all or part of their information systems. This activity, which has progressively evolved toward private cloud offerings, has seen strong growth over the past five years, of around 15% a year.

The three existing datacenters, in Grenoble, Lyon and Paris, were starting to show their limitations in terms of hosting capacity and upgrading potential. At the end of 2012, Hardis decided to put a new datacenter in place in order to cater for growth and improve service quality.

A private IT room within the datacenter

The new IT room had to meet a number of criteria, among which were:

  • a design to attain a minimum availability rate of 99.982% (Tier III), with the associated levels of redundancy and security;
  • private spaces (cells or rooms) to ensure the security and confidentiality of Hardis' clients' data;
  • located more than 15 kilometers from any of the group's datacenters;
  • located sufficiently close to one of the existing datacenters to be able to put in place a secured ultra high speed connection (black fiber) able to handle ethernet protocol and fiber channel between the two sites.

After consulting ten private and public datacenters in Grenoble, Lyon, Paris and Marseille, Hardis selected DCforDATA's offering, namely the creation of a 40 m2 private room with a raised floor and an independent cooling system, in its datacenter at Limonest (near Lyon). In addition to the fact that the project met all of Hardis' technical specifications, its geographical location meant that Hardis could rely on telecoms operators with the same PoPs (points of presence) as those of the Vénissieux datacenter (SFR).

A tailor-made project

But the really decisive factors were DCforDATA's willingness to listen and its expertise, which enabled it to come up with a proposal for a made-to-measure IT room: independent raised floor, air-conditioning, electrical systems, cabling etc., all just as Hardis wanted. "Apart from their geographical proximity to our headquarters and Lyon office, we were also swung by the possibility of designing a private room specifically adapted to our needs and capable of evolution," explains Karim Ogbi, Manager of Hardis' Cloud computing business unit. The contract was signed in February 2013 for delivery of the room in June 2013.

Thanks to the support, quick responses and flexibility of DCforDATA's teams, the project was completed on schedule and in line with the criteria laid down by Hardis. "The DCforDATA teams particularly recommended that we should provide for an operator meeting room, which enabled us to separate the telecoms part from Hardis' IT infrastructures," explains Karim Ogbi.

Energy efficiency, quality of service and new value proposition

Despite the strong growth in Hardis' hosting and private Cloud activities, the implementation of the new IT room has contributed to bringing down electricity consumption. On the one hand it has enabled Hardis to deploy IBM servers, doubling calculation power in the same space while at the same time consuming less electricity. On the other hand, DCforDATA designed the datacenter with energy efficiency in mind: the containment of the hot and cold aisles optimizes the efficiency of the cooling systems, and consequently their consumption of electricity.

"We are entirely satisfied with the services of DCforDATA, which has advised and supported us end-to-end in setting up our private room, from design shortlist to delivery," Karim Ogbi concludes.

Moreover, the fact that the two Lyon datacenters are now connected by black fiber means that Hardis is able to guarantee better service levels to its clients, in the context of their disaster recovery plans (DRPs) in case of incident. The level of reliability, availability and redundancy attained is such that the IT company is even considering adding a disaster recovery service (active-active inter-datacenter mode) to its catalog of services.