Gigabytes versus kilowatts

Handling the energy requirements of increased computing power

Legal power

International law firm Morrison & Foerster (MoFo) claims over 150 lawyers resident in offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, and Tokyo. "In China, Morrison & Foerster China provides integrated advice on US, UK. Hong Kong, and PRC law and...advises on a variety of areas including private equity, venture capital, mergers and acquisitions, real estate, IPOs, technology and sourcing, and foreign direct investment," said the firm in a statement. MoFo also said they serve as the sole international legal counsel to the Beijing Organizing Committee for the XXIX Olympiad in connection with the 2008 Summer Games.

Expanding infrastructure

MoFo employees use email, BlackBerry devices, VoIP phones and teleconferencing systems to communicate. The email server-part of MoFo's Hong Kong IT infrastructure-also supports offices in China, Japan and Singapore.

Following a move to larger premises, this infrastructure required expansion. Andy Chan, technology supervisor for MoFo's HK office, upgraded to a network critical physical infrastructure (NCPI) based plan. The previous backup power equipment was a UPS system with a 15-minute time limit. With the old system, Chan says he was also concerned with memory issues in the system that would prevent him from knowing the exact battery life.

"Even if we had full redundancy support in the server memory, switches, and storage area networks, if these are not paired with a stable power supply, this would be a wasted investment," said Chan. "All the servers and systems would come to a halt in the event of [a] power outage."

"Our attorneys are billed hourly for their work so we put a high value on finding the best possible ways to save both time and money," said Chan. "It's essential that we employ technology [which] ensures that communication with our clients is never interrupted." The law firm chose APC to deploy the requisite tech.

Limitations and implementations

The new facility's server room's ceiling was low, leaving very little space for raised floor cabling and ceiling coolant pipes after the 42U height server rack enclosures were installed. The fixed coolant pipes and raised floor cabling from the previous building could not be moved with the server relocation.

Also, the server room air-conditioning needed to run 24x7 and condensation was caused by the nightly suspension of central air conditioning. Air conditioning also had to be targeted at server hot spots, which isn't possible with central air.

APC engineers deployed a three-phase 60KVA power supply system which occupied less room than a single-phase power supply system-high power density and a post-outage backup power supply of 45 minutes better suited MoFo's needs. The power supply system also had LEDs indicating remaining power and backup time calculated in real-time: if a battery module failed, it could be swapped out without shutting down the system. If there was any power supply fluctuation, the APC system would notify Chan by email and text messages.

The installation comes with an environment monitoring system (EMS) device to keep temperature and humidity in check and a webcam/intrusion detection system. Based on the success of the system in the Hong Kong office, Morrison & Foerster plans to standardize use of the APC solution globally, said APC.

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