Cool Destinations: Travel Retailer Upgrades to New Energy Efficient Data Centre


IF YOU’RE A CANADIAN looking to book a vacation package, hotel, cruise or flight to the U.S., the Caribbean, Mexico, Europe or beyond, chances are you will use itravel2000 to make your travel arrangements. The leading travel retailer has been helping Canadians journey to exotic climates for more than two decades, either via its call centre and its team of award-winning Travel Experts or through its comprehensive website.

The organization recently went on a trip of its own, moving to a new Toronto headquarters and data centre in a bid to streamline operations and gain greater efficiencies. As they were moving into a smaller space, itravel2000 knew dramatic changes would need to be made around how its data centre power and cooling would be controlled at the new location. Proper cooling technique is a critical consideration for tight IT environments; while previously there were four server racks within the data centre, the physical layout of the new facility meant there was only enough room for a single rack. This presented an operational challenge — and the need for a new power and cooling strategy moving forward.

itravel2000’s success is built upon customer service, handling travel inquiries seven days a week, and with more than 150 employees, the need to support business requirements with a strong underlying technology infrastructure is mission-critical. According to Richard Martin, Director – Systems and Administration at itravel2000, the limited physical space — and the need to essentially transform an old copy/fax room into a new storage and data centre — meant that the company needed to consolidate its rack servers and multiple uninterruptible power source (UPS) units into a single data centre solution. To further complicate matters, all of the work needed to be complete and move-in ready within a short timeframe.

“Space was our biggest issue from a power and cooling perspective as we needed to fit our server racks, UPS and AC units in one room,” says Martin. “We had actually looked at leasing additional space at the new location but it wasn’t feasible. As we only had enough room for one rack going forward, we needed to design something that was small enough to fit our footprint while still meeting our cooling requirements.”

Recognizing that it made sense to consolidate into a single highly scalable solution, itravel2000 worked with CDW Canada to help devise a power and cooling solution that met current requirements, was cost-effective, and could be quickly deployed.

After reviewing the available data centre options, CDW Canada recommended the company upgrade to Emerson Network Power system technology, including power, cooling and surge protection units with 30kW redundant/scalable modules. CDW Canada helped conduct a site survey to engineer an implementation plan and customize the modular design of racks, power and AC cooling in the new data centre. This also included the initial assembly, start-up and ongoing onsite installation support. itravel2000 worked with CDW Canada as a one-stop shop, avoiding the need to go to multiple sources for its technology and services requirements.

With the new rack-oriented power and cooling solution in place, itravel2000 was able to consolidate its multiple UPS units into a single data centre solution. A key benefit: the confidence the system and its applications will continue to function seamlessly, even in the face of an external power interruption.

The monitoring of ambient temperature and humidity is essential for small spaces and Martin notes the new energy efficient data centre environment is helping to better position the company for stronger operational efficiency and reduced power costs. The comprehensive new power and cooling solution means itravel2000 has the increased power, capacity and reliability to support business and customer needs; the company is now enjoying continuous uptime and the highest level of availability within the data centre.

“With the increasing trend of online and mobile travel bookings from our customers, the need for high network availability is crucial for business success,” says Martin. “The responsiveness of CDW Canada was phenomenal throughout the entire process.”

“With the increasing trend of online and mobile travel bookings from our customers, the need for high network availability is crucial for business success”


BY: Ryan Patrick