Sustainable Digitalisation: Dell helps PhonePe go green

Data centres are at the heart of every digital initiative; however these facilities that power businesses, internet services and our social media lives use a lot of energy. As their numbers grow, there is pressure to make these more energy-efficient and slash their environmental impact. Plainspeak, green data centres are the future of sustainable digital transformation and Dell Technologies is showing the way forward.

Innovative technology from this Michael Dell-promoted firm and NTT is powering homegrown fintech platform PhonePe’s first green data centre. Built with 35% recycled material and designed with advanced Smart Cooling Technology, the facility will help PhonePe ensure that the data needs of its users are managed optimally and be ready for future workloads, said Burzin Engineer, co-founder and chief reliability officer, PhonePe. “This data centre will not only help in further seamlessly scaling our business but also help in reducing our carbon footprint.”

According to Dell Technologies officials, the green data centre is set to open up new opportunities in data management for PhonePe, with efficient data security, power efficiency, ease of operations, and cloud solutions. The 4.8-MW facility, which occupies 13,740 sqft at Mahape, Navi Mumbai, is built and designed with advanced alternative cooling technologies like Direct Contact Liquid Cooling (DCLC) and Liquid Immersion Cooling (LIC). The data centre’s Dell PowerEdge servers will provide superior performance, simplified management, and intelligent automation while using less energy.

What makes this data centre stand out? According to Manish Gupta, vice-president and general manager, Infrastructure Solutions Group, Dell Technologies India, the Navi Mumbai facility is the first in India to have deployed alternative cooling solutions—DCLC and LIC —along with traditional cooling. These technologies will provide efficient cooling options that fit PhonePe’s IT and data centre goals. For this data centre, PhonePe required customised servers provided by Dell Technologies that support liquid immersion cooling technology and operate in a modified environment. By housing the server and the immersion cooling rack with sufficient cooling performance, PhonePe expects power consumption at its data centres to be reduced by about 25% .

“Dell Technologies’ servers can improve power and cooling efficiency in large-scale environments with the Liquid Cooling technology. Moreover, we are assisting with infrastructure optimisation through advanced servers, where one Dell Technologies’ server has the capability to perform the task of six servers,” Gupta said.

The power usage effectiveness (PUE)—a metric used to determine the energy efficiency of a data centre—for the Navi Mumbai facility is expected to be 1.27, as compared to the industry standard of 1.6 for air-cooled data centres. “This is expected to reduce power consumption by 1.58MW, which assuming that a typical household consumes about 18 units a day, has the ability to light up an additional 2000 houses, on an average, in the country,” Gupta said.

India’s data centre capacity is poised for five fold growth in the next five years, according to ICRA. “We’ve to start thinking of data centres as being the backbone of the digital economy,” said Gupta. “With the advent of 5G, it’s a new digital highway that’s been created, which will bring many more new use cases to the fore in sectors like manufacturing, banking and financial services.”

Gupta said the new technologies that will have the biggest impact for its customers in the short term would be analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and cloud. “The second huge impact that’s going to happen is on the edge. As more and more data gets created, there is a need for it to be captured and analysed right at the edge. As a result, there will be a significant rise in edge data centres.”


PhonePe’s green data centre is the first in India using Direct Contact Liquid Cooling and Liquid Immersion Cooling systems

The new technology at the 13,740-sqft facility will help cut power consumption by 25%

The new facility’s power usage effectiveness is 1.27 against the industry standard of 1.6 for air-cooled data centres

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