UNN invests in eco-efficient data centre infrastructure to meet Brunei’s increasing digital needs

Unified National Networks (UNN) recently signed with Vertiv, a global provider of critical digital infrastructure and continuity solutions, to design and construct its data centre facility in support of the nation’s digitisation efforts.

The signing was held at UNN Tungku Submarine Landing Station, a 51,000 square feet data centre complex situated in Kampong Tungku. The prefab data centre is slated to begin construction in April 2023.

Vertiv was selected to fulfil the first phase of the project, which will consist of 200 racks to support UNN’s goal of establishing a state-of-the-art high-availability data centre facility in line with Brunei’s digitisation roadmap.

UNN was established in 2018 to manage Brunei’s digital telecommunication infrastructure. It offers wholesale telecommunication services to both national and international clients and supports Brunei Vision 2035 which aims to develop a dynamic and sustainable economy in Brunei, backed by the widespread implementation of technology across key sectors.

Upon construction completion, UNN’s prefab data centre will have the capacity to host data centre and IT services and infrastructure of government and private businesses in Brunei. Together with other existing data centre locations of UNN in the country, the capacity and services can be provided in geo-redundancy.

In line with this, UNN opted for Vertiv’s prefabricated modular data centre as opposed to the traditional brick-and-mortar design owing to its speed, flexibility and modularity that was quick to deploy, install and set up. Special attention was paid to achieving high energy efficiency for the new facility.

Image courtesy of UNN

“The benefits of a prefabricated modular data centre design certainly outweigh that of traditional brick-and-mortar approaches. By compressing time-consuming processes such as distinct engineering, site preparation, installation and start-up, a prefab design can bring a facility online by as much as 30% faster than traditional builds. This is especially important for a customer like UNN who is looking to deploy fast and scale with agility,” said Senior Director of Telecom Sales at Vertiv Asia Danny Wong.

The prefab data centre designed by Vertiv for UNN will be housed in flat pack containers and designed according to Uptime Institute’s Data Centre Standards for electrical (Tier IV) and mechanical (Tier III). The prefab data centre will also contain Vertiv’s state-of-the-art solutions, including the modular Vertiv™ Liebert® APT, the Vertiv™ Powerbar iMPB busbar system, and cooling solution, among others.

UNN Head of Procurement Nurul Hayati Mohammad Zabidi in a statement said that after evaluating several vendors, Vertiv is the most suitable vendor to meet our design, technical and operational requirements.

“We have evaluated the benefits of a prefab design and believe that this is the best approach that meets our vision at UNN. We look forward to working with Vertiv for this massive data centre project,” she said.

With an estimated turn-key construction time frame of 10 months, UNN’s phase 1 prefab data centre facility is expected to open early quarter of 2024.

On his part, Vertiv Malaysia Country Manager Teoh Wooi Keat said that not only are prefab data centres faster and more efficient to build than traditional approaches, but they also meet UNN’s desire to increase efficiency and reduce emissions.

“We are pleased to be selected by UNN for this project – the first prefab data centre deployment for Vertiv in Brunei. Vertiv and UNN are fully committed to working together to achieve Brunei’s goal of becoming a digital economy digital transformation,” he said.

UNN Senior Vice President Datacentre & IT Daniele Cuocci said that UNN is embarking on a giant leap in its digital vision with the construction of one of the most advanced data centres in Southeast Asia.

“Our 200-racks cutting-edge facility is a critical step in Brunei’s mission to become a leader in digital innovation and establish itself as a key player in the region. Designed to the highest standards, our new data centre is equipped with the latest technology and redundant systems to ensure maximum uptime and reliability.

The data centre, he added, will have the capacity to host a wide range of mission-critical applications and services, from financial services to healthcare and government services as well as enable the future onboarding of low-latency gaming and cloud services.

Signing on behalf of UNN were Deputy Permanent Secretary at Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications and UNN Director Hj Hairul Mohd Daud Hj Abdul Karim and Chief Executive Officer Dr Steffen Oehler, witnessed by Head of Procurement Nurul Hayati Mohammad Zabidi.

Meanwhile, while signing for Vertiv were Country Manager Malaysia and Brunei Teoh Wooi Keat and Senior Director Telecom Sales Asia Danny Wong, witnessed by Head of Telecom Sales Malaysia and Brunei Kevin Khong.


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