The Fiber Services division provides connectivity and IT infrastructure services to business customers and telecommunications providers. Geographically, CKW covers the entire Central Swiss business region and adheres to customer requirements prevalent throughout Switzerland. Furthermore, the company is gradually extending its existing FO network as well as its data center services and uses partnerships for the comprehensive fulfillment of customer requirements.

The largest commercial data center in Central Switzerland

From left to right: Werner Helfenstein, Head of Infrastructure and Operations and Member of the Management Board, CKW Fiber Services AG; Walter Epp, Data Center Project Lead, CKW AG; Nadja Brechbühl, Marketing & Sales Assistant, CKW Fiber Services AG; Roger Berther, Head of IT Run, CKW AG; Daniel Gyger, R&M Switzerland

Due to the strong growth, the company decided to build a new ISO 27001 certified TIER IV data center in Lucerne-Littau in 2015. With usable space of 1,270 m2, it is the largest commercial data center in Central Switzerland. With a PUE value of less than 1.2, the efficiency is more than 60 % above the average of all Swiss data centers. The private and public customers can either rent a «white space», a «rack lounge» or a «rack space».

CKW AG itself has decided to build its own data center in the new, ultra-secure data center of its subsidiary CKW Fiber Services. The data center was planned in accordance with the precise specifications and requirements of CKW.

Perfect project planning from A-Z

Walter Epp, system engineer and the man responsible for data center operations at CKW, was made project lead. As the timetable was very ambitious from the outset, exact deadlines were drafted with precisely defined interfaces.

Werner Helfenstein, Head of Infrastructure and Operations at the CWK data center, has worked together successfully with R&M for many years. Once again he was able to recommend the leading supplier of Layer 1 solutions to take on this case. Walter Epp examined tried and tested cabling solutions with customers already renting space and was impressed: «I felt immediately that R&M had a great experience with data center projects and in particular with rack cabling.»

«As data center project lead I have a large number of tasks that all have to be taken care of at the same time. And that is why I need an expert and transparent advisor in the cabling sector too, a partner I can totally rely on at all times. And I found that partner in R&M.» Walter Epp also stresses that communication in such a complex project is of crucial significance, concluding: «The customer advisors were always available for me whenever I had any questions. And during the installation phase, they were even often to be found on site.».

Top of rack infrastructure

CKW opted for a top of rack infrastructure for the switches which simplified cabling. R&M developed a customized solution with compelling cable management.
In the data center, several thousands of copper and FO connections have already been installed. The copper installations were equipped with the current Cat. 6A 10 Gigabit technology. In the FO sector, the flexible MPO MTP system with interchangeable LC Duplex trays and OM4 cabling was implemented. To protect the FO cables, the R&M raceway system and the lateral 19-inch rack cabling channels were used.

Optimal project support

The importance of the Layer 1 infrastructure is often underestimated. With R&M I have a partner that gives me optimal support and offers me the right solutions for this sector.

The R&M team supported CKW throughout the project with consulting and planning services and stood out with perfect delivery quality. For example, all patch cords were delivered at the right lengths with precise instructions on how to position them in the racks. «Everything was delivered as planned and on time,» says a highly satisfying project lead, Walter Epp. Adhering to the precisely defined delivery times was very important as installation work in projects of this magnitude quickly explode in terms of costs when delays occur. Furthermore, the installation team was trained in specifics on-site by R&M.

In the spring of 2017, CKW was able to commission the new data center. «Our newly constructed data center works perfectly,» says a satisfied Walter Epp. «Every connection worked perfectly from the word go, at full performance. That really impressed me.»

CKW domiciled in Lucerne has written a piece of Swiss electricity history. For more than 125 years it has been supplying Central Switzerland with electricity – from turbines to power outlets. What started off as a hydroelectric power plant in Rathausen, is now a company with more than 1,700 employees and a service portfolio ranging from electricity through to building and data networks.

CKW is a company organized under private law. Its majority owner is Axpo Holding AG. Another important shareholder is the canton of Lucerne.

The utility provides electricity for most consumers in the canton of Lucerne. The CKW subsidiary Elektrizitätswerk Schwyz AG supplies a few municipalities on Lake Lucerne. The Group also includes Elektrizitätswerk Altdorf AG, Steiner Energie AG, CKW Conex AG, CKW Fiber Services AG, and SicuroCentral AG. The CKW Group is the largest energy service provider in Central Switzerland. It has more than 200,000 customers.