Earlier this year, Infrabel, manager of the Belgian railway infrastructure, concluded a framework agreement with the Cabling & Infrastructure Division of Simac ICT Belgium. Over the next four years, Simac will lay structured cabling in the existing datacenters at Brussels, Muizen and Monceau. Besides supplying and laying the cables, the company is also responsible for testing and certification. In this way, Infrabel acquires an end-to-end, integrated solution, covered by a 25-year system warranty. The contract value amounts to 1 million euros in total.
"A malfunction in the datacenter means the trains don't run", says Alain Janssens, Datacenter Manager at Infrabel. "Infrabel is bound to the upkeep and innovation of the rail infrastructure. In addition, the railway infrastructure manager ensures train safety through effective rail traffic control, centrally directed via its signal boxes. All these activities are supported by our three datacenters, which are designated critical national infrastructure. That's why it's hugely important that the datacenter cabling is in perfect order." This answers why Infrabel sought a total solution to the performance problems they were experiencing intermittently in their datacenters. A major prerequisite to that respect, was 'continuity of operations': there is just one cable installer in charge and a single manufacturer. Concluding this frame agreement yields Infrabel significant time savings when executing its projects.
The allocation of the contract for these cabling works, was based on an open tender. Infrabel first launched a market survey to gauge the interest and capacity of specialized companies. Candidates were screened on the basis of objective criteria. After a thorough technical and financial evaluation, Simac C&I won the contract for the complete copper and fiber cabling of the datacenters. In consultation with Infrabel, Simac will install the structured cabling on existing cable trays and rack infrastructure.
The structured cabling that Simac installs, meets the European quality standards on fire protection. The CPR Euro Class applied, exceeds the protection level currently prescribed by the legislator. The offered cable performance was evaluated positively. Infrabel considered the price of the products tendered as well as the installation cost. Based on their well-documented tender dossier, Infrabel considered Simac to be the right partner. The value for money of the total package was a decisive factor in choosing Simac.
Infrabel has previously worked with Simac. The satisfaction with this prior collaboration is – by means of the present frame agreement – reaffirmed by Infrabel. "We are confident that Simac C&I can prepare, install, test and certify the structured cabling of our datacenters in Brussels, Monceau and Muizen (AlphaCloud). Several orders have been placed already, within the scope of the contract and the cooperation can be described as ideal. Simac carries out everything on time, as prescribed in the specifications," Janssens added.
Andy Vanbrabant, Director of Simac's Cabling & Infrastructure Division, is happy too: "This cooperation with Infrabel is a heart-warming confirmation of our approach and expertise," he said. "Besides the much-needed continuity of operations, such contracts allow us to potentially offer a wider suite of services to datacenters. The current agreement is an opportunity once more, to collaborate with cable manufacturer Nexans and distributor Cebeo."