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IT’S COMPLICATED

It is now 25 years since I registered my own technology business and at the time it was fortunate that I was already the director of a major division of a company who wanted to sell it with preference for a management buyout. That was a complicated process and a big learning curve for me but looking back it was much more simple than business today. Yes it’s more complicated and if you do not get to grips with its complication then success will be hard to come by.

Business is more complicated but not as much as today’s fast moving technology so when the data centre industry saw an opportunity to simplify infrastructure management why did they make it so complicated? Too much too soon is the answer? So we are now recently invited to join a webinar on five reasons that DCIM (Data Centre Infrastructure Management) as failed.

I will not be joining the webinar because Advanced Datacentre Systems knew the complications of too much too soon and now have a good number of successful progressive DCIM systems in major companies. Taking the building block approach and prioritising the integration by returned efficiencies provides a foundation for fuller incorporation of systems when time and budgets will allow, if it’s worth it.

Talking of budget this week’s UK first full conservative one for 19 years is very complicated!

Datacentre and Building Management System Protocols: “Get smart, get Simple”

Am I the only one that thinks the Information Technology (IT) industry Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) would be the perfect solution for data integration in all future facilities?

As we progress further with new buzz of Machine to Machine (M2M) technology a common topology must be adopted. The most extensiveinformation highway in any Data Centre or Smart Building is the IT network so why complicate the total data infrastructure solution by having different topologies for other data providing systems and devices

Manufacturers of most facilities equipment, systems and devices provide a SNMP version therefore why do consultants, contractors and clients allow buyers to procure network products of different topologies when the construction process begins? Maybe it is first rather than life cycle cost driven?

Smart building technology and BMS have been around for a long time but unfortunately numerous topologies still exist within these industries. The future of M2M technology in all forms is assured but the journey should be made easier by ensuring all devices have an Internet Protocol (IP) address with open access to common data.

Advanced Data Centre Systems software Sensorium™ has provided a number of high profile clients with a successful Data Centre Infrastructure Management (DCIM) solution but it is much more difficult to integrate the IT and BMS systems when different topologies are adopted. The difficulty will grow exponentially as M2M grows so “get smart, get Simple”.

A Good Relationship between a Company’s Information Technology and Facilities Management Teams Is Now Essential

Advanced Datacentre Systems Limited (ADSL), using the Sensorium™ solution, has created a holistic  DCIM solution for a large corporate bank.

We think this successful solution owes a lot to the close working relationship between the client’s IT and FM teams. Such a relationship was rare for companies 5 years ago, but with the server cabinet power and environmental state closer to their critical tolerances, we feel that it is now essential.

When a 400 cabinet data centre is up and running, we realise the true reactivity of the cooling and air flow requirement in the whole facility. We know that the DCIM solution only works with accurate real-time information from intelligent devices with systems gathering data from the whole facility. The FM team will also play a big part in energy efficiency requirements of the future, but they rely on a Building Management System (BMS) to give them the necessary real-time information to manage the facility effectively. It, therefore, makes sense to integrate this with the enterprise software.

Our client’s management team knows that real time information is crucial for alarm management in mission critical data centre situations. This means, for example, that standby power can be instigated if an outage occurs. These standby systems are reactively fast, but the cooling systems for the data centres are relatively slow, so predictive monitoring is essential to prevent overheating. Although the process is much quicker, the benefits of knowing what is about to happen far out way the possibilities of arising critical situations. Similar applications are being used by the team for comparison of important metrics such as Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE). Well established Automatic Monitoring and Targeting (AMT) systems use this method for regression monitoring to ensure energy efficiency is optimised.

Real-time BMS systems have been around since the 1980s, but the industry uses many different network protocols. Integration with IT enterprise software can be done, but differing protocols make it more expensive. This is especially true for legacy systems. Clients realise that the answer to this for future new works is with their consultants, specifiers and procurement teams. It is crucial that all network infrastructure equipment uses Standard Network Management Protocol (SNMP) in all new facilities. The majority of manufacturers have recently introduced this option in their range of equipment to comply with IT standards.

ADSL provides systems that are tailored to the client’s changing requirements so we are dedicated to ensuring quick action on developing these needs into the Sensorium™ software.

INFRASRUCTURE MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE (IMS) – Prioritising the Building Blocks

Whatever building you have the ideal is to incorporatean IMS that collects useful data and converts it into a format that meets the criteria for the management of that facility. The holistic approach is the end goal where the manager fully understands the reactivity of the space in a stable or changing environment. Essential is the practical presentation of meaningful information in a friendly format.

HolisticIMS solutions incorporate disparate systems into one. However these building blocks need to be prioritised. Prioritisation depends on the type of facility but some of the systems may need serious investment to raise the level of intelligence for data gathering. In this instance return on capital spend will need careful consideration.

The old adage still stands “If you do not monitor it you cannot manage it” so sub-meteringmust be high on the list of priorities now that Climate Change Agreements (CCA’s) are gaining teeth. Automatic Monitoring and Targeting (AMT) routines are becoming more sophisticated so that high energy using hot spots can be quickly identified and resolved.Condition or rate of change techniques assist maintenance and can vastly reduce power outage or component failure by predicting early changes outside the norm. This form of regression monitoring can be a major factor in ensuring the AMT system qualifies for the governments Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) scheme which allows 100% of capital coststo be written off against profit in the year of that spend. This is a big help to cash flow but systems that are certified for ECA are then seen in good light when annual CCA audits take place. Part of the ECA scheme is the Energy Technology List (ETL) which includes many energy efficient products already approved for the scheme.

Good infrastructure software can gather data from many intelligent systems, be it Asset Management, Building Management or Power and Environmental.Choose the provider with the reference sites that have a track record of working closely with the client to give them integrated solutions, which have solved the technological problems that are encountered, and workfor the manager who uses these tools on a daily basis.

It is a mistake not to understand that the IMS will require a dedicated resource to ensure the benefits are optimised. Many of these systems are neglected when installed or used only for alarm management but companies that do invest in a dedicated resource soon realise the large savings and security that they bring.

What are the benefits of Data Centre Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software
What are the benefits of DCIM software?

DCIM Software is a relatively new breed of software, designed to give a data centre the capability of running their operations more efficiently by improving their infrastructure’s design.

In a nutshell, it is a solution designed to streamline a data centre’s management, by including all aspects of its operations in one place – from traditional data management through to physical assets, facility management, IT domain administration and so on.  read more

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There’s a lot more to Advanced DataCentre Systems. We don’t just provide Data Centre Infrastructure Management Solutions. We find out what you want from a DCIM, and build that solution around you – not anyone else.

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