Data Center in Russia Improves Efficiency and Safety of IT Equipment with New Data Center Monitoring System
Intermast, LLC in Russia commissioned USSC, Ltd and FirstMile to develop a monitoring system capable of alerting operators to issues in the data center. InduSoft Web Studio was chosen to provide the interface for the building automation monitoring system.
Data center operators are now able to receive alerts when critical failures occur or servers go offline. The system archives critical parameters for later evaluation, allowing the center to improve operational efficiency over time.
By studying the data, Intermast will be able to reduce energy costs, decrease machine downtime, and avoid expensive machine failures.
Figure 1: Data centers pose unique problems for integration of building management systems
Consistent power, cooling, heating, security, and fire protection are all critical functions of building automation. However, data centers pose unique problems for integration of building management systems. Environmental controls for data systems must not only aid the productivity of employees, but special considerations must be employed to protect the valuable IT equipment housed within a data center.
Building automation for data centers must first and foremost offer a source of continuous and efficient power, with safeguards to protect equipment and data in the event of an outage, and means to seamlessly shift from one power source to another. Another key facet of data center management is ensuring that cooling is sufficient to keep equipment at ideal temperatures, even in the event of outages. Fire prevention systems must also be designed in such a way that firefighting measures will not pose a threat to sensitive electrical systems.
Security is another key feature. Both physical and IT security are necessary to protect the critical data. The ability to monitor the integrated building automation functions and verify that all are operating properly is vital for data centers that are used in government operations, as they may be subject to audits.
Intermast LLC in Yekaterinburg, Russia, discovered the necessity of monitoring building automation for data centers when they commissioned USSC, Ltd, in cooperation with FirstMile to develop a cooling system and electric power supply for data center equipment in the plant.
Figure 2: Using InduSoft Web Studio’s alarming functions, the application is able to push alarms to SMS and e-mail, ensuring that critical issues are acknowledged and responded to.
Prior to the installation of the cooling and electric power supply system, the plant had no way to monitor the data center’s systems. Power outages could not be tracked, and warnings could not be sent in the event of equipment malfunction. It could take hours or days to notice significant problems in the data center infrastructure.
As with any large building automation project, there was also the issue of how multiple systems, such as the fire prevention, cooling, power supply, and HVAC could all be monitored from one interface. Building automation communication from one system to another can be difficult to manage without a SCADA software platform capable of uniting them into one system that can be effectively monitored.
As they began development on the building automation systems, USSC and First Mile also evaluated software that could be used to monitor data center information. InduSoft Web Studio was chosen for this task, thanks to the availability of connectivity options, and the cost-to-functionality ratio that made it more attractive than competing SCADA software. With InduSoft Web Studio, it would be possible to link the disparate control systems in the building and receive information in one easy-to-read interface. Because First Mile was already familiar with InduSoft Web Studio, the installation could be done quickly and cost effectively.
The solution developed by USSC and First Mile uses APC and WAGO PLCs, as well as power analyzers from Schneider Electric. Systems installed in the plant include a fire system, power regulation system, HVAC, cooling, and others. The InduSoft Web Studio application developed to monitor the data center communicates with all these systems to give operators and managers ready access to information about the status of the data center’s key components.
Figure 3: Data center operators are now able to receive alerts when critical failures occur or servers go offline.
With the new system in place, data center operators are now able to receive alerts when critical failures occur or servers go offline. The system also archives critical parameters for later evaluation, and makes it easy to track the state of any machine failures before and after they go offline.
The most important pieces of the data center’s new monitoring capabilities are the automated messages that operators receive. Using InduSoft Web Studio’s alarming functions, the application is able to push alarms to SMS and e-mail, ensuring that critical issues are acknowledged and responded to. The SMS notification in particular makes it possible to get critical alarms from smartphones, which allows operators to respond to problems from anywhere in the data center.
The results of the installation were immediate. By receiving and being able to respond to problems within the data center, the Intermast company has been able to maximize uptime of machinery by about 20%. With the new tracking and data analysis capabilities of the InduSoft Web Studio application, it will be possible to further improve operational efficiency throughout the data center. Intermast will be able to reduce energy costs, decrease machine downtime, and avoid expensive machine failures.
Figure 4: Building automation for data centers must offer a source of continuous and efficient power, with safeguards to protect equipment and data in the event of an outage, and means to seamlessly shift from one power source to another.
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