Intelligent CIO North America Issue 5 - Page 84

Paul Mott is Global Technical Product Manager of Power Solutions at Raritan
allows them to not only deploy new assets and new equipment , but also allows them to decommission a lot faster as well . So , for instance , you can roll an entire cabinet into a data centre and know exactly what ' s in that cabinet that ’ s loaded into the system . And then , you can have the confidence of being able to plug it right into the production network knowing that you ' ve automated all the initial steps to make sure you understand what ' s in the cabinet , everything is tested and everything is good to go for your business needs .
So it ’ s a huge benefit . We continue to see lots of different interesting automation techniques being used , whether it ' s from deploying thousands of power distribution units at one clip or updating power distribution units with a firmware update for security purposes . There are lots of different ways to do it . We hang our hat on the fact that we ' re the most flexible and we have the greatest number of tools and ways to tackle that challenge . We always like to help our endusers whenever they have questions about it – whether it ' s a question about how to integrate it with some sort of other systems that they might already be using for automation . There are lots of different ways to skin a cat . We ' re always looking to help end-users drive automation because we know it ' s very important for them and it ' s a focal point for us as well .
What challenges does your new Smart Rack Controllers ( SRC ) solution address ?
The new Smart Rack Controller ( SRC ) is a product that is effectively like the brain of an Intelligent PDU repackaged in a way where it focuses more on the deployment of intelligent sensors , door locks and asset management .
So we have a lot of customers that may have mixed environments . They may have dual sourcing to make sure that they can continue to buy their equipment in an effective manner and when you have types of heterogeneous environments like that what ends up happening is you may not want to actually go and buy temperature and humidity sensors from one brand , and buy temperature and humidity sensors from another brand and try to figure out how to manage them through your Intelligent PDUs or through whatever systems you ’ re using . The idea behind the SRC is that we can consolidate all of the intelligence into one platform into a handful of units across the data centre and we give the end-user the flexibility to deploy sensors on door locks and asset management however they see fit .
Whether it ' s on a single cabinet-level or row level , containment level , cluster , or however they want to do it , we have different models , different options , to be able to meet all of their challenges whether or not they want to use a standard ASHRAE style monitoring scheme for temperature or whether they ' re monitoring both the intake and the output temperatures of a cabinet and maybe even multiple points of the cabinet , such as top , middle or bottom , which is a popular way of monitoring those . I call the SRC the Swiss Army Knife of intelligence in the data centre because it can do so many different things . It ' s not just an intelligent sensor management solution for environmental monitoring we can also power door locks , we can enable physical access control in a unique way where everything ' s on the network . You don ' t need dedicated security infrastructure to actually install those electronic locks .
And then , of course , there ' s asset management as well . This is another key role for some of these enterprise end-users that need to track and monitor where every single asset is and we can do that down to the RU level and make sure that users know exactly where everything is at all times . And when you put it all together you have a one size fits all type of device that really can help solve a wide array of different challenges and also can scale up as a user might have seen challenges . Maybe today they might only need to deploy environmental sensors but tomorrow they may have a physical access control need or maybe an asset management need , then they can start to layer on these various functions on to the same device without having to go and buy separate devices , separate systems or integrate with separate software . So , it helps flatten the whole challenge quite considerably .
What best practice advice would you offer data centre operators to ensure business continuity ?
I would say , monitor everything . You can ' t make well-informed decisions without having a tremendous amount of data , especially in today ' s world , and the tools are there at your fingertips with solutions like our Smart Rack Controller and Intelligent PDUs . The more variables that you can monitor in your data centre , the more they will help you make betterinformed decisions , help drive design decisions , deployment decisions and upgrade decisions .
From a wide scale across your organisation , across the world , it all comes down to being able to collect that data , analyse it , have all of the technicians and the data centre operators , that work within your organisation , understand that data and then help formulate strategies based around that . So , really , to me it ' s all about monitoring , the more data that we can get about the environment , about what ' s going on in the data centre , the better we can help to transform , update and optimise . p
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