Intelligent Data Centres Issue 01 | Page 66

THE EDGE and power. Having access to rack-level data provides exactly the data platform needed for the kind of software-enabled real- time decision-making and scenario planning capabilities that organisations need to optimise critical facilities. up with tracking data centre thermal performance and ensuring that the right cooling, power and space strategies are in place, it’s easy to see why many data centre teams view the process as an administrative burden rather than a positive activity. We’ve been working to address this challenge through the application of our SaaS-powered monitoring, management and optimisation software, however we knew that we also had to make the process as accessible as possible for data centre operations staff. That’s why we’re helping operations staff by replacing complex spreadsheets with easy-to-use 3D visualisations that show exactly what’s going on in real-time. Innovative room builder technology means that modelling your room is as simple as dragging and dropping critical rack and cooling assets into place, while the latest ‘what if?’ simulations also help you to experiment safely with different rack, power and cooling layouts to find your optimal M&E configuration. By working to make the whole process easier, we’re helping data centre operators to achieve true thermal piece of mind by achieving ASHRAE adherence, securing significant cooling savings and also enabling data centres to free up further capacity from their existing infrastructure. 3D visualisation is just the start True data centre optimisation requires a proven, safe process that’s based on thousands of real-time sensors and expert spatial models that combine to remove the uncertainty from data centre cooling 66 Issue 01 The next stage is to use the software to take things to the next level, actively supporting data centre teams with advice about what they can physically do to improve their centre’s performance. Drawing on sensor inputs and software analysis, our software now advises our customers about data centre floor tiles or grilles that need changing, recommends immediate adjustments to setpoints in the coldest parts of the data centre room, while also tracking air handling units to highlight and suspend those not actually doing any active cooling. Working from a common performance data set Central to effective data centre performance optimisation is the requirement for data centre managers and their IT and facilities management teams to have access to the same core set of performance information. By providing a common data framework for managing their critical estate, different teams can rely on a trusted, single point of information that’s ready to support decision-making and support improved collaboration and workflows. Instead of waiting for sign-off by other teams, a data centre’s power, IT and cooling specialists can all work together from a common 3D data set. This combination of effective 3D visualisation, Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, a common data set and analytics is combining to offer a powerful tool in helping organisations to drive energy efficiency and risk reduction in data centres. It’s a great example of Gartner’s ‘Digital Twins’ approach, where intelligent modelling and analytics are deployed to help organisations monitor and control their increasingly complex assets and processes. Gartner sees this Digital Twins model as a great way for organisations to disrupt traditional CAD model-based management, drawing on innovations such as 3D modelling and IOT sensors to provide continuous data updates from the data centre floor. Supporting changing data centre demographics Data centre teams will also quickly come to rely on their sensor + software enabled Digital Twins model as their operations continue to evolve, particularly as they come to terms with managing their expanding edge and hyper-scale activities. It’s a model that’s well-suited to changing data centre demographics and the changing knowledge expectations of younger employees particularly. The next industry generation will become increasingly comfortable with the concept of managing their data centre operations using exactly the kind of real-time enabled 3D operational models outlined above. And, perhaps critically, they’ll also be empowered to make active optimisation decisions based on this trusted data centre digital model. Indeed, they may succeed in achieving what their predecessors have long hoped for – being able to navigate their data centre careers without having to resort to outdated CAD drawings and inflexible departmental spreadsheets. ◊ EkkoSense’s Dr Stu Redshaw C M Y CM MY CY CMY K