Battery Monitoring with Remote Services: Right Information + Right Expertise= Right Protection

by Emerson Network Power on 7/1/15 11:20 AM

monitoring
Written By: Milind Paranjape, Emerson Network Power

IT managers and facility managers make promises to their businesses and their customers to maintain critical system availability. One key way they can keep their word and deliver on those promises is by properly monitoring and maintaining the batteries that back up the UPS. After all, a UPS is only as reliable as the batteries that support it, and all too often, battery failure is the cause of unplanned, costly downtime in data centers.

Monitoring alone may not be enough. 
Maintaining and continuously monitoring critical battery parameters to detect early signs of battery degradation can go a long way toward reducing battery failure and thus preventing downtime. However, evidence suggests that stationary battery monitoring and data collection might not be enough.

In our 2007 white paper, “The Effect of Regular, Skilled Preventive Maintenance and Remote Monitoring on Critical Power System Reliability,” Emerson Network Power demonstrated that while data centers with on-site battery monitoring systems had a reduced rate of outages due to bad batteries, outages did still happen. Such outages occur when customers do not properly monitor the system, or when they do not know how to properly analyze the data provided by the monitor. Simply put, having the right information, and knowing what to do with it, are two very different things.

Remote monitoring ensures added protection. 
Monitoring that enables remote services is a solution to address these issues. Remote services allow a third party service partner—preferably a partner with full knowledge of critical infrastructure and battery maintenance best practices—to monitor data collected by battery monitoring technology and properly maintain the system based on the data analysis.

The latest technologies, as seen with Albér battery monitoring solutions, monitor parameters such as cell voltage, overall string voltage, current, and temperature. The technology also enables automatic periodic tests of the battery’s internal resistance. Such monitoring and testing verifies the operating integrity of the battery and identifies potential problems early on.

When this technology is supplemented with remote services, skilled battery experts support battery monitoring efforts around the clock. When the monitoring technology detects issues, the remote service technicians receive alerts. They can then put into action a pre-defined escalation plan to address the alarm. As a result, the appropriate steps are taken to correct minor battery problems before they evolve into major system issues, thus protecting other batteries in the string, preventing major system damage, and improving overall system availability.

As an added benefit, remote service providers can analyze the comprehensive data collected by a battery monitoring system and provide data center managers with essential information for making battery maintenance and replacement decisions.

Outside help can improve performance within. 
battery monitoring solution that enables remote services allows data center managers to augment their staffs with around-the-clock, expert support for maintaining battery health and preventing costly downtime. This allows IT and facility staff to focus on more strategic data center infrastructure management initiatives that support core business objectives. Ultimately, battery monitoring with remote services allows IT and facility managers to do their jobs more effectively, dramatically reduce downtime risks, and ensure system availability for the businesses and the customers they serve.

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Topics: data center infrastructure, Data Center, 7x24 exchange, Battery, Uptime, monitoring, the green grid, availability, batteries

Day 3- DVL Engineering Summit, Wilmington, DE

by Marissa Donatone on 4/22/15 9:03 AM

Another great day at the DVL Engineering Summit. Mechanical are here getting the latest inforamation on Data Center Economizers and Energy Standards. Electrical Engineers are learning about Electrical codes and standards for Data Centers. 

We are concluding our Engineering Summit tour at Le Meridien Hotel in Philadelphia on Friday, April 24th. We are excited to see you there! 

 

Wilmington_DVL_Engineering_Summit

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Topics: Emerson Network Power, Data Center, data center energy, Green Technology, DC Power, 7x24 exchange, Thermal Management, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, DVL Engineering Summit, AHRI

Powering the Critical IT Edge: Webcast

by Marissa Donatone on 4/6/15 4:38 PM

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Powerful Innovations:
Powering the Critical IT Edge
Live Webcast: Thursday, April 16,
11 a.m. - 12 p.m. ET


The dynamics surrounding distributed computing systems which reside on the edge of a network are creating challenges. Housed in smaller spaces, outside of a central data center, these application hubs continue to expand in quantity and criticality. The result is that IT professionals are faced with a new set of demands for providing proper power and support.

Join Kyle Keeper, Director of AC Power Product Management, who will explore 4 primary elements that need to be addressed to effectively power critical, distributed network IT. You will save time, money and reduced headaches … all while driving improved reliability. Join us to discuss:
  • Where and what edge of the network systems should be evaluated.
  • How to recognize network IT edge problems before they escalate.
  • Best practices for managing and deploying power.
  • New technologies and services to save time, money and headaches.

Speaker:Kyle Keeper

Kyle Keeper
Director, AC Power Product Management

Who should attend?
Managers responsible for:

  • Network/server closets
  • Telecom rooms
  • Back-office systems
  • Small data rooms
  • Branch offices with IT

Emerson Webcast Registration

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Topics: Green IT, cloud computing, 7x24 exchange, DCIM

Speed, Flexibility and the Data Center

by Emerson Network Power on 11/25/14 11:45 AM

Kollengode Anand | November 20, 2014 | Emerson Network Power

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It’s no longer enough to be dependable if you’re running a data center.  With greater demands being placed by customers, both external and internal, data center administrators are required to be both dependable and fast. Consider these facts, from our “State of the Data Center” report last year:

  • The equivalent of one of every nine persons on the planet uses Facebook.
  • We generated 1.6 trillion gigabytes of data last year. That’s enough data to give every single person on Earth eight 32-gigabyte iPhones, and it’s an increase of 60 percent in just two years.
  • Every hour, enough information is created to fill more than 46 million DVDs.
  • Global e-Commerce spending topped $1.25 trillion in 2013.

It’s always been important to respond to your customers, of course, but now there are more of them, demanding more information, and more quickly:  the report says that if the online video they are watching buffers for more than five seconds, 25 percent of viewers drop off.  And if the video buffers for more than 10 seconds, half of them are gone.

Oh, and did we mention that the average cost of a data center outage now runs more than $900,000…an increase of one-third in just two years?

Which is why it’s critical for administrators to be able to flexibly configure their data centers, and to be able to react rapidly when requirements change, or when there’s a problem.  We’ve found that a unified approach to the entire infrastructure is the best way of handling these situations.  Whether it’s heating and cooling, power, servers, software, or more, the ability to administer data center operations in a real-time manner has become more imperative than ever.

It’s one of the key elements in the development of the dynamic data center, and in being able to easily manage changes and maintain an optimal environment.

We’ll be at the Gartner Data Center, Infrastructure & Operations Management Conference in Las Vegas in a couple of weeks, at booth #211, showing off the equipment and software that we’ve developed to help you make your business as dynamic as your data center.  We’ll also be speaking about where our clients believe the data center is headed more than ten years from now.   Their input has proven critical in the past, and their thinking is helping us develop the solutions that will solve their challenges both today and tomorrow.

For More Blogs by Emerson Network Power- Click Here

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Topics: Emerson Network Power, Data Center, cloud computing, 7x24 exchange, Thermal Management, DCIM, Uptime, sustainability, clean energy, monitoring, Trellis

Without Power? Rethink your Data Center Power Strategy

by Gary Hill, President of DVL, LLC on 2/7/14 1:47 PM

_MG_5485The last two weeks have likely been a challenging time for a server room manager to sleep at night.  With one snow storm, and one ice storm reliable power is the hot topic!

As power is slowly restored to the affected areas, it is interesting to see many empty parking lots along the Route 202 corridor.  Likely some of these businesses are having second thoughts about their IT preparedness strategy.  Losing power for a few hours is one thing, but being without power for days is a whole different challenge.

If you have a generator it probably took the load before your UPS batteries went dead.  For managers relying on rack-mounted UPS systems to carry them through probably experienced a few unwelcome surprises – shorter battery run-times than expected and unplanned server shutdowns, i.e. crashes.  Depending on the type of UPS technology you have, your lack of run-time may have you looking for better technology.  What type you have now doesn’t really matter because going forward, you want to only buy On-Line Double Conversion units, not Line Interactive.

UPS units – even rack-mounted ones – are designed to protect against fluctuations in the utility power quality as well as provide battery backup in the event of an outright failure.  Line interactive UPS units are very commonly used.  The problem is that they rely on the battery for more than just utility power loss.  Frequency or voltage variations trigger the load to shift to the battery, and even though it may only be energized for a short period of time these frequent ‘hits’ curtail their life.  Double-conversion UPS units, as the name implies converts the utility AC power feed to DC, and then regenerates a clean AC feed to the connected load (where it is them internally converted back to DC!).  The only time the battery pack is energized is if there is an outright power failure.  The benefit is longer battery runtimes. More Information Click Here.

UPS batteries however have a finite life.  Just like your flashlight or car battery, they degrade with time and load.  With all the tasks IT Managers have, maintain an updated UPS battery replacement schedule likely isn’t high on the list.  After experiences like this week – maybe it gets moved up but that is hindsight. 

After utility power is restored the next issue to deal with is replacing the batteries.  Replacing them will of course mean another shutdown. Here is an idea – invest in a Liebert MicroPod which allows you to externally bypass the UPS and not have to shutdown anything.  Here is a link to this remarkably inexpensive, highly useful UPS add on.

All this UPS discussion is good for minutes – maybe an hour of battery backup.  After this storm you may be more interested in hours rather than minutes.   For critical devices– like network switches now is the time to consider a DC UPS power solution.  Before telephony went IP, DC power was the de-facto power standard in the industry.  The small windowless telephone buildings you see were built to provide local switching for a DC-powered network.  It is tried and true technology that did not migrate quickly to the server room.  Now however nearly all manufacturers offer DC-powered equivalent products – particularly the switch manufacturers like Cisco.

The biggest advantage for making your network switch DC powered is you can economically power it for HOURS without spending a fortune on batteries or real estate.  IT Managers with disaster experience will deploy this technology if they do not have a backup generator.  The DC option is often overlooked by network designers when selecting a power system.

The Emerson Netsure family of products offers a rack-mounted solution that has the same form factor as an AC-powered UPS. The DC systems offer the significant advantages of scalability and redundancy.  And a string of DC batteries at -48Vdc, is on tenth the number of jars used for an AC UPS with a 480Vdc battery system!  This means that you can get a lot of bang for your buck, meaning longer run times of 4 to 8 to 12 hours (depending on your load) without buying a lot of batteries.  And the rectifiers that convert the AC source to DC, are modular and hot swappable.  That means that you can have enough power to support your load, plus one rectifier for redundancy, and open slots in the chassis to add more rectifiers in the event that your load grows over time.

The DC Plant, distribution breakers, and the batteries can all fit into one rack!

And if some of your loads are AC only, a rack mounted inverter can be used to power those loads off of the DC plant (using the same extended battery backup).

DVL offers a complete line of Emerson Netsure DC systems ranging from 8 watts to 200 watts per rectifier and systems that range from 10 amps to 10,000 amps.  If you’re interested in learning more please download this Emerson Network Power whitepaper “DC Power Systems for Convergent Networks

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Topics: Data Center, data center outages, DC Power, 7x24 exchange, Battery, UPS

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