The Gift of a Look Into the Future

by Mike Beck on 12/14/17 8:14 AM

Don’t you just love this time of year? The excitement of the holidays and no pressure at all because you’ve got all the IT projects for 2017 wrapped up, right? Well, consider this Vertiv™ blogpost a fancily wrapped present, just for you (and your IT department)... It’s a look into the future of what 2018 will bring, so you don’t have to worry about what will blindside you in the coming year. Our friends at Vertiv™, who have done a great job being defined as the data center industry thought leader, have these great insights to offer. In addition to a whole array of new CRAC and CRAH units, UPS Systems, and other data center infrastructure equipment, they are positioned as your data center expert to help you save money, time, and energy.2018 Data Center Trends

Please enjoy this short read and let us know your thoughts. One thing that caught my attention was that higher densities are arriving. In my career, this has been one of the most talked about and planned for issues, but seldom seems to materialize. Do you think we are there? Let us know.

We at DVL wish all of you a very happy holiday, and hopefully, with the Vertiv™ insight, we’ve helped your company prepare for a happy new year.

Take a peak at 2018's data center trends.

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Topics: Data Center, vertiv

When Consolidating Your Data Center Infrastructure, Don’t Overlook Your IT Management Processes

by Emerson Network Power on 9/21/16 11:23 AM

UMG-consolidated.jpgFor most IT execs and managers, job performance is measured on the efficiency of data center operations. Unfortunately, the complexity of modern data centers sure doesn’t make it easy to be efficient. The endless business demands for services mean IT is constantly adding, changing, updating and decommissioning a multitude of hardware and software assets...

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Topics: Data Center, IT, data center infrastructure management

Are You Taking Good Care of Your Data Center?

by Emerson Network Power on 7/13/16 8:40 AM

One of the things we often take for granted is our health. We tend to neglect things like taking our vitamins, eating right or visiting our doctor regularly. For enterprises, taking care of our data center’s health is critical. An ailing data center can have disastrous effects to your business. In fact, the 2016 Ponemon Institute study on data center downtime found that a minute of downtime leads to a loss of up to $8,851.

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So what can you do to keep your data center healthy? Simple: Preventive Maintenance (PM). Just like regular visits to the doctor, original equipment manufacturer (OEM)-trained technicians can help you diagnose possible issues within your critical infrastructure and resolve it promptly through systematic inspections, detection and correction of failures. What’s more, routine maintenance increases the life of your equipment by identifying needed repairs and upgrades.

PM covers all aspects of your critical infrastructure, from power, cooling to electrical systems. Note, though, that the same Ponemon Institute study found that UPS battery failure remains to be the leading cause of data center downtime and attention should be given to servicing your UPS.

The idea of having a PM strategy in your organization’s critical infrastructure sounds straightforward, but is often overlooked by decision-makers either due to lack of available resources or priority. True enough, we’ve all been guilty of neglecting to undergo “maintenance” even in our daily lives. Can you think of an instance when you’ve put off having your car serviced by professionals, either because you lack time or are simply too lazy to do so? Or the time when you decided to delay going to your dentist until your tooth starts to ache and it’s too late?

A good PM strategy involves understanding the performance of each aspect of your critical infrastructure. For example, the ideal PM for your UPS is four times a year, while for your thermal management units require more attention with six times a year. This is something that you have to discuss with your OEM-technician. Regardless, regular PM increases the Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) of your equipment. A higher MTBF means a more reliable unit.

I talk more about having a good PM strategy in this article.

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Topics: Data Center, UPS

Finding the right architecture for power protection in hospitals

by Emerson Network Power on 3/30/16 8:42 AM

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If you’ve read the post about distributed and centralized bypass architectures, you’re probably evaluating the right architecture for a new datacenter, or maybe you’re re-designing the one you’re currently using. The decision is not easy and it will often impact the operation and performance of the power protection system in your datacenter or the connected loads. Unfortunately, in technology there is rarely a simple “yes – no” or black – white” answer, and this holds true for power distribution as well. Yet, in technology and science, there’s a “grey area”, in which the ‘right’ decision is strongly influenced by the specific context and case, and is dependent on many parameters. Luckily, there are paths to find the best solution as a trade-off between the multiple parameters involved.

If you’re considering the use of an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), it means you are worried about the possibility of utility power failures and the associated downtime problems that follow. Given this, the selection of the appropriate configuration or architecture for power distribution is one of the first topics of discussion, and the use of a centralized, parallel, distributed, redundant, hot-standby or other configurations available, becomes an important part of it.  While there are numerous architectures to choose from, there are also several internal variables that will require your attention. Fortunately, a few elementary decisions will make the selection easier. Even if not all parameters can be matched, it’s important to at least begin the conversation and explore trade-offs and other considerations. Without trying to be exhaustive (which would require a dedicated white paper), you should consider at least the following:

a) Cost: more complex architectures will increase both your initial investment and your cost, not only at the initial design stage but during the entire life of your power system, especially with regards to efficiency. In other words, we could say that complex architectures will increase your TCO.

b) Availability and reliability: how reliable should your power system be? And what about single or multiple points of failure? Would you need any type of redundancy?

c) Plans for growth: Do you expect your power demand or capacity to increase in the future? Will you re-configure your load distribution?

d) Related to the previous point, but highlighted separately because of its importance for UPS is modularity. Do you need a modular solution for future expansion or redundancy?

e) Bypass architecture; an important point as explained in a separate post.

f) Need for monitoring of the complete UPS power system, also considering any shutdown of loads, and in combination with other systems like thermal management.

g) Service and maintenance: Once the initial investment in power protection has been made, please do not forget to keep it at optimum conditions. This maintenance at regular intervals has to be achieved through service contracts, check for spares availability if multiple types of UPS are used, capability to isolate a subset, or use of remote diagnostic and preventive monitoring services such as Emerson Network Power’s LIFE for maximum availability.

h) Profile of the loads; especially if you’re considering a few large loads or many “small” loads (perhaps distributed across several buildings or in a wide area such as a wind farm), autonomy required for each load, peak power demands, etc.

In addition, the decision is not only related to the internal requirements of the power systems, but it is also linked to the type of load or application to be protected, as requirements and decisions may vary depending on the application being industrial, education, government, banking, healthcare or data center. For example, an application where the loads are servers which manage printers in a bank, compared to a hospital where the power protection systems may manage several surgery rooms, are by no means the same. In fact, in the case of bank printers, in the worst case they can be shut down, while in the case of the surgery rooms, their shutdown is not an option unless for scheduled maintenance. This is because a non-scheduled shutdown of the medical equipment in a surgery room would have a serious impact on the people inside that room for a surgical operation.

Let’s take the hospital example further and consider a particular case. In order to do a quick exercise and simplify, we can use a scenario with several surgery rooms as a reference (for example 5 to 20 rooms, each one with a 5-10 kVA UPS for individual protection), plus a small data center (for example with 30 kVA power consumption) and finally, other critical installations in the facility (let’s assume 300 kVA for offices, laboratories, elevators, etc.).

In this scenario, initially, the architectures that could be envisaged as a first step are:

1. Fully distributed, and for simplicity’s sake, a hospital with 10 surgery rooms is assumed here with 10 kVA for each surgery room plus a centralized UPS (>330 kVA) for the remaining loads.

2. A fully redundant solution based on a centralized UPS protecting all the loads (this UPS being in a parallel redundant configuration). The power for any of these UPS would be 300 kVA + 30 kVA + (10 x 10 kVA).

3. An intermediate solution, referred to as “redundant hot standby”, so that this redundant UPS is sized only for the surgery rooms (10 surgery rooms x 10 kVA), and with a bypass line connected to the large centralized UPS (>430 kVA). This solution shows the advantage of a smaller capacity required for this redundant hot standby UPS.

Emerson Network Power has done several simulations based on typical scenarios as the one described above for a hospital, and considered the factors for optimization a), b), e) and h). Considering the parameters for optimization, the energy savings (power consumption and heat dissipation), initial investment (CAPEX) as well as the maintenance costs (OPEX), the solution based on the “redundant hot standby” seems to be the most convenient.
Moreover, the difference between architectures 1 and 3 is larger as far as quantity of surgery rooms or period for cost simulation (from 1 year up to 10 years).
This points us in the right direction in selecting the best distribution architecture for this application in hospitals and using these parameters for optimization. Clearly, it can be enriched using the other parameters shown in the sections above, or adapted to the particular case (quantity of surgery rooms, autonomy for each load, power demanded by CPD room, reliability, …) that could lead to a different choice, but globally, this redundant hot standby has resulted in a good trade-off.

As said at the beginning, there is no magic solution for the optimum selection, but we have sought to explore several guidelines and check points that will help drive you towards the best solution for your case. Of course, any additional variables and the reader’s experience are welcome and can only serve to enrich the discussion.

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Topics: Data Center, PUE, energy, UPS, Efficiency, Thermal Management, DCIM, Uptime, sustainability, energy efficiency, preventative maintenance, power system, healthcare, hospitals

Data Center Performance Benchmarks: Cost and Causes of Data Center Outages- Webcast

by Marissa Donatone on 1/21/16 1:20 PM

Join Emerson Network Power for a webcast featuring Dr. Larry Ponemon and Peter Panfil who will review the data collected over the three Ponemon Cost of Data Center Outages Reports published since 2010—including the 2016 Report. They will also uncover the factors contributing to the steady increase in downtime costs, explore trends in the causes of downtime, and explore prevention strategies. 

By tuning in to this webcast, you’ll be better able to:

  • Make sound financial decisions about your data center infrastructure
  • Identify and eliminate vulnerabilities that lead directly to outages

Speakers:

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Larry Ponemon
Chairman and Founder,
Ponemon Institute

Peter A. Panfil
Vice President of Global Power, 
Emerson Network Power

Register TodayTime: 11:00 AM EST
Date: Wednesday, February 3, 2016    

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Topics: Data Center, data center energy, DVL, Uptime

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