AUTOMSOFT and POWER ANALYTICS - Data Center White Space Management Realized

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2 Executive Summary Power Analytics has been a leading edge provider of analytical software for the Data Center market and related industries for over six years. In that time, Power Analytics has been involved in some of the most significant advances in power and energy management in mission critical data centers as well as in leading-edge markets involving the management of distributed generation and load. In the course of this work, Power Analytics has partnered with several companies that bring unique and timely solutions to the markets that Power Analytics serves. One of those companies is Corporation whose advanced data historian architecture, RAPID, has proven to be invaluable as a technology synergy partner bringing critical real-time integration of data sources found in a typical data center. This paper focuses on overcoming the limitations of current data center infrastructure management practices by leveraging the technology partnership between and Power Analytics to greatly enhance the management of power distribution on the raised floor of a data center the physical space in the data center where electric power is conveyed to the IT equipment doing the work of the data center. This space, the raised floor of the data center, is often referred to as the White Space. The management of the power infrastructure of the White Space is what Power Analytics and define as White Space Management (WSM) Page 2

3 The Historical Perspective Of Hardware Provisioning Of Panel Schedules Of Rack Schedules There are volumes and volumes of documentation, white papers, best business practices, and related material on the activities of a data center. This includes one aspect of the raised floor area, which is the focus of this paper. As with other dynamic environments, the White Space, (data hall, or raised floor) is constantly changing and evolving. A convenient way to encapsulate this process is reviewing the activity of IT hardware provisioning. It is in the process of hardware provisioning, and, in particular, that for an operating facility beyond the initial design and commissioning phase that we are talking about today. Typically, Power Analytics is involved in the earliest stages of data center design through the commissioning phase providing a significant amount of hands on experience. In fact, Power Analytics insists on a process that starts with a detailed design analysis of the power infrastructure as a critical first step in any advanced power system from a mission critical data center to a community microgrid or photovoltaic facility. The initial build-out and commission has many critical steps, but what is generally true is the dynamics of hardware provisioning are more relevant after the facility is operational. Once operational, the hardware provisioning can become increasingly complicated. Over the past several years, one of the most promising developments in the IT world perhaps over promised has been data center infrastructure management. Other approaches to the changes and the speed of change in a 21 st century facility include concepts like that of the software defined data center. All of these concepts are strategies to organize, optimize, and increase the efficiency of operation and speed the availability of the IT assets. The reality of the data center, however defined, is that somewhere there is hardware that must perform according to stringent service level agreements and expectations of the operator or owner. If not, customer satisfaction and enterprise profitability are sacrificed. Page 3

4 While it is possible to create a solution that will address the initial conditions of a facility, including the infrastructure provisioning, the inevitable process to expand, change and modify is frequently a very difficult task, and often as not, stumbles and falls down. Power Analytics has solved the daunting issues created by the pace of infrastructure reprovisioning for some of the leading enterprise data center facilities for which there can be no downtime no compromise. How? Where? What? It is a fair to ask how, and the intent of this paper is targeting the solution to the problem, not the problem philosophy. The first step to the solution is the adoption of branch circuit monitoring or BCM. If power to the IT equipment on the White Space is not monitored at the equivalent branch circuit level, then the goals of data center infrastructure management - capacity, availability, and efficiency are thwarted. The overall market acceptance and penetration of BCM has increased steadily. This has generated market studies and reports on products and technologies to solve the challenge of designing hardware necessary to measure and monitor the critical values of voltage, current, power factor and circuit breaker status (open/closed/tripped) from this entry point of power to the raised floor area. Branch Circuit Monitoring was developed originally to mitigate the labor-intensive, non-real time practice of manual branch circuit power metering. Most companies offering a BCM solution feel that because they provide a monitoring solution along with the hardware to provide Modbuslevel data on the circuits the problem is solved. However, installation of BCM is only a first step. The fact that BCM vendors believe they have solved the problem is a fundamental indicator of the level of disconnect with the solution. BCM is indeed a requirement, and one of the most critical, but it is not a solution. The problem is not monitoring per se. The problem can be more accurately described as an application problem. In fact, competing BCM products typically solve the connectivity and components for their hardware, but do little to solve the application issue especially in the mixed environments that many facilities operate in today. The complexity of branch circuit power distribution to the rack can take the form of traditional power distribution units, remote power panels, overhead busway or more frequently a hybrid of Page 4

5 all these and more. These distribution variations further convolute the real issue of linking power-consuming equipment with a specific location or breaker, while associating it, as required, with a customer, an application or some critical identifying factor specific to the business practices of the facility. This complexity is multiplied because the incoming power circuits can be so called single pole (nominally 120V depending on the country), dual pole (208240V) or three pole (three phase V). Those power parameters can and do change, but the only reference is to a Modbus register frequently managed in a text list or spreadsheet that is exceptionally difficult and time consuming to change. Finally, this situation is further complicated by identifying available rack space that has sufficient power, adequate cooling and balanced loading. The point of this is that rack management is a primary focus in many of the cases addressed by leading asset management products, but the relationship to power including energy consumption (kwh for example) so critical to managing energy cost, allocation of energy cost, and service level agreements is virtually ignored. The ultimate result is inconsistent data center profitability (it is a revenue-producing asset). Consider a hosting company which may have multiple physical locations with vastly different energy consumption. Inability to identify or accurately allocate power costs can result in significant liabilities from leaking cash As mentioned earlier, this is not a monitoring problem, nor in the case of and Power Analytics, a monitoring solution. This is very much a data and analytics problem the solution to which is an approach that recognizes the need to tap into mixed sources of data, some real time such as monitoring systems, some desktop in nature as many asset management practices, while integrating and using all the sources in real time to address the problem optimally. Page 5

6 Where to Start As mentioned previously, the start begins with the assumption that monitoring of hardware and other data sources such as asset management data, whether developed and used internally or purchased from a vendor, exist. The vast majority of existing monitoring or data acquisition systems will be in product solutions provided by one or more of the leading power distribution providers or hardware vendors providing monitoring. The critical sources of data that have the power circuits at their core still start typically as Modbus registers. This is important because Modbus is still the preferred communications protocol for many hardware vendors because of the low cost and low communications overhead. However, this carries a price because this register-based protocol is very cryptic. It has virtually none of the higher order information capability important to know, for example, which three registers comprise the three circuits of a three phase connection to a rack, or which individual circuit is now assigned to a specific customer. The manual intervention and knowledge can be overwhelming. As you move up the food chain, system level connectivity is frequently OPC (OLE for Process Control), a higher order connection. SNMP, BACnet, or even another Modbus connection have been used, but the lack of necessary higher order information remains. The second critical step is the integration of the power data to the application or process used for the rack asset management allocation. In so doing, changes in the asset management system and changes in the power allocation and identification, whether for hardware provisioning, customer energy billing, or customer dashboards are now possible. This is realized, - not by installing new hardware, not by installing new monitoring systems, by addressing the problem as an application, in effect a higher order solution that builds on existing investments, and - by recognizing that in most systems today finding a solution for this problem is not obvious. Page 6

7 The ability to manage this complexity in real time is the application that Power Analytics is addressing The ability to integrate systems is the ability that is addressing. The combined solution represents a very specific and essential understanding of problem and the proposed solution. Paladin WSM by Power Analytics In WSM, Power Analytics takes a very different approach from traditional Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM). It engenders collaboration between Facilities and IT to improve the management of Power, Space and Cooling, three areas that have historically been difficult to optimize. WSM addresses these areas in its three major components: Remote Power Panels, Rack View, and Heat Map. THE WHITE SPACE Remote Power Panels (RPP) Manager automates the creation and operation of power panels for the data center. RPP Manager links asset management systems and repositories for customer data, and provides: - A full 42 slot panel with branch circuit monitoring automatic generation of consolidated kw information for single, dual or three slot breakers, and validation that the slots are available and contiguous. Breakers, slots and customer identification can be easily changed as needed. Page 7

8 - Grouping & Animation (G&A) fully customizable alarm and notification settings with the ability to group like categories. For example, G&A can show the location of groups such as lighting or equipment that supports a specific customer. - Import/Export to Excel the ability to import / export all information in the RPP through Excel. This simply and directly automates the name change process. EXAMPLE - RPP MANAGER VIEW Rack View Manager shows the available spaces in the rack, what is installed, the power load for the installed devices, the manufacturer s specifications, and the actual power consumption (with rack power monitoring). Page 8

9 EXAMPLE - RACK MANAGER VIEW Racks of all standard sizes are supported. The entire rack configuration can be imported / exported via Excel to expedite provisioning and link to both asset management and power management systems. Page 9

10 Heat Map overlays a dynamic, animated heat map as a semi-transparent layer on any view of the data center. EXAMPLE - HEAT MAP MANGER VIEW This provides the user with X / Y coordinates that correspond to the location of temperature sensors in the White Space. The heat map shows temperature variation in the White Space, and can be expanded to other locations in the facility where temperature sensors are installed. Page 10

11 System Level Integration by is one of the world s leading providers of advanced data historian and process optimization solutions that provide international customers with powerful and secure high-speed data retrieval, vast storage capacity, complex analysis and sophisticated visualization. Data historians are the ideal architecture for dealing with hundreds, thousands, and more timeseries data for regulatory, reporting and operations. Combining the world class data management and integration of s RAPID solutions platform with Power Analytics Paladin WSM provides the ability to integrate myriad existing data sources and to scale up to virtually unlimited historized data sets with data resolution at and less than one second. AUTOMSOFT RAPID SYSTEM INTEGRATION WITH PALADIN WSM Rather than the output of a low-level, register-based, static "snapshot" of the status of the nominal values of the power parameters of a branch circuit from typical data center infrastructure management tools, Paladin WSM integrated with rapidhistorian delivers an information-rich, real time, dynamic, accurate view of the distribution of power in the White Space - how much, to what equipment, and for whom. This is information which can readily be used by Facilities and IT management to optimize the availability, capacity, and efficiency of their data processing enterprise. White Space Management realized. Page 11

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