Modernise your data centre for better power availability and more uptime

Schneider Electric
Friday, 01 October, 2021


Almost every action we take, from buying a coffee, to working, to catching up virtually with friends, relies upon a data centre somewhere to access and store information. So, what would be the cost of that data centre not being available?

According to the Uptime Institute’s 11th Annual Data centre Survey1, 62% of data centre outages are costing server farm owners and operators between $100,000 and $1M. Not only is there a financial consequence to downtime but there is also substantial reputational damage. Major gaming, e-commerce and financial brokers also note that even milliseconds of latency can lead to millions of dollars in lost revenue. Hence why uptime and power availability are critical markers for data centre operators. In this context, the difference between two hours and two seconds of downtime is clear.

Another key outcome from the survey also found that on-site power outages remain the single biggest source of downtime for data centres, and that 79% of respondents stated their most recent outage was preventable. Modernising your data centre power management can help you improve your power availability, as well as up the energy performance and resilience of your facility. Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure Power solutions let you manage alarms, maintain uptime and check the physical infrastructure equipment, whether you are onsite or remote — giving you visibility to critical concerns, so they can be rectified before an outage occurs.

Modernising power management for improved uptime

To maximise the value of your data centre over its entire life cycle, there are many areas where modernisation can occur. Some of these include spare parts management, equipment upgrades or replacement, specialised training, and maintenance plans. Across all these options, optimising power management for the purpose of uptime represents one of the biggest returns on investment.

Digitising an aging infrastructure and using the newest power management software tools will help you identify and manage inefficiencies across your data centre infrastructure. It can also support predictive maintenance practices, so you’ll be better equipped to schedule maintenance in advance of an unexpected outage.

A modern power management system will integrate all connected devices in the power distribution network. The EcoStruxure Power Management System is designed to uncover opportunities for safety, reliability, energy performance, capacity management and balanced power infrastructure utilisation. Smart devices, such as Schneider Electric’s MasterPact MTZ circuit breakers, offer IoT connectivity for control and monitoring, as well as helping you recover power when a fault occurs. MasterPact MTZ also has smart selectivity, so if a fault condition occurs on a circuit, only the breaker closest to the fault will trip. The circuit breakers upstream from the tripped breaker are unaffected, and power remains available to all other circuits and loads, minimising impact on operations. The advanced trip units can also provide electrical data with high accuracies that can be used for Power Usage Efficiency (PUE) calculation — a key indicator on datacentre performance.

Similarly, PowerLogic Energy Meters and Easergy Protection Relays are connected products which when integrated with EcoStruxure Power Management System offer continuous real-time monitoring and alarming, supporting predictive maintenance scheduling to improve uptime. They can quickly reveal power quality issues — such as high harmonics or voltage sags — or other types of faults, while diagnostic tools help facility teams determine root causes before they can cause an outage. Besides potentially causing unexpected equipment shutdowns, poor power quality can cause data loss, circuit board failures, network communication issues as well as abnormalities in lights, transformers, controllers and motors.

For additional alerts and monitoring, EcoStruxure Asset Advisor brings a proactive approach to electrical distribution and critical data centre assets. Combining IoT and cloud-based technologies with Schneider Electric’s experts and services for business continuity, EcoStruxure Asset Advisor services offer the ability to anticipate and address issues before they become critical incidents. This helps data centre managers avoid unplanned downtime, operational losses, and expensive maintenance interventions.

Maintaining uptime with a power management system

Once in place, an EcoStruxure power management system will help your facility team:

  • Increase power availability. By proactively identifying over-subscribed capacity, compromised IT branch circuits, and equipment maintenance needs, a power management system can help your facility team alleviate areas of stress on your system. Setting up alarms for power disturbance events also means your team can react faster in the event of a problem, and then perform fast root cause analysis to isolate and respond to issues before it can cause downtime.
  • Improve the effectiveness of maintenance activities. Running a proactive maintenance schedule means your team can more safely optimise the loading of critical power distribution equipment without compromising reliability.
  • Improve power distribution efficiency. Track real time and historical energy efficiency down to the rack level, as per Green Grid standards, to help clients reach their sustainability objectives and reduce your facility’s PUE. Analyse power system losses and identify loads that should be decommissioned or replaced with more efficient alternatives.
  • Integrate with other building management systems and products. Unify your management of power, HVAC, lighting and fire safety across the building with EcoStruxure architecture. You can also integrate EcoStruxure software with additional systems such as weather services and utility rates to ensure you are operating at your most efficient.
     

Improving your power availability and uptime through enhanced digital systems enables your workforce to guard against costly outages and to keep your customers satisfied and online. Schneider Electric offers a suite of products and solutions for data centres across their EcoStruxure portfolio. For more information visit the Schneider Electric website at se.com/au/power-availability.

[1] https://uptimeinstitute.com/about-ui/press-releases/uptime-institute-11th-annual-global-data-center-survey

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Shutter81

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