Siemens delivers operational and cost benefits to its data centre customers

Leading solutions provider, Siemens Building Technologies and Energy Management, are working closely with their customer base to deliver improved management of data centres and associated infrastructure. Two recent projects demonstrate how data centre owners and managers can achieve greater cost savings and efficiencies.

Deployment savings with industry leader Digital Realty

Digital Realty is the world's largest wholesale colocation services and data centre solutions provider with over 130 secure locations globally. Headquartered in San Francisco, it combines an open and unique data centre ecosystem with colocation and interconnection services that are business critical for many blue chip companies’ IT strategies.


Digital Realty is constantly looking for ways to bring new capacity online faster, whilst ensuring energy efficiency, reliability and increased uptime. As a result, the company has taken a radical approach to the installation of data centre electrical infrastructure. Instead of electrical systems being set up on-site during construction, their electrical rooms are now fully assembled prior to delivery in a controlled factory environment. All electrical equipment is built into a standardised metal frame and pre-wired for efficient installation. This innovative solution has cut production time of its rapid deployment projects from an average of 179 to around  80 days, representing a reduction of over 30%. Steve Kundich, Senior Vice President of Global Design for Digital Realty comments, “We’ve delivered over 100 pre-fabricated electrical room solutions and we’ve saved over 1,600 days of construction.”


This methodology streamlines the process of building the electrical infrastructure and as the electrical equipment is consistent on each project, assembly can take place concurrently with site construction, with ‘just in time’ delivery of the final product. Siemens has played a key role in helping transform Digital Realty’s innovative vision into a working model and collaborated closely with electrical integrator JDC Power Systems, Inc. to develop the pre-assembled electrical rooms. The final design called for all equipment to be mounted on a metal frame that could be installed under the raised floor of the data centre computer room.


The Siemens electrical equipment utilised in these new rapid deployment data centres delivers efficient and cost effective power for all servers and systems such as lighting, fire safety and electronic security. Equipment includes: low voltage panel boards, switchboards, breakers, distribution transformers, 38kV GM38 non-arc-resistant air-insulated outdoor switchgear, 15kV GM-SG non-arc-resistant air-insulated outdoor switchgear and low and medium voltage protective relays. Furthermore, Siemens also delivers high level fire detection and lifecycle support services to Digital Realty.


Rich Becher, Digital Realty’s Director of Design Management, comments: “We needed to develop products faster. We needed to get customers into data centres more quickly. And we needed to do it in a way that didn’t compromise the quality of the product they received.”


Based on its success with Siemens, Digital Realty is looking at other ways the two organisations can collaborate on innovations to better serve its customers. “There are a number of areas where we can make gains, in critical life safety systems, controls and energy efficiency,” adds Steve Kundich. “These are exciting times and I look forward to the gains that we can continue to make with a partner like Siemens.”


Mission critical solution for leading IT services firm Atos

Leading global IT services provider, Atos, is responsible for ensuring the security, reliability and continuity of its customers’ critical business information and resources, and provides fully managed services to clients across a wide range of industries. With four data centres strategically located throughout the UK and customers around the world, Atos decided to invest in a state-of-the-art data centre infrastructure management (DCIM) solution Datacenter Clarity LC across a key location to deliver a single, consolidated view of all that data centre’s IT and facilities operations from one workstation.


Atos UK Data Centre Strategy Manager Brian Parrott explains: “We had a variety of different asset management tools, products and spreadsheets and we needed a tool that could pull them together in the right place to help us to make timely, accurate decisions.” Furthermore, Atos wanted to improve its asset management capabilities with better reporting of capacity and the ability to do “what if” modelling of infrastructure, to enable better utilisation of data and reduced risk of downtime. To increase overall energy efficiency and reduce utility costs for its customers, Atos required detailed, rack-specific power consumption data with real-time temperature monitoring and heat map visualisation.


To meet these challenging criteria, Atos implemented Datacenter Clarity LC, an award-winning advanced software solution suite from Siemens, at its first data centre in Scotland. The intuitive, easy-to-use DCIM interface processes information from vital sub-systems that traditionally operate in silos, into a single, powerful solution that monitors energy and building management, physical security, fire safety, power and communications, racks, servers and data storage systems, as well as switches and routers.


The Datacenter Clarity LC system enables collaboration between IT and facilities processes, allowing both parties to track and manage assets and workflows. Simple integration procedures ensure the smooth transfer of up-to-date infrastructure information and help the two departments to deliver high value IT services.

Amongst the key gains for Atos is the ability to now provide more accurate and auditable invoices for its customers. Datacenter Clarity LC generates more than seven million power readings per month, increasing billing transparency and customer trust.


Unlike other DCIM solutions, the latest Datacenter Clarity LC technology combines a complete DC suite including a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) module. The software delivers real-time energy management at rack level due to its ability to harness CFD analysis technology, combined with real-time environmental monitoring to deliver a complete set of capabilities for cooling management, delivering users with detailed power usage information via dashboard and regular reporting. With a better view of its energy consumption, users can increase efficiency and reduce energy costs for their customers. Having both real-time environmental monitoring and CFD capabilities within a single DCIM platform is unique to Siemens and enables a faster return on investment. 



Furthermore, the software provides predictive capabilities in a virtual 3D data centre model, which offers Atos engineers an intuitive interface to view assets, helping to identify risk and ensuring the highest level of uptime and reliability for their customers. Using the 3D modelling, Atos has a more efficient and effective way to conduct change management and ensure its assets can support customer needs for capacity. In addition, Atos can access Datacenter Clarity LC from any Atos workstation around the world, giving the management team the agility and flexibility they need to ensure uptime and address customer issues.


The DCIM solution has been successful in helping Atos achieve a number of key objectives. “Our team now has one clear view of the data centre,” describes Brian. “They can see everything from mechanical and electrical infrastructure to IT assets on one screen. Having a single view is essential when taking the pulse to really understand the health of your data centre.”


With more accurate, real-time monitoring of assets and power consumption, Atos expects that Datacenter Clarity LC will support its company-wide efforts to improve Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE). “As we improve PUE, our power consumption comes down,” explains Brian, “and that is a saving that is passed directly on to our customers.” Atos has plans to roll out Datacenter Clarity LC to other UK and European strategic customers.

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