Smart rack, an efficient component of Data Centers
Any installation in a data center with Information Technologies oriented towards cloud services, cloud federations, remote centers, etc. and communication needs a core element: a smart and efficient rack. A rack must integrate functions such as data administration, control, security, monitoring and, above all, remote management of all the events to be controlled. Likewise, we need a system that provides this intelligence so that the management of all the components of the data center becomes as autonomous as possible. One of the main goals is energy saving and efficiency to reach manageable and acceptable consumption levels.
However, cabling is not the only problem within the data center. It is essential to obtain and analyse the different elements, such as energy savings; therefore, the system should deal with a series of requirements:
- Providing constant information on the equipment status (source operation, consumption, ventilation, temperature, etc.).
- Obtaining and communicating data on the status of the parameters to be controlled: PDUs, sources with excessive consumption, temperatures, heat dissipation, humidity; this is, any parameter involved in efficiency.
- Carrying out the analysis of the data obtained to emit alarms and operation warnings. This way, it will be possible to perform predictive actions to be more efficient.
- Canalization of the external data directed to a control and administration center to provide an immediate response.
Other important events to be considered within the rack oriented to efficiency in data centers are remote access monitoring and control to allow their opening from a central point. This way, we will be able to optimize persons access limiting in-room time. This way we will also increase the efficiency of our infrastructures. The system must provide us a safe IT access control and environmental monitoring in all kinds of installations, whatever the requirements: rack access control, strip ignition and monitoring, ventilation control, door and side monitoring, temperature, humidity, smoke, chemical elements/hydrogen, dust, vibration, movement sensors, water or coolant, power consumption, remote ignition and shut down, digital video cameras, control and monitoring of UPS and PDUs status, etc.
Sensors may vary depending on the SLAs, threat hazard and vulnerability commercial costs. There is a minimum and essential group of them that comply reasonably the functions for most data centers. When possible, these sensors should be passive, based on optical technologies. This way, we reduce power consumption again and, hence, heat dissipation.
All these changes and new action forms are aimed at reducing the size of traditional installations and the use of fast implementation and scalability configurations. These new installations will be smaller, but safer and more efficient, with high availability, consistent with the protection searched.
Another aspect to be considered is the refrigeration of the smart rack whenever required. We must offer the possibility of a system that can be used in an open and closed mode; and it should be able to cool the adjacent rack directly (closed system); or the data center (open system). It is essential that they receive an appropriate supply of cool air; as, if it is not available, it will affect the availability of equipments and business processes supported by them, reducing its efficiency.
Olga Ramírez/ Fibernet’s Manager of Corporate Development, Quality and MARCOM