When trying to decide on the best data center design and the most appropriate products, it is not always about the latest trend. What is right for one data center may not be right for another. It is important to understand the different options available in terms of server cabinets and racks, and the different advantages they can bring.
The pace of deployment for storage continues to increase, while the refresh cycle for compute continues to shorten. How will you support rapid deployment so that racks, power and network are in place when compute and storage is required?
A Tale of Two Datacentres
27 Nov, 2018 | Articles
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…” Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities.
With apologies to Charles Dickens.
The datacentre manager is responsible for maintaining their, or their clients’ essential systems and processes 24/7.
Power delivery is therefore critical and power protection systems must be available every second of every day and so maximizing system availability must be the overriding objective of any installation.
Availability can be defined as the probability that an item will operate satisfactorily at a given point in time, crucially it includes both preventive and corrective maintenance downtime. It is most often represented as the percentage of system uptime achieved in a year and by the equation of mean time between failure (MTBF) divided by mean time between failure, plus the mean time to repair MTTR. MTBF can be mitigated by overall system design, i.e. removing single points of failure and MTTR by product design. Over the years, many improvements have been made in relation to UPS technology and configurations to increase availability.
Data centre managers are naturally risk averse people as the consequences of going ‘off line’ even for a few seconds can incure significant financial penalites relating to service level agreements. Down time can result in loss of clients, loss of reputation plus the incalcuable cost of missed revenue of potential cients shopping for a more reliable alternative. A pretty stressful occupation!
The Human Element
So why in the age of wisdom, do we still see headlines relating to large data centres power failures? Even if the most advanced technology is employed to create a reslient and highly available UPS system, there is still room for human error and there are many published statistics indicating the percentage of failures caused by such. Of course, problems caused by lack of training is a completely separate issue and no-one can mitigate against wanton mailce. However it still appears that most of the high-profile incidents of data centre power outages have been linked to human intervention – accidental or otherwise.
Secure access of control rooms limit the chance of outside interference and thorough training and proceedures – including the two man rule – reduce the risk of mistakes being made. Data centre managers put proceedures and training in place to mitigate these risks as far as humanly possible but how can technology help?
From a technological point of view, building redundancy into the UPS system reduces the risk of the system going off-line and increases availablity.
As data centres have evolved from using a single UPS to parallel systems, availablity has increased. The higher the availability, the lower the downtime. The introduction of redundancy and low MTTR by rapid hot swap modular designs now means with some of the UPSs on the market, six-nines (99.999999%) availability is possible. This equates to some 32 seconds downtime over a year, a relatively small value in time but to a data centre it is an eternity. So how can we increase this availabilty percentage even higher?
Distributed Active Reduntant Architecture
Following extensive failure analysis research and insights gathered from 25 years’ of ﬁeld experience working with a large number of data centers and other critical environments, CENTIEL’s power protection solutions are reaching 9 Nines levels of availability, reducing downtime risk and avoiding costly errors.
Distributed Active Reduntant Architecture (DARA) is a concept introduced by CENTIEL into its 4th generation UPS. This active-redundant technology alongside the elimination of potential single points of failure and the true modular hot swap capability allows CENTIEL’s CumulusPower™ to deliver an industry leading availability of 9 nines (99.999999999) to fulfill the needs of the most critical power applications. Cumuluspower takes downtime from seconds, to the milliseconds level.
A Tale of Two Data Centres
Imagine Dave managing a large datacentre in a remote location selected specifically because of the low cost of real-estate and the prevailing cooler ambient tempreatures helping to reduce the cost of cooling. A modern modular UPS has been installed to provide critical power protection and ensure the availablity of the data for numerous high-profile, house-hold name clients.
Dave well understood choosing a stadalone type UPS where the main component parts of rectifier, inverter and static switch are modular: i.e. can be easily removed/instered. It meansif there is a problem with say the recitifier, it can be swapped easily. However, if any one of these component did fail then the whole UPS functionality goes down with it.
So Dave chose a modular system which includes the rectifier and inverter within individual power modules. However, one day the UPS display panel indicated an alarm associated with the single centralised static switch and Dave immediately put out a call to the service provider to attend to investigate. It should only have taken a few moments to swap out but, due to the datacentre’s location getting to the site to replace took the maintance engineer several hours. During that time the system lost its ability to transfer to to static bypass. Dave felt very exposed sitting there looking at the alarm panels and red alarm LED waiting for the engineer to arrive. Having this job is sometimes not the best of times.
Jim too manages a big data centre in another remote location. Jim understands the concept of decentralised architecture and how it increases system availability. He worked with his trusted advisors at CENTIEL to select a power protection system with the highest level of availability and installed their true modular UPS with DARA.
With Jim’s UPS all the elements of rectifer, inverter and static switch are contained within each individual module. He knows if a static switch fails in one module then he has not lost the ability to transfer to static bypass via the rest of the modules in the UPS frame.
One thing that was always at the back of his mind was the communciatons between modules. Surely duplication and redundancy of UPS components must also apply to this aspect of the system design? The most simple communications bus is a single cable. If this breaks or becomes disconnected, the entire system could potentially be compromised. For this reason, the ring circuit was introduced. If the circuit breaks the signals can simply communicate the other way around the ring.
But Jim being the natural risk averse person that he is, wanted even more assurance and wanted to see how this was being addressed by the designer. CENTIEL’s Triple Mode communications bus was the answer. Like its name suggests, there are three paths of communication between UPS modules, and parallel frames, with three separate ring circuits, and three brains in each module communicating with the three brains in all the the other modules – it’s the belt, braces and buttons approach.
Jim likes the image of comparing Triple Mode to a tightrope walker. If a tightrope breaks, the consequences will be dramatic and far-reaching. In the same way, a single communications bus is far more precarious than a Triple Mode ring connection which is more like a bridge with multiple supports. Here potential single points of failure are removed. Even if one or several bridge struts fail, the others will support the load.
While we all understand what the D and R mean in DARA, distributed and redundant through decentralised parallel independent UPS modules with triple communications what does the the A stand for?
A is the automated democratic decision making process which is another real differentiator in CENTIEL’s 4th generation true modular UPS. The sum of the decision determines the total system action or reaction to any issues.
In Dave’s UPS system in our first datacentre example, if five modules share a load, if one has a problem it may signal all the modules go to static bypass. With Jim’s system, democratic decision making recognises a fault in one module and the other four will remain online while the problematic module is switched off automatically, allowing for replacement or repair while the load is still protected. No single component takes decisions for the whole system.The automated process removes some of the human element which has led to the majority of datacentre power failures in recent years.
A static switch in a module goes down. Jim is alerted to the single module fault as his critical facilities continue to be maintained by the other UPS modules. Jim phones the engineer so it can be replaced while he grabs a quick coffee. Having this job is the best of times.
Naturally, often cost comes into the decision making process when purchasing a UPS. However, the purpose of a UPS system must be to protect critical loads with the highest level of availability. There must be no potential single points of failure. Therefore, it is important to check the configuration and the definition of a modular system carefully and seek expert advice before purchasing.
At CENTIEL our design team has been working with data centres for many years at the forefront of technological development. We are the trusted advisors to some of the world’s leading institutions in this field. For this reason, we have developed our pioneering 4th generation true modular UPS system CumulusPower which offers offer industry-leading availability of 99.9999999% (nine, nines), with low total cost of ownership (TCO) through its Maximum Efficiency Management (MEM) and low losses of energy.
Article originally featured in DCNN November 2018
Sam Rodriguez, Chatsworth Products (CPI) senior product manager, was recently interviewed by Cabling Installation & Maintenance magazine about the importance and differences of grounding and bonding when deploying cabling systems in nontraditional and harsh environments.
In addition to the popular DN25 DataCool hoses a small bore version has now been added with a 6mm bore version shown with ultraFLOW non spill quick connect couplings alongside a 25mm bore DataCool hose.
The FleXprotect range of hoses when tested in compliance with ISO 22196 at independent laboratory IMSL, VH-HYT Si+ was effective in reducing four known bacterial causes of Hospital borne infections by over 99%.
BetterBox are proud to announce that we have attained a certificate of assurance for compliance of the Cyber Essentials scheme. This further demonstrates to our customers and partners that we take cyber security seriously, and that our cyber safeguards act in accordance with Government-endorsed security standards.
Many businesses and government agencies are increasing their ability to monitor activities by installing equipment. This includes security cameras in outdoor locations where they are exposed to environmental conditions. The ability to protect sensitive electronic devices in these conditions could result in saving property—and even lives. The enclosures that house this equipment should be high quality, providing years of environmental protection.
Chatsworth Products (CPI) is trusted around the globe to help protect their technology investments. CPI's RMR® Industrial Enclosures are often selected for security installations because of their high-quality seals, and the customization CPI can provide to ensure the enclosure matches the equipment.
Availability of power is essential in today’s ever-increasing digital world and IT business critical environments. As well as the obvious interruption to power to the critical load, power outages can also potentially cause physical damage to equipment and essential data can become corrupted or inaccessible leading to issues keeping the business going long after the lights have come back on. Concerningly, it has been reported that power outages in the UK are on the increase.
The solution is to implement a reliable uninterruptible power supply (UPS) and in today’s increasingly competitive environment maintaining operational efficiency is essential to keep running costs down.
Over the last 10-15 years the biggest driver for UPS development has been efficiency. By utilising a more efficient UPS unit, and units within larger resilient systems, minimises OPEX, reduces carbon footprint attracting Government funded tax incentives, and aids Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). So what are the main considerations when considering an efficient UPS solution?
Firstly, all manufacturers will claim very impressive efficiency figures for their UPS units, initially the marketing “glossies” focussed on a maximum efficiency value with the UPS operating at 100% capacity, although in reality a UPS unit/system never operates at such a figure. A typical single UPS unit may operate around 50-70%, although even this is generous. However, within a resilient system offering redundant parallel UPS units the individual load capacity is often much lower, 20-30% is common. Therefore, it is important to look at the efficiency figures at the range in which the UPS will be operating in. Transformerless UPS units greatly aided this drive with their flat efficiency curve down to 25% capacity but even these tailed off quite significantly below this figure. The latest generation of UPS system are now achieving 95.5% efficiency at load capacities of only 10%! An amazing success when compared with legacy systems of only a few years ago. A good source of information is the Energy Technology List, a completely independent list which continues to raise the standards of UPS efficiency, look to see if your UPS is listed.
An inefficient UPS system generates heat, increasing your UPS efficiency decreases the cooling requirement to remove this heat.
Replacing legacy UPS systems has become a powerful argument when comparing the potential OPEX saving with installing the latest more efficient UPS units. One such recent replacement was on a traditional multiple unit system, offering N+1 resilience, comprising of three 250 kVA UPS units running in parallel.
The site load averaged only 200kVA. With all UPS units sharing this load, each individual unit was supporting 67KVA and therefore operating at 27% of its capacity. As the units were some 15+ years old, and of the legacy transformer-based design, the overall electrical efficiencies were measured at only 80-85% and you have to add the heat losses which were significant. .
By calculation the savings in OPEX was an amazing £62,000 per year, a CO2 reduction over 5 years of > 850 tonnes with a carbon neutral offset of some 1,350 trees!
So, what do we need to look at when considering a UPS system with regard to operating costs. The first step is to find a system with the highest efficiency for online operation.
As systems are not run at 100% load all the time, check the UPS unit reaches peak efficiency when operating at your own sites expected load, taking into account the resilient nature of the topology, ie multiple UPS units operating in parallel. Select a technology that offers a flatter efficiency curve across the widest load range. CENTIEL’s UPS technology is 95.5% efficient even at l0% load.
So, let’s get back to our 3 x 250KVA example and it’s replacement system. With a new modular system based on CENTIEL’s Distributed Active Redundant Architecture (DARA), with twelve 50kVA modules installed, each module would be at 33%, still quite a low figure but the solution was also dictated by the existing electrical infrastructure available.
At these values of load the Centiel system was at 96.75% efficient. Over five years, the calculated OPEX savings are >£300,000! With the Modular concept ongoing maintenance costs are also minimized further reducing the total cost of ownership and crucially there are no single points of failure. Significant savings on operating and maintenance costs, mitigation of risk, with the highest availability of power protection.
The DataCool range of hose assemblies has been developed by Hydraquip specifically for the DC market to overcome some of the most common issues faced by designers, installers and developers when choosing a suitable hose for these environmenmts.
WIth water cooling becoming the preferred method of cooling in many DCs the worry can be over potential leaks and the catastophic damage they could cause and is often a major concern for DC operators.
The ultraFLOW range has been designed to provide a series of lightweight couplings with a flat face design to guarantee no spill, high flow and low pressure drop for the lowest pump pressure.
Developed in conjunction with a major UK supplier of DC cooling systems the Hydraquip DataCool hose assemblies have been supplied since 2011 into numerous DCs around the world with in excess of 5,000 assemblies currently in use (as of November 2018).
Hydraquip manufacture convoluted stainless steel hose assemblies from DN06 to DN250 from their two UK factories for OEM in a wide and varied range of industries both in the UK and over seas.
Hydraquip's reputation as a leading supplier of braided rubber hoses for h&v applications extends well beyond the shores of the UK with over 30,000 being supplied for a major Australian development.
Chatsworth Products (CPI) and Corning invite you to join a free webinar on November 15th at 6.00p.m. BST titled, "Infrastructure Strategies to Enable Smart Buildings."
Presented by CPI Sr. Consultant, Steven Bornfield, and Corning Optical Communications Solutions Engineer, Steve Letkes, this webinar will discuss the growing demand for new and existing buildings to be smarter and more connected than ever, and how more equipment will be placed at the edge of the network. Bornfield will explain how this new reality may mean re-evaluating your infrastructure planning including storage, cabling and cooling built specifically for harsh environments.
The new Austin Hughes Brochure is now available to download. Providing an overview of the full range of rack mount solutions available including power distribution and power monitoring solutions that ...
5G, or 5th generation cellular wireless networking, is not just an increase in speed over 4G LTE, it is a complete redesign of the cellular wireless network. 5G promises orders of magnitude increases in bandwidth for users and to eventually enable remote sensing for the most complex IoT applications. But first, the network needs to be updated and expanded. 5G will involve hundreds of thousands of sites, millions of users and eventually billions of things. Is your network ready?
What is Product Designer? This free, online configuration tool will guide you through the steps necessary to create industrial enclosures or select cabinets that meet your application needs. It provid ...
In many data centers, particularly multi-tenant facilities, physical security must meet legal and corporate data security requirements. Traditionally, server cabinets use keyed locks, which presents several challenges, including maintaining accountability for keys and preventing unauthorized access. One solution is to use electronic locks to provide remote control and monitoring of locks, including setting alarms and recording access attempts. However, there is a perception that these systems are too expensive.
Leading UPS manufacturer, CENTIEL, has confirmed it has a growing global installed base of its three-phase, modular UPS system, CumulusPower. Launched for the first time in the UK just over a year ago, CumulusPower known for its “9 nines” system availability and low total cost of ownership, has now been installed in datacenters and comms rooms in over 60 countries across 5 continents. More than 50 MW of critical power loads are now protected with CumulusPower in locations across the world including: the UK, Singapore, Australia, Germany, Spain and the Czech Republic.
Mike Elms, sales and marketing director, CENTIEL UK Ltd explains: “Although a relatively new company, CENTIEL is a Swiss-based UPS manufacturer whose team of designers have experience that covers the last four decades. They were responsible for the design of the world’s first three phase transformerless UPS and the world’s first three phase modular UPS.
“As a result, the introduction of our 4th generation UPS CumulusPower to the market place has been met with unprecedented enthusiasm on an industry wide basis,” continues Elms. “The main benefit clients are seeing is the system’s class-leading availability of 99.9999999%. CumulusPower has been developed with a unique Intelligent Module Technology (IMT), with a fault-tolerant parallel Distributed Active Redundant Architecture (DARA). The excellence in system availability is achieved through fully independent and self-isolating intelligent modules – each with individual power units, intelligence (CPU and communication logic), static bypass, control, display and battery.
“In addition, the solution has been designed to reduce the total cost of ownership through low losses: the high double conversion efﬁciency of 97% at the module level means it is currently the best solution available to protect data centre infrastructure as its configuration also reduces downtime risk, avoiding costly errors as well as increasing energy efficiency.
“Our most popular frame is the CP100 which incorporates not only the UPS modules themselves but also the internal batteries providing 10 minutes run-time. Space can be saved as the need for external batteries is negated. For larger datacenters the 10x60kW modules enabling a configuration up to 540 kW N+1 provides the largest single modular frame size for a UPS on the market.
“As we look to the future, developments in battery technology with the introduction of Li-ion will offer further benefits because they are smaller, lighter and operate at higher temperatures. Not all systems are Li-ion ready, but they need to be! CumulusPower is Li-ion ready, so our clients are finding both their power and investment in a UPS system are fully protected for the future with CENTIEL.”
For further information visit https://centiel.co.uk
Austin Hughes InfraSolution S-700 with Smartcard + Number pad allows two-factor authentication to verify user ID, ensuring dual security for rack access control. Free (ISU-01) Software enables client ...
Leading UPS manufacturer, CENTIEL, is to exhibit at Data Centre World Asia for the first time this year on booth B60. The exhibition held between 10 – 11 October 2018 at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre in Singapore, will enable CENTIEL to demonstrate its pioneering 4th Generation Modular UPS system: CumulusPower designed to meet the critical power needs of data centres and other essential operations.
Cliff Lee, executive director of CENTIEL Asia Pacific confirms: “CENTIEL Asia Pacific is a new joint venture between my team and leading Swiss UPS manufacturer CENTIEL SA. However, we are already familiar with CENTIEL’s industry leading UPS technology as we have been a distributor since 2017. We already have more than 80 UPS systems installed in Singapore alone and are looking forward to showcasing CumulusPower at DCW Asia and introducing its many benefits to a wider marketplace.”
CumulusPower is a three-phase, modular UPS system which offers class leading “9 nines” system availability and very low total cost of ownership. Unlike traditional multi-module systems, the CumulusPower technology combines a unique Intelligent Module Technology (IMT), with a fault-tolerant parallel Distributed Active Redundant Architecture (DARA).
The excellence in system availability is achieved through fully independent and self-isolating intelligent modules – each with individual power units, intelligence (CPU and communication logic), static bypass, control, display and battery. In in the unlikely event of a module failure, the module can be quickly and safely swapped without transferring the load to raw mains.
In addition, CumulusPower has been designed to reduce the total cost of ownership through low losses: the high double conversion efﬁciency of 97.1% at the module level means it is currently the best solution available to protect data centre infrastructure as its configuration also reduces downtime risk, avoiding costly errors as well as increasing energy efficiency and it is now installed in data centres across the globe.
Cliff Lee continues: “CumulusPower is a scalable and flexible modular three-phase UPS system that combines class leading availability and efficiency that makes it ideal for use in small, medium and large datacenters. However, not every application requires a modular UPS and for these applications CENTIEL’s PremiumTower is perfect. It has the same Swiss built quality and innovative technology, with an online operating efficiency of 96.6% but comes in a lower cost, stand-alone cabinet. We will also be demonstrating PremiumTower at DCW Asia.
“We are looking forward to discussing the differences between Modular UPS technologies with delegates at the show. At the same time, we are also interested in meeting committed distributors in the Asia Pacific region whose goal is to supply world class UPS technology to protect their customers’ critical loads within their own countries.”
For further information visit www.centiel.co.uk
Leading Swiss UPS manufacturer, CENTIEL , has announced it has strengthened its UK sales team with the addition of Stuart Cockburn as Sales Manager. Cockburn has more than 15 years’ experience in UPS field service engineering, technical customer support and sales and will now be responsible for supplying CENTIEL’s class leading UPS solutions throughout the Midlands and Wales area.
Mike Elms, Sales and Marketing Director, CENTIEL UK Ltd explains: “Stuart Cockburn’s extensive experience in the UPS marketplace makes him ideally placed to join our team of trusted advisors to our ever-growing client base across the UK. Stuart has an excellent technical understanding of UPS systems, particularly the modular concept and will be able to share his knowledge with clients to help them achieve an optimal power protection strategy through reliable, right-sized UPS solutions that match their critical load requirements but are also flexible to adapt to ever changing needs.”
Stuart Cockburn sales manager, CENTIEL UK Ltd confirms: “I am excited to join CENTIEL as a manufacturer at the very forefront of the industry. CENTIEL’s pioneering 4th generation modular UPS system: CumulusPower, with a single frame holding up to 600kW and parallel systems up to 3.6MW, is specifically designed to meet the needs of today’s ever changing customer requirements. It combines a unique Intelligent Module Technology (IMT), with a fault-tolerant parallel Distributed Active Redundant Architecture (DARA) which offers industry-leading availability of 99.9999999% (nine, nines), with low total cost of ownership (TCO) through its Maximum Efficiency Management (MEM) and low losses of energy.
“For smaller installations, PremiumTower a three-phase standalone UPS designed for critical loads of between 10kW and 60kW and EssentialPower a single-phase UPS for critical loads of between 1Kva and 20kVA are also available. I am looking forward to helping clients evaluate the very best solution to meet the needs of their critical power protection now and in the future, as well as offering comprehensive maintenance and support contracts for total peace of mind.
“From my previous work experience I already know several members of the CENTIEL UK team including Mike Elms, Louis McGarry, sales manager and David Bond, chairman of CENTIEL UK Ltd, as well as many colleagues from the manufacturing team in Switzerland. I trust them and know we have worked well together in the past, so I am now focused on contributing to the further growth of CENTIEL by providing the industry’s leading UPS solutions to an expanding customer base.”
For further information visit www.centiel.co.uk
Leading Swiss UPS manufacturer, CENTIEL, has announced it is to expand into the Asia Pacific market. The creation of CENTIEL Asia Pacific, based out of Singapore, is a joint-venture with industry pioneer, Cliff Lee, who has been in the UPS Industry for more than 30 years. He was a distributor of UPS systems and has been covering the Asia Pacific region for many years.
Cliff Lee, executive director, CENTIEL Asia Pacific comments: “There is a growing data centre market in the Asia Pacific region and this offers a significant opportunity for CENTIEL’s pioneering 4th generation modular UPS system: CumulusPower to meet the critical power demands in these facilities. Unlike traditional multi-module systems, the CumulusPower technology combines a unique Intelligent Module Technology (IMT), with a fault-tolerant parallel Distributed Active Redundant Architecture (DARA), to offer industry-leading availability of 99.9999999% (nine, nines), with low total cost of ownership (TCO) through its Maximum Efficiency Management (MEM) and low losses of energy.
“I have known the team at CENTIEL for many years and am familiar with their approaches at the very forefront of technological development,” continues Lee. “CumulusPower is currently the best solution available to protect Data Centre Infrastructure. In addition to its class-leading availability, its configuration also reduces downtime risks, as well as increasing energy efficiency to save costs on energy.
“However, as well as the demand for UPS systems to provide last mile critical power, Data Centres need an experienced and reliable support team, who can provide them with the confidence to achieve 100% uptime and this is what we can now offer. The technical support CENTIEL provides, includes access to experienced engineers in the event of an emergency plus regular UPS health-checks to ensure solutions are always properly maintained and right-sized for clients’ changing power protection requirements.”
David Bond, non-executive director of CENTIEL SA and CENTIEL Asia Pacific confirms: “With more than 30 years’ industry experience, plus extensive knowledge of the business and cultural values of the region, Cliff Lee and his team are ideally placed to manage our growth strategy into the Asia Pacific market. Such expertise, combined with an established reputation for high quality products, services and support, will enable the new CENTIEL Asia Pacific entity to drive our expansion and take full advantage of the opportunities that this growing economy offers.”
CENTIEL Asia Pacific’s growth will initially focus on: Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Brunei with more countries being added in due course.
CENTIEL Asia Pacific will provide and support CENTIEL’s full range of power protection solutions including: CumulusPower and PremiumTower a three-phase standalone UPS designed for critical loads of between 10kW and 60kW and EssentialPower a single-phase UPS for critical loads of between 1Kva and 20kVA
For further information visit www.centiel.co.uk