The Stack Archive Press Release

SMARTset environmental alarms save data centre from costly set point mistake

Thu 14 Apr 2016

An IT infrastructure services provider has avoided considerable and unnecessary data centre costs thanks to 4energy SMARTset software. The software detected low temperatures in the client’s data centre and immediately notified managers by raising on-screen alarms and sending alarm emails. Once alerted to the issue, the managers were able to quickly rectify the cause of the problem – the CRAC unit setpoints had been set too low during maintenance work.  Had the low set points been left unchecked, the client would have incurred significant, and avoidable, energy costs.

Steve O’Hara, 4energy’s Chief Information Officer said: “Very few data centres have much in the way of sophisticated environmental alarms. Alerts will be raised when the place is getting hot, but nothing to inform managers about energy costs or cooling capacity reaching exhaustion. SMARTset resolves this by providing rich environment, cooling, and power monitoring coupled with sophisticated alarm capabilities based on behaviour rather than simple thresholds.” This is a key difference with SMARTset – its alarm conditions can be based on a combination of measurements, including temperature, cooling, and power, rather than simple thresholds. This allows users to create complex alarm conditions that are based on all those factors that, collectively, can indicate a problem is developing in the data centre.

To notify the data centre managers of the alarm condition, SMARTset sent out alarm reports in emails, but there are many other types of alarm notification available. On detection of an alarm, SMARTset adds information for the alarm to several displays, including a dedicated alarms widget on the dashboard, and audible alarms can be generated too, if required. For each alarm, there is also an alarm report, which can be sent to users as an email, SMS, or published as a file to a designated location, such as a website. Importantly, dashboards and alarm reports can be viewed on desktop PCs, tablets, or smartphones, so managers have access to alarms on the go.

SMARTset is a supervisory control system, so responding to alarms does not necessarily require manpower; automated responses to alarm conditions are also possible. With SMARTset controls, users can configure SMARTset to issue commands to data centre hardware when alarm conditions are detected. For example, if a high temperature alarm condition was detected, SMARTset could send a ‘turn on’ signal to a backup cooling system.  Alarms can also be sent to external systems via SNMP, where they can be used to trigger alarms, events, or controls in other systems.

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