Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Monitoring power and air conditioning

Systems integrator ETDE has chosen PcVue 9.0 from ARC Informatique to monitor the electricity distribution and air conditioning systems for the entire range of installations at TelecityGroup’s new Data Centre in the Paris region. The software’s openness and the simple hierarchy used for the communication architecture were determining factors in this choice. PcVue can, as part of its functions, generate reports on the electricity consumption by each of the servers operated by TelecityGroup’s customers.

TelecityGroup, whose head office is in London, is the European leader in independent data centre operators. The company designs, develops and manages high-connectivity secure environments where technical, Web and IT infrastructures can be hosted in total security. TelecityGroup manages 23 data centres across the main European business hubs.

Its new building, Condorcet, with 3400 m² of floor space available to customers, is the perfect solution for businesses looking to locate their critical infrastructure in a data centre. It won the trophy for “Best Data Centre in Europe” in the Data Centre Europe awards 2010. The new site has been designed in accordance with international standard ISO 27001:2005, which governs information security, and ISO 14001:2004, which ensures effective environmental management. Energy-efficient design principles have been implemented in the construction of the building, along with the use of sophisticated intelligent air conditioning and free cooling technology to reduce energy consumption. In addition, the multiple connectivity options available on site are enhanced by PANAP and SFINX connectivity, offering customers high-quality national and international peering and Internet connectivity options.

The building includes a monitoring centre, an NOC (Network Operations Centre), with a video wall comprising twelve 52-inch screens, each dedicated to a different system: 6 screens for security and video surveillance, 1 screen for fire detection, 3 screens for systems operation applications, and two PcVue workstations. The first workstation is dedicated to the electrical distribution system, and the second manages the air conditioning. Each workstation has three screens: one screen showing a schematic diagram (air conditioning and electrical supply) on the video wall, and two further screens at the operator stations. One for a detailed systems display, and one remote screen for PC Security monitoring, and which includes the general schematic.

“We chose PcVue for two main reasons. Firstly, so that we could provide our customer, TelecityGroup, with an open, multi-protocol system capable of keeping up with new standards in the market, and compatible with building management control systems and PLCs. The second reason was that with PcVue there are only two protocol conversion points. Direct LON or MODBUS communication gateways collect the reading data and then the PLCs are directly accessible via the IP network. This simple-hierarchy architecture is much more reliable and offers faster data processing. With the other solutions on the market, there can be up to 4 different conversion layers before reaching an SQL type database,” explains Hélène Gaury from ETDE.

On the electrical supply side, PcVue monitors all of the systems, from the transformers to the uninterruptible power supplies, distribution boards and consumption meters for each of the server bays. On the air conditioning side, PcVue includes monitoring of the whole circuit from the cooler units to the pumps, root-top installations and cabinet air conditioners in the server areas.

The DreamReport software – an integral part of ARC Informatique’s PcVue Solutions offer – allows TelecityGroup to generate complete dynamic reports about the systems, and particularly the amount of electricity used by each customer.

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