SIPp power monitoring from Synapsys, UK leader in developing and supplying innovative BMS communication interfaces, is fast becoming the rack monitoring system of choice for data centres, thanks to its detailed data and user-friendly display.
The SIPp power monitoring solution is in use at one major Tier III compliant colocation data centre in the south of England. Having been successfully supplying power usage data for one data hall for over a year, the system has again been specified as a second data hall has been brought into service.
The system is ideal for colocation applications, as its detailed performance data gives an accurate, real-time picture of power usage across the data centre. It has the capacity to monitor individual rack and total rack power usage, isolate individual customers’ power usage and can also group customers or racks.
SIPp offers a scalable hardware-only power monitoring solution, with no ongoing licence or service costs, making it more cost-effective than alternative solutions. In addition, SIPp’s intuitive graphic ‘dashboard’ user interface means less training is required to access the system’s accurate real-time data.
At this latest data centre installation, each rack is individually metered, with up to 30 racks in a row. A SIPp device monitors each row, and with nine rows in the data centre, detailed information is provided on a total of 270 meters. The nine SIPps which monitor the rows feed into a tenth unit; a SIPp Vision device. This device provides a system ‘portal’ through which the other SIPp devices can be connected and networked to provide a fully featured power monitoring system. Although the system currently operates in metering mode for rack monitoring, it can be integrated more fully with the BMS if required.
The power usage data provided by each SIPp device is displayed on the dashboard, making it simple to get an at-a-glance update. Thanks to the integration via the SIPp Vision device, the user can toggle through the various rows’ dashboard readouts from a single point of use, allowing close examination of the row or rack of interest in the event of unusual readings.
Harvey Roft, Managing Director at Synapsys, explains: “Power monitoring with the SIPp solution shows data centre managers what’s going on, for example by revealing daily or seasonal patterns in usage, and allows them to plan for it.”
At this data centre, the SIPp system showed the power usage to be relatively stable around the clock, with no spikes in demand. With a power availability of 1.2kW per cabinet in the existing data hall, and a maximum of 2.4kW per cabinet in the newly-commissioned second data hall, the consistent usage pattern revealed by the SIPp monitoring makes it easy to set alarm levels if usage levels are exceeded, avoiding any risk of overload and also helping improve billing accuracy.
The SIPp’s dashboard can easily be configured to generate an alert if readings stray outside set parameters. A red line shows the alarm limit on the display, making it easy to see any exceptional reading, and if an alarm is triggered, the SIPp generates an email to a specified engineering or management contact.
While on site to commission the system in the second data hall, the Synapsys team also upgraded the Data Hall 1 system to the latest software, an ongoing support service which is available to all Synapsys customers. The 2013 update allows the system to deliver data on system performance even more quickly and in real time, with readings taken every 15 minutes. It also features an improved dashboard display with extra options for information feeds to feature.
Harvey explains “Our customers find the easily-customisable dashboard to be a major benefit of the SIPp system. Detailed data is presented in an easy-to-read graphic display, making it readily accessible to non-engineers as well as technicians. It’s simple to select which information feeds to feature, and even the colour palette can be changed to the customer’s corporate colours – it’s a truly personalised display”.