The SIPp power monitoring solution from Synapsys, UK leader in developing and supplying innovative BMS communication interfaces, is helping TalkTalk ensure continuity of its broadband, television, data and telephony services for its four million plus customers across the UK.
The major telecoms provider has for many years used Synapsys’ technology for building management system (BMS) monitoring and integration of its data centre UPS and DC power systems, CRAC units, metering, environmental monitoring etc. to a Trend BMS. TalkTalk is now installing the SIPp system for rack monitoring at all its UK data centres, including an expansion to a second data centre at its Manchester site.
Synapsys’ SIPp monitors both the AC and the DC power systems at each site, communicating this information back to the Trend 963 Supervisor BMS. Retrofitted at the Manchester site with no downtime or rewiring required, the updated SIPp system has been specifically designed for compatibility with future upgrades to the BMS, ensuring it will be able to help TalkTalk manage its systems for years to come.
To monitor load current and energy use in the AC branch circuit monitoring system, a SIPp device simply plugs in to the power distribution unit at the end of each equipment rack. Each SIPp can monitor up to 72 individual power circuits using micro CTs (current transformers), 36 on each feed. It converts the information obtained into a common Trend format that can be shared with the other systems used in the estate.
SIPps are also used to monitor the -48V DC load current and power circuits at rack level across the facility’s data centres, providing a very robust and reliable system.
“It’s all about knowing where we are,” says Paul. “There’s a lot of detail in the feeds we can choose to monitor – we are able to access a massive amount of information.”
SIPp offers a scalable hardware-only solution, with no ongoing licence or service costs. With its user-friendly graphic ‘dashboard’ display, the system presents real-time data in an easy-to-read format. More cost-effective than alternative solutions, SIPp’s user interface is very intuitive, meaning less training is required.
“Paul continues: “It makes managing the system very straightforward by establishing a single method of communication with our BMS system, and this simplicity for the operator is the system’s biggest plus point for us. We’d otherwise be looking at using different OEM software for each of the many systems that we use across the estate, monitoring systems including DC and UPS systems, power usage, backup generator status, CRAC systems, fire alarm systems and temperature and humidity levels – which is simply not practical.”
The SIPp system ensures that all generated alarms are relayed back to a central operation centre which is managed around the clock. Alarms are assessed and escalated if necessary to ensure that the appropriate level of response is carried out.
Paul explains: “Our engineers can log in remotely to get precise information, even down to individual rack level. We can see whether unusual readings have been caused by something as straightforward as a problem with a filter in the CRAC system, in which case we can schedule ‘next working day’ maintenance. Alternatively, if we can see, for example, that a UPS has gone down and a generator has been activated, we organise an immediate response.”
He continues: “We’ve been working with Synapsys since 2008, and they’ve done a great job, in my view. We’re now rolling out additional SIPps across all our sites in London, Birmingham and Manchester to help us monitor our equipment rack power circuits and to feed this information back to our central network operation centre in Manchester.”
“I’ve always found Synapsys’ customer service to be excellent – they’re all brilliant! Developing our system has not been without its challenges and we’ve all been on a massive learning curve, but the Synapsys team has worked with us from the start on some pretty ground-breaking projects, bringing real innovation and developing technology which today leads the industry.”