|Datacenter Power System||APC Symmetra PX|
Cost-effective data center infrastructure
APC address network-critical physical infrastructure in a holistic way By Ross Milburn
Quote: As servers are consolidated, their power consumption could drop by two-thirds, but the cooling fans and motors may end up consuming nearly 40% of the electricity bill
APC by Schneider Electric (APC), a global leader in critical power and cooling services, provides industry leading products, software and systems for home, office, data center and factory floor applications. Backed by the strength, experience, and wide network of Schneider Electric's Critical Power & Cooling Services, APC plans and installs solutions and maintains them throughout their lifecycle.
APC delivers energy efficient solutions for critical technology and industrial applications, and is a global leader in what it terms "network-critical physical infrastructure"—comprising Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS), power distribution, racks and physical structures, cooling, security and environmental monitoring, surge protection and management software, networking and cable solutions.
The central issue
Network-critical physical infrastructure currently faces virtualization, high-availability, and rapid changes in IT technology. "In response, APC is working to change the way the world designs, installs, operates, manages, and maintains Network-Critical Physical Infrastructure (NCPI)" said Jonathan Chiu, general manager, APC by Schneider Electric, Hong Kong and Macau.
"A central issue is market evolution from components to solutions," said Chiu. "Today, we have custom-designed solutions with components from many suppliers and ‘integration' burdened with an array of designers, vendors and builders. The process is slow, complex, error-prone, unpredictable, hard to change and results in defects."
Chiu said that by contrast, "APC provides an integrated power, cooling and rack infrastructure for critical networks. The equipment is modular, scalable, serviceable fast, predictable, adaptable and can be configured-to-order. The solution is pre-engineered and repeatable in different server room environments."
"The number of physical servers is down, but we see more rack servers with higher processing that draw more power," said Chiu. "We see increases in the criticality of the consolidated or virtualized environment. The larger SMBs are installing blade servers which drive heat issues. We see more kilowatts per rack, which means higher density and more heat. Virtualization also enables servers to be added or moved more quickly, which changes the heat load."
Coping with virtualization
The long term trend for data center infrastructure is virtualization, which is already being implemented by a majority of enterprises. "This raises three challenges for cooling," said Chiu. "First, are the dynamic and high-density loads. The solution is row-based cooling. The second challenge is under-loading of power/cooling systems. The solution is scalable power and cooling. Third, the need for real-time rack-level visibility. The solution is predictive management tools, such as APC Change and Capacity Manager (CCM)."
"A key question when virtualizing is, if the IT load is reduced by a certain factor, how much will the energy losses due to power system and cooling system be reduced?" continued Chiu. "As servers are consolidated, their power consumption could drop by two-thirds, but the cooling fans and motors may end up consuming nearly 40% of the electricity bill. Optimized power and cooling should accompany every virtualization project. Efficient infrastructure can not only increase power savings up to 65% or so, but provide scalable solutions for when the virtualized server load increased with enterprise growth."
Green IT is a global trend which demands changes from users but also generates savings. "For example, we are able to make detailed comparisons that show that APC's ISX (InfraStruXure) can increase infrastructure efficiency from 31.5% to 46.9% compared with legacy data center equipment," said Chiu. "With ISX, more of the energy consumed is used for the IT load and less for cooling. Over ten years, the ISX solution can save as much as 35.98% of data center and infrastructure costs."