Small space, cool solutions

Small space, cool solutions

When a legal firm in Queensland wanted a hassle-free way to implement a power management solution for its new datacentre, it called on Emerson partner, Power Quality Consultants (PQC), to plan and execute the rollout.

The legal firm has about 100 staff and resides in a multi-story building in Brisbane’s CBD. It recently moved to new premises to accommodate growth and needed to convert a 4m x 5m room into a small datacentre.

“For this particular client, availability and guaranteed uptime were key drivers,” PQC managing director, Trevor Bird, said. “They want their datacentre to be available all the time to their partners.

“A lot of data is stored on premise with a lot of important client information so having the security, uptime and availability of data 24/7 was important.”

The limited space of the datacentre room presented expected challenges. The client had four racks of equipment including servers, storage area networks (SANs) and communications gear to prioritise. This meant the power management products had to be rack mounted.

Planning was paramount in dealing with such a confined space. PQC was trying to find a way to keep the size of the power solution down as much as possible. But the biggest challenge was determining what the power consumption of the room was going to be.

“There were some unknowns on what the customer might have in the datacentre in the future and then you have to really lock them in consider what limit them would put on power consumption so we could actually design this and give them the right products,” Bird said. “That’s probably the case for most datacentres, even small server room implementations; getting clients to lock themselves down.”

Eventually the integrator and client settled on four rack mountable 10KvA UPSes. The integrator is deploying them in a dual redundancy bus topology.

The client has been continuously investing into virtualisation technology and has to progressively migrate data onto a new system.

“In the mean time, you get basically both old and new systems running alongside each other,” Bird said. “They have to start disconnecting some old servers so you have a little bit of peak in the meantime.

“So we had to allow for that as far as future power growth goes. We are giving them enough buffer to get through the peak of migration to the virtualised network.”

According to Bird, once the migration is over, the legal firm would be running at around 50 per cent load and the UPS' gave it enough room to expand its systems.

As for a cooling solution, PQC was left out of the equation.

The client opted for an around-the-clock chilled water cooling solution off the building system on ceiling mounts. The fact it took no floor room was too good to pass up.

“Naturally. We’d recommend a computer cooling with all the features such as humidity control, temperature control and fine particulate filtration,” Bird said. “With people cooling, you don’t have that control. They tend to dry out the air which makes people comfortable – we don’t like being hot and sweaty, do we? Whereas computers do.”

To round off the complete power management solution, PQC selected the Liebert rack diagnostics unit (RDU), a standalone unit that takes a number of sensors and consolidates information such as temperature, humidity, security of doors and water in case of leaks.

“It brings them all together into one appliance, one IP address and the customer can see all the sensors spread across a room or multiple rooms,” Bird said. “It also has the ability to plug into smart switches and monitored power distribution units (PDUs).

“From the same appliance, the client can also capture power information that is being fed down the power distribution units [PDUs] in each rack.”

So far the rollout is still ongoing, but signs are promising and the legal firm is content with the plans nutted out by PQC.

The project is set to wrap up in one month’s time.

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Tags Power ManagementPower Quality Consultants (PQC)


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