ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 88

DATA CENTERS

Data Center
Alphabet Soup
By Donald L. Beaty, P.E., Fellow ASHRAE

D

ata centers are information super highways by their very nature.
Ironically, until recently, there has been no single data management

system to optimize the performance and management of these facilities.
The data center can be loosely thought of as an “accelerated aging chamber” and an “intensifier.” There could be five information
technology lifetimes to one power and cooling system lifetime; hence
an accelerated aging chamber.

The density (W/ft2 [W/m2]) of a data
center can be 10 to 100+ times the density
of an office building. Further, the data center occupants (software applications) and
the fixtures, furnishings, and equipment
(IT hardware) operate 24/7 whereas offices
typically operate much less than that. This
density and above average operating hours
can be thought of as an intensifier.
The intensifier aspect is not limited to
just density and operating hours. Compared to most buildings and building
uses, data centers carry more risk since
any failure has an almost immediate impact on business operations continuity.
This can also be considered an intensifier.
Compounding these items is the continual speed-to-market pressures that
cause a progression of the intensifier and
accelerated aging chamber effects. All of
this translates into the critical importance
of information flow and control in the
operational management of a data center.

Data Center DCIM
As a result of the intensifier, there is
considerable focus on the operational
management of a data center. However,
88

ASHRAE Journal

there is not a unified, single platform.
The common systems previously found
in data centers were:
• BMS.Building management system
typically focused on the operation and
control of HVAC systems;
• PMS/EPMS. Power management
system or electrical power management
system;
• ITSM. IT systems management;
• SCADA. Supervisory control and
data acquisition; and
• CMMS. Computerized maintenance
management system.
These systems represent multiple distinct focus areas and industries that have
become less distinct in recent times. The
need for a unified information system for
efficient data center operation has been
accelerated by new industry metrics and
focuses such as power usage effectiveness
(PUE) (“Data Center Energy Metric,”
ASHRAE Journal January 2013), which
combines BMS and PMS/EPMS systems
to perform the metric calculation.
Effort has been made by many companies to unify all these systems into what
is now called data center infrastructure
ashrae.org

management (DCIM). As a result, DCIM
is a rapidly emerging and growing industry that is still working on establishing
a unified definition. One definition for
DCIM is:
DCIM is a software solution for data
centers that provides a comprehensive
view of all data center resources (space,
IT, cooling, and power) to improve data
center management and capacity planning. This includes bridging the barriers
between IT and facilities into a unified
information platform.
DCIM can be considered as a framework that includes data monitoring, data
management, and asset management.
This covers a broad range of data and
areas to measure, monitor, and manage.

Data Center Adds, Moves & Changes
In normal commercial facilities, there
are periodic changes with a frequency
measured in weeks, months, or years. In
data centers, periodic changes are labeled
“adds, moves, and changes,” which are
often managed with a frequency measured in hours, days, or weeks; in other
words, the changes in data centers are
far more frequent and intensify the need
for monitoring and change management.
The adds, moves, and changes are often
at the IT software or hardware level, but
eventually also affect the infrastructure
level as well. It is not uncommon for the
HVAC and power plants of a data center
to undergo several major changes during
a five to 10 year period.
The frequency of adds, moves, and
changes intensifies the importance of data
center capacity planning (i.e., an assessment for how the data center needs may
potentially change in the future). Data
center capacity planning benefits greatly
from the ability to draw upon real-time
data and historical trends that paint a
clear picture of current demand, current
capacity, and capacity potential.
DCIM is intended to enable addressing the capacity planning issues more
effectively, resulting in avoiding stranded
investments, inadequate capacity, and
May 2013



ASHRAE Journal - May 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ASHRAE Journal - May 2013

ASHRAE Journal - May 2013
Contents
Commentary
Industry News
Letters
Meetings and Shows
Feature Articles
VAV Reheat Versus Active Chilled Beams & DOAS
A Stable Whole Building Performance Method for Standard 90.1
Technology Award Case Studies:
PSU Design Build Project
Passive Cooling for School
Standing Columns
Building Sciences
InfoCenter
Refrigeration Applications
IAQ Applications
Engineer's Notebook
Products
Data Centers
Emerging Technologies
Classified Advertising
Advertisers Index
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - ASHRAE Journal - May 2013
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - Cover2
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 1
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 2
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - Contents
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - Commentary
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 5
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - Industry News
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 7
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 8
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 9
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 10
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 11
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 12
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 13
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - Letters
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 15
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - Meetings and Shows
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 17
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - VAV Reheat Versus Active Chilled Beams & DOAS
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 19
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 20
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 21
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 22
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 23
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 24
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ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 26
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 27
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 28
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 29
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 30
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 31
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 32
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - A Stable Whole Building Performance Method for Standard 90.1
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 34
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 35
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 36
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 37
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ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 44
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 45
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - PSU Design Build Project
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 47
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ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 49
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 50
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 51
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 52
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 53
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - Passive Cooling for School
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 55
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 56
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 57
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 58
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 59
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 60
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ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - Building Sciences
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ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - InfoCenter
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 71
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 72
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 73
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 74
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - Refrigeration Applications
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 76
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 77
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - IAQ Applications
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 79
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 80
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 81
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 82
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 83
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - Engineer's Notebook
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 85
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - Products
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 87
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - Data Centers
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 89
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 90
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 91
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - Emerging Technologies
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 93
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 94
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - Classified Advertising
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - Advertisers Index
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