When a facility wants to add a data center, they’re looking at a whole host of logistical difficulties. Many new systems come together to control the equipment, environment, energy, and utilities in the facility. As difficult as it is to plan the build, the true challenge begins after the facility is completed. Equipment needs to be maintained at maximum uptime. Maintenance challenges take on critical importance. New systems, such as power management, need to be taken into account. How do you manage it all after it’s up and running?
The original challenge presented to United Systems Associates was the expansion of an existing HVAC system. But, together, United and Delta Controls saw the potential to do so much more.
What if we could go beyond the HVAC? What if we could extend the HVAC system, bring it online with the Electrical Power System, lighting, power metering, and generators, and manage everything under a single software solution?
Extending an existing HVAC and controls system presents expected challenges. A variety of equipment and networks need to be integrated. And somehow, all of those pieces of equipment that don’t conform to a normal BAS network need to be factored in. If we could accomplish the integration of all of the equipment, we could deliver monitoring and control capabilities for all of these systems through a single software solution.
Of course, there are critical concerns when the new space will contain a Tier 3 data center. Protecting and effectively managing clients’ data requires protection of the equipment. This means establishing ongoing, reliable system monitoring and protection, and ensuring adequate safeguards exist to protect against possible equipment failure.
With so many points to integrate, there needed to be a simple, proven solution to keep the project budget under control. United installed enteliWEB, Delta’s enterprise facility and energy management software, and the enteliBRIDGE gateway, Delta’s network integration solution. enteliBRIDGE made it possible to integrate the different communication protocols. United integrated Modbus TCP systems along with SNMP equipment such as the UPS power systems, and even the EPS.
enteliWEB was the key solution for this project. It brought together all of the lighting, climate control, utility, energy, and data center devices to be managed using a single piece of software. enteliWEB has made it possible to monitor and control all of the integrated systems through one intuitive, operator-friendly software solution.
To safeguard against system failure, United installed UPS power systems as well as additional RTUs for redundant cooling of the electrical room. This equipment is also managed through enteliWEB, which is especially useful for preventing or responding to alarms. Even away from their workstations, operators can receive alarms and notifications from enteliWEB and take action directly from their mobile devices.
United performed the system installation and integration, and they are also the service provider monitoring and responding to alarms. Gary Beyer of United has found immense value in enteliWEB being compatible with mobile devices. No longer saddled with the chore of firing up his laptop before being able to connect, Gary says, “With enteliWEB, I can do everything I need to on a tablet. I have a shortcut; I hit that and I’m connected. enteliWEB has made things so much easier.”
Future expansion has been simplified. enteliBRIDGE makes it easy to integrate new equipment. Operators have fewer distractions. Having everything integrated and controlled through one system means operators spend less time running the systems, and they can focus instead on the important task of monitoring the data center.
There are fewer training hours required because there is only one system to learn. Also, because operators are consistently using and interacting with one system, they get to know it intimately and there is less chance of operator error.
Response times are faster too because enteliWEB makes it possible to skip the laptop and access the system directly from a mobile device — a welcome convenience when working to maintain the Tier 3 guaranteed availability requirements.
In addition to completing the required HVAC expansion, United delivered a flexible, comprehensive, integrated solution using multiple integration protocols. Beyond meeting the needs of the current setup, this has simplified future expansion, allowing for easy integration of new equipment.
Operators are able to perform their jobs with greater efficiency. enteliWEB has provided them with broad reporting capabilities and their training has been simplified.
The integration has also meant faster alarm response times. With enteliWEB, United says their average response time has decreased. Gary Beyer explains, “We’re required to respond within 15 minutes, but we’re actually responding within 2-3 minutes.”