EkkoAir is attached to a cooling unit allows operators to monitor thermal instabilities in the data centre environment
British data centre thermal risk advisor EkkoSense has launched the world’s first IoT solution for monitoring data centre cooling loads.
The product, named EkkoAir, can be attached to a cooling unit within seconds and allows operators to keep tabs on thermal instabilities in the data centre environment.
This enables them to create thermal profiles to ensure they only use the cooling units that need to be working. As a result, they could end up improving their energy performance by 30 per cent.
Most data centre operators follow cooling approaches based on nominal main plate ratings adopted by manufacturers, although EkkoAir is aimed at changing this. According to EkkoSense, it’s unique because it offers real-time cooling duty information.
The device monitors and captures information that would have previously been unavailable, and with the ability to track different temperature data on an individual unit or centre level, operators can get an insight into the physics of cooling.
Data centres can use this data to reduce risk by identifying and replacing faulty cooling units that may have been ignored under standard maintenance, optimise capacity by finding spare capacity and improve overall energy.
EkkoAir isn’t the first device the firm has developed for data centres. The EkkoSense Critical solution, which utilises 3D gaming technology, gives operators a 3D view of real-time data environments.
Dr. Stu Redshaw, the firm’s chief technology officer, believes that current data centre cooling procedures are outdated and carry risk. EkkoAir, he says, is an approach that makes centres smarter and greener.
“Building a cooling strategy based on plate ratings might have once seemed smart, but it’s an outmoded approach that has systematically led to both under-cooling or over-cooling, resulting in either unacceptable thermal risks or unnecessary energy consumption right across our industry,” he said.
“Thanks to innovations in low-cost sensor technology, IOT, gaming technology and cloud, EkkoSense has now been able to bring a completely new level of thermal monitoring performance to market, providing data centre operators with the ability to not only visualise and understand their own data centre thermal instabilities.
“By taking the guesswork out of data centre cooling, EkkoAir provides operators with the real time information they need to really start addressing the inefficiencies that currently make cooling their largest operational overhead.”
Adrian Barker, general Manager EMEA at RF Code, told Tech Week Europe that IoT is playing a major role in modern datacentres: “Organisations like HP and IBM use thousands of sensors to track the operational efficiency of their data centre facilities, which has enabled them to deliver impressive savings at the same time.
“Companies with smaller data facilities focus on critical alterations, such as a one degree Fahrenheit increase here or a rack of assets tracked there, which helps increase availability and reduce bottom line costs.
“In today’s intelligent data centre, internet-connected sensors provide managers with real time updates on power, temperature and humidity. Similar wire-free sensors track the location and status of IT hardware – an enormous capital cost for most businesses, given the lifespan of data centre equipment over a period of three to five years.
“Data centre asset management systems utilise the IoT to store detailed information on IT devices including location, specifications, purchase and maintenance history and more.”