Stakeholder - RMD Ltd

University of Southampton bring energy usage under control

A complete management system to monitor overall data centre consumption. 

Southampton is one of the top 24 research universities in the UK. When planning a new 1.1MW data centre, they turned to APC by Schneider partner and DCIM software experts, RMD Power and Cooling, to design a real time integrated environmental monitoring and management system for the offsite data centre’s critical infrastructure.  

RMD chose APC StruxureWare DCIM as a robust platform for instant monitoring of the data centre power at rack, cooling, environment and security levels. The modular system could be tailored to Southampton’s specific needs and third party systems and devices to be monitored.  

The University of Southampton is one of the first major projects in the UK to use APC’s new range of intelligent power distribution units (PDUs). Next generation PDU strips, monitored and switched, per outlet allow offsite monitoring and enable power to be controlled at each port in every rack.   

RMD determined set points where power monitoring was needed to allow live calculation of the power usage effectiveness (PUE). Schneider Electric metering kit allows live monitoring of the key areas of the facility along with consumption at rack level, to allow PUE to be calculated using the StruxureWare for Data Centres suite. 

 This has allowed the University to confirm the design PUE based on the initial load calculations but also confirm the importance of live monitoring so they can operate an energy efficient data centre through capacity management.  

The result is reduced costs and increased performance as the operations team now log into one consolidated monitoring platform and use the DCIM software to monitor and manage individual assets. They can now make decisions based on historic and current data of the complete data centre environment. Previously laborious tasks such as asset inventory, capacity management, power and environmental reporting are now available at the click of a button. Future plans will mean that the original data centre, still operating on campus, will be linked to the new data centre and energy monitored across both sites. 

Mike Powell, Data Centre Manager University of Southampton comments: “I had used RMD for the existing legacy data centre to provide full visibility of the mission critical facility and was impressed with the depth of knowledge and expertise on the APC StruxureWare solution. 

“The installation of DCIM in the new data centre took the next step and provided monitor and control at individual outlet level, along with a very comprehensive reporting tool for rack visualisation, power utilisation and the normal selection of the excellent features I have come to expect from StruxureWare, such as temperature, humidity, camera alerting by email and SMS. 

“I look forward to the continued support that I have enjoyed with RMD Power and Cooling and its ability to promote the highest standards of IT availability to the University community.”

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We have been working with RMD for seven years, and the company has consistently provided a professional service that offers value for money. We have received excellent customer service. Whenever we have had problems, which have been few and far between, RMD engineers have always responded promptly and quickly diagnosed the problem. They know our sites and systems, and crucially, understand that due to the nature of our operations, downtime is just not an option.

Steve Bould, Head of ICT Service Operations, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service

RMD are unique in Scotland and we are very lucky to have them in the central belt. Traditionally IT and Facilities are uncomfortable around the issues of power and cooling and it is extremely treasured to have RMD there to bounce ideas off and to advise us. Our relationship with RMD is very valuable to us.

Scott Walkingshaw, Head of Infrastructure, Napier University
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