Digital transformation has become an essential part of the business agenda of many enterprises. Data centres, which play a major role in the process, are witnessing vast upgrades with increasing importance for the success of these organisations.
However, with rapid growth in both the number and scale of data centres, IT leaders planning and managing the facilities, as well as working to reduce power consumption, face pressing challenges – traditional operation and maintenance (O&M) can no longer solve these issues like before.
Currently, large data centres are operated and maintained manually. While the process requires highly skilled personnel, it is usually not as efficient as needed to meet with fast-changing markets. According a Huawei survey, about 38% of data centres fail to recruit suitable engineers. The Uptime Institute Global Data Centre Survey 2020 also indicates that 75% of operators admit that they are at fault for most outages – most of these outages could have been prevented with proper O&M. The figures show that efficient O&M and better human resources allocations, though challenging, can help ensure smooth and reliable data centre operations.
New management model required for modern data centres
For a long time, resources for data centres have not been well utilised. According to the statistics of Huawei’s internal data centre in 2014, as much as half of the resource was lost for nothing in some individual data centres. At the same time, inventory count takes several weeks in huge data centres, while accuracy can rarely be guaranteed due to the lack of efficient – let alone automated – management systems.
In a typical 15-year life cycle of data centre, about 60% of the total cost of ownership (TCO) goes to electricity costs – three times that of capital expenditures (CapEx). Therefore, trimming the electricity bill is also at the top of the priority list.
Business executives, meanwhile, want to convert data centres from cost centres into facilities that drive business value. Apparently, data centres can make significant impact on businesses by enabling them to swiftly respond to market changes and evolving demands.
This is where Data Centre Infrastructure Management, or DCIM, kicks in. A good DCIM can efficiently monitor, measure, and manage data centres, covering both IT equipment and supporting infrastructure, including power and cooling systems. It can lead to maximum energy efficiency and minimise downtime due to equipment problems.
Digital management with high visibility
Leveraging its experience of more than two decades in managing data centres of scale, along with ground-breaking technology in artificial intelligence and big data, Huawei has developed DCIM solutions in NetEco 6000. The solution facilitates device visualization by providing a digital monitoring map to quickly search for and view the real-time running parameters of various basic devices and evaluate device health.
The solution also supports full 3D visualization, building a full 3D digital model to help customers quickly identify potential risks. For instance, it identifies hotspots in equipment rooms through a temperature map.
By making links visible, NetEco 6000 intelligently analyses the impact scope of device faults and locates the root cause based on the links of the power distribution and cooling system, greatly reducing troubleshooting time.
With these capabilities, this DCIM system provides a digital management platform for customers with ultimate user experience and helps customers gain overall insights of data centre operation control.
AI saves power for data centres
Meanwhile, the iCooling@AI solution can reduce the PUE of data centres by 8 to 15%. With its industry-leading AI technologies, Huawei’s
management system is capable of analysing the energy efficiency of the power supply link, diagnosing the power consumption in real time, and providing optimal adjustment parameters based on AI analysis to reduce the overall power consumption. Data from a 1480-cabinet data centre shows that the PUE is down 0.116, saving about US$615,300 in electricity fees annually with this solution.
Intelligent O&M frees employees from tedious daily work
On the other hand, the E2E device maintenance tracing function can automatically generate inspection reports with the 90% automation level to greatly improve the inspection efficiency. O&M experts can customize proactive O&M plans and define device inspection items, periods, and routes in the system. Onsite O&M tasks are automatically delivered to the Operator’s mobile app to take preventive maintenance. In conclusion, the preceding measures can greatly simplify O&M and reduce the O&M labour cost of a single cabinet by 35%.
Better use of resources
With full asset lifecycle management, NetEco 6000 can intelligently plan the capacity of the computer room to better manage data centre resources, boosting their utilization by 20%. The Huawei management system is equipped with U-position electronic tags to realize the full life cycle management of assets.
Through the analysis of the space, power, cooling, and network capacity, the best floor plan is recommended to maximise value capacity while avoiding stranding the data centre.
NetEco 6000 is widely used in different industries. Among those is at the Dubai International Airport, where a complete set Huawei NetEco system now integrates and manages third-party devices. The digital management platform was built to avoid siloed management brought on by traditional management and reduce management costs.
China Construction Bank (CCB), the second largest bank in China, is also implementing integrated O&M and centralised service management in its data centres in Beijing and Wuhan.
Pressure has been building in the Wuhan CCB data centre, which has a maximum of 6000 racks. The NetEco 6000 solution has automated 90% of inspection work, supported with full tracking of O&M tasks.
Electric car maker BYD (Build Your Dream) has deployed NetEco6000 to greatly simplify data centre O&M with a large-screen display interface, 3D monitoring, electronic inspection, and mobile app functions.
The solution is well recognised in its own field, as Huawei NetEco 6000 recently won the Red Dot Award for Brands & Communication in 2020, which is one of the world’s top industrial design awards.
As digital transformation is inevitable, enterprises will need more solutions for these changes. In the fifth HUAWEI CONNECT scheduled from 23 to 26 September 2020 in Shanghai, global thought leaders, business elites, tech experts, pioneering enterprises, ecosystem partners, application service providers, and developers will share their insights into the evolution taking place in different industries.
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