PRODUCT NEWS



Large Data Centre in the Gulf takes advantage of wireless sensor network flexibility for critical monitoring.

Adaptive Wireless Solutions has project-managed and supervised the installation and commissioning of a large Sensicast wireless mesh sensor network in a very large data centre for a Gulf States oil company.

The Sensicast wireless system was installed in three dispersed facilities to meet the oil company objective for detailed temperature and humidity monitoring of a mission-critical data centre. The highly specified main data centre is on four floors covering a total of over 7,500 sq metres and is supported by business continuity and disaster recovery facilities which were also monitored as part of the project. The wireless system monitors both background and detailed rack-level ambient temperature and humidity sensing points. Replacing a highly labour intensive system of manually managed data loggers which yielded only partial historical data in certain areas, the wireless system immediately revealed the value of continuous real time monitoring and the flexible deployment of the wireless sensors.

With over 200 wireless devices installed in the first phase the monitoring density is already paying off. Within a few days of implementation, during the commissioning stage, the system revealed a localised CRAC unit performance problem causing worryingly high temperatures in one aisle. Maintenance intervention was possible before the situation became critical. With their objective of unmanned operation and very few staff routinely in the aisles such situations would not necessarily be otherwise detected in time. Labour time savings on the monitoring activity now mean that staff can concentrate on improvement actions rather than data gathering.

The wireless system was installed, commissioned and all staff training provided in only 12 working days with no disruption to normal operations. The extensive system is deployed in six wireless ‘sub-nets’ and each separate wireless system is connected to the class-leading OnCall monitoring and alerting software using the data centre wired Ethernet infrastructure. As expected, running the 2.4 GHz wireless monitoring system in the same areas as a WiFi data network showed no measurable negative effect on either system.

The customer is delighted with the system and has already begun discussions to extend the system during 2008 into other areas. As well as increasing the total number of sensors in use by 50% plans are to monitor chilled water system temperatures and flow rates, sub-floor air flow and pressure, and electrical energy consumption.

As the demand for monitoring of critical facilities continues to increase, the use of wireless sensor networks is growing due to their ease of installation, flexibility and integration with existing infrastructure allowing customers to quickly and more economically comply with operational and regulatory requirements.

The application specifically takes advantage of some of the key benefits of wireless mesh networks – speed of installation, flexibility in use to accommodate changing requirements in place, lower installed cost due to the battery-powered sensors, easy expansion to accommodate future needs and risk-free coexistence with existing IT equipment.

Adaptive Wireless Solutions is supplying an increasing number of systems to the data centre market.
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January 2008

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