New 6SigmaDCX suite from Future Facilities

Mark Fenton introduces the new 6SigmaDCX suite from Future Facilities

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DCX Coming Soon

Think you know CFD for Data Centers?

Think Again.

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WHY YOU SHOULD ACE YOUR DATA CENTER

This blog was posted on behalf of Jeff Brickley, Director, Data Center Services at DCIM Solutions LLC, and is part-2 of a series of blog posts about predictive simulation for the data center. You can also read the first post of this series “Is Predictive simulation a crystal ball for data centers?“, an introduction about predictive simulation. 

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PREDICTIVE SIMULATION AND THE ACE PERFORMANCE SCORE – PART 2

Why predictive simulation?

Doesn’t every data center owner/operator (or better yet CFO, CIO, CTO) want an optimized data center?

What is an optimized data center?

Is it one that keeps the lights on as in ensuring all IT equipment is available?

Availability certainly is important and I would venture to say that it is on the forefront of every data center owner-operator’s priorities. After all, one of the best ways to measure success in IT Support or Facilities Management organizations is by how unnoticed they go. Issues tend to bring those organizations into the spotlight. IT Support and Facilities Managers will tell you things are great when everything is quiet. However, one question to ask is what is the cost of assurance of availability? I can talk about the ever-increasing footprint of data centers and the fact that computing power is becoming more and more dense. We can discuss the fact that data centers account for over 1.5% of power consumption in North America and that trend is growing. However, I would rather talk about how we can take one of our most valuable assets – the data center – and maximize its Return-on-Investment.

One question I want everyone to consider is what capacity are you getting out of your data center? When the data center was planned and/or purchased there was a capacity goal in mind. Perhaps 1mW was the target. How do you ensure you can still achieve 1mW? I think it is safe to assume that over the course of data center operations the equipment deployed is different from the initial plan. This leads to fragmentation of the cooling and ultimately capacity. The distribution typically isn’t optimized to ensure it is getting to the right place. After all, it is invisible. So how do you measure what can truly be achieved in terms of capacity? More importantly how do you measure how much capacity can be achieved without sacrificing availability or efficiency (i.e. making sure the air getting to the right place)?

Our partners and friends over at Future Facilities have come up with a straight forward comprehensive way to measure overall data center performance focusing on Capacity goals all the while maintaining Availability and Efficiency. It’s called the ACE Performance Score. ACE is an acronym for Availability, Capacity, and Efficiency.   The key to calculating ACE is the utilization of a calibrated Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) model of the data center. We’ll get to the ‘how’ later in this blog series. For now, I would just like to ensure the concept of ACE is clear. So what exactly is the definition of each component of ACE?

ACE PERFORMANCE SCORE

The definitions above are fairly straight forward but I encourage you to take a moment and think about them particularly in the context of your own data center. Again, most of the focus is on availability. However, real estate is at a premium. What would it mean to your company if you can get 20% more capacity out of your data center, keep availability at 100% and also ensure efficiency to control your operational spend? Almost every data center in operation today has some stranded capacity. Predictive Simulation can help you reclaim that stranded capacity and ensure you are getting the most out of your data center.So think about ACE-ing your data center. Use the ACE Score to steer the course of maximum capacity all the while ensuring you achieve your availability and efficiency goals. Use ACE to communicate performance with Senior Management and provide meaningful and attainable goals to the data center team.

Hopefully this gives you a fundamental understanding of the ACE Performance Score. We’ll dive in deeper in the next few posts. Topics to be covered include: Establishing ACE Goals, Creation of the Virtual Facility, How to Calculate your Current ACE Score, How to Identify Improvements and Reclaim Lost Capacity, and Continuous Predictive Simulation.

About the author: 

1b4f5e3Jeff Brickley is a certified Project Manager and has been in the Information Technology sector for over 17 years.  He has a unique and diverse background including programming, infrastructure and project management.  He has lead large, complex efforts and teams with the common theme throughout his career being that of optimizing operations for business.  His passion for continuous improvement and a background in Mathematics made him an ideal candidate to study, utilize and promote the use of Computational Fluid Dynamics modeling for data centers.

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What Does the Software Defined Data Center mean for the Physical Data Center?

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Data centers are designed for physical and operational configurations that are never realized. The facts of data center operations results in IT service resilience risk and total cost of ownership overruns that most in the industry are not even aware of. This presentation addresses the cost and risk impact of operational flexibility in the data center and the impact of the software defined data center on performance and total cost of ownership.

Watch this webcast on Wednesday November 12, 10am PST – 1pm EST

Register Here: https://www.brighttalk.com/r/KRF

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Future Facilities Partners with DCIM Solutions to Provide Predictive Simulation and Modeling Services

ACE Jumpstart will optimize data center performance while reducing operational costs

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Virtual Facility: The Data Center Simulator

SAN JOSE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Future Facilities North America (Future Facilities NA), a leading provider of data center design and operational management software, today announced that it has partnered with Glassboro, NJ-based DCIM Solutions, LLC to offer ACE, a predictive modeling and simulation service which assesses three critical indicators for optimal data center performance: Availability, Capacity and Efficiency.

“Through this partnership, ACE Jumpstart will be further optimized for the data center owner/operator. It’s gratifying to see the ACE Assessment becoming adopted as an important metric for data center efficiency.”

ACE Jumpstart scores the data center on how compromised its availability, physical capacity and cooling efficiency have become by analyzing and mapping the interrelationship between the three variables. This score determines how well a data center is performing, and in turn, how costly the facility is to build and operate.

The data inputs can also be synchronized with any DCIM suite or other system monitoring toolkit and are mapped to a powerful 3D Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) model to create a Virtual Facility (VF), which allows for precise simulations for a variety of critical operational decisions, including: airflow distribution, temperature, physical resource collision, hardware performance, failure scenarios and electrical systems. DCIM Solutions has more than a decade of experience perfecting the calibration process, which is integral to establishing ACE goals and maximizing predictability. Through VF simulations, corrective measures are identified to bridge the gap between the data center’s current state and the aspired ACE Goals.

“Future Facilities is excited to partner with a data center infrastructure leader like DCIM Solutions,” said Sherman Ikemoto, Director, Future Facilities NA. “Through this partnership, ACE Jumpstart will be further optimized for the data center owner/operator. It’s gratifying to see the ACE Assessment becoming adopted as an important metric for data center efficiency.”

The calibrated VF produced by ACE Jumpstart will be imported into Future Facilities’ 6SigmaDC software and be available for immediate use, with a 90 Day Software License and formal training and support included. This will allow data center owner-operators to utilize simulation and predictive modeling throughout the life of their data center to stay on track to reach their ACE Goals.

“This partnership will provide immediate benefits for data center owners and operators that are looking to treat their data centers as a business unit,” said Dan McDougal, Managing Partner, DCIM Solutions LLC. “Using the ACE methodology, DCIM Solutions will be well-equipped to help data centers of all sizes plan for capacity changes and prevent negative trends before they begin.”

ACE Jumpstart benefits include a fully calibrated CFD model, establishment of ACE goals and measurement of the current ACE score, identification of areas for remediation to improve the ACE score, a 90 day license of Future Facilities’ 6SigmaDC software and expert training and support. For those looking for a limited introduction to ACE, DCIM Solutions offers a scaled-down version of Jumpstart.

Future Facilities will be exhibiting ACE Jumpstart with DCIM Solutions at the Fall Data Center World Conference, which will be held between October 19 and 22, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency in Orlando, Florida. Representatives from Future Facilities and DCIM Solutions will be at booth 616 to provide information on ACE Jumpstart, the importance of modeling and predictive simulation, and the benefits of increasing data center efficiency through analysis within the Virtual Facility.

About Future Facilities

For nearly a decade, Future Facilities has provided software and consultancy to the world’s largest data center owner-operators and to leading electronics designers. The company, which is privately funded, optimizes data center utilization through simulation. In doing so, it has saved its customers millions of dollars. Innovative and progressive, Future Facilities is unique in the market place; it is the only company providing scientifically-sound answers to the what-ifs? that have for so long been impossible to answer with real confidence.

About DCIM Solutions, LLC

DCIM Solutions, LLC is the innovative leader for Data Center Infrastructure Optimization Solutions. With a focus on power, cooling, and space utilization, our products and services provide unparalleled optimization and efficiency resulting in cost avoidance, lower operating costs, and better utilization of assets.

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IS PREDICTIVE SIMULATION A CRYSTAL BALL FOR DATA CENTERS?

This blog was posted on behalf of Jeff Brickley, Director, Data Center Services at DCIM Solutions LLC, and is part-1 of a series of blog posts about predictive simulation for the data center. 

Crystal Ball Draft

What is Predictive Modeling?

By definition Predictive modeling is the process by which a model is created or chosen to try to best predict the probability of an outcome. Most often the event one wants to predict is in the future, but predictive modeling can be applied to any type of unknown event, regardless of when it occurred.

Predictive modeling is used in many industries. For example, the Health Care industry uses historical statistics to create models that predict the likelihood a patient will be readmitted to the hospital.   Other industries take this even further through the use of graphical simulations. This is often referred to as Predictive Simulation or Simulation based performance analytics. Gartner defines Simulation-based performance analytics as: Optimization and simulation using analytical tools and models to maximize business process and decision effectiveness by examining alternative outcomes and scenarios, before, during and after process implementation and execution.

The aerospace industry utilizes Predictive Simulation to test new materials to use in the construction of aircraft that potentially could improve fuel efficiency. Automotive manufacturers use Predictive Simulation to test new parts that will help with turn radius and reduce the likelihood of a roll over. Predictive Simulation is very mature and the physics behind the models has been used for centuries to characterize the behavior of complex systems.

Take the automotive example above. They are essentially using Predictive Simulation to improve performance and reduce risk. Sounds like something we all think about in data centers and IT in general. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to accurately predict the outcome of any proposed change in your data center? That would be like having a crystal ball that can predict the future. Those don’t exist though; or do they? Predictive Simulation is that crystal ball and is being used to predict the outcome of any proposed change. Many of you may have heard of Computational Fluid Dynamics models of data centers. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is the physics behind the simulation. There are many data centers in the country today that utilize CFD tools for Predictive Simulation. I personally know of data centers in operation today where you can view the Simulation model in an office and obtain an attribute of a data center such as flow from a floor tile or temperature at a certain point on a rack and then walk to that exact spot in the data center and reality is reflecting exactly what the model predicted. These models are kept up to date in order to run simulations throughout operations to ensure any proposed change will not adversely affect the data center as a whole. Additionally, it is being used to justify capital expenses and at the same time reducing operational costs through efficiency gains.

I have started this blog series in an effort to spark conversation around Predictive Simulation for data centers. I will be discussing the need for data center optimization and then dive into a specific methodology for establishing data center performance goals, utilizing predictive simulation to measure existing performance and then illustrating how predictive simulation can be used ongoing to stay on course to reach those goals. It just so happens that through this process there are significant $$ to be saved and at the same time risk of outage is reduced.

I encourage you to research Predictive Modeling and more importantly Predictive Simulation. You should find that these are not new concepts even to the data center industry. However there may be some rumors out there about how accurate these simulations truly are and whether or not they bring value. My first response to such propaganda is that it all depends on how the models are constructed – garbage in equals garbage out. But make no mistake, a properly calibrated CFD model can be used for Predictive Simulation and thus to accurately predict ANY change in the data center.

About the author: 

1b4f5e3Jeff Brickley is a certified Project Manager and has been in the Information Technology sector for over 17 years.  He has a unique and diverse background including programming, infrastructure and project management.  He has lead large, complex efforts and teams with the common theme throughout his career being that of optimizing operations for business.  His passion for continuous improvement and a background in Mathematics made him an ideal candidate to study, utilize and promote the use of Computational Fluid Dynamics modeling for data centers.

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Video: The Virtual Facility – Data Center Sustainability without Compromise

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Data centers are critical operations. The business impact of changes to the data center – like any other business critical operation – needs to be known before making the change. The Virtual Facility is a simulator that predicts the business impact of changes to the data center. This greatly reduces risk and improves IT and capacity planning.

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