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Remote Monitoring

Published by Jason Koffler on 23 March 2012

Remote Monitoring – bridging the IT/FM gap

Getting people to think about remote monitoring (RM) in a different way, particularly IT and facilities managers is challenging. The mindset is that RM are simple reactive response systems. But RM technology has evolved and offers so much more, bridging the gap between facilities management and IT to provide true and complete infrastructure management that can save time and money.

Data centre infrastructure management (DCIM) and capacity planning is big business. According to Forrester research, the market for DCIM is expected to grow to 60% market penetration by 2014 (as opposed to 1% market penetration in 2010). Why? Increased power and heat density in data centres, plus consolidation, virtualisation, cloud computing, increased reliance on critical IT systems, the desire for energy efficiency and green initiatives are all helping to drive the demand.

DCIM and remote monitoring adopt many of the same principles except that DCIM is specific to data centres. By implementing specialised software (such as GENEREX SENSORMANAGER, SITEMANAGER and SITEMONITOR for facility management), remote monitoring enables a common, real-time monitoring and management for all independent systems across IT and FM. It can be integrated into BMS (building management systems).

DCIM, within a data centre, is the integration of information technology (IT) and facilities management disciplines in order to achieve centralised monitoring, management and intelligent capacity planning of a data centre’s critical systems.

DCIM and remote monitoring (in their respective settings) can be used to:

• Assess data centre availability and reliability requirements.
• Identify and eliminate sources of risk to availability – and be made aware of potential issues before they become a problem.
• Identify interdependencies between facility and IT infrastructure and alert FMs to gaps in system redundancy.
• Monitor and help to reduce energy use.
• Allow for more optimised operation of the facility.
• Lead to reduced operating expenses.
• Maximise the use of airflow and drive down cooling costs.
• Enable optimum server placement in relationship to power, cooling and space.
• Enable data centre managers (DCMs) to model the effects of ‘green’ initiatives on the facility’s PuE and DCiE ratings before committing to them.
• Enable troubleshooting of building systems and controls to improve operation and energy efficiency.
• Perform remote diagnostics to identify system problems and inefficiencies and minimise emergency call outs.
• Enhance predictive maintenance.

Some reports suggest that as much as 40-50% of all emergency calls can be eliminated through remote monitoring. Controllers that are part of a remote monitoring system contain far more information than many engineers, IT managers and FMs realise. They can provide trending and programming capabilities, such as load shedding and duty cycling. Remote diagnostics can delve into a wealth of controller data, which can pay dividends in terms of time and costs savings.

Remote monitoring systems enable operators to set the standard they want for smooth operation and set boundaries for their IT and FM systems to operate within so that those standards remain in place.

GENEREX products for facility management offer:

• Monitoring and control units for sensors and actuators for a wide range of applications in facility management.
• Visual presentation and analysis of measurement data.
• Freely configurable event handling (immediate notification of alarm signals via email, SMS and network).
• Detailed logging capability.

It’s all about taking a proactive approach to power and environment management.

For more information or to talk to us about your remote monitoring requirements, call 0800 978 8988 or click here