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The Importance of Critical Data Trending in the Data Hall
April 23, 2015
Written by T5 Data Centers

T5FM Engineering Series
Volume 1, Issue 3
The Importance of Critical Data Trending in the Data Hall

What are Data Center Critical Trend Compilations?

Capturing, interpreting and applying critical trend data as it pertains to critical infrastructure and the supported environment is an absolute necessity in the modern data center, and the importance of having the ability to compile multiple critical trend-points cannot be over-stated. Compiling critical trends is becoming common practice industry-wide because of the high-speed, low-drag approach of gathering and understanding pertinent information. This information provides powerful insight to the data center operator, providing an added diagnostic tool to help operational staff effectively manage infrastructure, identify maintenance deficiencies, answer forensic questions, and overall, to be more pro-active in their operational approach.

As seen in the example below, a six (6) point critical trend compilation has been attached to one trend point. By viewing one trend point, the user is presented with several critical pieces of information at designated points in time. Understanding the correlation between the different trended points allows the user to quickly identify anomalies outside of “normal conditions” with the infrastructure, or environment which helps head off potential disaster. Having the ability to know when a spike in temperature or humidity is a real problem vs. a short-term anomaly is key to effective operations. Minor fluctuations in temperature and humidity can occur and should be expected. Turning up new servers, extreme outdoor conditions, equipment maintenance and failures, etc. all have an affect on the data center environment. Establishing a baseline of expected ranges allows the operator to match that to actual conditions, thereby providing good forensics when the environment does go out of range. The example shows all the necessary at-a-glance information related to Data Hall Dry Bulb Temperature:

  • Data Hall Dry Bulb Temperature
  • Chilled Water Supply Temperature
  • Condenser Water Supply Temperature
  • Data Hall Relative Humidity
  • Data Hall Dew-Point Temperature
  • Average CRAH Supply Temperature

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With absolute commitment to 100% availability, Critical Trend Compilations like these play a pivotal role in detecting, diagnosing and correcting potential problems before they cause service interruptions. Implementing daily reviews of such trends are important – for example, at the beginning of each shift, or more frequently if necessary. In addition to trending environmental conditions, the power side can benefit too. Setting up trends to monitor for utility power disturbances, UPS voltage and current deviations, frequency anomalies, etc. and also during pull-the-plug events, all certainly have value. Integrating these trends into day-to-day operations greatly increases effective facility management, helps build a smarter workforce, and provides valuable insight into the heartbeat of your critical systems.