APC launches software to manage IT infrastructure

Solution uses access controls, ITIL and video surveillance

Infrastructure management provider APC today launched a new software line to more efficiently manage data centre floor space, power, cooling, cabling, and threat protection.

The integrated suite which combines the output of an intelligent data centre CAD application with real time monitoring and measuring applications, and ITIL service management applications to maintain the datacentre lifecycle.

Gartner head of power and cooling research, Michael Bell, said the solution "goes a long way" to help solve escalating cooling and power issues in the datacentre.

APC also unveiled its enterprise management application InfraStruXure Central 4.0, to centrally manage power, cooling and environmental monitoring equipment within the data centre.

The program is built on device management, alerting and reporting, and can scale from simple wiring closet monitoring to full enterprise management of data centres and remote facilities.

Additional applications can be added to centrally enable environmental monitoring, video surveillance, rack and data centre access control, and ITIL based capacity and change management.

APC A/NZ country manager, Gordon Makryllos, said the company is now well positioned to help manage the entire physical layer of a data centre through its lifecycle.

"We finally have a closed loop system, so we can monitor and measure what's happening with the IT physical infrastructure, and can provide models that illustrate it by integrating the data from our design tools," Makryllos said.

"We can then take all that information and feed it to our capacity management application which takes all the guesswork out of where to place that next server with respect to power, cooling, floor and rack space.

"The change management application then feeds the information back to the database so you always have an updated accurate model of what's going on now and in the future."

The applications' new design data is generated by APC's CAD InfraStruXure designer which incorporates efficient room layout design, power and backup capacity planning and computational fluid dynamics modelling to generate accurate equipment and floor layout requirements for specified servers, storage and networking IT equipment.

InfraStruXure Central 4.0 is available in Australia from $AU18,900.

Meanwhile, APC has begun working with IBM on pre-engineered data centres aimed at small and midsized businesses (SMBs) that need facilities in the 500- to 1,000-square-foot range.

IBM is preconfiguring systems intended to work with APC's In-Row InfraStruXure systems, which provide power and cooling without the need for a raised floor.

The vendors have named their offering the Scalable Modular Data Centre.

IDC analyst, Jed Scaramella, said the decision by APC and IBM to work together on a data centre development project is a sign of things to come as server vendors pay more attention to cooling and power needs.

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By giving users a single point of contact when building a new data centre, the vendors are responding to the disconnect that exists between some facility managers and IT managers.

That disconnect has led to data centre managers ordering new servers without knowing about all the power and cooling needs of the systems on an existing data centre infrastructure.

The cost of electricity is "becoming a critical cost factor and people are starting to pay a lot more attention to it."

A survey of 3,000 data center managers found 60 percent of respondents plan to expand the physical footprint of their data centre within 10 years.

Gartner analyst, Rakesh Kumar, said many enterprises are running out of space or cannot accommodate the needs of newer technology.

"That means today's data centres are functionally obsolete," he said.

There is enormous cost involved in trying to retrofit today's data centers with more efficient facilities infrastructure at a time when IT managers are trying to cut costs.

One example, is Intel Australia, which plans to save $500,000 over the next 10 years through data centre consolidation.

Intel Australia business development manager, Sean Casey, said the company has about 130 data centres now and this will shrink to 20 larger facilities which will be located in more strategic areas.

- with Sandra Rossi