APC by Schneider Electric has introduced the next generation of its InfraStruxure architecture, a modular data center infrastructure system that integrates power, cooling, racks, security and management. APC also introduced new features to the InfraStruxure management software portfolio offering additional energy management and efficiency tools.
"APC pioneered scalable and modular data centers with the introduction of InfraStruxure in 2002 and we continue to invest and evolve the architecture,"” said Jim Simonelli, Chief Technology Officer, APC by Schneider Electric. “As data center challenges escalate with increasing server densities, virtualization, and a new focus on efficiency, it has become a priority for data center managers to align their power and cooling infrastructure designs with their IT requirements. This next generation of InfraStruxure makes it easier than ever before to meet these new dynamic challenges while achieving desired availability levels and deliver maximum efficiency.”
Modular Supercomputer at Nebraska
The new InfraStruxure system was announced at a Schneider Electric media event Tuesday in Chicago, which showcased the Holland Computing Center at the University of Nebraska, which is using InfraStruxure to power the Firefly supercomputer, which uses more than 1,150 compute nodes. The Holland center deploys 9x15 foot pods of InfraStruxure to house its gear, and uses the integrated APC hot-aisle containment system to run 11 racks of gear at up to 13 kilowatts per rack.
The Nebraska system is used to crunch datasets from the Large Hadron Collider, the massive particle accelerator system housed at CERN in Switzerland. David Swanson, the director of the Holland Center, said the APC system has provided his facility with improved reliability, which has translated into improved productivity by allowing the supercomputer to run grid computing jobs from other institutions, in addition to the in-house data crunching at Nebraska.
Updated Management Software
As software becomes more important for data center infrastructure management (DCIM), APC by Schneider launched a new version of its InfraStruxure management software. The new features include:
- The Data Center Lab, a data center project management tool within InfraStruxure Capacity, which allows users to simulate changes and scenario planning without impacting data center operations. Drag and drop functionality and instant feedback on the impact of adding new IT gear makes the tool ideal for testing designs for floor layouts, rack layouts and inventory lists for data center expansion, consolidation or new build projects.
- An updated Impact Analysis application provides an instant overview of data center physical infrastructure operations including UPS, power distribution and cooling independent of the types and brands of equipment present in the data center. The application has enhanced alert functions allow managers to set operating thresholds.
- InfraStuxure Efficiency 1.1 provides IT managers with reports on monthly energy consumption of their data center subsystems including CO2 emissions, PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) and DCIE (Data Center Infrastructure Efficiency).
The new network management tool within InfraStruxure Capacity provides insight into equipment dependencies including mapping and documenting fiber and copper networks from servers, via patch panels, to switches or routers allowing IT managers to document connectivity, manage their network structure and plan and control network usage.
An example of the increased integration capabilities of the software includes the real-time communication between InfraStruxure Operations 6.1 with Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 via a PRO Pack. This new capability automatically migrates virtual machines to healthy, secure host server environments and provides visibility into how virtual machines relate to physical servers.
“We updated our InfraStruxure management software to provide not only critical monitoring and measurement but extensive operational upgrades to enable seamless implementation of virtualization and the reduction of overall carbon footprints,” said Soeren Brogaard Jensen, Vice President Enterprise Software, APC by Schneider Electric. “These upgrades allow customers to maximize current resources, conserve energy and better plan for the future.”