Canara Launches Data Center Facilities Management Business for SMBs
Canara’s signature monitoring lights attach directly to UPS batteries. (Photo: Canara)

Canara Launches Data Center Facilities Management Business for SMBs

Company will tie its predictive analytics and monitoring in with a la carte or turnkey facilities management services

Canara, provider of predictive monitoring and analytics for data center power backup systems has launched a critical facilities services business. The offering, called CFS, is a scalable framework of consulting and operations management services for owners of small to medium-size facilities.

Several data center providers have started facilities management practices in the last year or so, including QTS Realty, Vantage Data Centers and T5, which was hired to manage Skybox's data center in Texas. Those practices target the larger enterprise or web-scale player data center, whereas Canara's offering is for small and mid-size regional players.

CFS is a logical extension of what Canara already does, said Tom Mertz, the company's CEO. “It’s always been part of our vision,” he said. “when you’re doing predictive analytics already, and when you’re already a service provider doing maintenance work in the data center today, it’s a natural progression.”

Canara will tie its analytics with the new services piece, meaning it will not only provide day-to-day maintenance but also predictive intelligence.

Canara knows batteries, which are often the fault in data center outages when they don’t kick in as expected. Leveraging over 20 years of battery data for its complex algorithms, the San Rafael, California-based company’s devices continuously analyze data center backup batteries to predict when they are going to die, helping avoid unexpected battery failure. The value proposition is risk mitigation, higher efficiency, and more reliable backup power systems.

CFS extends Canara from prediction to wider facility management. Canara can maintain the UPS, mechanical and fire suppression systems and all the vendors underneath. It manages the process, scheduling, and documentation, and can physically staff a data center if needed.

Canara CFS is offering both a la carte and turnkey services. Customers can choose from a menu of services to solve a particular vulnerability, or take a full service option called Canara Critical, to outsource the management of their entire facility. Customers can transition from a la carte to Canara Critical over time.

Canara is targeting regional players, not large enterprises or social media companies often targeted by facilities management practices.

It will act as an outsourced facilities director in the mid market, a market that often doesn’t have the resources around facilities management available. “The head of IT is often in charge of physical maintenance and might not have an engineering team,” said Mertz. “We become an extension, organizing the service levels in the facility.”

The goal is offering flexible solutions for the mid-market instead of all-inclusive long-term engagements typically required for facilities management contracts, according to the company. Mertz said that CFS is seeing very promising early traction and to expect new customer engagement news in the next 90 days or so.

Mertz was formerly with QTS and joined Canara as CEO in June 2014. The company raised over $4 million the following month. While it feels like a startup due to new management and new money, it has a rich history in terms of collecting data and predicting trends. Mertz said that predictive analytics is gaining a lot of traction in the data center market.

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