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Data center management in the cloud can predict downtime, vendors say

Brandon Butler | Oct. 4, 2016
New data center infrastructure management (DCIM) from Eaton uses internet of things sensors and big data analytics to prevent costly power failures


Data center power management vendor Eaton’s newest product has sensors that that the company says will proactively warn customers of when equipment component failures are likely to occur.

Eaton’s announcement today of PulseIngisht Analaytics is part of a broader trend in the data center infrastructure management (DCIM) market moving to cloud-based platforms, says 451 Research director for data center technologies Rhonda Ascierto. Vendors such as Eaton, Schneider Electric and Emerson Network Power are evolving their platforms to collect more data their power systems generate and analyze it to provide customers with detailed information about data center performance, and even help predict and prevent downtime from equipment failure.

More and more workloads are moving out of data centers and collocation facilities. Recent research from 451 says 41% of all enterprise apps are now running in some public or private cloud; a number expected to rise to 60% by 2018.

But there are still many applications that are not likely to move to the public cloud anytime soon, Ascierto says. Apps that remain on premises tend to be mission-critical, which only reinforces the need for primary and backup power supply for the infrastructure that runs them. Eaton estimates that unplanned downtime costs the average data center user $471,000 per hour. Twenty-three percent of Eaton’s customers say downtime could cost more than $1 million per hour.

Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) systems are the first line of backup if primary power fails, having the ability to kick on within milliseconds of detecting a power disruption. But UPS systems can fail too. Typically annual or monthly scheduled maintenance is performed to inspect UPS and other power systems. But Eaton’s newest line of UPS systems give customers the option of adding predictive analytics to help identify potential issues in addition to those maintenance windows.

“Having a telemetry system embedded in the UPS is like having the equivalent of 365 virtual preventative maintenance visits per year,” says Art Mulligan, product manager for Eaton’s new predictive UPS systems.

PredictPulse Insight is a subscription-based SaaS available in two of Eaton’s newer and more popular UPS systems, the 9395 and 9390. The systems have hundreds of sensors within them that communicate vital system information to a central Eaton processing facility in Kentucky. It’s sent via a one-way outbound email either every 15 minutes or daily.

It sends data about the UPS’s batteries, capacitors, fans filters and power module. Eaton has developed a big data analytics platform powered by a DCIM product from CA Technologies and Oracle to comb the data. Eaton monitors trends in component usage from individual customers and aggregates it with data from other customers and its own experience to flag the first signs of a potential hazard.


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