Schneider Electric’s StruxureOn solution has been deployed to provide 24/7 data centre monitoring for Kelvin Hughes – a developer and manufacturer of navigational and radar systems for civil and military applications. The data centre and its IT equipment host all of the company’s critical applications including its ERP system, development servers and data storage systems. As a Ministry of Defence (MOD) subcontractor, the company has a vital requirement for both physical and cyber security, in addition to strict access control. Business continuity and disaster recovery are also important aspects of the facility’s day-to-day operation.
“If the data centre fails, the company essentially stops trading,” said Ian Mowbray, Infrastructure Services Manager at Kelvin Hughes. “Reliability, both in terms of the data centre hardware, the IT equipment and the services supplied by Kelvin Hughes is an issue on which the company cannot afford to compromise.”
Kelvin Hughes’ original data centre, which was designed and built with the help of Schneider Electric, consists of 12 racks containing a mixture of physical and virtual servers and data storage arrays. However, only eight of the racks are in use today by Kelvin Hughes, with the additional four populated by another company which is collocated on the business premises.
There is scope for considerable expansion in the data centre, which would bring with it a need for additional monitoring and management of the facilities to ensure that it continues to operate effectively.
In recent months, Kelvin Hughes has deployed Schneider Electric’s StruxureOn service, to help maintain its data centre operations while providing remote management and monitoring. Ian Mowbray explains that when built, the facility featured a contained hot aisle together with close coupled cooling equipment.
“Schneider Electric’s InfraStruxure with Hot Aisle Containment Solution (HACS) has greatly helped the efficiency and effectiveness of our data centre cooling system,” says Mowbray. “A number of the servers have been virtualised making the requirement for physical servers unpredictable. The HACS enables a high density load and the flexibility to reliably accommodate, power and cool an additional number of IT devices.”
“We used to have a monitoring server in the computer room which looked after all of the infrastructure and sent us email alerts if anything was amiss,” said Ian. “But during a recent routine upgrade of the batteries in our UPS systems, we learned about StruxureOn and that we could deploy it as part of our existing maintenance agreement with Schneider Electric.
“Anything that provides additional insights and proactive monitoring or management of our facilities is of great interest because we’re a small team and it’s essential to know what’s happening in the data centre on a daily basis.”
StruxureOn enables data-centre managers and operators to both view and control all their equipment from a single central console, more commonly known as the “single pane of glass”.
A benefit of the new system, according to Mowbray is that alerts to any issues that reach a certain threshold of concern can be sent directly to a duty manager via the mobile phone application. “It means we can continue to monitor the computer room remotely at weekends, and should we encounter any issues, they are delivered directly to my Smartphone.”