Emerson Releases Data Center Self-Assessment Tool

Emerson Releases Data Center Self-Assessment Tool

Emerson Network Power announced this week a new service to help businesses identify cooling and power weaknesses in the their data centers.

The company, a brand of Emerson, unveiled Tuesday the Liebert Data Center Assessment. It analyzes heat removal from sensitive equipment and evaluates electrical capacity and quality.

"Data centers are dynamic environments where increasing heat loads are constantly challenging cooling strategies and where computer equipment is often moved or changed without any thought given to the underlying support strategy," said Jeff Powers, Emerson Network Power senior service product manager, in a statement. "Sometimes even new facilities experience nagging power or cooling problems that can create risks to business-critical continuity."

The assessment is done on-site. Using computational fluid dynamics, it creates a visual image showing data center air flow, temperature, hot spots and zones that can negatively impact a computer's performance.

There are two components to the assessment: thermal and electrical. The thermal assessment takes air and temperature readings at specific points of a data center to identify the hot spots. Air flow also is measured to pinpoint and diagram raised floor air patterns, sub-floor obstructions and air flow through computer racks.

An electrical assessment will perform a single point of failure analysis to document weak spots. It will calculate the capacity of all switchgear from the main to mission-critical power distribution units, and measure the current being drawn through all UPS-rated capacity ratings. A harmonic analysis of the main breaker switchgear and load side of each UPS will be performed. The assessment also will determine kW and kVA loading on each UPS and compare to the equipment's rating.

The assessment is designed to address power and electricity concerns, some of which were documented in a 2006 Emerson business continuity survey. It found 38 percent of large businesses estimate that a full business day of downtown could generate $500,000 in lost revenue, according to company literature. Sixty percent of respondents expect to have at least one power outage in the following year.

"The Liebert Data Center Assessment Service can help companies isolate potential vulnerabilities in the power system and identify potential hot spots and hot zones before they adversely affect the performance of the facility," Powers said.