Twenty-nine billion. According to the Telecommunications Industry Association, that’s the latest projection for the number of connected devices on the global network by 2022. Of that, roughly 18 billion of those devices will be related to the Internet of Things (IoT). These devices produce incredible amounts of data with the expectation that this data can be held in the cloud for storage, analysis, and backup.
But what does it mean to store data in the cloud, or to run a cloud-based operation? Putting data into “the cloud” doesn't mean that the applications and data are not housed on computing hardware. It simply means that someone else maintains the hardware and software at remote locations where the clients and their customers can access them via the Internet. And those locations are data centers.
Nearly every person, business, and government entity either needs its own data center or needs access to someone else's. Major companies and some governments build and maintain data centers in-house, others rent servers at co-location facilities (commonly referred to as “colos”), and some rent space in cloud-based services from hosts like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google.
Challenges Facing Data Centers Today
To the average citizen, storing data in the cloud is a way of freeing up space on a phone or computer. The cloud seems like a great way of describing their experience – data is stored in some ethereal space. To those who operate or run a data center, they are very much a physical reality.
Data centers house massive rows of servers and electrical rooms. They can be physically large, sprawling over football fields just for one portion of a data center. They are huge consumers of energy, require extensive cooling systems, and can never, ever be offline.
There are three major challenges all data centers must address:
Safety, as in the physical safety of the people working in data centers, is a top priority for these facilities. Working in data centers is a highly regulated environment, in large part to keep the people in the center safe. One wrong move could result in a deadly electrocution, accident, or serious harm to a contractor or employee. Should a safety incident occur, it can result in the global closure of all the data centers that company operates – delaying project timelines and creating costly work disruptions. And, with the massive size of data centers, getting people out of the space quickly in case of a fire or inclement weather is a challenge. With safety in a data center, there is no room for error.
Security is taken seriously by data center operators. Any project, hardware update, or renovation involves bringing outside people into the data center and opens the possibility of a security breach. The process of becoming a trusted vendor is extensive, and even after reaching that status, daily security checks upon entering and exiting a data center require significant time. It is necessary for data center operators to know, at all times, who is in the facility, where they are, and what they are doing. Keys, access cards, laptops, and other equipment need to be accounted for at all time. Any violation of security – or safety – protocol can result in the permanent expulsion of that person or company from the data center facility.
Cost is important as running a data center is expensive in all aspects: high upfront construction costs, continual maintenance costs, constant security costs, and significant energy consumption. For people who work in data centers, the hours spent each day going through the security process eats into the total productive hours available to work in a day – adding further costs to construction and improvement projects at these buildings.
Intelligent Data Center Environments
Data center environments have different needs from a normal office environment. Intelligent data centers go beyond lighting controls and use sensors, IoT devices, data, and intelligence to create an environment that is safer, more efficient, and easier to maintain.
Nexos, Igor’s IoT smart building platform, achieves these goals. With Nexos, an intelligent data center includes:
- Asset Tracking
- Personal Safety
- Reduced Failures
- Improved Response Time
- Energy Savings
- Lower Lighting Maintenance Costs
Read more about how Nexos contributes to intelligent data centers from our resource library:
Redwood Conversion Case Study
Colo Data Center Case Study
How It Works
Nexos packages are available to data centers at two levels, which we will refer to as “Better” and “Best.”
This package has the lowest total installed cost while providing the basic requirements for an intelligent data center. The “Better” package includes:
- A pre-built rack solution that is easy to deploy and scalable across a site or multiple sites
- All sites are manageable from afar with granular system wide visibility and control
- All fixtures utilize an 18/2 low voltage home run cable from the rack to the fixture(s)
- Igor shall provide the Igor-ready low voltage light fixtures as part of the package
The “Best” package combines the benefits of the "Better" package along with the added value that real-time location services (RTLS) brings to the solution and some upgraded product options.
- Igor nodes and advanced sensors are embedded within suspended 4' LED light fixtures
- Every two fixtures use just one home run of Ethernet cable to a data rack
- Igor will provide the Igor-enabled PoE light fixtures as part of the package
- Real-time panic button press communication abilities with room-level accuracy
- RTLS is included in the solution, and provides the following benefits:
- The solution is provided with a floor plan map application showing locations of mobile assets and more
- Each fixture will track mobile assets such as people, phones, keys, lifts, electric vehicles and more along with perform energy management lighting controls
- Location accuracy to 2m on a continuous and real-time basis which can determine if two or more tags were within the 2 meter span at any given time to determine if social distancing guidelines were breached and to estimate the duration of the interaction
- May be set up to provide historical heat mapping information to determine the locations of staff or contractors
- Integrates via Igor's RESTful API into a user interface to share X and Y coordinates and identify which individuals are in what locations
Our team has the experience and necessary technology to install Nexos for intelligent light and smart building technology in a safe and secure way at data center facility. We have extensive experience in the installation of PoE-based technology for large data centers exceeding 250,000 square feet. Nexos, our IoT smart building platform, is highly scalable and easy to deploy, simplifying the process of managing building systems. Our data center solution fosters occupant productivity, safety and security while maximizing energy savings and minimizing maintenance.
When you bring the Igor team to your data center, you know that:
- We have experience becoming preferred vendors
- We know how to create a scope of work that fits a data center’s unique needs
- We understand events are unpredictable – global stand-downs happen – and can help adjust project timelines as client needs arise
- We know to expect the unexpected
- We minimize project risk
Learn from our Team