Atos is a leading global IT solutions provider responsible for ensuring the security, reliability and continuity of its customers’ critical business information and resources. The company provides fully-managed services to clients across a wide range of industries. Brian Sims reports on the new software solution that’s transforming the business and, by extension, the services offered to its own clients.
With four data centres strategically located throughout the UK and customers around the world, Atos’ management team decided to invest in a state-of-the-art data centre infrastructure management (DCIM) solution across a key location – more of which anon – that would actively deliver a single, consolidated view of all that data centre’s IT and facilities operations from a single workstation.
Atos UK’s data centre strategy manager Brian Parrott explained: “We have a variety of different asset management tools, products and spreadsheets across the business and needed a tool that could pull them together in the right place to help us in making both timely and accurate decisions.”
Furthermore, Atos wanted to improve its asset management capabilities with better reporting of capacity and the ability to conduct ‘What if?’ modelling of infrastructure to enable the better use of data and, by extension, reduced risk of downtime.
To increase overall energy efficiency and cut back on utility costs for its customers, Atos required detailed, rack-specific power consumption data with real-time temperature monitoring and heat map visualisation.
In order to meet these challenging criteria, Atos decided to implement Datacenter Clarity LC – the advanced software solution suite developed by Siemens Building Technologies – at its first data centre in Livingston, Scotland.
Smarter decision-making to the fore
The intuitive, easy-to-use DCIM interface processes information from vital sub-systems that traditionally operate in silos into a single, powerful solution that monitors energy and building management, physical security, fire safety, power and communications, racks, servers and data storage systems not to mention switches and routers.
The Datacenter Clarity LC system enables collaboration between IT and facilities process managers, allowing both parties to track and manage assets and workflows.
Simple integration procedures ensure the smooth transfer of up-to-date infrastructure information and help the two departments to deliver high value IT services while also solving the toughest of challenges as a unit.
Unlike other DCIM solutions, the latest Datacenter Clarity LC technology combines a complete DC suite including a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) module. The software delivers real-time energy management at rack level due to its ability to harness that CFD analysis technology, combined with real-time environmental monitoring designed for the delivery of a complete set of capabilities for cooling management. This affords Atos detailed power usage information via the dashboard and regular reporting.
Armed with an improved view of its energy consumption, the business can then increase efficiencies and reduce energy costs for its own customers.
Importantly, having both real-time environmental monitoring and CFD capabilities within a single DCIM platform realises a faster return on investment.
Billing reports generated from detailed rack readings
Atos can now provide more accurate and auditable invoices for its customers. Datacenter Clarity LC generates upwards of seven million power readings per month, increasing billing transparency and customer trust.
In addition to real-time environmental monitoring, the software provides predictive capabilities in a virtual 3D data centre model. This offers Atos’ engineers an intuitive interface for the viewing of assets, in turn helping to identify risk and ensuring the highest levels of both uptime and reliability for the company’s myriad customers.
Using the 3D modelling, Atos has a more efficient and effective way of conducting change management and ensuring that the company’s assets can support customer needs for capacity.
The business’ managers may access Datacenter Clarity LC from any Atos workstation around the world, giving the management team the agility and flexibility they need to ensure uptime and address any customer issues that arise.
Positive impact on the host business
Datacenter Clarity LC has realised a hugely positive economic impact for Atos, resulting in a reduction in downtime, increased energy efficiencies and improved customer relations.
The system is generating more accurate billing reports for the company’s clients. Past billing was determined by one monthly reading for the site. Current invoices are informed by real-time monitoring at the rack level, generating millions of data points and providing far greater transparency.
The DCIM solution has also been successful in helping Atos achieve a number of key objectives. For example, the team now has one clear view of the data centre. They can see everything from mechanical and electrical infrastructure to IT assets, all on one screen. Having a single view is essential when taking the pulse of the business in order to really understand the health of the data centre.
With more accurate, real-time monitoring of assets and power consumption, Atos expects that Datacenter Clarity LC will support its company-wide efforts to approve Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE). As the business improves PUE, so power consumption comes down. The resultant saving is then passed directly to customers.
Atos now intends to roll out Siemens’ Datacenter Clarity LC to other UK and European strategic customers.