infrastructure for a connected world

6 Zone™ Methodology bridges the gap between IT and facilities





















The unprecedented growth of the “Internet of Things” along with virtualization and consolidation of converged systems is increasing the demands of power, cooling, and capacity.  To proactively mitigate risks associated with these demands, additional granular data from physical infrastructure systems is needed as well as information that traditionally is provided by building management systems  (BMS).

To truly understand operational efficiencies such as power usage effectiveness (PUE) metrics and to be able to act upon that information, there needs to be greater comprehension of the interdependencies of the distinct operational areas, or “zones,” within facilities and data centers.

Zoning in on energy and physical infrastructure efficiency

Our logical, systematic 6 Zone™ Methodology bridges the gap between IT and facilities by partitioning the physical infrastructure of a building into distinct “zones” numbered 1 through 6, increasing in granularity from point-of-entry (Zone 1 – Building Point-of-Entry) down to the individual servers or devices within data center cabinets (Zone 6).

Each zone is then assessed using the system data that is being monitored, captured, and processed by SmartZone™ Solutions deployed at different points of zone operations (i.e., utility meters, chiller units, switch boards, individual power outlets, and more) throughout the data center or facility.

The Panduit 6 Zone™ Methodology allows for assessment, discovery and understanding of all existing and potential physical infrastructure systems, including power/energy, communications, security, and connectivity. More importantly, this approach assures that the dependencies across zones are identified and considered when developing holistic, actionable energy and physical infrastructure management strategies for:

• Making and sustaining reductions in energy consumption
• Improving capacity performance
• Increasing resiliency and mitigating risk
• Reducing operating costs


Panduit 6 Zone™ Methodology

The Zone methodology allows IT and facilities professionals to work together to understand and manage infrastructure costs more efficiently by providing a level of granularity and relevance, moving from a broad understanding of incoming utility usage for an entire building at the point of entry (Zone 1) to a granular and precise understanding of utilization at the individual device (Zone 6).


Zone 1: Utility Meters

ZONE 1: Capture real-time utility consumption
The building point-of-entry is termed Zone 1, and in this zone, collection of utility data for power, oil, water, and gas is captured. Unlike a monthly utility bill that reports on past consumption, Zone 1 data collection can provide an up-to-the-minute current overview of total facility utility consumption, which can be used for predictive forecasting and to facilitate billing reconciliation and variance analysis. This data is useful for documenting compliance with regulatory reporting requirements for emissions performance, including CO² tonnage.
Trend and spot data for all incoming energy types can be available and collected in a number of ways depending upon the existing meters and their features (e.g., smart meters, pulsed outputs, etc.). The reporting allows comparative analysis and change analysis across multiple timeframes (e.g., day, week, month, quarter, and year). Typically, the implementation of these devices does not impact daily operations.

Zone 2: Main Switchboard Distribution Circuits

ZONE 2: Measure and monitor power at the main switchboard distribution circuits

Zone 2 takes responsibility for monitoring the power distribution circuits on the main switchboard to capture the total power consumption of all downstream loads, including universal power supply (UPS), computer room air conditioner (CRAC), chillers, air handling unit (AHU), and lighting circuits feeding the data center as well as the rest of the building.
Intelligent instrumentation collects trend and spot data for all outgoing circuits to enable detailed reporting on capacity and change analysis across multiple timeframes whether daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually. This provides a breakdown of the entire power infrastructure with granular analysis of historic and actual consumption of individual circuits. Data is also provided on the status of the back-up generators, including availability, capacity, and fuel levels.

Zone 3: Plant Equipment

Zone 3:  Measure consumption and monitor plant equipment
Using data collected from the building's external monitoring system, typically Modbus or Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), or through a Building Management System (BMS), data collection in Zone 3 allows facilities and energy professionals to accurately monitor the efficiency of the equipment supporting the data center including distributed monitoring of supporting services, chillers, air handling units (AHUs: individual unit monitoring), lighting, universal power supply (UPS: input and output efficiency).  By drilling down to view and analyze individual equipment consumption and utilization information, stakeholders can report on a range of parameters including set points, run time, pressure, feed and return temperatures, power draw, and capacity.

Zone 4: Branch Circuit PDU Monitoring in the Data Center

Zone 4: Monitor branch circuit PDU in the data center
Monitoring of total cabinet IT loads in Zone 4 is performed by collecting real-time data from the power distribution unit (PDU) branch circuits. While it is possible to attribute actual power consumption of specific cabinets at this level, more granular and actionable information is provided by monitoring the individual cabinets in Zone 5. If environmental metrics on cabinets are required, these readings can be segregated into data “containers,” which associate readings with the respective cabinet, giving more ability to view and analyze data relating to each individual cabinet located in the cabinet-level monitoring zone. Monitoring also ensures more reliable circuit protection by proactively highlighting/alerting on any faulty, over-rated, or tripped circuits.

Monitoring in Zone 4 provides IT and energy managers with the breakdown of the power infrastructure feeding the cabinets and free standing equipment within the data center. Trend and spot data for phase balancing and power draw by circuit is collected via Modbus or Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP). As in the previous zones, granular reporting enables detailed capacitive and change analysis across multiple timeframes.

Overlaying all of this information into consolidated reports provides holistic views and accurate information to continuously improve Power Usage Effectiveness/Data Center Infrastructure Efficiency (PUE/DCIE).

Zone 5: Cabinet-level Monitoring

Zone 5: Measure consumption and monitor status at the cabinet
Zone 5 focuses on power monitoring of all IT equipment at the cabinet. Intelligent power distribution units (PDUs) may also accept sensors and security access control inputs, providing for granular reporting, auditing, and trend analysis. This information greatly assists in measuring and therefore, allocating appropriate power usage and infrastructure  efficiency (e.g., capacity, power, environmental, and connectivity status) throughout the data center, allowing for more informed decision making regarding cooling and power capacity planning.  A broad range of metrics is included from power usage, humidity, temperature, and airflow, to leak detection, security, and rack-level assets.

Cabinet-level monitoring offers the potential for supplying detailed information to IT and facility managers about power, environmental and physical security. Intelligent PDUs collect true RMS volts, amps, kW. kVA, kWhr, Power Factor (PF) and Frequency (Hz) to deliver trend and spot data for individual power strips in a cabinet. Capacity reports offer the opportunity to identify power, temperature, and space capacity on a cabinet, aisle containment, row, or room basis.

Zone 6: Device-level Monitoring

Zone 6: Measure consumption and monitor individual devices or assets within cabinets

In Zone 6, device-level monitoring and reporting on individual IT assets within the cabinet is performed using intelligent per outlet control power device units (PDUs). Extensive “drill-down” reporting on asset and characteristics is provided, including network connectivity and power/energy consumption by location/department/customer and the server hardware/manufacturer. This enables detailed information on cost/total cost of ownership (TCO) per asset as well as highly accurate billing data on a per-outlet basis. Automated connectivity patch field management also streamlines remote site network management by facilitating guided moves, adds, and changes without a trained operator.
Monitoring this zone allows IT managers to understand and manage the availability and performance of individual IT assets and devices. Monitoring the power draw of all active equipment at a socket level provides trend and spot data to enable IT management to calculate TCO as well as compare the performance of different manufacturers on an energy cost and performance basis.