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Data Centre Digital Twin Software

ACKPro Server Software includes digital twin modelling and simulation features to allow data centre managers to compare design and real world performance in order to identify areas of concern such as process failures, single points of failure, capacity planning changes and areas requiring preventative action. The software uses data collection from sensorCFD, server cabinet thermal maps and other intelligent sensors, collected via an AKCP sensorProbe+ environmental monitoring device.

Digital Twin Benefits for Data Centre Operators

Data centre digital twins provide several advantages for data centre operators and facilities managers. The model can provide insights into IT, critical system (cooling and power), design and capacity utilisation, in addition to mapping out the network and critical power path. Data analysis can help to identify areas for improvement, energy saving and capacity optimisation.

Building Digital Twins

The first step is to build a virtual model of the physical data centre space. This can take time for a large data centre but a faster approach and potentially more accurate one, can be to model a specific containment pod (mini data centre).

Some aisle containment system manufacturers can supply virtual models of their hot and cold-aisle containment pods for use in software such as AKCPro Server software. This speeds up significantly, creation of the digital twin model.

Real-time Intelligent Data Monitoring and Analytics

The next stage is to install intelligent sensors within the physical data centre environment and specifically at the server rack level. The best sensor for digital twin data collection are AKCP cabinet thermal cabinet map and power meter sensors. Designed for server racks and aisle containment pods from Panduit, Subzero, Schneider and more.

For airflow mapping, the AKCP sensorCFD can be used to collect sensor data. CFD stands for Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and the data can be used to produce a graphical representation of airflow and cooling performance.

A comprehensive digital twin will include data on energy consumption, rack inlet and outlet temperatures, humidity, water leak detection, and of course the physical assets. This granular monitoring and data collection level, allows data centre managers and engineers to detect critical issues and respond with corrective and preventative actions.

Predictive Maintenance for Critical Systems

Sensor data analysis can also be used to predict equipment failures and schedule preventative maintenance. Regular maintenance is known to reduce downtime and repair costs and help to extend the overall working life of critical devices.

Virtual Simulations for Predictive Analysis

A digital twin allows for critical system simulations in a virtual setting. Examples include failure of the cooling system or a failure within the critical power path, including failure of an uninterruptible power supply, a breaker tripping or overloading of a PDU.

Capacity Planning for Datacentre Operators

Capacity planning is an important part of the data center management process. Demands do vary and future changes must be planned. A digital twin allows for capacity planning simulations so that changes in loading and utilisation can be mapped.

CFD Analysis and Data Accuracy

Digital twins are only as accurate a tool as the data provided. This is especially true for CFD analysis and computations. Without accurate data, the room for error can be significant. For accurate CFD results, accurate real-world data is required. This can be achieved using the ACKP sensorCFD device.

Containment POD and Aisle Management

Mapping containment PODs provides a smaller space in which the hot or cold air is contained. This provides an easier system to control, monitor and model, than a complete data centre.

Within this, thermal cabinet map sensors can be used to collect data within server cabinets, at the rack inlets and outlets. With top, middle, and bottom, front and rear level monitoring, true Delta-T values can be calculated. AKCP power meters can also be installed for each server rack to measure the heat generated. Both sets of data help to make the digital twin highly accurate. In addition, as the data centre expands, additional PODs can be rolled out using the same configurations to ensure modelling and performance consistency.

By creating a digital twin of a data centre, it is easier to manage, monitor and plan for changes within the data centre, improve resilience and maintain uptime. Please contact our projects team for more information or book an online demo.


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