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Schneider touts data center ‘modules’: News in brief

Talk of modular data centers and energy management software dominated news from the Uptime Institute Symposium last week.

Schneider introduces modular power and cooling units
Schneider Electric is getting into the modular data center business, with new facility modules that can scale in increments of 500 kW, to quickly snap in additional data center power and cooling capacity as the need arises.

The new Schneider modules are the EcoBreeze, a chilled air cooling module that provides adaptable cooling based on environmental conditions, automatically providing either indirect evaporative cooling or air-to-air heat exchange; and the Chilled Water Cooling Module, consisting of six modular high-efficient chillers, two economizers and an integrated pump house.

The new facility power modules were tested to support data center infrastructure equipment, including American Power Conversion (APC) Corp.’s Symmetra PX uninterruptable power supply (UPS), APC InRow cooling, APC NetBotz security and environmental management, Square D QED switchboards, and pre-programmed power management system software. The modules are also pre-wired and UL-rated. They are priced at less than $2 per watt and available today.

Underwriters Laboratories adopts new performance standard
Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Inc., a safety testing and certification agency, has embraced a performance standard based on the PAR4 methodology from Power Assure Inc. With the UL2640 standard, data centers operators will be able to better assess the utilization of server resources in their environments. Cisco Systems Inc., Dell Inc. and Intel Corp. also embraced the standard.

The PAR4 methodology calculates transactions per watt-second of energy consumption, factoring in age of the IT equipment plus a meaure of server transaction performance. A higher PAR4 number represents a higher level of performance per watt. Servers’ ratings will rise with every generation of equipment as their capacity, performance and capabilities increase.

Power Assure adds analysis to energy management platform
Power Assure’s new Energy Management software platform version 4 (EM/4) gives data center operators the ability to analyze raw data from data center equipment to improve the efficiency and capacity of their facilities. Key features of the new version include real-time IT and facilities efficiency and utilization metrics, such as representations of available space, power consumption and CPU utilization. The platform also offers "what if" planning and reporting, based on Power Assure’s PAR4 IT energy efficiency rating system, to determine server and data center consolidation scenarios, server refresh requirements and data center capacity planning. Power Assure EM/4 will be available at the end of the quarter, and is available as Software as a Service, starting at $2,500 per month.

Raritan updates energy management software
Raritan Inc.’s new Power IQ 3.0 energy management software includes a configurable Web-based dashboard to make it easier for data center managers to track the information that is valuable to them. The dashboard displays reports, charts, graphs and maps that are created from data generated by rack power distributions units, environmental sensors, UPSes, branch circuits and other data collectors. Power IQ can show energy supply at the data center, floor, room, row or rack level, and provide data on energy usage, costs, carbon footprint and thermal factors. It is available as a VMware Inc. virtual appliance.

In other news, Power IQ 3.0 can now also capture power usage data from Universal Electric Corp.’s Starline Track Busway, a data center power distribution busway.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Alex Barrett, news director, at, or follow @aebarrett on twitter.



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