Redefining data center service with technology

Redefining data center service with technology

Technological advancements in the field of service can play a crucial role in upholding uptime and reliability in data centers.

It is undeniable how digitalization has transformed and reshaped people’s way of life. It has introduced alternative means for communication and collaboration, increased transparency and insight on operational procedures and processes, and facilitated agility and productivity across various industries.

This important transformation, however, has placed an increased demand on uptime and efficiency for data centers, which serves as one of the primary drivers in an encompassing shift towards the use of digital technologies. The cost of outages in data centers has increased exponentially, a clear indication of how reliant individuals and industries have become on digital platforms and services.

With both revenue and reputation on the line, how can data centers ensure that uptimes remain up and outages stay out? The answer lies in preventive maintenance.

Why regular data center service is a must

Just like how car owners need to have their vehicle regularly tuned-up to make sure they run smoothly, data center operators must also conduct regular monitoring of their facilities, particularly mission-critical equipment, to guarantee the reliable provision of data services. The basic rule of thumb is that the more intensive the operations, the more regular service activities are needed to avoid unplanned outages.

More than just a tick on the to do list, preventive maintenance decreases the possibility of critical errors from occurring, especially in an environment as complex as a data center. More importantly, it safeguards the health and efficiency of mission-critical equipment that keeps data centers up and running. Suffice to say, the cost of regular service activities is far more reasonable compared to the financial and reputational expense of having to go offline due to system or equipment malfunction.

In addition, by keeping a close eye on system and equipment health, regular service procedures also uphold the health and safety of data center employees by preventing the occurrence of electrical hazards such as electrical explosions. A study from the Workplace Safety Awareness Council estimates the cost of an electrical accident to be at a minimum of $750,000 on top of litigation fees and medical costs for affected workers.

A technological approach to service

Thankfully, technology has paved the way for basic service tasks to be done safely, collaboratively, and more efficiently.

First, ABB offers a diverse portfolio of intelligent solutions that provide real-time insights that can help data center managers monitor equipment health and performance. This deep component-level visibility not only allows operators to optimize their processes to realize more efficient operations, but also encourages a more proactive maintenance strategy that can save time and resources.

For instance,  ABB Ability™ Energy and Asset Manager allows data center operators to have full remote visibility of asset and electrical-system behavior. Through this intuitive dashboard, data center managers can swiftly identify inefficiencies that can lead to excessive energy use and optimize equipment performance to ensure reliability and product quality. Aside from cutting back on energy usage and corresponding costs, the ABB Ability™ Energy and Asset Manager can also yield savings on unplanned labor, maintenance, and operational expenses.

To support the implementation of preventive maintenance measures and maximize data center productivity, especially in settings as intricate as data centers, ABB offers two innovative digital applications – Collaborative Operations for electrical systems (CLOSER) and Remote Assistance for electrical systems (RAISE) – to easily get support when needed and make troubleshooting much easier.

With their augmented reality visualization capacity, CLOSER and RAISE simplify maintenance, reduce downtime, and increase equipment effectiveness by improving the quality of repairs and speed of resolution.

CLOSER provides first-level support for ABB electrification solutions and products by offering detailed troubleshooting guides that can help data center workers in addressing basic component or equipment issues. CLOSER is accessible 24/7 to provide in-depth guidance through the different steps of key troubleshooting procedures.

If further assistance is needed, RAISE provides the next level of support by having an ABB service professional facilitating remotely guided repairs. RAISE reduces time to repair and maintain electrical equipment by allowing ABB experts to use augmented reality to remotely guide field operators on their Android or iOS smartphone, tablet, or via smart glasses and other supported wearables. This speed of resolution is vital in minimizing potentially highly disruptive and costly downtime. With time being of the essence in data centers, every second saved can make a big difference in productivity, profitability, and even sustainability, due to the reduced need for travel to and from the facility.

The beauty of RAISE is how it also helps data centers meet their sustainability targets through significant reduction in their carbon footprint. Using RAISE will save approximately 332 tons of carbon emissions per year by reducing up to a third of customer site visits by ABB field service engineers.

Now more than ever, data centers must take steps to operate efficiently, safely, and sustainably, as they play an important role in the global digital transformation. While this continues to be a challenge, making the shift from calendar-based to condition-based monitoring can be the first step towards realizing data center reliability. ABB’s digital portfolio, together with CLOSER and RAISE, can be your ideal partner in making this important step.

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