Industrial automation in data centers – infrastructure of tomorrow and beyond


The dependence on data, computing power and connectivity is increasing exponentially at an unprecedented rate. We all rely on a data center somewhere and it needs to run efficiently.

The approach to energy is becoming significantly more strategic to data centers and the enterprises they support. The same innovations being applied to the smart grid and to mission-critical industrial plants are finding their way into data centers. For example, data center operators now require an open platform to manage multiple levels of integration and interoperability among a wide array of components and systems, coordinated controls to automate load shifting and real-time optimization of both facility infrastructure and IT, and two-way distributed generation to balance a data center’s energy supply and demand.

It won’t matter how robust or technically advanced the IT systems and facility equipment are if a data center’s infrastructure management (DCIM) capabilities are inadequate for the task. The challenge for data center operators is to dynamically manage a flexible network to achieve reliability, energy efficiency and maximum utilization from all data center assets. ABB Ability™ Data Center Automation can help. We believe our industrial heritage, broad choice of electrification & automation solutions as well as our commitment to sustainability will help grow business.

ABB Ability™ Data Center Automation provides a scalable, modular solution that adapts to your data center. Traditional BMS/PMS/BCM combinations are no longer needed, since ABB Ability™ Data Center Automation delivers this base-level functionality during the initial deployment. The modular approach allows you to achieve your data center strategy based on your current data center investments, instead of being dictated by a vendor’s DCIM product strategy. Moreover, its open platform allows for reuse of infrastructure point-solutions to simplify migration.

The ABB Ability™ Data Center Automation solution delivers benefits that encompass these 5 areas of infrastructure and operations that help manage your data center cost, capacity and control. At ABB, we group the many benefits a good DCIM system delivers into 5 categories:

System availability and performance – Industrial class visibility and performance metering of both IT and facility systems, including status change, energy consumption and environmental data from any location.

Capacity planning and management – Maximize capacity of power, cooling and space through optimized placement of IT assets, ‘current state’ and ‘future state’ resource capacity planning, including what-if scenarios and data center comparisons.

Resource forecasting and energy planning – Real-time energy market intelligence and analytics to determine $/kWh, $$/MW, transactions/server, PUE, carbon emissions, and other data center metrics.

Facility & IT automation – Control technologies and process automation of work flow, asset management, and automatic demand response of facilities (e.g., power and cooling) and IT (e.g., load shifting).

Troubleshooting and root cause analysis – Granular performance detail, including time-stamping and occurrences of alerts and alarms, for your entire data center operations.

Due to data centers having become a critical component of the business enterprise, they can no longer be looked upon as an adjunct to the systems used to manage your office environment. Over time, attitudes about the data center within the enterprise have adjusted and it is now seen as an integral part to business operations and revenue generation. As a result, data center strategies are more attuned with business realities.