Affigent & APC | Semper Paratus: Ensure Your Data Centers Are Always Prepared for an Environmental Disaster

White Paper

Even after closing numerous data centers to increase efficiency and meet federal targets, the Defense Department still manages hundreds of data centers across the globe. Each remaining data center is critical to mission continuity and success; it’s where mission critical data is stored, transmitted and protected. Yet, many are missing a key tool that is critical to protecting the data—automated environmental monitoring. Agencies have taken many positive steps to increase capacity, bolster security and improve storage resources. Often, however, they have not yet given the same attention to environmental factors, such as heat, moisture and smoke. Any of those factors— not to mention other disasters, like wildfires or earthquakes can cause equipment failure or loss of human life. Despite the benefit of automating environmental monitoring, many are still using manual methods as simple as
visually checking thermometers taped to walls or identifying excess humidity by how much staff are
sweating. According to the OMB, less than 27 percent of federal data centers and 30 percent of DOD
data centers use automated energy metering technology today. In addition to being inaccurate and labor-intensive, manual approaches to environmental monitoring make it very difficult for data centers to meet the Data Center Optimization Initiative (DCOI) mandate. The most current iteration of that mandate
requires agencies with large data centers over 100KW to replace manual collections and reporting of operational data, systems, software and hardware with automated monitoring, inventory and management tools. Some data centers are finding that if they don’t have proper environmental monitoring, access controls and audit mechanisms, they can’t pass audits. According to GAO, most of the 24 agencies participating in the DCOI program report limited progress against targets for automated
monitoring, energy metering, and power usage effectiveness.

An automated approach to environmental monitoring

All of these pressures are leading more DOD installations to adopt more automated, software-based methods of monitoring environmental factors. With this approach, data center managers can monitor critical and environmental data via a consolidated dashboard, even if they are working at home because of the current pandemic crisis. “The idea is to be able to continuously monitor temperature, humidity, motion, smoke as simply as possible,” explained John Esparza, a Data Center Software Consultant for APC’s Schneider Electric’s Secure Power Business Unit. “If you can do it all with one system, from one console, you can stop problems before they become bigger problems.”
One approach revolves around a network-connected hardware

View White Paper

Akima is more than one company. We are a portfolio of 8(a) companies, small businesses, and other operating organizations. We take pride in being both specialized and nimble — two qualities that allow us to respond quickly to our customers’ unique needs.