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Monday, July 04, 2016

IoT drives software defined power into the data centre

By Nick Flaherty

The increased demands from the Internet of Things (IoT) is driving a major shift in the industry at the infrastructure level, says Jeff Schnabel, vice president of global marketing at Portland, Oregon-based power supply maker CUI, in an interview with EETimes Power.
One of our big plays is in infrastructure with data centres with zetabytes of data and that has huge implications. On the infrastructure side is the idea of software defined power (SDP) – it’s the next evolution of power. With digital power you have these islands of power – SDP ties that together at a higher level. We have partnered with Virtual Power Systems working on the software for SDP solution for data centres to drive the virtualization of power.”
One of the big issues is capacity utilisation, he says. Data centre operators over-provision the power to support peak use, so the infrastructure is only really used at 60% in order to cope with the spikes of power. Using virtualization to provide the power where and when it is needed can greatly reduce capex and opex spending and the amount of equipment to power the infrastructure – racks of power supplies can be replaced with racks of servers to boost the compute capacity. 
Within the hardware is a 4U power system with a battery backup built in. This provides the ability to use ‘peak fade’ so instead of building a 10kW because you need it at peak, you can build in 6kW and use the battery back up at peak times and recharge when the peak comes back down. This means operators are able to shave the peaks and remove 4kW of infrastructure. This has a huge benefit in capex when you are building the data centre but also gains in opex and reduce the thermal envelope as cooling is a huge issue.
“The great thing is these are plug and play so they can be installed into the existing infrastructure in weeks rather than months or years, he said. “It supports greenfield design but is also plug and play so an operator can quickly realise the gains.”
This move to software is also being driven by a reduction in the number of skilled power engineers. You can read more of this interview at EETimes Power

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