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Data Center Smart Tile

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000241008D
Publication Date: 2015-Mar-18
Document File: 6 page(s) / 379K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Described are data center smart tiles which are a means to improve communications, monitoring, measuring, security, and problem determination within the data center. The benefits of Data Center Smart Tiles with respect to simplification of day-to-day operations fit well with big data and cloud solutions.

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Data Center Smart Tile

Many of today's data centers use raised-floor and/or drop ceilings as part of their mechanical structure. The raised-floor and/or drop ceilings are passive components that are put in place to control air flow, support the weight of the IT equipment (raised-floor only), and conceal cabling. A passive raised-floor and/or drop ceiling does not have any intelligence for communications, monitoring, measuring, security, and problem determination within the data center.

    Active devices are used for communications, monitoring, measuring, security, and problem determination, but additional hardware and software need to be purchased as well as integrated into the data center. In many cases, the integration is not seamless and takes additional staff with extensive training for proper routing and operation. With a data center smart tile, communications, maintenance, and facility services are embedded in the raised-floor panels (tiles) with the intention of providing real-time, active monitoring, alerting, engagements, etc.

    The invention introduces a new paradigm for communications between servers, storage, switches, etc., in the data center. The data center smart tiles can replace traditional cabling such as fibre and copper which require space under the raised-floor. Minimizing or eliminating the cabling under the raised-floor or above the drop ceiling would eliminate things like cable snags, airflow damns, and difficulty routing as the quantity of cables increases. Less cables means less fuel load under the raised-floor in the event of a fire and easier compliance with electrical code requirements with respect to abandoned cables. Costly environmental cabling requirements such as low smoke zero halogen (LSZH) and plenum go away.

    The invention introduces a new paradigm for maintenance. Traditional data center security uses video surveillance, human escorts, grid location markers, and RFID tracking to ensure third party members can reach necessary locations without straying away to more sensitive areas within the data center. Most solutions today require an additional person such as an escort to direct the third party member or separate surveillance systems. The data center smart tile can enforce real-time directions to the appropriate location, eliminating the need for an escort to enforce the site security requirements.

    The invention introduces a new paradigm for facility services. Traditional temperature monitoring and control is solved using external thermal instruments. Modifications to air flow requires manual intervention; e.g., adjustments to the main cooling unit or plenum. Rarely, temperature adjustments are made without impacting the entire area of the raised-floor. The data center smart tiles can made adjustments and understand...