Intelligent Data Centres Issue 32 | Page 60

Hospital Trust ensures data centre resiliency and always-on IT operations


Schneider Electric , a leader in Digital Transformation of energy management and automation , in collaboration with its Elite Partner , Advanced Power Technology ( APT ), has deployed its award-winning EcoStruxure IT Expert software at the Birmingham Women and Children ’ s NHS Foundation Trust . The open , vendor-agnostic and interoperable Data Centre Infrastructure Management ( DCIM ) platform will provide the Trust with a dedicated remote monitoring solution , offering data-driven decision-making , increased resiliency and uptime for its distributed IT and critical backup power systems . EcoStruxure IT Expert is an advanced remote monitoring tool providing wherever-you-go visibility , alarms , preventive management capabilities and data-driven recommendations to mitigate security and failure risks and drive efficiency . It is part of Schneider Electric ’ s IoT-enabled EcoStruxure architecture .

Founded in 2017 as a merger between two existing hospitals , the Birmingham Women and Children ’ s NHS Foundation Trust is a specialist provider of healthcare services for more than 140,000 patients . The Trust ’ s operations are supported by an extensive IT infrastructure system , whose functions were consolidated and integrated across both of its hospital campuses . They include two on-premise data centres , a growing number of distributed network closets and more than 100 Uninterruptible Power Supplies ( UPS ) that safeguard critical equipment and patient data .
Continuous uptime is the top priority for the Trust ’ s IT department to enable always-on patient-management and clinical applications . To ensure continuous operation in the event of a failure , the Trust maintains a detailed Disaster Recovery ( DR ) plan , which sees its data centres act as failover resources to one another . Further , its UPSs , which
are deployed across a number of Edge Computing locations , need to be monitored in real-time , ensuring that their batteries and other critical components remain in good working condition .
Traditionally , manual inspections were required to check the health and status of its backup power and IT equipment . However , given the distributed nature of its infrastructure , the Trust had begun to experience longer intervals between inspections , increasing both the risk of battery malfunctions and of downtime to its IT applications .
Realising that it needed to improve the resilience of its IT and UPSs , the Trust engaged the support of Advanced Power Technology ( APT ), a specialist provider of energy efficient power and cooling systems .
APT recommended the installation of Schneider Electric ’ s EcoStruxure IT Expert software to help monitor and manage its UPS , battery systems and Edge IT
infrastructure . Its cloud-based architecture would allow them to connect its data centres , distributed IT and backup power systems , and monitor them from a central console . Further , it would enable status updates and alarms to be routed to any remote device , providing real-time visibility and preventing downtime .
Additional capabilities within EcoStruxure IT Expert also allow the Trust to monitor environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity , which can affect the performance of its IT and network infrastructures . In these environments , cooling efficiency is essential and network closets can suffer from dust and poor ventilation .
Here , EcoStruxure IT Expert enables the IT department , in collaboration with estates management , to provide detailed information to key stakeholders . This will help drive investments that will not only maximise uptime , but enable the Trust to manage its hardware assets in a more sustainable and efficient way . ◊
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