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PROJECT "PAVELETSKAYA TOWER"

Engineering equipment monitoring system of the server room

The monitoring system described below was mounted and commissioned in April 2003 in one of the newly built office buildings of Moscow by order of Skanska Olson CJSC for one of its clients.

It took them less than 2 months to start elaborating the requirements specification and to finalize the project by commissioning the system, but for all that 2-3 weeks were spent on purchase of the equipment.

The monitoring system was created to provide twenty-four-hour control over condition of the equipment located in the server room.

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The list of equipment subject to monitoring:

Precision conditioner, Libert-Hirros

2 pcs.

Uninterruptible power supply, capacity 1200 KWA, Libert-Hirros

1 pc.

Water leakage control cable system, Raychem

1 pc. 

Early smoke detection system, SecuriRAS

1 pc.

Gas fire fighting system system, ESA

1 pc.

Combined temperature/ moisture sensor, Honeywell

2 pcs.

The above equipment located in the limited access room is designed to ensure normal functioning of the server room with a lot of network switching and server equipment mounted in 19’ inch cabinets. The designed monitoring system should meet stricter requirements. The distinctive feature of the project is that losses resulting from false stop of the servers are higher than those resulting from damage of the equipment in case of fire. That’s’ why the system is designed so that instruction to switch off the servers is given only in case of emergency. For example, the fire alarm system needs confirmation of the fire signal from several systems (the early fire detection system, the gas fire fighting system, the standard intrusion protection and fire alarm system mounted when the building was under construction) to initiate the signal to switch off the servers.

A few words about the water leakage control cable system. We had not serviced that system before. Generally, special sensors control water presence. The sensor responds only if water directly touches the sensor. In this leakage control system it is highly probable that water will pass between the sensors. To improve performance of the leakage detection system we should shorten intervals between the sensors. Our experience proves that the cost of such solution for a room of 100 s.m. with 1 m intervals amounts to USD 4000-4500. And still the reliability of the solution is doubtful when water presence in the room is highly destructive. The cost of the solution based on the water leakage control cable system for the same room is not much higher as compared to use of separate sensors, but efficiency of the solution does. The system works on the following principle. A special cable is laid on the perimeter of the room; it is connected to its own intelligent module. When water touches the cable, the monitor of the module displays the leakage location (the cable meter).

MONITORING SYSTEM

The main task to be realized within this monitoring system is to provide notification of responsible specialists by sending warning SMs to them in the GSM standard network in case of any failure of the equipment, the equipment switch over into the abnormal mode or the critical climate parameters are above or below the norm. At the first stage, warning SMs were planned to be sent with the help of special devices supplied additionally with each unit of the equipment subject to monitoring. In the course of preliminary development work we found two main drawbacks in this concept.

  1. Not all equipment can be completed with own GSM modules.
  2. Several GSM modules of different manufacturers made difficult developing the project and further maintaining the system.

To solve the task set we needed software which, first, supported the function of sending SMs under specified conditions, and second, had inbuilt interfaces to communicate with equipment of different manufacturers. The market analysis showed that the SCADA system (TRACE MODE) could ensure the monitoring system functionality which the client needed.

paveletskaya3-small   

We chose input/ output modules manufactured by ICP DAS as hardware. This equipment meets all requirements of the designed monitoring system. It is easily integrated with the TRACE MODE software. It does not cost much . The module dimensions allowed its mounting in a relatively small automatics cabinet which fitted the modern office interior without disturbing it.

We chose Siemens Т35 as the GSM modem.

Together with the input/ output modules the following was mounted in the same cabinet: a GSM modem, a power supply unit for the input/ output modules, switching terminals (see the photo).

IT department specialists maintain all the equipment located in the server room and the monitoring system itself. The dispatching station is located in the room adjacent to the server room where the IT department is working.

paveletskaya4  The monitor of the dispatching station displays the current status of each device. In case of any set premonitory warning or alarm the relevant information is displayed on the monitor and is recorded in the alarm report. The operator interface is designed so that it is clear for one who sees it for the first time. For example, when the water leakage control cable system sends an alarm signal, the monitor displays the leakage location with indication of the cable meter where this leakage occurred. The leakage location is marked by the red flashing indicator in the room scheme. Other devices are displayed in the similar way.

Also the dispatching station has the TRACE MODE Software Documenting Local Server installed which ensures reports outputting to a printer with indication of the equipment name where the alarm occurred, description of the alarm and the time of detection. When the device is returned to its normal mode, a similar report is made.

The day-and-night duty operator is not provided. Notification of the situation is only by sending SMs which are formed when the set conditions are met. They are sent to 6 specialists with the help of the TRACE MODE Software GSM Activator. In this case, AWS is on the second place and is used generally to make information sent to mobile phones more detailed.

Messages are sent when the following occurs:

  • Alarm on the device ;
    The device switch off or in the abnormal mode;
    The device switch over to another mode;
    Connection with the device is interrupted;
    No power in the device;
    Switch over to the normal mode.
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The total number of controlled signals in the system is about 80. Some units of the equipment were connected to the station via the input/ output modules ICP DAS. The conditioners, the water leakage cable system and the uninterruptible power supply unit were connected via the protocol ModBus.

We managed connect all devices with the TRACE MODE software rather quickly. But faced certain difficulties in connecting the equipment working via the protocol ModBus. They were associated with its working conditions. To solve the situation we realized algorithms of incoming signal processing in the FBD program.

 

As a result of introduction of the above monitoring system we could ensure up-to-date notification of specialists about failures of the equipment located in the server room. At the stage of checkout we timely detected:

  • Freon leakage in one of the precision conditioners;
  • Accumulated condensate leakage in one of the conditioners.

The quickly received information prevented breakage of the equipment, whose price is much higher than that of the monitoring system introduced.

During the first months of use, the monitoring system proved itself as a reliable and easy to use system. The client appreciated the high level and quality of service maintenance which he has as regards the functioning monitoring system. Then the client set the task to include new control points and to transit form the monitoring system to the control system.