For EkkoSense, billions of data points translate directly into more reliable, higher quality data centre optimisation

Paul Milburn
Chief Product Officer

Dec 21, 2021

At EkkoSense we often talk about how it’s time for data centre monitoring to start getting much more granular – but what do we mean by that? And how granular do you need to be?

For true cooling optimisation we believe it’s essential to monitor and report temperature and cooling loads much more actively. ASHRAE suggests a minimum of three temperature sensors per rack. To achieve this probably requires around 10x more sensors than are currently deployed in today’s typical data centre. Indeed, EkkoSense’s own research suggests that only 5% of M&E teams currently monitor and report actively on an individual rack-by-rack basis - and even less collect real-time cooling duty information.

That’s why we’ve been disrupting traditional data gathering cost models with our Critical Things family of ultra-low-cost wireless sensors that can be deployed in much higher numbers across the data centre. More sensors ensure much higher spatial resolution right down to the rack-level.

At EkkoSense we know that it’s only when you combine this level of granular cooling and thermal data with smart software that you can start to track cooling loads in real-time. True AI-powered optimisation requires a proven, safe process that’s based on thousands of real-time sensors and expert spatial models that combine to remove the uncertainty from optimisation – effectively changing the game for data centre operators.

Having put this approach into practice over the last five years, we’re now able to see the benefits of this granularity in action. In contrast to thermal consultants who may just suggest potential improvements, operations teams working with
EkkoSoft Critical and Cooling Advisor benefit from machine learning insights drawn from over 15 billion raw data points covering power and thermal readings. This means that thanks to EkkoSoft Critical’s round-the-clock monitoring of temperature, humidity and power, Cooling Advisor next best advisory actions are always structured to protect against thermal risk.

EkkoSense currently gathers around 20 million records each day, each with a minimum of two data points and often many more! Up to 300 different temperature, humidity, cooling and power measurements are available, with records refreshed at least every five minutes for an effective real-time view of data centre performance.

It’s this sheer depth of granularity that helps provide our customers with new levels of reporting, enabling operations teams to analyse cooling or site load power actual performance against expected usage based on external factors. And with EkkoSoft Critical Site Energy Performance Report, it’s now possible to run regression analysis for any period or generate a report against a preferred saved configuration.

EkkoSense granularity encourages precise analysis, for example tracking power consumption over the last year, and mapping performance against wholesale power prices. Tracking this level of detail will be critical in terms of helping organisation to measure their carbon usage and monitor potential net zero contributions against corporate targets.

And with more and more monitoring data collected every day, we will have collected over 30 billion data points within the next year – translating directly into more reliable, higher quality data centre optimisation performance for our customers.