Author: Greg Johnson Schneider Electric Blog
Washington State’s largest utility Puget Sound Energy (PSE) began using data center infrastructure management (DCIM) software 5 years ago to drive continuous gains in efficiency. PSE’s DCIM implementation has matured to the point where the company credits Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure IT management software with being critical in the planning and deployment of two new data centers in less than six months, dramatic reductions in power requirements and a new disaster recovery strategy.
The PSE experience speaks to the power of Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure™ IT DCIM suite and how its value can increase over time as companies gain experience and more fully integrate the software into their data centers and beyond.
In the beginning — a focused DCIM approach
PSE provides electrical power to some 1.1 million customers and natural gas to 750,000 over its 6,000-square foot mile service area. Involved in both power generation and transmission, PSE has some 500 distributed sites and 17 critical IT communications sites.
The company first implemented Schneider Electric’s DCIM software in two data centers to help it manage gray space infrastructure, including UPSs and power and cooling systems. Eventually, the company rolled out additional EcoStruxure IT software modules to cover its distributed sites, to manage and monitor critical systems at those sites as well as radio communications systems for field personnel.
EcoStruxure IT also monitors the critical IT assets that support customer-facing applications such as bill pay and service restoration systems. And, it plays a role in business continuity planning by keeping close tabs on the health of its infrastructure and systems, which helps promote uptime.
DCIM integration — no more silos
A watershed moment in PSE’s DCIM journey was achieved via full integration with ServiceNow, its enterprise IT service management (ITSM) platform, using the open API built into EcoStruxure IT. This enabled the company to get a complete view of both data center white and gray space from a single console – eliminating silos of information in each system.
“Once we saw that it (EcoStruxure) had that capability to extend beyond the data center, that was something we wanted to leverage immediately,” said Christopher Perez, Advisor for Enterprise Technology Solutions for PSE. “It simplifies the process for us in that we don’t have multiple repositories of data that we’re updating,” which reduces the chance of human error.
PSE’s DCIM implementation now helps the company identify and address issues before they evolve into critical problems.
“We’re now in a position that we’re reacting to situations before they actually become a situation visible to anybody else,” Perez said. “We’re doing our best work when nobody knows we exist. We couldn’t ask for a better result.”
How EcoStruxure IT DCIM aids in planning, modeling
PSE leveraged EcoStruxure IT to plan and build two new data centers. The new data centers, which are 61 miles apart, have active/active failover between them, for disaster recovery.
EcoStruxure IT enabled PSE to accurately assess the requirements of the new data centers and identify areas for improvement compared with the existing ones. For example, EcoStruxure IT identified that PSE could reduce the total number of racks required by one-third, from 180 to 120.
The DCIM software also helped ensure energy efficiency throughout the two new data centers, so much so that the new sites have a 75% improvement in power usage effectiveness (PUE) rating vs. the two older data centers.
Perhaps most impressive, the whole project went from conception to delivery in just 6 months. That was a testament to the PSE team and the planning that EcoStruxure IT enabled. In all, 100% of the company’s more than 50 Tier 1 and Tier 2 critical business applications and around half a dozen non-critical applications were migrated to the new data center before the 6-month deadline.
DCIM enhancements continue
PSE is hardly resting on its laurels with respect to its DCIM implementation. Now, the company is assessing EcoStruxure IT cloud-based DCIM, which provides even greater predictive maintenance capabilities. But that’s a story for another day.
To hear PSE’s Perez discuss his experiences with EcoStruxure IT, access this video. Learn more about what EcoStruxure IT can do for your data centers, distributed IT environment, and your business. It’s a journey you shouldn’t wait to start.
 Open API is currently available for both EcoStruxure IT Advisor on-premise and cloud-based solutions.