Data center designs dual-purpose computer room, showcase

Matrix Integration designed and built a state-of-the-art data center to manage its operations and use as a showcase for its customers.


Located in Jasper, Ind., Matrix Integration provides IT infrastructure, networking services, virtualization, technical support, structured cabling, telephony, printing and imaging, equipment sales, and business services (see Figure 1). The company, an IT and business solutions provider, also serves to its customers what it uses for its in-house operations.

Figure 1: Matrix Integration provides IT infrastructure, networking services, virtualization, technical support, structured cabling, telephony, printing and imaging, equipment sales, and business services. Courtesy: Matrix Integration

Matrix Integration recently designed and built a new computer room. The dual-purpose computer room functions as a data center that supports operations throughout several states and as a demonstration room that showcases Matrix Integration’s expertise. “We built this computer room to handle our operations and to show our customers that we put our money where our mouth is,” said Shannon Champion, sales engineer for Matrix Integration.

“When we started planning our data center, we looked at traditional products for power, cooling, racks, and so forth,” Champion said. “As we were deciding on the UPS system, one of our initial conversations led us to look at eco-friendly and efficient power solutions. We were impressed by the efficiency of the HP 3-phase parallel UPS, so we decided to look at the entire project from an ecological and energy standpoint. The UPS efficiency is what got the ball rolling for us. When we saw that the UPS is up to 97% efficient, we decided that efficiency should be the goal for the entire computer room project.”

Matrix Integration implemented the HP 3-phase parallel UPS (RP36000/3), power distribution rack (PDR), and monitored power distribution units (PDUs) for its computer-room data center project. The 3-phase parallel UPS is a pre-racked uninterruptible power system that provides 36 kW of power or 24 kW with N+1 redundancy. The UPS is housed in a single HP 10000 Series G2 42U rack. “We have the ability to do what people do with 30 racks of equipment in just five racks of space,” Champion said.

Figure 2: Matrix Integration was able to pack the computing power of 1,280 servers into the space of five rack enclosures. Courtesy: Matrix Integration

The PDR is installed next to the 3-phase parallel UPS. The PDR decentralizes power distribution by moving it to the row level. For Matrix Integration, this improves cable management, decreases diagnostic time, saves valuable floor space, and saves installation costs by reducing the size and number of long power feeds required to reach from large wall-mounted distribution units.

Matrix Integration also chose HP monitored PDUs. In addition to accessing and monitoring the UPS equipment from the rear of the rack, the PDUs provide remote monitoring capabilities. “We’re getting the most out of our ability to have remote monitoring functions,” Champion said. “We can look at each load segment or we can isolate by rack circuits. For example, if we have two servers attached to the PDR, we can go to the actual PDU and look at sub-circuits off of the main feeds. Because we have an “A” feed and a “B” feed to each rack, each “A” feed and “B” feed actually feeds three circuits. So, in this example, we would have a total of six circuits per rack. We can monitor per rack, at the PDR level, or we can go down to the rack level and isolate by power segment. We can actually sub-isolate power-load issues.”

Matrix Integration also uses the software management modules for the PDR and PDUs to enable power environment monitoring. The modules send alerts to SNMP management programs or can be used as a stand-alone monitoring system. To facilitate day-to-day maintenance tasks, the embedded management software provides detailed system logs, which Champion and his team can access from anywhere using a standard web browser.

Information provided by HP Rack and Power Infrastructure Group.

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