IBM to Support Arch Rock PhyNet Wireless Sensor Network in Active Energy Manager

January 11, 2010 by Jeff Shepard

Arch Rock Corp. has announced that Arch Rock’s PhyNet™ IP-based wireless sensor network technology will be supported in IBM’s Systems Director Active Energy Manager (AEM), to monitor and manage energy usage in corporate data centers.

The integrated products, now available, will allow a rich set of power and thermal data gathered by strategically-placed Arch Rock wireless sensors to be transmitted over wireless IP links and displayed on the AEM web interface, presenting users with a comprehensive view of their data centers’ energy consumption and environmental health.

The integration of PhyNet into AEM makes it easy for users to see all their energy information on a single web interface (AEM), without having to move back and forth among multiple vendors’ consoles. Arch Rock’s wireless sensors can easily be placed anywhere the user needs to collect electrical, temperature or humidity data, without the labor and cost of having to connect wires. Customers can compare the Arch Rock-collected server inlet air temperature data with AEM temperature readings from their CRACs , determining whether they can lower energy costs by raising CRAC supply air temperatures while remaining within safety zones for server cooling. The sensor data can also be used to monitor pre-set power and thermal thresholds, triggering "event automation plans" through AEM to put servers in lower power states or shut down systems that become overheated. PhyNet is expected to be of particular benefit to the large set of IBM customers still using legacy hardware, which are not equipped with built-in sensors.

Arch Rock CEO Roland Acra said, "This integration effort will bring our IP-based WSN technology to the attention of an extensive new group of Active Energy Manager customers who are seeking a single, all-encompassing view of how their data centers are using energy. We are very excited that IBM sought us out as a collaboration partner in its energy management strategy."

Arch Rock’s IP-based PhyNet platform implements a tiered, scalable wireless sensor network architecture that includes the first "WSN router," interconnecting IETF 6LoWPAN wireless mesh networks with IPv4 or IPv6 enterprise networks. Sensor applications can reside across a corporate campus or in the next room, communicating with any number of WSNs across local- or wide-area IP networks. Because PhyNet extends standard IP technology from the enterprise infrastructure to the sensor network mesh and out to individual sensor nodes, those nodes can communicate directly with other IP devices on the enterprise network regardless of their connection medium (e.g., IEEE 802.15.4 radio, 802.11 Wi-Fi, Ethernet). Arch Rock sensor nodes measure electric power (kilowatts, voltage, current and power factor), temperature, humidity, air pressure and chilled water flow and temperature.

PhyNet also serves as the foundation for Arch Rock’s Energy Optimizer, a complete wireless energy monitoring system that provides real-time visibility into the electrical usage and thermal status of facilities and data centers, giving users the precise knowledge to take measures that conserve energy and reduce costs.