Software Defined Power Deployed in Three Data Centers

February 21, 2017 by Jeff Shepard

CUI Global, Inc. announced today that its wholly-owned subsidiary, CUI Inc., has successfully deployed initial test units of its Intelligent Control of Energy (ICE) Block technology. Deployment of the units highlight ICE Block's peak shaving capabilities and includes a new ICE Switch product that further unlocks power capacity for the customer. CUI and Virtual Power Systems (VPS) announced a partnership in 2016 for VPS' ICE® solution that brings the benefits of elastic power to data centers and sets a new standard for efficient power infrastructure.

The initial trial evaluations are being conducted by three key data center market participants and respective leaders in their business segments: One, a data center and a Fortune 500 company, has its own data center infrastructure in multiple states serving millions of consumer transactions and financial product portfolios across North America. This customer sees the peak shaving capabilities as an opportunity to install additional racks in its existing data centers and new data centers under construction.

The second customer is a top-tier data center hardware provider that is evaluating the technology for peak shaving and is using the switch as a platform to improve its customer value proposition.

The third customer, a Fortune 100 company and one of the largest providers of technology in the world, a backbone for all data centers, is evaluating the ICE Block/VPS combination of technologies as a platform it will include in the solutions provided to its customer base. The products are expected to move into full production status later this year.

The tests are taking place under the following configurations: In Rack 6kW to 27.5kW power racks and up to 16kW of peak shaving and Installed End of Row configuration of 32kW of power. The two products that were used in these tests were the “ICE Block” and the “ICE Switch”. The ICE Block is a peak shaving device that allows customers to eliminate peak draws from the infrastructure, thus unlocking capacity for more IT usage. Operators have typically needed to allow for excessive buffer to ride through these peaks and thus take up a good portion of the overall power allocation. The ICE Block unlocks that power to be utilized for more computing operations in a data center.

Data Centers are provisioned to be 2N redundant, which means that 50% of power is locked for redundancy. The ICE Switch allows Data Centers to use the stranded redundant power for less critical racks or workloads. In the rare event of power failure, the less critical racks or load is sacrificed to keep the High Availability SLA of Mission Critical 2N racks. ICE Switch is the intelligent power switching technology that enables this dynamic control of redundancy in the Data Centers.

Matt McKenzie, president of CUI Inc. commented; "We are excited about the recent installations and the technical validation these deployments are bringing. We believe that this is a major step in the traction of this disruptive technology. We are looking forward to demonstrating further the advantages of the ICE platform with many more customers in the near future."

Shankar Ramamurthy, VPS's chief executive officer, commented, "Virtual Power Systems recently piloted ICE Blocks from CUI at one of the world's most sophisticated data centers in Salt Lake City. CUI's products performed flawlessly. CUI was able to take complex high density Lithium Ion Battery chemistry designs and turn them into working products at customer shelves in record time. We cannot be more excited with our partner, CUI, who combines engineering gravitas with high speed innovation."

William Clough, CUI Global's president & CEO, added, "Deployment of these test units to three renowned, industry leading companies, is the first step in gaining industry acceptance of this unique technology. As the results of these test units become available, we are convinced that the many benefits, including enhanced performance and peak shaving ability, will create demand, market penetration, and, ultimately, increased revenues and earnings from this exciting new technology."

These trial evaluations are the fruit of an agreement signed in July 2016 where CUI became the exclusive third party hardware design and development provider for VPS. This agreement further expanded a previously announced limited exclusivity agreement for hardware development with VPS as the companies will continue to partner in setting a new standard for an efficient power infrastructure.