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Dimension Data supports locally developed data centre technology



Dimension Data has put its weight behind RT Systems, a local company which provides facilities monitoring and control solutions which enable the efficient management of data centre environments.

The latest solution from the vendor is its TM3 rack-mounted unit, a generic environmental monitoring system which interfaces to various sensors and communication sensors to provide accurate insight into the data centre environment. The device is Dimension Data-branded and taken to market by the company’s specialist Advanced Infrastructure division.

Dewald Booysen, Chief Technology Officer for Dimension Data’s Advanced Infrastructure, says the TM3 is a design which is comparable with leading solutions from international vendors. The device combines all aspects of data centre monitoring and control. Easily installed, it is Ethernet based with SNMP and Email Capabilities. The TM3 includes GSM connectivity to provide remote notification over cell phone networks.

Sensors which can be connected include temperature sensors, flood sensors, dry contacts and third party sensors and CCTV. The unit can be configured through the web interface and by SMS. ‚The TM3 unit is capable of logging alarms and analogue sampled data which can be viewed from the web interface. Images from a network enabled camera can also be viewed from a web interface, while the unit has battery backup capability during mains power failure,‚ says Booysen.

He says Dimension Data has extensively field-tested the unit and found it to compete very well with comparable offerings in terms of price and performance. ‚RT Systems has been in business for over a decade and has over 2000 customers. The technology is proven to perform in demanding data centre environments where reliability is top-of-mind,‚ Booysen notes.

Managing director of RT Systems Richard van der Heijden says the support of Dimension Data is critical to enable an electronics company to survive in a competitive global environment. ‚Despite the potential cost benefits of outsourcing manufacturing to the East, we have opted for local development and production. There are advantages to that, including the ability to respond rapidly and to closely manage quality control. It also means we can preserve the employment of some 32 people: Dimension Data, while stringent in terms of the quality of the technologies it takes to market, recognises the social benefit that this creates,‚ he says.

Development of the TM3, says van der Heijden, has taken some two years and substantial investment. It is CE-certified and fully supported through Dimension Data’s structures with escalation directly to RT Systems. It is also environmentally sound, with lead-free construction and incorporating recycled materials. ‚Without backing from Dimension Data, this development cycle would just not be possible.‚

Clients for the TM3 device, van der Heijden says, are any organisations with a dedicated data centre and which require high availability. ‚The device is priced from around R35 000 depending on the configuration, making complete management of critical facilities quite accessible. Already we have some 80 customers using it: promising markets include those of Africa and the Middle East,‚ he concludes.

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