CBRE Group, Inc. To Acquire Romonet

CBRE Group, Inc. To Acquire Romonet, Leading Global Data Center Technology Company

CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBRE) announced that it has acquired the assets of Romonet Limited, a leading advanced analytics software company which provides technology and consulting services for large global data center operators. Romonet’s team of professionals will join CBRE as part of the acquisition.

Founded in 2008 by data center technology pioneers Zahl Limbuwala and Liam Newcombe, Romonet is based in the UK and serves clients across the globe.

Romonet uses a patented cloud-based technology to unlock efficiencies and increase capacity at data centers. Romonet will be integrated into CBRE’s global Data Center Solutions offering.

Read the news here.

Networks Europe: Why accurate data is critical for data centre’s performance

Networks Europe: Why accurate data is critical for data centre’s performance

With new technologies emerging every day and increasing appetite for mobile computing, internet of things and cloud computing, the data centre industry is thriving and the analysts estimate that the market will register double digit growth rates over the next few years. And as the data centre industry expands to accommodate the huge amounts of data we generate every day and our need to be constantly connected with our devices or peers, the energy consumption of these facilities is increasing exponentially.

Read the full article here, page 40-41

Romonet is selected as a finalist at DCS Awards 2018

Romonet is selected as a finalist at DCS Awards 2018

Romonet and its Big Data Predictive Analytics Platform was a finalist at the DCS Awards 2018 for Data Centre Efficiency Project of the Year.

The DCS Awards recognise the achievement of product designers, manufacturers, suppliers and providers operating in the data centre arena who have gone above and beyond to improve the industry.

This nomination recognised Romonet’s analytics platform and its ability to solve the financial, operational and environmental challenges that affect enterprises, data centre service providers, facility operators and those responsible for managing the highly sensitive IT assets businesses are dependent on. One of the main projects presented to the judging panel to illustrate Romonet’s abilities was the company’s work with Fujitsu UK & Ireland.

Fujitsu’s main objectives were to improve energy efficiency, maximise available capacity and deliver measurable business outcomes. By deploying Romonet’s solution Fujitsu was able to identify savings of over 9% of the site’s energy per year, improve the site’s PUE and improve the site’s overal operational performance.

Zahl Limbuwala, CEO of Romonet, said, “We are extremely pleased that the judging panel has recognised the innovation we are driving in the industry. In the past years we’ve invested significant resources into developing our platform and transforming the data centre industry. As a result, in 2016-2017 we enabled our clients to save over £3m on utility costs without additional capital expenditure, reduce energy usage by 48,000 MWh and decrease CO2 emissions by over 11,550 tons.”

“The data centre market continues to evolve at speed and its leaders are increasingly aware of its impact on our environment and the best solutions for creating and designing highly efficient facilities.”

Romonet’s platform has won many awards in recent years, including the Critical Environment Future Thinking category at the DCS Awards 2016. The company has been recognised as an innovative company (under $100 million) in the data centre facility industry by IDC.

Data Center News: Accurate Analytics

Data Center News: Accurate Analytics

With corporate data surging – research estimates it’s doubling every 14 months and will reach 10.5 ZB by 2020 – and consumers constantly connected to their smart technology and devices, businesses have become increasingly reliant on their data centres to deliver high quality services and continuously improve operational performance. As a result, data centres now have a significant impact on business strategies and goals and have become a high priority for the C-suite.

Read the full article here

How to curb data centers’ hunger for energy and resources

How to curb data centers’ hunger for energy and resources

The mantra ‘keep the lights on, keep it cold’ is often quoted by data center engineers when defining their roles, but is this the right approach to energy efficiency and the environmental impact of what are, essentially, utility-hungry sheds that consume the equivalent power of small towns every day?

In January 2016 it was estimated that the global data center industry was using about 416.2 terawatt hours per year. To put things into perspective, the entire UK with a population of over 65m people and over 5.7m businesses consumes about 300 terawatt hours during an entire year.

There have been many opinions on how best to curb the use of such huge amounts of energy, however with billions of people watching cat videos, streaming films, gaming and ‘liking’ photos on social media, an ‘end of pipe’ solution to data center usage would be foolhardy at best, and probably cause global uproar.

The accessibility of data and ease of use is a great example of the Jevons paradox – “technological progress increases the efficiency with which a resource is used, but the rate of consumption of that resource rises because of increasing demand” - in other words, the easier you make it to consume the product the greater the consumption will be!

Is green energy the answer?

The most appropriate place to look at energy efficiency is not at the domestic end-user, but rather at the data center, colo or hyperscale, where energy is brought in and consumed. A potential solution to lessen the environmental impact of these energy hungry giants could be renewable energy. But is this practical?

Some companies will pay a higher ‘green rate’ for renewable energy where in reality the actual energy consumed has come from a traditional fired (coal, oil, gas, nuclear) power generation plant. Is this promotion of renewable energy or just a tax under another name?

The ability to force organisations to use solely renewable energy supplies hinges on the ability to provide enough energy for constant demand as well as servicing the peaks and troughs of supply/generation.

However, until the renewables industry plays catch-up with their technology, there are plenty of alternative strategies data center operators can pursue to reduce their energy consumption – and improve their bottom line in the process.

So, what can data center operators do?

Margins in colocation are now lower than they used to be and clients want to pay via a PUE mechanism. Therefore, more efficient operations are a must.

In Romonet’s experience, significant efficiencies can be gained from CAPEX neutral changes to the data center or from minimal CAPEX expenditure and best practice.

Through our modeling activities we invariably see fixed speed fans and set points that are too low. Air flow management is often poor with a lack of blanking panels and containment. Long rows of racks, while seeming efficient, are often not the case; if an operator only has CRAHs (Computer Room Air Handlers) at one end of the row, the engineers will have to overpressurise the floor to make sure cool air reaches the furthest point.

The ability to increase free cooling hours is vital to reduce cost and improve efficiency.

All these little adjustments can increase a facility’s energy consumption but how can you understand what the effect will be when changing the set points within a cooling system or changing the UPS to a more efficient type?

Predictive analytics for increased efficiency

Many data centers are still managed with outdated and time consuming tools like spreadsheets. However, spreadsheets are prone to errors and can become so complex that the chance of tracking a mistake is very slim.

This is where predictive modeling and ‘what if’ analysis come into play to support data center managers in making data-led decisions.

By analysing trends and data from hundreds of different data centers and meteorological information spanning various climate regions Romonet can accurately simulate, calibrate and validate its models to within 98% accuracy.

Also, this data is used to model proposed changes and predict future savings and PUE values that such a change will bring about.

Using machine learning for processing the data produced by BMS and EPMS systems is far more efficient than humans could ever hope to be…

The ability to produce consistent results relies not only on a good program but also one designed by those who actually know and have operated data centers at the sharp end.

Through the use of our predictive analytics engine and database of information, between January 2016 and December 2017 Romonet promoted utility cost savings of £3,068,500, saved 47,928MW hours and 11,555 tonnes of CO2 in 21 facilities.

The best part is that the majority of these identified savings have been at the expenditure of minimal CAPEX.

The answers to making these savings already lie within the data centers. The information is being produced daily. However, often the systems employed are not able to drill into this data or instead make broad, false assumptions that everything is fine.

Very often we find that although a site may have extensive metering, much of it is either broken, flatlining or just uncalibrated. So, the resulting data is quite frankly worthless.

We spend countless hours cleaning data so it is usable, and then find that meters have not recorded load for some time. Or the BMS system is unable to produce trended information or historic information.

Perhaps the BMS or EPMS system has been replaced and all historic data has been lost. Whilst this is frustrating at best or may cause your data scientist to go off on a rant, work can be done to get a facility back into line and start driving efficiency which can be documented to show savings, reduced PUE and better resilience.

In conclusion, if you want to maintain uptime of a facility at a better and more environmentally cost-efficient model, adopt new technologies to make predictive data driven decisions!

Romonet customers save £3m+ and decrease CO2 emissions by over 11,550 tons

Romonet customers save £3m+ and decrease CO2 emissions by over 11,550 tons

For many years data centers have been seen as highly complex facilities, difficult to understand and under the sole responsibility of IT departments. Most senior managers saw these facilities as financial black holes without any consideration of their contribution to business profitability. On top of this, environmental organizations were flagging the huge amount of energy consumed by data centers at a global level and the increasing levels of CO2 emissions that were damaging our environment.

In recent years, due to technological advancements, data centers have started to become a critical priority for many organizations as a failure can bring a business to its knees. These complex facilities now underpin our lifestyle, from our daily commute, to financial transactions, business and personal communications and grocery shopping.

As a result more and more tech companies have started to invest significant resources into increasing data center efficiency and reducing the amount of energy these facilities consume in order to keep our society going 24/7, 365 days a year. 

Improved performance, reduced environmental impact

Since its inception Romonet’s vision has been to ensure data centers are both sustainable and efficient. Our mission is to improve performance and reduce the impact on our environment by enabling data center stakeholders to make faster and more accurate data driven decisions.

This year we are proud to announce that in 2016-2017 we enabled our clients to save £3m+ on utility costs, reduction of energy usage by 48,000 MWh and decrease CO2 emissions by over 11,550 tons.

By accessing Romonet’s predictive analytics solution and gaining unparalleled insights regarding the data centers’ lifecycle, our clients were able to improve their decision-making process and significantly increase their facilities’ profitability.

From a financial perspective we helped our customers maximize productivity and minimize expense by:

- Reducing the initial capital investment by accurately analyzing and predicting the most suitable design.

- Decreasing operating expenses by continually analyzing metered data against predictive models.

- Eliminating unnecessary ongoing capital projects and choosing the optimal, most cost-effective and efficient equipment to meet current and future workload requirements.

Enabling the running and building of environmentally-friendly facilities is also a major priority for our company and we helped our customers reach their CSR targets by:

- Measuring and comparing site design and equipment specifications to actual metered data to identify energy and water inefficiencies.

- Calibrating and reporting sustainability metrics including Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) and carbon emissions.

- Highlighting potential future risks to availability or service levels.

Danny Reeves, CEO, Romonet: “If the entire data center industry and tech companies came together to use smart analytics in running facilities, we could see amazing widespread improvements in both profitability and environmental impact. As it stands, there are still many organizations using labor intensive, mistake prone Excel sheets to manage critical assets. However, the industry is progressing at light speed and industry leaders are already forging the way towards long term sustainability in the data center space. We are very proud to have customers that are aware of these crucial aspects and are investing resources into changing the data center market and creating a better environment for all players.”

Moving forward, Romonet plans to publish quarterly reports regarding savings, energy usage and CO2 emission reductions achieved by our clients.

Stay tuned for our next update!

What will move and shake the data center industry in 2018

What will move and shake the data center industry in 2018

Zahl Limbuwala, Co-Founder & Executive Director

2017 was eventful for the tech industry and data center market and 2018 should bring just as many interesting developments that shake the status quo and increase both competitiveness and efficiency for all players involved. Some of the main trends expected to make their mark and shift the industry to new directions are:


Edge computing

Edge data centers will start playing a critical role on the data center and cloud computing market because the IoT industry is developing at light speed and customers and companies generate huge amounts of data.

Edge data centers are not small versions of the same highly resilient data centers businesses have been building already, but rather localized compute and caching nodes for stateless applications. These facilities are important because businesses and data center operators need to support the increased pressure of IoT and the increase in edge applications and processing that 5G enables. Also, the demand for connectivity, bandwidth and low latency will increase exponentially in the following years as smart houses, offices, driverless cars and artificial intelligence become the new norm in our society.

RISC computer

Owning IT hardware will continue its decline in 2018 as well. Centralized cloud providers such as Google, AWS and Azure will continue to dominate more and more of the growing compute, storage and application capabilities out of the traditional enterprise data center.

Scale is king in the cloud game and most companies aren’t big enough to achieve scale to competitive levels. Also AI and machine learning will increase the demand for RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer) compute and 2018 will see more specialised compute-as-a-service. Whether it’s Google’s Tensor Flow or AWS’s addition of FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Arrays) for AI applications, this specialist compute as a service market will put an even bigger gap between the big cloud players and the rest of the pack.

Microsoft and Google are leading the way towards making the data center industry more energy efficient and adopting modern green technological advancements.

Environmental sustainability

The tech industry’s awareness of environmental sustainability has increased significantly over recent years and data centers are also facing more stringent compliance requirements. As a result, a major trend that will influence the data center landscape will be the rising demand for new technologies that increase facilities’ energy efficiency requirements and decrease their overall impact on the environment. 

We’ve already seen many technological innovations and design developments that are enabling data centers to cut down CO2 emissions, energy, and water consumption. Tech leaders such as Amazon, Facebook, 

In 2016 Romonet issued a strong call to action for the world’s executives, enterprises and data center operators to act on one of the most urgent challenges facing the global economy and environment today – water consumption.

Through Romonet’s platform we have enabled our clients to precisely measure water efficiency, capacity, consumption and cost. As a result, many customers have significantly decreased their water consumption and overall costs.

Furthermore, by accurately modelling and simulating data center energy and total cost of ownership, in 2016-2017 Romonet’s platform helped customers save £3m+ on utility costs, reduce energy usage by 48,000 Mwh and decrease CO2 emissions by over 11,550 tons.

I’m looking forward to seeing the data center industry developing further in 2018 and what other trends will emerge in the near future.

Fintech Finance: How CFOs can Evaluate Data Centre Performance

Fintech Finance: How CFOs can Evaluate Data Centre Performance

The current hypercompetitive digital economy is pushing companies to find innovative ways of increasing efficiency and accelerating growth.

As business growth goes hand in hand with technological advancement, a company’s IT infrastructure has become a vital asset that can be a massive competitive advantage or debilitating weakness.

Read the full article here

Director of Finance: Why CFOs need the right data centre

Director of Finance: Why CFOs need the right data centre

The fast-paced global economy and escalating competitiveness are driving many companies to focus their attention on new technologies that empower their workforce, satisfy the ever increasing demands of customers, and improve their ability to quickly change direction based on market trends and conditions.

Read the full article here

Winner of Infrastructure Innovation of the Year, UK IT Industry Awards

Winner of the Infrastructure Innovation of the Year, UK IT Industry Awards

The Romonet team have won another prestigious award - Infrastructure Innovation of the Year at the UK IT Industry Awards 2017.

The award recognised Romonet’s ability to provide unrivalled insight through the use of modeling and predictive analytics, from initial design through to end of life. With Romonet’s help companies are making better informed investment decisions and increasing operational efficiency to new levels.

Its main competitors in this category were BT, Capgemini & Rolls Royce, Cradlepoint, DWP Digital & IBM, Geeks, Hyperoptic, Silver Peak, Sudlows and Tegile Systems.

Independently selected as one of IDC’s top three innovative companies under $100 million in the data center facility industry, Romonet is constantly innovating to improve how organizations purchase, manage and monitor their data center infrastructure.

Danny Reeves, CEO of Romonet, said, “The data center industry is evolving fast and Romonet is always striving to develop cutting edge technologies and keep the pace with our customers’ needs, ensuring they have the most accurate model of their facility and operations, so they can make the best possible data driven decisions when investing, designing, building and operating their data center assets.

It’s great to see Romonet’s team being recognized for their hard work in this fast paced industry and we are delighted to be able to help our clients maximize their efficiency potential.”

Romonet's Platform accurately models, simulates and predicts data center power and cooling efficiency, total cost of ownership (TCO), operational and financial performance, and use of natural resources, helping customers better control capital expenditure, manage operating expenses, independently assess the impact of technologies on the data center and the environment, therefore making better investment decisions.

Datacenter Dynamics: Why clean data is as important as clean energy

Datacenter Dynamics: Why clean data is as important as clean energy

Renewable energy initiatives have been on the news agenda the last couple of weeks. According to Bloomberg, a large proportion of the Fortune 500 has set clean energy goals in response to the savings generated by renewable power. As companies amass huge amounts of data, a significant part of their strategy for reaching their ambitious goals will involve data centers, no matter if a business owns, builds or uses them in the Cloud.

Apple is leading the way in this area. The company recently released its Annual Environmental Responsibility Report which provides a detailed outline of the steps it is taking to ensure its data centers are environmentally friendly.   

Read the full article here

bobsguide: How CFOs Can Assess the Efficiency of Data Centres

bobsguide: How CFOs Can Assess the Efficiency of Data Centres 

As businesses transform their organisations to meet increasing customer demands for always-available online and mobile services, data centres become a critical element in a CFO’s growth strategy.

We recently wrote an article for bobsguide on what CFOs should be looking for to ensure they are getting the best return from their data centre investment.

Read the full article here

Romonet delivers vital predictive analysis for Global Switch’s data center in Sydney

Romonet delivers vital predictive analysis for Global Switch's data center in Sydney

Data center owner and operator Global Switch turned to Romonet to analyze one of the most energy efficient and sustainable data centers in the Asia-Pacific region.

The company’s new Sydney East facility has been a huge undertaking, increasing its entire West and East data center campus to 73,000 sq m of space with 83MVA of utility power capacity. Once completed it will be Australia’s first hyper scale data center facility.

Because Sydney’s climate patterns are challenging for low-cost data center operations, Global Switch, which has a strong commitment to environmental sustainability and social responsibility, had to build at significant scale so customers could benefit from reduced Total Cost of Occupancy through energy savings. It also wanted cost effective solutions that would enable it to deliver independently verified Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) over the lifecycle of the building.

Romonet’s patented predictive analytics platform was able to provide Global Switch with a detailed model of the design options for the Sydney East facility. This played a crucial part in establishing how the design could be enhanced to provide efficiency improvements at every stage. Romonet’s analysis, which aimed to identify designs that would achieve an annualized PUE of 1.33 for the building, gave Global Switch confidence that the design options were suitably tested before expensive detailed design and construction work was initiated.

The modeling captured multiple variations for the cooling system design; a water-based thermal transport system using water cooled chillers and cooling towers. This was rigorously tested against annual weather data to establish the annualised PUE.

Romonet’s ongoing insight is being used to support modifications to the existing cooling system to further improve PUE. As a result, Global Switch’s customers, who include international and national telecommunications companies, cloud providers, corporates and government agencies will receive a significantly more cost-effective solution for housing their equipment at the East Sydney facility.

In addition, because Global Switch can demonstrate its commitment to energy efficient data centers, its customers can be confident that the declared PUE values are accurate and validated by an independent party.

Matthew Winter, Global Switch’s Regional Project Director for Europe commented: “Romonet’s predictive analytics has given what we believe is reliable and accurate insight into the future of the facility. With this model, the Operations team are able to forecast and better understand the next steps of occupation for the remaining stages of Sydney East. We have analyzed many of our sites across the globe with this tool and we value the information it provides as it assists the decision making when considering the manner of data center investments.”

Read the case study

Datacenter Dynamics: The birth of the learning data center

Datacenter Dynamics: The birth of the learning data center

Machine learning is arguably the most powerful tool we have seen so far for unlocking the potential of Big Data, and one of the sectors that stands to benefit most from it is the data center industry.

Given that most companies are highly reliant on the performance of their data centers to ensure services can be delivered and productivity maintained, there is a constant, acute pressure on facilities managers to predict, manage and react to any change that could adversely affect operational availability and performance.

Read the full article here

Information Age: Is data accurate enough for high impact decisions?

Information Age: Is data accurate enough for high impact decisions?

How can data centre managers verify the accuracy of their data, strengthen their company’s commitment to improving energy efficiency and track ROI on critical infrastructure investments?

Analytics tools are being increasingly used to help organisations make crucial strategic decisions. The major challenge for organisations using analytic tools stems from the incorrect assumption that the source data is of an acceptable quality.

Read the full article here

Machine Learning enhances data center performance

Machine Learning enhances data center performance

Machine Learning is arguably the most powerful tool we have seen so far for unlocking the potential of Big Data, and one of the sectors that stands to benefit most from it is the data center industry.

Given that most companies are highly reliant on the performance of their data centers to ensure services can be delivered and productivity maintained, there is a constant, acute pressure on facilities managers to predict, manage and react to any change that could adversely affect operational availability and performance.

As a result, data centers are starting to realise the potential of Machine Learning technologies to automate and improve their ability to keep these facilities performing optimaly. Furthermore, even though many companies still use rudimentary tools to track and oversee data center performance, it is becoming increasingly difficult for humans to manually analyse data directly from DCIM systems and verify if the data collected by the vast sensor networks monitoring these facilities is accurate.

Only last month, the Royal Society published a report that looked at the power and promise of Machine Learning. Its focus was on how this area of computing will reshape the UK economy and people’s lives. The report also asked questions about who will be affected, how the benefits will be distributed and where the opportunities for growth lie.

The benefits for data centers have already been proven and the knock-on effects are many and various. Google recently explained that it is using its DeepMind Machine Learning technology to manage power consumption at its data centers by dynamically tuning their performance to reduce their operational energy consumption. In one of Facebook's data centers meanwhile, its Big Sur servers are training Machine Learning systems to ‘read’ images and videos to the blind and display over two million translated stories every day.

In the same way, Machine Learning has a big part to play in further enhancing analytics tools for data centers. The ability to generate validation models for performance analysis, investment analysis and even for assessing the suitability of a location for a new data center offers immense advantages such as reducing costs and improving operating performance.

Our own analytics platform identifies anomalies and can help track down the causes behind a symptom based on comparison to a calibrated predictive model as well as aggregated data ‘knowledge’ collected over years from over 350 data centers around the world. In this way we’re able to provide our customers with powerful and actionable insight on their operations and systems so they can maintain peak performance at all times and increase ROI.

Inside Big Data: Validated Data Supports Accurate Decision Making and Rapid ROI

Inside Big Data: Validated Data Supports Accurate Decision Making and Rapid ROI

In this special guest feature, Zahl Limbuwala, Co-founder & Executive Director at Romonet, explores how data center managers could verify the accuracy of their data, strengthen the company’s commitment to improving energy efficiency and track ROI on critical infrastructure investments. As co-founder of Romonet, Zahl is deeply passionate about the data center and IT industries. Educated as an engineer in Analogue and Digital Electronics, Zahl’s early career was spent at Microsoft, Cisco and one of the City of London’s first B2B Internet service providers. He was the founding chairman of BCS Data Centre Specialist Group and consultant to the EU Code of Conduct for Data Centers. He is a regular keynote speaker at industry events around the world and holds board advisory positions with a number of other European and US based technology companies.

Read the full article here

Romonet Launches Disruptive Free Tool to Help Companies Choose the Best Data Center Location

Romonet Launches Disruptive Free Tool to Help Companies Choose the Best Data Center Location

Romonet, the award-winning data center analytics company, has launched a new tool – Site Analysis Tool (SAT) – aimed at helping businesses and data center managers to quickly analyze and compare the impact of location and design on the performance of their data centers.

SAT is freely available on Romonet’s website to all business leaders and operational staff who want to understand and compare the differences in performance between the most common data center designs:

  • Adiabatic direct air economized
  • Chilled water with cooling towers
  • Economized chilled water with cooling towers
  • Indirect air economized

The tool enables users to compare the energy, PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness), energy-cost and CO2 performance of each design across many different climates in Europe and North America. Currently Romonet’s tool covers 69 locations in the US and 22 locations in Europe and the company plans to continue adding locations as its data grows.

Users can either select a specific location and see how the four data center types compare in performance, or they can select a specific data center type to see how it performs across different geographical and climate regions. To ensure the simulation is as accurate as possible, users can also select the estimated IT load of the data center.

Users can also download a PUE surface plot that shows the expected PUE for all load points and external climate conditions. Romonet’s PUE surface plots are one of the most industry recognised visual outputs.

“In many cases, when having to decide on the location of a data center or its design companies would invest significant resources and time to get the necessary insight regarding the options most suitable for their business needs. SAT offers this information for free in a matter of seconds. I hope this will shake up the industry and make many business leaders reconsider the value and power of analytics data in decision-making regarding their data centers,” said Zahl Limbuwala, co-founder, Romonet.

SAT’s results are generated using over 1,600 simulation years’ worth of data processed with Romonet's patented Data Center Analytics technology.

Each simulation model represents a 1MW data center operating at one of four load points for twelve months using TMY (Typical Meteorological Year) data, calculating performance for each hour of the simulated year. These results are then totaled to provide typical annual performance metrics for each climate and energy cost region.

“SAT is a great starting point when looking at the initial design and location choices for a new data center. However, as the industry evolves and innovates data centers become increasingly sophisticated and generic data is simply not enough to model and calibrate a highly efficient, reliable facility. Romonet provides a range of data center lifecycle services that can guide data center decision makers with accurate analytics data based on their specific and unique characteristics.

Data centers are now under close scrutiny when it comes to their financial, energy and environmental performance. Business leaders need to up their game and realize that they need to analyse data center telemetry data constantly and compare their data centers’ performance against a dynamic baseline, if these facilities are to support business growth, meet their original business case and not become a risk,” said Limbuwala.

Why clean data is as important as clean energy

Why clean data is as important as clean energy

Zahl Limbuwala, Co-Founder & Executive Director

Renewable energy initiatives have been on the news agenda the last couple of weeks. 

According to Bloomberg, a large proportion of the Fortune 500 has set clean energy goals in response to the savings generated by renewable power. As companies amass huge amounts of data, a significant part of their strategy for reaching their ambitious goals will involve data centers, no matter if a business owns, builds or uses them in the Cloud.

Apple is leading the way in this area. The company recently released its Annual Environmental Responsibility Report which provides a detailed outline of the steps it is taking to ensure its data centers are environmentally friendly.   

Of course, in order to assess progress and success these companies will also need to track and report against sustainability and energy efficiency metrics too.

Accurate, reliable data is critical

But metrics are only as good as the accuracy of the data feeding into them. If companies put sustainability at the core of their business strategies, the metrics they set will be heavily scrutinized.

So, what happens if raw data from data centers is not properly cleaned and validated, leading to weeks and even months of incorrect and misleading information?

The result will be an embarrassing anomaly in the resulting operational report and a lot of awkward explaining to managers, stakeholders and potentially customers and shareholders.  

Accurate, reliable data is central to a serious sustainability initiative; collecting raw data and presenting it is simply not enough. After all, important decisions about a facility’s environmental profile are made on the basis of that data, so it needs to be spot-on.

The key to meeting environmental goals with confidence is to collect, clean, validate and then analyze the data relating to energy efficiency, carbon emissions and water consumption, in order for the business to have confidence in it. In this way, data center managers can quickly understand what areas need adjustments and remove the risk of making poorly informed decisions due to bad data when planning changes or improvements for each facility.

Another crucial point for organizations with clean energy objectives is in the planning of data centers. A report containing incorrect data could lead to a design that struggles to meet the business requirements, or to large budgets being spent without a verifiable return on investment . Analysis of available data can help to ascertain the most economic, sustainable and cost effective design options and locations before a spade even hits the ground.

It is reassuring to see so many renewable and environmentally-minded projects being initiated by world leading organizations. Let’s hope they pay as much attention to clean data as they do to clean energy.  

Romonet Announces Management Changes as it Scales to Meet Global Demand

Romonet Announces Management Changes as it Scales to Meet Global Demand

Romonet_GreyRomonet, the only provider of full lifecycle data center analytics software and services, has announced the appointment of Danny Reeves as Chief Executive Officer and Rick Skett as Chairman of the Board.

The decision to move the former COO into the CEO role was driven by a shift in Romonet’s operating model as it gears up to deliver on new global customers who came on board in the last quarter of 2016.

“The company faces new challenges as its brand strength continues to grow,” commented Reeves. “While our commercial focus will continue, our prime objective is delivering the highest quality analytics and business information to our customers who are rapidly expanding their global data center estates and require long-term predictive financial and operating performance models.”

A former Chief Information Officer at Balfour Beatty, Reeves brings years of directing complex global technology projects and large company relationship management. He will work closely with Romonet’s CFO, Richard Rowson, who, as the former CFO at Global Switch, brings industry credibility and customer validation. Rowson was influential in leading recent successes with new customers in Asia and Europe.

Rick Skett re-joins Romonet having previously held roles of both Head of Marketing and Chairman in the past. Prior to that, Skett enjoyed a 30-year long career at Intel. His previous positions included EMEA Group Marketing Director and UK & Ireland Country Manager.

Co-founder and Executive Director, Zahl Limbuwala, continues to serve on the board with a direct focus on developing global customer and strategic partner relationships as well as maximizing Romonet’s visibility as an industry leader.

“This marks the next stage of Romonet’s evolution, and the market’s investment in predictive analytics,” said Limbuwala. “We have proven to both save money and energy while increasing performance and it is exciting to now be delivering this service to the companies that underpin global data center innovation.”

Data Informed: Picking Wisely: Choosing Your Data Center Site with Analytics

Data Informed: Picking Wisely: Choosing Your Data Center Site with Analytics

Before you buy a new house, you measure its cost against its potential future value. You assess utility bills and calculate whether you could afford a yearly increase. You even decide what furniture you need or whether there are better-styled alternatives to existing items.

This is essentially the same process a business should take when selecting a site for a new data center. How much does land cost? What about the unrecoverable costs of construction and are they all manageable? Is there renewable power available? Will hardware from one vendor meet environmental and efficiency requirements over another supplier?

Read the full article here

Mission Critical: How Much Water Do Data Centers Drink?

Mission Critical: How Much Water Do Data Centers Drink?

Ask most data center staff how their professional performance is measured and it will be on availability, nothing else. Financial or operational efficiency doesn’t matter. Their main responsibility is ensuring workers and customers can access the data and business applications they rely on every day.

If the engineering manager requests a batch of new servers or hardware critical to maintaining availability, then the CFO has little choice but to comply. After all, the data center can never fail. It powers everything our world runs on – national economies and banking, transportation, social media.

Read the full article here

Romonet Launches Validated by ROMONET

Romonet Launches Validated by ROMONET

Romonet, award winning data center analytics company, has launched a new certification program - Validated by ROMONET.

Validated_Romonet_Vertical_GreyThe certification proves an organization has been through the rigorous process of data cleansing and validation, calibration, analysis and corrective action (if required). Validated by ROMONET also demonstrates a company’s commitment to financial, energy and environmental efficiency through the use of the latest analytical technologies.

“This is an exciting program. The ability to predict financial, operational and environmental impact data throughout the lifecycle of a facility is critical to the success of the data center industry. 2017 will see an unprecedented number of new facilities built, consolidated and improved on every continent. Romonet’s validation process ensures decisions with long-term economic and social impact are made with accurate data,” said Zahl Limbuwala, Romonet’s Co-founder and CEO.

Romonet’s holistic approach to data center lifecycle analytics is unlike other certification programs that focus on power, process or the building. Romonet analyzes and predicts data from site selection and investment to ensure financial control, climate responsibility and the most efficient operating environment.

Romonet’s patented processes and the latest artificial intelligence algorithms independently ensure that facilities management services, vendor equipment and ongoing maintenance plans are optimized to improve the delivery of IT services.

With Validated by ROMONET organizations can:

  • Prove the accuracy of data by which major capital investment decisions are made
  • Show shareholders and customers commitment to improving data center efficiency
  • Track the ROI on critical infrastructure investment and improvements made in operational performance
  • Become more transparent when reporting and reducing environmental impact
  • Position ahead of the competition in terms of quality of service and commitment to continual improvement

More information about the certification can be found here.

The VAR Guy: Data Validation: The Opportunity for the Channel

The VAR Guy: Data Validation: The Opportunity for the Channel

Plenty of enterprises are unsure which data are appropriate to meet their business objectives. Fortunately for channel players, this complexity equals new sales opportunities.

Data is generated by everything – from buildings and machinery to employees and customers. Each of these data sources has the power to change the relative success of a company, though only if data is understood, accurate, analyzed and acted upon.

Read the full article here

Romonet Named an IDC Innovator

Romonet Named an IDC Innovator

Romonet was recently named an IDC Innovator in the IDC Innovators: Smarter Datacenter Infrastructure to Support Dynamic and Agile IT (IDC #US42059116, January 2017) report.

 “This is deserved recognition for the influence Romonet has had in a rapidly evolving data center market,” explained Zahl Limbuwala, Romonet’s co-founder and CEO. “Accurate predictability has become fundamental to fast growing Cloud and colocation services providers, as well as enterprises looking to consolidate and adopt a hybrid approach. With our tools available, it’s hard to understand why companies would take such large financial, environmental and operational risks without using our data center lifecycle analytics to validate their decisions.”

In 2016, Romonet continued its growth within the large Cloud and colocation providers, and expanded its enterprise customers. With new partnership, product and certification program announcements due early in 2017, the company is expecting another strong year.

About IDC Innovators:

"IDC Innovators reports present a set of vendors – under $100M in revenue at time of selection -- chosen by an IDC analyst within a specific market that offer an innovative new technology, a groundbreaking approach to an existing issue, and/or an interesting new business model. It is not an exhaustive evaluation of all companies in a segment or a comparative ranking of the companies. Vendors in the process of being acquired by a larger company may be included in the report provided the acquisition is not finalized at the time of publication of the report.  Vendors funded by venture capital firms may also be included in the report even if the venture capital firm has a financial stake in the vendor’s company. IDC INNOVATOR and IDC INNOVATORS are trademarks of International Data Group, Inc."

Romonet named an Innovator by IDC Report

Romonet named an Innovator by IDC Report

idc-innovatorWe’re one of only three vendors in IDC’s latest report recognising innovative companies in the data center industry. Our platform offers complete data center lifecycle analytics and as IDC states, “provides a single, accurate way of reporting data to key decision makers.”

"Running an agile IT environment requires an equally agile physical facility that is prepared to accommodate demanding and fluctuating IT loads. Technologies that improve the ability to manage the physical environment are essential, especially as data center resources become more distributed to support digital transformation and IoT initiatives," said Jennifer Cooke, research director, Datacenter Trends & Strategies at IDC.

Read the full report.

edie Sustainability Leaders Awards Finalist – Sustainability Product Innovation: Resources

edie Sustainability Leaders Awards Finalist - Sustainability Product Innovation: Resources

We are a finalist in the edie edie-award-logoSustainability Leaders Awards. This continues an extremely successful year for Romonet which includes recognition at the BusinessGreen Leaders Awards and DatacenterDynamics USA & Canada Awards.

This time, the company is shortlisted in the Sustainability Product Innovation: Resources category. The awards recognize the incredible people, initiatives and products that are helping to deliver excellence within the green economy.

We’re at Big Data & Analytics Innovation Summit 2016

We’re at Big Data & Analytics Innovation Summit 2016

big-data-summitRomonet is a sponsor at the upcoming Big Data & Analytics Innovation Summit. The event takes place in London on 16 & 17 November 2016.

The summit brings together leading minds working in analytics and data science across the UK and Europe. The event will share industry-leading insight on how investment in data offers the opportunity for a smarter, more efficient organisation.

Data Centre News: The Colocation Market is in a State of Transition

Data Centre News: The Colocation Market is in a State of Transition

dcn-hero-bannerWe were recently invited to contribute an article for Data Centre News on the state of the colocation market.

Our piece explores the different metrics available to operators, issues affecting energy efficiency and how return on investment is influenced by these factors.

The full article is on page 22.

Data Economy: Why Data Centers are Essential for Your Future

Data Economy: Why Data Centers are Essential for Your Future

data-economy-hero-bannerData Economy has included Romonet in a recent industry feature explaining just how much businesses and society rely on data centers.

Romonet is quoted, "The speed of technology adoption will see data centers become more critical than power generation, water treatment and communication. The data center is the hub of everything we rely on: communications, travel, healthcare, finance, shopping, supply chains, manufacturing, mining, etc."

Further insight from Romonet is available at the full feature here.

Data Center Journal: Informed Decision Making Is Everything When Selecting Your Data Center Site

Data Center Journal: Informed Decision Making Is Everything When Selecting Your Data Center Site

dcj-hero-banner-augustCountless scenarios, decisions, financial implications and CSR objectives are assessed when choosing a new data center site.

In Romonet's latest article for the Data Center Journal, we outline some of the many choices that can be enhanced with predictive analytics.

The evaluation process begins before a single cent is even spent, however the majority of builds are founded on guesswork and advanced manual calculations.

Romonet's analytics solutions enable businesses to dramatically improve how they manage site selection. 

The unquenchable thirst of the data center

The unquenchable thirst of the data center

stack-romonet-hero-bannerRomonet explains the importance of measuring water in the data center and what can be done to reduce consumption.

Operators need to do is find is a balance to satisfy business stakeholders, shareholders, the press and green lobbyists.

Read the full article here on The Stack.

CSR has turned its attention to data centers, their management practices and their widespread impact on the environment. Times are changing and water consumption is a major component of company CSR policies.

Sustainability is back on the agenda

Sustainability is back on the agenda

green-step-sustainability-blog-hero-bannerIt’s been quite a while since my last blog, I’ve been pretty busy at work and have been keeping abreast with the latest in analytics, machine learning and AI technologies. There has been a pretty big resurgence in the world of sustainability, especially in the data center sector. Initially I was a little surprised but there’s more substance to the movement compared to the pre-2009 economic crash that pretty much killed sustainability and green initiatives as a board level issue.

Before the last recession the green movement in the data center sector had gathered quite some pace. There was a lot of good work done by the BCS, Green Grid, EPA, LBNL, METI and others around metrics and tracking of how green a data center was. Indeed, it was this very movement that gave birth to the J.R.R Tolkien of metrics, PUE - one ring/metric to rule them all…get it?

Even way back then, when I was chairman of the BCS Data Center Specialist Group, raising awareness of data center energy efficiency (or lack thereof) was best done by talking to environmental lobbyists.

Greenpeace started its Click Green Report back in 2010, naming and shaming companies for how green their data centers weren’t. The Click Green program initially examined energy efficiency in the data center but has evolved to encompass a much broader scope since then.

When the global economic downturn descended upon us most of the less publicly visible corporate world (which back then included most data center companies) put green on the back burner and focused on saving money instead.

I have to say that this always seemed an unwise move to me because in most cases any green initiative worth its salt, especially in the energy efficiency arena, should have a good financial ROI and not just a green brownie points ROI’. The issue was that many didn’t have the tools, context or knowledge to assess and build strong green and financial business cases that could stand up to scrutiny or any sort of third party validation.

Thus I was very happy this year when my conversations with both customers and other industry pundits once again started to include discussions about the green, now referred to more often as sustainability, agenda. I prefer the term sustainability as it is much more encompassing of the broader agenda beyond energy efficiency, such as water consumption, embodied carbon, sustainable construction practices, etc.

Before everyone jumps back on the ‘we need more metrics’ bandwagon, let me say, no we don’t! Stop, put down the white paper draft on the new 'super all-encompassing one sustainable metric to rule them all’! Please just keep it simple and collect, track and analyse data indicating your energy efficiency, carbon emissions (this is a calculation from energy), water consumption and you’ll be well on your way to improving your data center’s sustainability efforts.

Oh and by the way, remember that simply believing raw data from sensors and instrumentation points is not an accurate representation of what’s going on (trust me, we clean and validate data for a living). If you are a service provider, not being able to allocate the fair-share of your overall carbon emissions to your customers is less than ideal.

Sustainability is a board level issue again and claiming your IT is zero carbon because it’s all in the cloud is not going to cut it as far as brand value is concerned, at least in the public’s eyes.

Zahl Limbulwala, Romonet CEO

Winner: The Reasons Behind our DCD Award

Winner: The Reasons Behind our DCD Award

dcd-winner-hero-bannerEarlier in the year, Romonet stormed to victory at the US & Canada DatacenterDynamics Awards.

We were always confident in our entry, however the publication has now published an extensive profile on how the power of Romonet Predictive Analytics is changing the data center for the better.

See how we improve CSR, efficiency and financial management here. The judges praised our solutions for being an important tool in tackling data center environmental factors and validating facility operational performance.

Romonet Wins Award: Improving the CSR Impact of Data Centers with Predictive Analytics

Romonet Wins Award: Improving the CSR Impact of Data Centers with Predictive Analytics

splashing-splash-aqua-water-67843Over 600 corporate executives, policymakers and green campaigners saw Romonet win IT Project of the Year at the BusinessGreen Leaders Awards. The judges praised Romonet and its customers for their progress in helping improve the corporate social responsibility (CSR) of global data centers.

“The outcomes of a positive CSR profile are many - tangible benefits to the environment, improved public image and competitive positioning, and when Romonet’s Platform is used, large scale cost efficiencies. Many companies have already invested in the latest analytics tools to increase business efficiency, and we are encouraged that many more are taking action in this key area,” said Zahl Limbuwala, Romonet’s CEO.

Romonet offers the world’s only predictive analytics platform capable of modeling, simulating, analyzing and controlling operational and financial performance within the data center. Data centers are one of the most costly and potentially harmful business units within any large organization but now, as analytics applications have done in other areas of business, their financial and operational risks can be removed using Romonet.

This award win accompanied Romonet announcing it is launching new Machine Learning capabilities to further enhance the value of its solution. The speed at which business results are attainable was another deciding factor for the judges. As a recent case study highlighted, return on investment is achievable in several weeks.

Predictive Analytics is proving to be a key application for mitigating the risks associated with CSR and the data center – these include postponed capital investment, shareholder value being questioned, and reduced corporate profitability when customers choose competitor services on sustainability grounds.

An example is Apple’s $950million, 500-acre Irish data campus. The facilities are being debated due to power requirements, land use and the effect on local wildlife. CSR is a key consideration within each of these factors and businesses using Romonet can demonstrate the positive action they are taking.

“We are working with international leaders across online retail, social media, banking and IT service providers, all of which recognize the influence CSR has on competitive positioning. More importantly, they know how to succeed in today’s environmentally-conscious economy where business processes and investments are under scrutiny,” concluded Limbuwala.

And the Winner is…

BusinessGreen Leaders Award Winner IT Project of the Year

WINNER: Romonet, Slashing Data Centre Water Usage Project

The judges praised Romonet for its commitment to tackling the oft-ignored problem of data centre water use through its Big Data Platform, which provides the data and modelling functionality needed to help businesses manage and optimise their IT-related water use. 

Romonet’s Analytics Platform: New Machine Learning Capabilities to be Launched

Romonet's Analytics Platform New Machine Learning Capabilities to be Launched

machine-learning-romonet-bannerRomonet today announced it is filing for a number of new patents for the next phase of its data center intelligence platform, utilizing the applications of Machine Learning. The company is known as the leader in data center analytics and this development enhances the value of Romonet’s already patented solution.

"We have been working on advanced data handling and Machine Learning algorithms for over a year, focusing predominantly on enhancing our solution to learn and become as proficient as our human data scientists are today at identifying anomalies, and tracking down the cause behind the symptom. This capability provides powerful operational and business insight into data center systems and component level performance," said Liam Newcombe, Romonet's co-founder and CTO.

Having modeled, collected data and analyzed hundreds of data centers in the past eight years, Romonet’s platform has an incredibly detailed and expansive data archive on how facilities of every size perform under different climate, environmental, energy, IT and commercial factors.

While the use of Machine Learning applications is not new, Romonet’s platform is the first to combine metered data, Machine Learning, simulation and predictive analytics.

"In our case, teaching the machine is much faster as we feed it pre-cleansed and calibrated data to recognize and learn patterns, incorporate additional data from outside sources, and teach the software to suggest causes and recommended actions from previously learned results," continued Newcombe.

Like Google, Amazon, Cisco and Netflix, who already use Machine Learning to personalize services and business intelligence, Romonet's industry-leading platform is revolutionizing the booming global data center market.

With Romonet, Hyperscale and Multi-Tenant Data Center (MTDC) operators are improving the services they provide to their customers while strengthening financial management through investment, cost and margin analysis. Enterprise data center owners, whose facilities, while core to service delivery, are also a drain on profitability, are rationalizing their investments, accurately planning a hybrid (owned, colocated and cloud) strategy years into the future, and improving their ability to make socially responsible decisions that impact the environment, shareholders and employees.

Are Your Data Center Efficiency Projects Actually Delivering Savings?

Are Your Data Center Efficiency Projects Actually Delivering Savings?

Romonet-Savings-Hero-BannerThe data center industry is at the forefront of our new, connected digital world, yet the majority of organizations still struggle to accurately measure operational performance and quantify their investments financially.

This is partly because of an overreliance on inaccurate metrics, baselines, and manual calculations. Many data center management teams still use spreadsheets and rudimentary analytical methods to assess facility efficiency.

Predictive modeling has only just emerged as a viable solution to data center energy, capacity, and financial challenges. Discover just what's possible with analytics in our article in Data Informed.

Romonet Launches Water Analytics for the Data Center

Romonet Launches Water Analytics for the Data Center

water-chartRomonet has issued a strong call to action for the world’s executives, enterprises and data center operators to immediately act on one of the most urgent challenges facing the global economy and environment today.

To support this campaign, Romonet has developed the world’s only Big Data and predictive analytics Platform that enables organizations to solve their water-related sustainability, financial and operational challenges.

Romonet’s Platform already accurately models and simulates data center energy and total cost of ownership, and now provides the ability to precisely measure water efficiency, capacity, consumption and the cost of water. This lets organisations analyze and understand the trade-off between energy, cost and water consumption.

Data center water consumption is rising rapidly as organizations trade improved power efficiency for unsustainable water usage practices. Massive amounts of water are pumped into data center cooling towers for energy efficiency purposes, a strategy that is particularly prevalent in hot climates and desert regions where public water supplies are under enormous pressure. Furthermore, during the process water is often treated with a cocktail of industrial chemicals and later drained back into municipal sewage systems.

Any organization that does not address its water consumption risks intense scrutiny from the general public, customers and shareholders; environmental lobbying groups such as Greenpeace; and from national and regional governments which are tasked with tackling large-scale industrial usage and identifying ways to secure fresh water reserves for agricultural and national security purposes.

"The efficient and judicious management of resources to power IT will only become more challenging in the next few years, and the ability to automate tasks and leverage analytics to drive decisions will be a competitive differentiator for data center managers. Romonet's Platform meets a critical need in the market for increased visibility into resource usage and management, in particular water consumption and cost," said Jennifer Cooke, research director at IDC.

California is a clear example. The Wall Street Journal reports there are 800 data centers consuming an estimated total of 158,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools of water each year. This is in an American state overcoming one of its most severe droughts on record.

Organizations in California and across the world must demonstrate a commitment to lowering water usage and production related processes such as transportation, logistics, filtration, recycling and long-term storage.

Zahl Limbuwala, CEO of Romonet, said, "Water is one of the largest threats to international stability and data centers are voluntarily using fresh water reserves as though they are infinite. With water subsidiaries ending and public pressure mounting, organizations cannot be frivolous with how they treat our environment. Water is not merely a cost challenge, but a highly sensitive CSR objective. This challenge must be addressed now, not in the future when it is too late. Organizations should act positively before they potentially find themselves under the public spotlight for what some consider corporate mismanagement and environmental indifference."


Romonet Wins ‘Critical Environment Future Thinking’ Award at DCD US & Canada Awards 2016

Romonet Wins 'Critical Environment Future Thinking' Award at the DatacenterDynamics US & Canada Awards 2016

dcd-winner-hero-bannerRomonet and its Big Data Predictive Analytics Platform has won the 'Critical Environment Future Thinking' Award at the DatacenterDynamics US & Canada Awards 2016.

The 'Critical Environment Future Thinking' award recognizes Romonet’s Analytics Platform's ability to solve the financial and operational challenges that affect enterprises, data center service providers, facility operators and those responsible for managing the highly sensitive IT environments businesses are dependent on.

Zahl Limbuwala, CEO of Romonet, said, “We are extremely pleased that the judging panel has recognized the innovation we are driving in the industry. An increasing number of global banks, social media platforms, online retailers and other enterprises are using our Platform to bring accountability to their data centers. Cloud and colocation service providers are using Romonet to increase their competitiveness and improve financial margins. This accomplishment is a strong endorsement for the positive changes our customers and team are delivering.”

Romonet's success is the latest in a series of industry achievements for the company. Romonet has already been named a finalist in four prestigious awards programmes this year, most recently for the Business Green Leaders Awards and Romonet’s new water analytics application.

Romonet's Platform is the only solution to accurately model, simulate and predict data center power and cooling efficiency, total cost of ownership (TCO), operational and financial performance, and natural resource usage. The company recently launched a new campaign compelling the world's executives, enterprises and data center operators to take positive action against rising data center water consumption

Triple Finalist: Romonet Nominated for Three Influential Awards

Triple Finalist: Romonet Nominated for Three Influential Awards

triple-finalist-hero-bannerRomonet and its Big Data Platform has been shortlisted for three prestigious awards that define and shape their respective industries.

This recognition is based upon the Platform’s ability to solve the strategic, financial and operational challenges that affect data center-dependent organizations, their shareholders and customers.

The nominations include:

  • Analytics Product of the Year – UK Cloud Awards
  • Critical Environment Future Thinking – DatacenterDynamics US & Canada Awards
  • Data Centre ICT Management Product of the Year – Data Centre Solutions UK Awards

This announcement precedes Data Centre World in London where the company will unveil its Platform’s latest application. Developed in close collaboration with one of the world's largest social media companies, this powerful new analytics solution will help address the industry's next major environmental sustainability challenge. Romonet already accurately models, simulates and predicts data center power and cooling efficiency, total cost of ownership (TCO), and operational and financial performance.

Zahl Limbuwala, CEO of Romonet, said, "Our customers have justified over $800 million worth of investment with Romonet and we are honored that such respected publications recognize the business outcomes that we help enable. To be named alongside companies like Amazon Web Services and LOGICnow energizes us to continue progressing with our company mission."

This is the latest official recognition for the company. In 2015, Romonet was named a Gartner Cool Vendor and a Data Center Knowledge Startup to Watch. Those who are interested in Romonet’s upcoming announcement are invited to register their interest here. Briefings at Data Centre World (April 12 – 13) can also be arranged before the event or by visiting booth P60.

How we became a Data Center Knowledge Startup to Watch

How we became a Data Center Knowledge Startup to Watch

dck-to-watch-hero-bannerWe passionately believe in the potential of Big Data and the power of our Platform and it is flattering when organizations in our industry recognise what we are doing.

Earlier this year Data Center Knowledge named us as a 2016 Startup to Watch. The editorial team chose a selection of companies addressing some of the most significant challenges facing data center managers and executives today.

Most of these companies have emerged from humble beginnings and evolved rapidly, us included. Just a few years ago, being able to compare expected and actual performance of the data center, model, simulate, predict and control a data center’s energy consumption, capacity, total cost of ownership and environmental risks was considered an elusive concept.

We believe we are changing that perception. Take Intel as an example. With our Platform the company is providing its clients with the operational understanding they need to make more informed decisions.

Intel's objective was to assess how, given the significant energy cost and capital expenses associated with cooling technology, there must be opportunities to run data center facilities at higher ambient temperatures. Our Platform proved Intel's theory to be correct.

Intel's challenge is mirrored by many other enterprises posing questions such as how do you model capacity and predict technology inflexion points? How do you know when to implement the right technologies to deliver the greatest return on investment? What happens to IT performance if you challenge accepted operational parameters and push boundaries?

In the last seven years, we have modeled 500 data centers with 98% accuracy, justified $800 million worth of investment and answered the above-mentioned questions for enterprise data centers and cloud and colocation providers.

Finance and Operations Working in Harmony

At the crux of these 'what if' scenarios is one financial question – how much does it truly cost to run a data center?

In another recent Data Center Knowledge article, the publication explained how complex that question is to answer without tools such as Romonet.

This is where Romonet adds value to an organization. With the power of predictive analytics both enterprise-class data centers and those businesses providing hosting, colocation and cloud services (multi tenant data centers) can address inefficiencies, uncover significant savings, increase infrastructure performance and maximize profitability.

That said, sometimes the information we deliver is used for alternative purposes. For example, Iceotope manufactures servers for cloud service providers and HPC environments. Its liquid-cooled server platform has been modeled and engineered to ensure it harvests as much heat from electronics as possible in the most efficient way. As a result, organizations can reduce data center cooling costs by up to 97%, ICT power load by up to 20% and overall ICT infrastructure costs by up to 50%.

Iceotope used Romonet to analyze and prove the performance benefits of its technology compared to traditional, air-cooled servers. Armed with this accurate, quantifiable data, the company secured $10 million in funding to continue developing its technology.

The challenges facing data center operators and managers extend far beyond simplistic energy targets. They include everything from profit & loss (P&L) targets, return on investment (ROI), total cost of ownership objectives and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), to regulatory compliance and how a company sources its natural resources.

Designing a Platform that solves this multitude of challenges is an exciting path, however it is always made more satisfying when those in the industry agree with what we’re attempting to achieve.

To PUE or not to PUE? Is that the question?

To PUE or not to PUE? Is that the question?

pue-question-mark-hero-banner"OMG!" I hear you say! Not another blog wanting to debate the pros and cons of PUE!
I'm not writing this to re-open (did it ever close?!) the debate about PUE. I'm here to talk about how those of you who use it today to track your data center performance can greatly improve its value to you and your business.

But first a little history.....

Many years ago in a land far far away...well it wasn't that far actually; it was Milan in northern Italy. Three guys sat around a dinner table chatting about how the data center industry just needed to start measuring something simple that gave an indication of how efficiently data centers were using energy.

I was one of the three along with Liam Newcombe (my CTO) and Christian Belady (Mr Data Center at Microsoft) and we'd just spent the day together at the European Commission's Joint Research Center (JRC) in Ispra, Italy, which is a very impressive campus where real science happens funded mostly by the EU member states.

Actually while it's an impressive site, because of the large number of non European attendees the meeting didn't take place inside the JRC, but rather the big meeting hall above the JRC tennis club just outside the high security fences of the JRC grounds themselves.

Christian had done a good job at that meeting of pitching the use of PUE to be used within the European Code of Conduct for data centers.

Luckily, Christian and Liam (who was the primary author of the original code and its best practice guidelines at the time) saw eye to eye about the use of PUE. It was the first time they'd met but it was clear to me (being mostly a spectator during much of the conversation that transpired over dinner) they were both cut from the same cloth.

With the might of the Green Grid and many vendors behind it, PUE went on to become the de facto metric for representing data center infrastructure efficiency (can you spot the irony there?).

Today many people spend many hours of their lives trying to explain to others in their company, usually the senior ranks, why the data center PUE getting "worse" (becoming a larger number) was not necessarily a "bad" thing and didn't necessarily mean they'd not done their job properly in terms of looking after the data center.

The problem with PUE (and clearly the industry knows that PUE is far from a perfect metric) is that using the absolute PUE number to track the performance of a site only tells part of the story.

"We know this already" I hear you say...

Yes, you already know that without asking what the corresponding utilization is, you can't really take a view on whether the number you have I front of you is good, bad, indifferent and whether it can or should be improved (we already know that every data center reaches an inflection point where you start trading TCO for PUE) and in an economized data center, you'd also be well advised to ask what the climate did too.

Most organizations today target their data center managers on an absolute reduction of their site's PUE but is that really a good plan? How do you know when you’ve reached that inflection point and while you might continue to shoot for as low as you can go, you’re unknowingly targeting the DC manager to increase your overall Total Cost of Ownership!

Also looking at the absolute PUE value is a bit of an unfair measure for the site manager, because generally the site managers have no control over what happens with the IT load; servers come in, go out, their level of utilization fluctuates, etc. We already know that improving server utilization through virtualization and consolidation for example will often make your PUE worse, due to the total IT load going down, which for any Enterprise IT operator is a good thing but for a colo operator it's generally a bad thing.

In an economised site the PUE will vary significantly with the outside temperature. I've yet to meet a DC manager than has any control over their local climate so a particularly warm year may mean it's simply impossible meet their PUE reduction target for the year.

Dynamic setting of PUE targets and tracking performance against them

With the introduction of predictive system level modeling for data centers (and no I don’t mean a CFD model) it is possible to build a highly calibrated (98% calibration accuracy) model that will allow you to do a number of things:

  1. Verify that your data center is performing at its most optimum PUE given the way it’s been designed and built and with the load and climate it’s operating with.
  2. Where it's not operating at it’s optimum PUE the model is able to show you why as well as where and how to improve it.
  3. Using the metered data from the site and continuously feeding the actual climate data and actual IT load, the calibrated model of a now fully optimized data center will continuously and dynamically tell the site manager what the PUE "should be” if everything is working as expected - something we call the "expected PUE".

Now with this dynamically calculated “Expected PUE” to compare against the actual PUE, the target for the site manager should be to keep the “Expected vs Actual PUE” within an acceptable tolerance; remember the expected PUE will automatically adjust itself for variation in IT load and climate so it’s a fair and equitable target and more appropriately represents the actual domain of control that a site manager can impact.

Now of course you may say "well I could still improve the PUE by making more impactful changes" and you’d be right, whether it’s increasing set points, changing to a different control strategy or upgrading to more efficient drives or equipment, all of these things could well improve the site's PUE.

Another benefit of having a calibrated predictive model is that you can now rapidly try out all the different things you might do to your site to improve it’s PUE, and if the model is capable of modeling cost as well as PUE, then you can make some really well informed decisions about what actions you might take to reduce the absolute PUE of your site, but not going past that TCO vs PUE inflection point without knowing so.

Don't sit back and think you’ve just got to live with being beaten regularly with the internal PUE stick! There is a much smarter, more significant and valuable way to use this important industry metric that will help you manage and reduce PUE using meaningful and achievable targets that take account of all the variables that impact the site’s performance.

Zahl Limbuwala, CEO of Romonet

Romonet gearing up for increasing channel opportunity

Romonet gearing up for increasing channel opportunity

microscope-hero-bannerIn an article in Microscope, the publication wrote about the increasing number of firms that want visibility of their data costs is increasing and should translate into more business for Romonet's channel partners.

Our partners are a valued part of our mission to transform how data centers are managed. 

Please contact us if you're interested in hearing about the possibilities that accompany being a Romonet partner. We work with consultancies, managed service providers, global system integrators and other organizations that are involved in the data center industry.

Romonet Enables Per Customer Margin Management and $1.5M Recurrent Savings for Major Colo Provider

Romonet Enables Per Customer Margin Management and $1.5M Recurrent Savings for Major Colo Provider

executive-team-hero-bannerThe CFO of a top ten global colocation provider is using Romonet to accurately calculate the exact profitability of every customer across its data center estate. This is achieved by analyzing the full cost of each customer's contracted capacity and actual power usage against their revenue. The same tools are used to provide per rack and per contracted kW costs to identify the current and projected profitability of its customers and data center capacity.

The CFO uses Romonet's data to understand the underlying delivery cost for each customer, billing model and colocation space. The executive team can now use quantitative data on the wide range of delivery costs and margins to set minimum pricing thresholds for new customers and ensure financially sustainable contracts. Furthermore, with Romonet’s cloud-based data center management platform, the CFO can monitor and predict which billing models and contracts are affected most by the many customer behaviors and fluctuating operational conditions that impact effective cost management.

Romonet's capabilities have proved invaluable in a marketplace that is experiencing greater competition from cloud providers and falling service prices. The effect on colocation providers includes significantly reduced margins, increasingly challenging contract negotiations and the need to maximize each customer's monthly recurring revenue longterm.

Zahl Limbuwala, CEO of Romonet, said, "The CFO's objective is clear – prove which customers are growing the business and which are costing money simply by being in the facility. Our data removes the guesswork associated with identifying how customer contracts are performing financially and where capacity is being occupied by low margin, and in many cases, negative margin customers. The CFO can understand the full cost of delivery for each data center at every level – for each operational region, IT hall, rack and customer."

Prior to the existing relationship, Romonet started working with the colocation provider by designing a detailed, site-specific financial and engineering model to present the potential financial savings from a proposed chiller upgrade. Hundreds of data points proved that prospective new equipment and reconfiguration could deliver immediate, recurrent annual savings of $1.5M – a return on investment of under 12 months.

Romonet's platform, the only data center management solution built on a native Big Data architecture, is patent-protected in Japan, China and most recently, the United Kingdom. The company's expertise is validated by its Garner 'Cool Vendor' status. Romonet partners with many global engineering firms to uncover the true total cost of ownership of the world’s largest and most complex data centers, colocation and cloud data environments.

Romonet Expands Executive Team with a Wealth of Commercial, Sales and IT Talent

Romonet Expands Executive Team with a Wealth of Commercial, Sales and IT Talent

executive-team-hero-bannerDriven by a maturing market and attracted by the company’s investment in its cloud-based data center management platform, Romonet has made four high profile appointments. This includes COO Danny Reeves, previously CIO at multi-billion-dollar construction and infrastructure firm Balfour Beatty, and CFO Richard Rowson, who was CFO at Global Switch, the leading carrier neutral wholesale data center operator in Europe and Asia Pacific.

Danny Reeves said, "Richard Rowson and I joined for similar reasons; we both recognized the huge potential that Romonet represents for enterprise IT and data center businesses. The ability to use data effectively to make informed decisions and solve problems is akin to the Holy Grail - very few organizations can really admit to managing their data centers like this. Furthermore, senior finance professionals are taking a greater role in the management of facilities. CIOs are having to prove to the board they possess the commercial experience to deliver step-change cost efficiencies and large scale capital reductions."

Reeves continued, "Our platform has been specifically architected to help deliver these outcomes. We streamline, integrate and enable control of a customer’s financial and operational requirements throughout their data center estate – essentially, we provide the simplest method for a CFO and CIO to accurately understand, analyze, predict and control the most strategically important asset in their portfolio."

Romonet's end-to-end, cloud-based data center management platform is the only solution built on a native Big Data architecture. Its easy-to-use portal consists of multiple modeling, simulation, financial and infrastructure performance services. This comprehensive, strategically effective collection of services not only provides value to the CFO and CIO, but through to engineering and those responsible for managing third-party service partners – all of which can impact financial, IT and facility performance, investment, shareholder value and corporate growth.

Richard Rowson said, "For far too long both outsourced operators and enterprises have been managing their data center estates without a full understanding of their true cost of delivery. As the outsourced market matures and enterprises continue to look for operational efficiencies, having this information available provides a clear competitive advantage. Global organizations are choosing Romonet because our platform equips executives and managers with tools that enable precise long-term financial planning and real-time predictive analytics."

Reeves's previous experience includes senior positions at Balfour Beatty, Cable & Wireless, Henderson Global Investors and Deutsche Bank. This is matched by Richard’s time at Workshare, IXEurope (since acquired by Equinix) and Global Switch, where he helped guide the companies through a sustained period of growth.

Zahl Limbuwala, CEO of Romonet concluded, "With our recent partnerships in Asia, the granting of our patents in Japan, China and the UK, along with a convergence with market timing and Romonet’s cloud-based platform, our challenge has been to meet and develop this growing awareness. This strengthened management team emphasises the capability and maturity of our solution for cloud, colocation and global enterprises. We are all excited to take Romonet to the next level of success."

Romonet also invites attendees of DatacenterDynamics Europe on the 18-19th November 2015 to meet its team at booth 317. Helping drive sales will be Richard Jenkins and Chad Riseling, previously both from senior roles at RF Code. Jenkins joins Romonet as Senior Vice President of Global Marketing and Riseling has been appointed Senior Vice President of Global Sales.

They will be responsible for advancing Romonet's global sales initiatives and developing marketing strategies that elevate the company in a sector congested with solution providers struggling to take advantage of the competitive benefits provided by the cloud.

This story was picked up by Cloud Strategy Mag, BDaily, PRlog, Microscope and Newswire.

Romonet finalist in DCD EMEA Awards

Romonet finalist in DCD EMEA Awards

dcd-emea-hero-bannerGeorge Read, Romonet's Senior Customer Engineer, has been named as a finalist in this years prestigious DatacenterDynamics Awards for EMEA in the category of Young Mission Critical Engineer of the Year.

George may have only came away with his finalist status, however several months later the company won at the DCD US & Canada Awards 2016.

The Rise and Rise of the Data Center CFO

The Rise and Rise of the Data Center CFO

rise-of-rise-cfoThe data center market has enjoyed many decades of almost unbridled and recession proof growth. This but this year, more than any other, we can see the inevitable signs of a market that's rapidly maturing and finding its longer term feet in the form of bigger, stronger (and in theory) more financially sustainable data center businesses. Businesses that provide the core underpinning resource of the digital and internet-based economy.

That said, this is a significantly different marketplace than it was just a year ago.

The focus has shifted from top to bottom line performance, and with the ever-increasing challenge of understanding, controlling and managing the financial drivers of these businesses, a long overdue change in operational and financial management is required.

It used to be sufficient to create an excel based financial model together for each asset that spoke to the capital requirement, expected operating costs, and projected revenues and thus provide a pretty good macro level yield model.

Roll many of those together and so long as your model was relatively conservative it was almost a sure thing that you'd have a free cash flow generative business, so long as you had sales people that could sell.

There were good deals but also so less than great deals done over the years as far as acquiring customer revenue was concerned for most operators. Quite often the commercial model was tweaked, and even more often larger customers were sold capacity on "special pricing or special terms".

Thus today most multi tenant operators have a mix of good and 'bad' customers from both a revenue, but more importantly, a margin perspective. However, understanding exactly what the margin per customer actually is, is an amazingly complex and time/resource consuming task. In fact it's worse than that, as while doing a point-in-time analysis is hard, the reality is the dynamic. So by the time you've figured it out, the variables have changed and thus your information is already out of date!

CFOs of all competent data center businesses out there will recognize this problem because it's what they are grappling with right now. If they aren't feeling these issues yet, it's either because of the inertia (mostly a function of their financial size in this case) their business already has, or they are in even bigger trouble than they realize!

CFOs have risen to prominence alongside the CIO within corporate enterprise due to the ever increasing budget and importance of technology to a business's competitive advantage - or even just its continued existence in heavily commoditized markets.

The CFO is about to rise to prominence in a similar way within data center companies.

It's no longer tenable to try and manage capital and operational spend using spreadsheets and a finance system alone. Financial models need to be tied to operational models or one will mislead the other, leading to tears and gnashing of teeth.

Financial planning and modeling can no longer be a once a year static high cost time intensive exercise. Every deal must be rapidly assessed and its margin understood before a contract is signed. Further, the financial performance of each customer must be automatically tracked so that when the dynamic of the asset changes, either intentionally or unintentionally, the impact on the financial return is immediately visible.

All of this requires new tools, new capability and automation between operations, engineering and finance that's never existed before, and it is far from easy to create!

Luckily, Romonet exists to solve these problems and meet this need and we've been anticipating it for the last eight years, so guess what, we are ready and able to help the data center industry go through this next stage of its economic maturity.

Zahl Limbuwala, CEO of Romonet