An interview with Ahmed Abdelwahab Datacenters, MTX Planning and Design Manager at Vodafone Egypt
Ahead of the 11th Telecoms Energy Efficiency Forum: EMEA Edition, marcusevans spoke with Ahmed Abdelwahab, Datacenters and MTX Planning and Design Manager at Vodafone Egypt, about how telecom companies can identify and measure energy consumption across the entire network.
How can Structured Cabling help in Energy Efficiency?
Communication network is the backbone of any infrastructure with the need for advanced and fast communication technique. Cable management is becoming a headache in terms of their continuously increasing number and complexity. Hence “Structured Cabling” is crucial.
With an unorganised messy cabling infrastructure, mistakes are commonly made. Incorrect ports are unplugged. This can lead to network and channel errors in the hardware that are very difficult to trace. If a point to point connectivity is used, the front and potentially the sides of the equipment are congested with cabling bulk; thus impeding the airflow needed to operate the equipment. This also impacts under floor cooling; cabling congestion in this space hinders the airflow of the CRAC unit and can cause cooling issues.
Could you explain the importance of a Project Management framework in energy saving initiatives?
Energy saving initiatives will always be subject to ROI and CAPEX investment Vs OPEX saving. Optimisation of implementation cost can reduce the CAPEX investment. Project management could be of a great help; organising the tasks and dependencies can help to optimise the resources required to implement the energy saving initiatives.
Also, Introducing Risk Management Process will help in mitigating the risks or preventing the risk impact to affect the project implementation. Thus, we can maximise the outcome.
How can telecom companies identify and measure energy consumption across the entire network?
There are several points of measurement of energy consumption. The first main point is the input power to the facility; grid power consumption and the fuel consumption of backup gensets. The next point is measuring the consumption of the main energy systems; chillers and DC Power and UPS Systems consumption. Finally, we can reach the rack level and measure the energy consumption per server. Environmental conditions can also be measured.
Measurement is much simpler now because smart meters are available and can be integrated to the Power panels at each of the above points. On the rack level, smart measured PDUs are available and we can integrate environmental sensors (temperature and humidity) to them. Correlation between different points of consumption and deep analysis lead to addressing the areas of improvement in our data center energy consumption.
What type of solutions can help telecom companies to reduce energy consumption and support increasing consumer demand for telecommunications?
Cooling is the main contributor in datacenters’ energy consumption. Cooling consumes 30 – 40 % of total consumption. So, reducing the energy consumed in cooling should be the main target. Also the heat dissipation (Heat Density per sqm.) of IT equipment increases.
Containment solutions (Cold / Hot Containments) are very effective. Preserving the cold air in containment, to be sucked by servers’ fans only, will definitely save the energy required for cooling. Also getting rid of hot air in hot containment, without mixing it with cold air, will save the energy. In fact preserving the high temperature of return air increases cooling efficiency.
Secondly, the cooling systems should enjoy highest COP. Also, they should possess variable speed drives to supply air / chilled water as much as required.
Some experts focus on lighting consumption. In my opinion, lighting power consumption is minimal in nowadays datacenters. This is because datacenters are unmanned and lights are switched off most of the time.
On the other hand, datacenter managers should focus on dismantling old equipment. Those equipment consume energy with no benefit to the consumer. In old telecom operators (15 years+), dismantle could save up to 10 % of energy consumption (power + cooling). This is in addition to enabling the installation of new equipment instead of requiring new expansions.
What would you like to achieve by attending the 11th Telecoms Energy Efficiency EMEA Forum?
I aim to be introduced to edge of technology in data center energy efficiency approaches. I would like to get in touch with datacenter experts and key players to discuss best practices and exchange experiences.
About the Speaker:
Ahmed has more than seventeen years’ experience in the Telecom / IT industry in Egypt and West Africa and in leading teams for data centers development and design. Ahmed has been able to couple his electromechanical experience with his telecommunication background to work well across both domains and chart the long term strategy for the data center infrastructure staying one step ahead of the telco requirements. Ahmed is an expert in design and optimisation of critical infrastructure in Vodafone Egypt’s data centers. In his role, he has managed the full mechanical and electrical renovation program and tier upgrade for VF EG switch sites and datacenters. He introduced new initiatives for energy efficiencies and transformed the old datacenters designs into technology centers to accommodate the new IT / Telecom requirements. He introduced the first prefabricated 3–storeys tier-3 facility in Vodafone and in the region, Mansoura city in Egypt’s delta region. Ahmed is an accredited tier designer from Uptime Institute. He holds an MBA specialising in strategic planning.
About the Conference:
The 11th Telecoms Energy Efficiency Forum is a premium event bringing together leading telecom network providers with specialist technology and service providers. As an invitation-only event taking place behind closed doors, the forum offers Energy Efficiency decision makers from across the EMEA an intimate environment for a focused discussion on the crucial trends shaping the industry.
The 11th Telecoms Energy Efficiency Forum: EMEA Edition will take place from the 23rd until the 24th of October 2017 in Istanbul, Turkey.