Joint Commercialization of New Cloud Service

― AI Achieves a Maximum Energy Savings of 25% through Optimal Management of Temperature Environment in Server Rooms ―

  • Management
  • Sustainability

April 7, 2018

Shimizu Corporation (President: Kazuyuki Inoue) and Mitani Sangyo Co., Ltd. (President: Tadateru Mitani) will operate the SMT (Smart Management Technology) Cloud business using the expertise both companies have accumulated in building and operating data centers. SMT Cloud is a service that uses cloud-based AI to control the temperature environment of rooms that house servers in real time, thereby saving energy. They will also use the SMT Cloud platform to provide a commissioning service to evaluate the functioning of air conditioning in existing server rooms and make proposals such as tuning the air conditioning equipment to obtain the best energy savings, changing the type of air conditioning, or installing equipment upgrades to introduce SMT Cloud. The companies will develop the business primarily in the Hokuriku region where Mitani Sangyo is headquartered during the first year, and will expand it nationwide from fiscal year 2019.

Survey results report that there are roughly 600 data centers for medium and large-sized businesses alone, and there are actually more than 80,000 if small-scale call centers are included. Ensuring stable operation of servers in these facilities requires careful management of room temperature. Reducing the massive expense for air conditioning a server room or, in other words, controlling energy savings on air conditioning equipment is a major issue for facility managers. SMT Cloud and the commissioning service using that platform will provide solutions to this problem.

SMT Cloud is a service which uses AI operated on a cloud through the Internet to control the server room temperature environment in real time and achieve energy savings. To explain in detail, IoT sensors installed in the server room collect data on the temperature environment, the AI compiles and learns from that data then creates a model of the relationship between the temperature in each server room and the operating status of the air conditioning equipment. It then sends control information to the air conditioning equipment to achieve an optimal temperature environment with the least amount of energy required. It simultaneously creates a visual picture of the temperature environment in the room. The network used by SMT Cloud is independent of the existing network in facilities. The running cost, excluding the initial expense, will be around 1.2 million yen a year for a 100-rack room.

SMT Cloud can be expected to provide energy savings of around 25%, although this will differ depending on the performance of the air conditioning equipment. The initial cost is lower for new construction because there is no need to install a control device on the air conditioning equipment for each facility. Moreover, because the bulk of the air conditioning control function is centralized on the cloud side, system adjustments to change server room operation or update air conditioning equipment can be handled rapidly. Visualizing the temperature environment also substantially reduces the work involved in measuring the temperature and other related tasks performed by the facility manager. It is also possible to customize the AI and provide AI equipment directly to the facility.

The commissioning service is a consulting-type service aimed at achieving energy savings in server rooms. Engineers from both companies first analyze the performance of the air conditioning equipment in the server room concerned. Based on the results, they may propose the best tuning for the equipment, changing the type of air conditioning, or energy savings through cloud control. The cost is based on the service. The fee for analyzing the performance of air conditioning equipment will be around 800,000 yen (for a 100-rack room), and there will be an additional fee for a proposal.

The two companies plan to provide commissioning service to around 50 data centers by the end of fiscal year 2020, at minimum. They also plan to expand the SMT Cloud business and provide cloud-based services for monitoring equipment and security management.

<< For Reference >>

Diagram of SMT Cloud Service

The information contained in this news release is the current information on the date of publication. Please be aware that this information may have changed by the time you view it. Please contact the company to inquire for further details.