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R&M unveils AIM solution in Middle East

R&MinteliPhy product geared towards simplification of data centre cable management

R&M unveils AIM solution in Middle East
R&M said the system can be ‘easily retrofitted’ in existing cable environments.

Reichle & De-Massari (R&M) today launched its R&MinteliPhy Automated Infrastructure Management (AIM) solution in the Middle East.

The system has been designed to be easily retrofittable in existing data centre cable installations and allows network managers to continuously monitor all connections within a network.

The AIM solution is geared towards reducing "both cost and complexity" by enabling remote monitoring and multi-site support while unlocking functionality for the management, analysis and planning of cabling and network cabinets.

"Data centres are one of the key IT investment areas for Middle East businesses simply because data and information are now the lifeblood of every organisation," said Jean-Pierre Labry, executive vice-president of R&M Middle East, Turkey and Africa.

"Unfortunately, this also means that data centre downtime due to network failure is increasingly damaging to local businesses. Many of these can be traced back to improper management of the physical infrastructure.

"IT network managers still rely heavily on archaic tools such as notepads, files or tables, which are no longer feasible for the highly complex data centres we are now seeing in the Middle East. With our R&MinteliPhy solution, we intend to eliminate management troubles resulting in smarter and more reliable data centre networks."

IT research firm Frost & Sullivan found that 20% to 40% of ports in a network are forgotten over time with poor cable management being a major cause. The R&MinteliPhy rests on two pillars: the hardware for cabling monitoring and the management server. Data is recorded by means of RFID chips in plastic guards, which are clamped onto the patch cord. These RFID chips contain identification codes and data on the type of connection involved and its task. Sensor strips with LEDs are snapped onto the patch panels. They detect the RFID chips in a no-contact operation and communicate with units called analysers, which are integrated in the network cabinet. The system monitors every port and every patch cord in the network or data centre through this method. LEDs show the status of the connection.

The analysers communicate with the R&MinteliPhy Manage Server. This program is installed on a local server or externally in a cloud. It continuously collects information about the state of the network and the individual connections. Data can be traced in real time with a PC or smart phone, allowing an incorrectly connected cable to be located within seconds.

According to R&M, no special cables or new patch panels are needed to operate the R&MinteliPhy. The system can be retrofitted on existing R&M network components with "minimal" effort. Standardised and automated work procedures are introduced at the time of installation, along with automatically generated documentation that is always up to date.

"These features can drastically reduce investment and maintenance expenses for network infrastructure," said R&M.

"In investigations conducted during product development, R&M found that the payback period for the management system is less than one year."

Labry believes such systems are standard requirements in modern data centres.

"International standards, safety regulations, legal requirements, service agreements and quality management all require network management that is totally reliable," he said.

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