Redundancy from edge to enterprise


Project state: June, 2016

Completion date: Partnership ongoing

Location: Ashburn, Virginia

Goals: Network availability, redundancy, secure remote monitoring

Technologies: SkySpark, Niagara 4, DG Lux

MSI for Tier 4 data center

How Buildings IOT achieved redundancy and growth potential from edge controllers to enterprise energy management for its long-term partner STACK Infrastructure

STACK Infrastructure is an award-winning industry leader in building, owning and operating highly efficient, cost-effective wholesale data centers. Each of its national facilities meet or exceed the highest industry standards for data centers in all operational categories of availability, security, connectivity and physical resilience.

STACK offers wholesale and colocation facilities in four markets throughout the United States: San Jose, Ca.; Hillsboro, Or.; Dallas; and Ashburn, Va. In Ashburn, Virginia, an old AOL data center is being transformed into a state-of-the-art wholesale space with 15 MW of premium capacity, 2N+1 redundancy and more.


Buildings IOT has been working with STACK Infrastructure for more than 10 years and through three acquisitions. With Phase 1 of Ashburn complete, Buildings IOT has connected 12,000 points from control systems in the first 10,000-square-foot data hall plus office space and chiller plant. Each point transmits data to the enterprise command center developed by Buildings IOT and to the backup history servers on 5 minute intervals. Critical points transmit on 1 minute intervals.

As with most Buildings IOT projects, controls are integrated at Ashburn through an operational technology backbone made of fiber connected through Optigo Connect switches and splitters. At the system edge, Buildings IOT opted for Phoenix Contact ILC controllers because they are:

  • IP based.
  • Easily expanded with I/O modules.
  • Able to support multiple communications protocols.
  • Based in the Sedona programming language.
  • Embedded with Niagara framework.


Because Ashburn is a fully 2N+1 redundant data center, Buildings IOT’s integrations in power and cooling systems is also redundant. For example, a primary ILC controller is in constant communication with a redundant ILC controller. If an ILC has any interruption, the whole system is smart enough to switch to the redundant system with zero downtime. The secondary controller continues controlling the system and collecting critical data with no interruption.

All Buildings IOT's STACK energy management dashboard can be configured to provide hierarchical access to any property or tenant space. For example, executives can easily get a high-level overview of each property, while building engineers can access data from the building they control. STACK tenants also get access to energy usage reports and near-real-time views into their server rack space to aid in their data management strategies.

Buildings IOT has been retained for the full Ashburn project, which will be completed in four phases.

Ready for Better Integration?

Find out why STACK Infrastructure continues to rely on Buildings IOT for integration across its growing portfolio of Tier 4 data centers.

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