Building Management at Largest Data Center Campus in Italy

9 min video  /  2 minute read

Project Scope

  • Tags: approx. 124,000
  • Screens: 190
  • Clients: approx. 30 daily active clients, 4 dedicated terminals
  • Alarms: approx 50,000
  • Devices used: More than 250 devices such as ABB AC500 PLCs, Socomec UPS, Pramac gensets, ABB Network Analyzers and MV Relais, Honeywell Firefighting Systems
  • Architectures used: Standard Ignition Architecture
  • Databases used: MySQL database
  • Historical data logged: 15 billion rows, 40,000 historical tags, 2 years data retention, week partitioning

Project Overview

This project provided Aruba with an advanced real-time monitoring and control system for its new Global Cloud Data Center (ANSI/TIA 942 Rating 4 compliant), the largest data center campus in Italy (200.000 sqm).



Aruba wanted to build a modular and flexible data center designed primarily to offer its Italian and International customers colocation services. Aruba needs to control all its subsystems from a single fully integrated system.

The system includes:

  • Data center electrical power distribution (medium voltage - low voltage) and continuity (UPS, batteries, and gensets)
  • Renewable electrical power production (hydroelectric and photovoltaic)
  • Data center firefighting and flooding (with more than 100 sensors)
  • Geothermal use of groundwater for data rooms cooling with traditional chillers in backup
  • Ambient conditions monitoring (temperature, humidity, air quality)
  • Building automation (lighting, HVAC, and access management)

All this data collection and interaction must lead to:

  • Plant monitoring
  • Remote commands
  • Automatic management procedures
  • Real-time alarms, pipelines, and notifications
  • Long-term historian
  • Power consumption analysis
  • Data center KPIs
  • Maintenance



Ignition allowed MTech to easily connect to all the devices installed in the plant and collect a huge amount of data in a structured way (using UDTs). Developing PLC software with Ignition UDTs and templates in mind allowed MTech to create PLC elements using an object-oriented approach.

Some mandatory customer requirements were:

  • Detailed graphic interface
  • SQL database data storage
  • Multiple concurrent clients access
  • Structured alarm notification

All these were fulfilled by Ignition, and unlimited tags/clients licensing gave space for future (and really fast) growth of the system.

The solution includes:

  • Audit log
  • Scheduled data export (reports)
  • Third-party software data access

The next step will be integrating Ignition Perspective (keeping in production the previously existing Vision pages) to give universal access to the system, especially from mobile devices. This integration will lead to new features, such as interactive maintenance.



Ignition has shown its capability to be a flexible platform for creating powerful and beautiful HMIs, allowing developers to use incredible scripting with ease. Data collection is extremely reliable, and level of performance is satisfactory for end users even with massive amounts of data (billions of historical samples).

Online changes have guaranteed that Aruba will not need to interrupt its services in any case. Final cost of the entire Ignition solution is less than any “traditional” SCADA solution.

Project Information

Created By:   MTech Engineering SRL

Launched in 2005 and based in Perugia, Italy, MTech Engineering provides whole integrated solutions to their customers, from system architecture design to commissioning and tuning, using modern technologies in automation in PLC programming, SCADA, and HMI design. Clients are from a wide range of sectors including power distribution, traffic management and security, building automation, water treatment, automotive, and IoT, from EMEA markets.


Project For:   Aruba S.p.A.

Aruba S.p.A., founded in 1994, is the leading company in Italy for data centers, web hosting, email, certified email (PEC) and domain registration services. Aruba is also active in key European markets including France, the UK and Germany, and is the leader in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The company has a huge amount of experience in the management of data centers, with a European network capable of hosting over 200,000 servers. Aruba manages 2.6 million domains, 8.6 million email accounts, 6.1 million certified email accounts, 130,000 physical and virtual servers, and a total of around 5 million customers.

Posted on September 30, 2019