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Dual approach takes the strain out of data centre design

Sarah Mead, Editor

05/05/2016

Tags: Data Centre Management

Topics: Data Centre Management

Increasingly, it is becoming apparent that the remit of responsibility for data centre design is gradually migrating to fall within both the IT department and Facilities Management. No longer, is it seen to solely involve the dark science of IT! Whereas software and data requirements may have largely previously driven the build specification, instead a common understanding of both is coming to the fore.

The intricacies of the space involved, the power supply required and cooling requirements means that facility management should be and is increasingly becoming an integral part of the process. The result is a more realistic solution being developed which addresses both the data needs and the physical structure within which the data centre sits. There are now definite moves away from having to mismatch the various elements together in order to make the entire operation work. In addition, this integrated approach ensures that the design compliments the physical environment and ensures the space operates as efficiently and cost effectively, as possible. This two headed approach when looking at UPS ownership is also vital in ensuring all the stakeholders’ objectives are met.

As Martin Pearce, Sales Director at Critical Power says, “It feels like we are entering a new era in data centre design, where we are increasingly working with both IT and facility management teams. Fortunately this means that whereas before, one element often ended up having to compromise, now where both arenas are developed in conjunction a better, healthier and future-proof data centre is created. Customers are increasingly adopting a holistic approach to the purchase, supply and maintenance by using a one stop shop and manufacturer approved partners with the ability to maintain systems, including resetting battery alarm codes.”

However, really this should not just stop at the design and installation stage.  As once established, the on-going management of a data centre can also prove to have a significant influence on maintaining and improving cost efficiencies.  On-going monitoring and maintenance of equipment ensures the system maintains its efficiency and operates at maximum productivity. However, the intricacies involved in the equipment and set-up can make it expensive to have the right people in-house to ensure this is effectively managed and can actually create a resource strain for many organisations.  Equally fundamental is a joint approach to looking to the future UPS maintenance and ensuring that the company supplying and installing the UPS is capable of maintaining it as well. Recent times has seen manufacturers fighting back against non-maintainers being able to reset battery alarm dates with the alarm being embedded at engineer level with restricted access to such software by approved partners only.

This is likely to be why many organisations are now seeking to outsource either some or all of the facility management of a data centre. Having the use of a specialist data centre expert can make all the difference in ensuring the day to day, data centre operations are primed to be as efficient as possible, supported by a readily available UPS and standby power back up. 

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