CRITICAL FACILITIES
ASSESSMENTS

BETTER CRITICAL FACILITIES  & DATA CENTER OUTCOMES

THROUGH EXPERT ASSESSMENTS.

Are you looking to resolve a problem, to design upgrades or design a new data center or other critical facilities? A comprehensive, up-to-date critical facility assessment and audit  is essential to understand the risks, available capacities, costs and equipment reliable life expectancies.

Costly data center and critical facilities decisions are too often made without the benefit of a solid analysis and identification of your alternatives.

Easily-resolved problems are allowed to persist until resolution becomes challenging, or even a crisis.

Day-day operations and minor issues can get all the attention while significant risks remain that are not even fully understood, let alone mitigated.

An assessment may focus on understanding and resolving a known problem.  Or a more comprehensive assessment may be required, beginning with documenting the current-state, including single-point failure risks.  Next the desired future-state is detailed along with a gap analysis.   Options to close gaps are conceptualized and diagramed and budget costs are developed.

With over 25 years of experience, PlanNet has performed detailed onsite assessments of hundreds of data centers and other critical facilities. Whereas no two facilities are alike, a professional assessment should readily highlight concerns relative to other data centers supporting similar functions.  PlanNet’s assessment deliverable typically includes:

  • A concise, executive summary with recommendations and financial considerations.
  • A definition and a model of your current and future data center requirements / demand.
  • A detailed assessment of the current-state of your facility and its effectiveness in meeting your current capacity and reliability requirements. Some key areas:
    • Geographic location risks, location in building risks
    • Usable spaces
    • Equipment current operating condition and maintenance practices
    • Equipment usable capacities with redundancy failover
    • Power and cooling efficiency
    • Equipment loading and available capacity (many operators think they have more in reserve than they actually have)
    • Local and remote monitoring and controls
    • Equipment labeling and signage, as-built construction drawing accuracy, operating procedure effectiveness
    • Operator coverage based on the site-specific needs, qualifications
    • Repair/maintenance and operating costs
    • Desired future-state scenarios, with design options, to address expected changes in requirements. These may involve expansion, downsizing, rightsizing, hardening, refreshing equipment or allowing low-risk, online maintenance
    • Detailed cost estimates for future-state options
    • Block diagrams, sketches or other documentation developed to effectively convey current and future state details.

Data center and critical facilities assessments need to be kept current and should be refreshed at least every few years. Equipment ages, problems develop, loads change, available technology improves, including energy efficiency, which directly affects power costs (the highest ongoing operating cost of data centers).

PlanNet references key elements of established assessment and design guidelines, including those by ANSI/TIA-942.  However we apply experience and client/site-specific understanding to avoid rigid adherence to one-size-fits-all guideline requirements that may deliver little bang for the buck.

PlanNet sometimes represents owners and landlords evaluating real estate suitability or managing tenant spaces.   In other cases we represent tenants evaluating colocation data centers or dealing with landlords.

PlanNet has been helping Fortune 500 and mid-size organizations with proven expertise since 2001. Our critical facilities client experience includes:

  • Data Centers
  • Colocation facilities
  • Mobile phone towers (small “edge” data centers are increasingly located in the hut at the base)
  • Server rooms, Networking & Computer rooms, IT equipment rooms
  • MDFs (small data centers that largely function only to connect building functions to the outside world)
  • Financial Operating Centers
  • Telecom Facilities
  • Call Centers
  • Data Center Verticals:
    • Hospitals
    • Education
    • Laboratories
    • Public Safety Centers
    • Fire & Police Stations
    • Trading Floors
    • Utilities
    • Government

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I cannot thank you enough for your facilitation of the data center migration project. PlanNet is more than a partner…you really are part of our team as a trusted advisor and I would not be where I am today without your expertise and most importantly, your dedication to SEFCU.

Lisa Scott, Chief Technology Officer - SEFCU
[PlanNet] brought experts, technical resources to bear that the other vendors didn’t, and they were able to very concisely summarize the technical discussions and presentations in very manageable sound bites.

Steven Miller, Sr. Manager DC Operations - Daimler Trucks North America

They do a good job, not only providing the analysis that we ask for, but also in explaining it to us, so that we fully understand what went into it and we’re all on alignment on the metrics.

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