RISK ASSESSMENT, PROBLEM RESOLUTION & DESIGN OPTIONS
Costly data center decisions are too often made without the benefit of a solid assessment of your data center 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.
PLANNET has performed detailed on-site 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 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).
Not all problems need to be resolved, especially where resolution is costly, risky or otherwise disruptive. But to effectively live with and manage a problem, the risks need to be fully understood.
Many vulnerabilities can be resolved at low cost and low risk. PLANNET is often engaged to dig into a failure, uncover the root cause and provide mitigation options. PLANNET is often brought in to resolve a specific problem:
- Failures, especially repeat failures causing unplanned downtime;
- Replacing and often re-configuring end-of-life equipment;
- Not enough white space, or too much white space;
- Not enough utility power, generator, UPS or PDU capacity;
- Not enough cooling capacity or hot spots/poor air management;
- Inability to perform required maintenance without presenting undue risk;
- Emergency Power Off (EPO) shutdown risk;
- Water intrusion risk; and
- Physical security risk.
Once the requirements for a data center reconfiguration, upgrade, or new facility are identified, initial design concepts with rough budget costs need to be developed.
- PLANNET often develops an initial Basis of Design, which provides design direction and allows for budget cost development.
- PLANNET provides full design, work with your selected designers or helps in the selection of designers.
- PLANNET oversees design by others, keeping them on track with client requirements.
PLANNET can also assist in data center construction (upgrades or new-build) and commissioning, or represent you, the client, by providing oversight to other parties performing these critical functions.
PLANNET is an expert in performing upgrades within an active data center, which many data center constructors find challenging.
PLANNET also offers independent, third-party Commissioning to ensure your data center is properly tested before going live.