The primary focus of data centre managers is to ensure that IT service availability is maintained in support of core business operations. As part of the service strategy, a combination of manufactures and/or facilities maintenance companies are typically engaged to provide planned preventative and emergency callout support for the power, cooling and associated data centre infrastructure.
Whilst ‘generalist’ maintenance contractors, by and large, can provide the desired planned preventative and break fix maintenance services, it is unusual for them to truly understand how the infrastructure can be optimised in order support the prevailing IT load and to maximise energy efficiency.
Example of Avoidable Costs – A good example is a local council data centre which was originally designed to support a 300kW IT critical load and built in 2008. At the time of installation both the cooling and UPS equipment was installed and configured to support the design load of 300kW. Given the age of the data centre the installed technology has inherent limitations, such as fixed speed fans, fixed compressors and lower efficiency UPS equipment.
The data centre was in a very good state of repair having been serviced by a respected national facilities maintenance organisation.
This astronomical, but avoidable sum of money can simply be attributed to lack of expert data centre knowledge by the existing maintainer.
The Alternative Approach – It is entirely possible to avoid unnecessary operational costs by ensuring that service partners not only have the ability to deliver planned preventative maintenance and break fix callout, but they also have a broad and proven range of data centre expertise and knowledge, and in particular can offer enhanced ‘optimisation’ services.
Experienced specialist data centre providers are typically able to provide a comprehensive range of expert 24/7 planned preventative & emergency callout services, remote monitoring, optimisation and facilities management plans.
How will this benefit ongoing performance – Specialist data centre design, build and management companies can in many instances help make a significant contribution to the costs associated with data centre operations. Taking the example scenario detailed above; It was calculated that a total of three out of the six existing Computer Room Air Conditioning (CRAC) units could have been simply switched off or placed on rotational run standby mode. Out of the remaining three CRAC units some basic airflow improvements would have enabled these units to operate on a ‘two run one standby’ mode. In addition to the optimisation and operational recommendations detailed above, a specialist organisation is best positioned to assist and offer advice on a whole range of potential improvements based on ‘pay back’ calculations, with examples including UPS upgrades, aisle containment and environmental settings.
The example scenario detailed above is all too common in both public and commercial sector data centres where existing maintainers have failed to provide ongoing advice as a direct result of their limited or lack of expertise and understanding of data centre environments.
Potential cost savings will of course depend on the scale, age and complexity of the data centre, but it can generally be assumed that you will save money in the longer term by engaging companies with specialist data centre knowledge to provide ongoing maintenance & optimisation services.
Single Source Partnership Approach – Workspace Technology’s core business is the Design, Build & Management of Mission Critical and Data Centre environments. This enables Workspace Technology to provide a single source service partnership maximising reliability and availability of data centre assets through comprehensive range of Mission Critical Facilities Maintenance, including traditional support, remote monitoring, site audits and site facilities engineers.
Natasha Cooke, Workspace Technology’s Service Team Leader, commented “Workspace Technology’s Maintenance & Support Services team provides a range of flexible service and support packages to suit individual client requirements. We continually add value to our service offering and have helped many of our clients reduce energy costs through intelligent configuration changes or equipment upgrades delivering commercial paybacks based on additional energy savings.”
For more information contact us or call 0121 354 4894.