header-about-us-sub

Five Mission Critical Facility Design Strategies

Mission critical facilities are vital to the continued safe and secure operation of many business and governmental operations. However, the necessity of mission critical facilities is a fairly recent development, and so many laypeople do not understand the fundamentals of mission critical facility design as well as they might.

A lot of unique considerations go into mission critical facility design. These facilities often house delicate and sensitive equipment which needs specialized climate controls to keep it in good working order. Reliable power and security features are also necessary for mission critical facilities. To top it off, many times it is the facilities themselves that need maintenance before the equipment being stored in them does, so ease of care for the facility must be factored into the design process.

These five basic design strategies will help your mission critical facility remain reliable and secure for years to come.

Redundancy

Make sure to have backup systems in place in case primary systems go offline or fail. Some important systems to take into account when planning for backups are power, heating and cooling, and facility locks and physical security measures. Even the very best mission critical facility design cannot prevent the inevitable power outage or equipment wear and tear that are the reason backup systems are in place.

Maintainability

Regular inspections and repairs are necessary events in the life of a mission critical facility. It’s a good idea to implement steps at the mission critical facility design stage to make this maintenance as easy as possible. Whenever possible, standardize machines and equipment. It is also important to keep detailed inspection records and make sure that equipment is easy for maintenance personnel to find and access.

Flexibility

You will want your mission critical facility to be able to grow and change in order to meet future challenges. Though it may seem like a tricky step in the mission critical facility design process, it is very important to leave room for expansion and equipment upgrades. Keep in mind that upgrades and changes will have to be implemented in such a way that they run smoothly without interrupting or affecting ongoing critical applications.

Hardening

Depending upon where your mission critical facility is located, the building may have to face a unique battery of environmental forces. When choosing construction materials and implementing design options, try to be prepared for the worst. If your facility is in an area that is prone to earthquakes, for example, use flexible earthquake-safe materials and architectural techniques. If you live in an area that frequently has strong rainstorms, then reinforce roof areas to prevent leaks from damaging the building.

Security

Mission critical facilities should be designed with an eye towards protection from security breaches and man made threats. Your facility will likely be housing a great deal of sensitive equipment and information, which unfortunately may make it a tempting target for thieves. Make sure that security features are built into the design process and not added as an afterthought.

There are a number of skilled professional contractors who have experience designing and building mission critical facilities. If you are ever in doubt as to whether you have adequately implemented the above strategies, then don’t hesitate to consult a professional.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Working Together With A Computer Room Power Company

data center buildComputer rooms and other data centers are becoming increasingly important in today’s fast-paced business world.  Computers are indispensible technology and are responsible for helping employees do more; with resources kept close at hand, a business can become more independent and less reliant on outside organizations.  Cultivating a technical team with up to date skills and strategies is important though there are some facets of your business where outside expertise is still vital.

It’s to your advantage to contract with an outside computer room power company because their entire staff is dedicated to the well-being of your data center.  Even if your organization is able to create a sizable team of data center technicians, it’s not likely that they’ll be able to match the number of skilled individuals that a power company can make available to you.  The benefits of working with a computer room power company don’t stop at personnel.  Technicians from your preferred computer room power company can assist you with the design of your data center.  This includes evaluating the available space and making suggestions about the computer racks and ventilation system that would work best.

Ventilation is should be a primary part of this computer room design.  Ventilation, heating, and cooling should be kept in mind regardless of how the computer room will be used, though data centers have particular needs.  It can be difficult for an inexperienced team to determine the precise ventilation needs of a data center.  The average rate of air flow through the space has to be carefully calculated; temperature shifts have to be considered, too.  Climate control is a necessary part of every data center so an experienced perspective is especially helpful.

A common mistake made by inexperienced computer room designers is a refusal to buy the computer racks needed for the equipment.  Also called server racks, these items lift servers off the ground and mount them securely in vertical orientations.  Initially, the cost of a dozen or more server racks may appear prohibitive; purchasing them on the say-so of an outside contractor may seem like an unwise idea.  Computer racks actually serve many purposes.  To start with, they help facilitate the necessary air flow through the collection of computers.  This helps to keep the ambient room temperature at a reasonable level.  It also helps disperse the warmer air that collects between server towers.  Racks also make access easier during repair and maintenance.  And finally, server racks allow efficient use of the available space.  Storing servers near the floor ignores the considerable vertical space available in your room.  Space is put to better use when server towers are stored vertically as well as horizontally.

A computer room power company does a lot more for you than simply provide you with a reliable power source.  They can connect you with a qualified team of professional engineers and technicians.  These technicians will assist in every aspect of computer room design and operation.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Planning A New Computer Room

Technology is an important part of our lives and it’s sure to become even more important.  Most people use a computer on a daily basis to send email, print out forms, check their bank account, and much more.  As a result of this increasingly wired lifestyle, computer rooms and technology centers are becoming a frequent fixture in all kinds of locations.   Hotels, motels, schools, hospitals, and public libraries are making technology resources some of their basic offerings.  Before new computer equipment can be brought into a building, a correctly designed space needs to be prepared.

Several considerations have to be kept in mind when starting a new computer room design.  First, there needs to be adequate power sources; the wall outlets placed in the room have to be carefully placed with regards to the building’s overall electrical design.  Computer rooms tend to use large amounts of power which can overload the circuits if not balanced correctly.  Keep in mind that computer monitors, stereo speakers, and other auxiliary devices will need their own electrical supply.  Planning the power sources in a computer room should be done by an experienced electrical engineer.  This is especially true for older buildings that weren’t initially designed to supply the power required by modern computer room design.

Technology selection is the next thing you should consider.  How many computers do you want to make available?  Will there be printers, copiers, fax machines, or scanners?  To a large degree, the equipment you place in the space will determine its use; further, the available equipment will also determine who uses it.  A computer room with a couple basic terminals will be used primarily by people wanting to check their email or social networking accounts.  Students will be drawn to spaces with available printers and scanners.  People wanting to do research will need word processing software available and ports for flash drives.

Not all computer rooms are intended for the public. Even in hotels, libraries, and schools where people are free to use a technology lab, there is likely to be another one or two computer rooms at work behind the scenes.  A building’s data center will have to be designed with as much care as user-oriented tech labs are.  Employees need to have their own work stations, too.

Your building’s computer room design will have a direct impact on who uses it and how.  To get the most out of the space you have available, plan the space carefully.  Think about how it would feel to a visitor; are you able to access the services you require?  You might find it helpful to consult with an architect or other design expert.  It’s also helpful to tour facilities similar to your own and see how computer room design has been accomplished in other locations.  That way you can get a good idea of what furniture, electronics, and other items are needed to create a useful and inviting space.

Posted in Computer Room Design | Comments Off

Protecting Your Data With Backup Power

data center equipmentWith the advancement of technology, some people take for granted what is available to them every hour of the day and night. Being able to hop on the internet or your fun to find information, socialize, or play games has become such an integrated part of many people’s lives that suddenly not having access to it can be devastating. This can be really annoying when it is something as simple as your battery dying on your laptop or phone. For those who are extra cautious, a spare and charged batter could solve the issue. If that is what you do when you suddenly run out of power, what does a larger facility that houses millions of people’s data do when power loss occurs? This is where a data center facility power company steps in.

 

It is important for a data center facility power company to provide continuous power. If you have ever experienced the nuisance of not being able to get online to do some searching or being able to make a phone call, then you probably understand quite well just how frustrating a loss of service can be. In some cases, you might have even complained to your internet service provider or cell phone carrier. Such losses of power often translate into the loss of money for such businesses. In other words, losing power is out of the question if you want to retain customers and be seen as a reliable source for service.

 

Companies that provide services that have to do with serving millions of customers at once need a lot of data. There will often be entire buildings that are constructed simply to house the data infrastructure needed to keep an internet service provider or cell phone carrier up and running. In order to keep these data facilities up and running all the time a data center facility power company monitors it. If you’re wondering what such a power company does, it’s pretty simple: the power company does its best to ensure that the power supply is not interrupted no matter what the power outside the facility is doing. This means that hopefully even when a huge storm knocks out a lot of power, this critical facility will still be able to function.

 

Companies work with a data center facility power company in order to please and protect you as the customer. These companies know how important it is to their customers to have access to data or use of their devices. It doesn’t matter what is going on around the main data facility, customers expect certain things of their devices. When customers don’t get what they expect, it can easily amount to huge financial losses for certain businesses. This is especially true if any of your data is actually lost due to power loss. In other words, critical power companies are working just as much to protect you as the businesses that hire them.

 

You have every right to expect good and reliable service from companies that offer them to you. Mission critical companies often rely on the help of a data center facility power company to keep them up and running no matter what, thus hopefully keeping customers happy and satisfied. Remember the next time you get online or use your cell phone, that critical power company is not only helping out your service provider; they are helping you, too.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Give Your Data Center Adequate Power

Data centers operate around the clock, every day of the year.  They are responsible for many tasks, including security monitoring and hosting the business’s Internet server.  These tasks can’t be interrupted which is why many data centers have their own separate power source.  Under normal circumstances, this power source comes from the building’s main supply, though will probably be on a different circuit.

The power supply to your building comes from a municipal electric company and travels to the building via conventional power lines.  Once it arrives at your building, the electricity is dispersed along the building’s own electrical system.  Power usage experiences peaks and troughs throughout the day; while some equipment is left on around the clock, most machines are shut off during the night.  Still, your building continues to consume power.  Heating and cooling systems, security systems, and data centers require a stable power source.  Because the of variable demands made on a building’s power supply, many data centers are give their own circuits to run on; this ensures that they always get as much power as they need.  This way they’re less likely to be affected by power shortages experienced by the rest of the building.

Many businesses choose to install additional data center power systems that aren’t connected to the primary electrical system.  This extra power may be provided by another power company, by an in-house generator, or by a battery back-up.  Generators and battery systems usually switch on when the regular power supply is interrupted.  Data center operators can also switch these systems on manually or test them without disturbing the function of the computers.

Data center power needs involve more than just the computers, servers, and monitors being used.  Ventilation systems also need to receive a steady supply of power to continue to operate.  Computers generate quite a bit of heat, which an internal fan helps to disperse.  When many computers are kept together in a room, the collective heat has the potential to damage the equipment.  For this reason, extra ventilation and cooling is built into these rooms.

There are several data center power companies that you can choose to contract with.  Some are geared to serving the needs of medium-sized businesses while others are particularly geared towards the needs of large businesses and corporate organizations.  Regardless of how large your particular organization is, you can expect that the company you work with to provide you with excellent customer service, skilled technical support, and a responsive help line.  Customer service phone lines are open twenty-four hours to answer your questions and respond to any concerns you have.  You can also arrange for visits from their technicians to perform regular maintenance on the data center and any backup power supplies you are using.

Your business relies on the data center for many things.  A reliable back-up data center power supply will give you considerable peace of mind.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Maintain The Quality Of Your Supply Of Power With UPS Maintenance

Many business owners who deal with uninterruptable power supply UPS maintenance are familiar with the operation of a UPS from their home computer systems. The heart of a UPS is a large capacity battery. This is the reason for the weight and the cost of a UPS. The idea is that computer systems can be damaged when they are shut off abruptly. Computers are designed to go into a shutdown mode, where the equipment is gracefully turned off. This is the main purpose of a UPS, to power the equipment through its shutdown cycle.

A UPS has the added benefit of prolonging the use of a computer through a short power outage. This is a common occurrence in many areas. It allows the computer user to work transparently through a degradation in the grid power supply. It will actually help with low-quality power situations as well. It can filter some of the voltage dips and interference that sometimes travel on wall power.

Obviously, the core specification of a UPS is the time it may maintain a system. One way to make the calculation is to decide on the critical times for your setup. This may be 20 minutes of time the computer may be operated through a power outage plus 10 minutes for the shutdown cycle for a total of 30 minutes. Now, let us say that only your computer and backup drive are plugged into the UPS (you may not want to power non-critical items like printers and the like). If the total power required for both the computer and the backup drive is 500W, then you should choose a UPS with at least 250W-hr of capacity.

Many of the components of your home UPS transfer over to your business setup, with one exception: a business setup rarely allows for a total shutdown. The UPS is used to make sure that the business systems essentially always have power. For this reason, you design and maintain UPS systems to work 24/7.

One strong strategy for UPS maintenance is a rigorous schedule of inspections. One such schedule can work like the maintenance on your automobile, where regular checkups are performed based on mileage, and particular checkups contain more steps than others do. As an example, a facilities manager can perform UPS maintenance checks quarterly, semiannually, annually, and biannually. On a quarterly basis, the inspector can check the UPS for loose connections, signs of insulation burn, and any other types of wear. On a semiannual basis, inspectors can check for liquid contamination from batteries and capacitors. This is also a good time to clean and vacuum the UPS enclosures, and to perform temperature and humidity tests on the environmental equipment. On an annual basis, inspectors should use a heat sensing fun to make sure that none of the connections is generating heat. This is one of the best ways to identify problems early on in their cycle. This is also the time to perform a complete operational test of the UPS. Use a battery run-down test to make sure that no batteries are nearing the end of their lifecycles. As a final part of UPS maintenance, test biannually the transfer switches, maintenance bypasses, and circuit breakers.

Use these steps or ones you determine to complete UPS maintenance and preserve the reliability of your power system.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Reliability Is The Key To Maintain Mission Critical Power

New businesses that are setting up their office requirements often explore the need for mission critical power as part of their facility planning. A reliable supply of power is necessary to maintain smooth operations for the company, and can be especially important for the IT department of the company.

As companies plan the specifications for their mission critical power, they need to be aware of the three common failure modes for power outages. First is the direct mode, that is, any equipment that depends on electricity for operation will be down. The second is startup time. Many systems, particularly computer-driven systems, must go through a boot up or other startup routine that can take minutes or hours. Precision machinery is particularly notorious for requiring a significant warm up period. This startup time must be added to the downtime to find the total effect on the company’s operational reliability. The third mode is potential stress and damage due to electrical outages. These are often components that can become damaged or fail if the air conditioning goes out, and allows them to overheat. Obviously, this can cause a significant amount of total downtown as equipment must be repaired or replaced.

Companies have two lines of defense as they design their facilities to use mission critical power. The first is power supply reliability, and the second is power supply redundancy. For the former, the reliability of the power supplies for critical components, measured as mean time between failures (MTBF) must be very high. The total MTBF for a system is highly dependent on the reliability of the components most prone to failure. When choosing a power supply, the MTBF should exceed (by at least double) the MTBF of the remainder of the system, in order for it not to be the weak link. By choosing MTBF in this way, a systems engineer can specify the reliability of the computing components, and be sure that the addition of the power supply will not lower the overall system MTBF.

The other strategy for a company is redundancy. In order to deal with component failure of an individual power supply, a second supply should be connected in parallel as a backup. The second supply monitors the first, and at any sign of problems, disables the first power supply and turns on its own outputs. At the same time, it will send a signal to the facilities manager to let him know that at least one of the backup systems is online, and that a part of the system no longer has a redundancy, and needs immediate attention.

Good design for mission critical power also requires that if the main power grid goes offline, that at least the Tier 3 and Tier 4 IT equipment still have power. This is usually done with an independent generator. This requires significant on-site generation capability. It is only meant to last for the minutes that the main power grid is down. Otherwise, the job of the backup generator is to keep the systems powered long enough for a graceful shutdown.

These are some of the considerations for mission critical power for a company. Each business must determine his own requirements for the maximum downtime allowable for his operations, and design his power infrastructure accordingly.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Energy Providers Ensure Mission Critical Services

Be they solar, gas, electric or other types of power providers, any modern day energy service or provider knows the importance of ensuring its customers that their most critical applications and resources will be protected and able to receive the level of energy and service that is required. To lose electrical power could literally cost lives for a hospital. Military locations could become extremely vulnerable without proper power. A greenhouse operation could lose its crop without proper heat in the winter months. These are just some of the examples of why it is important to make sure you are signed up with a true mission critical power company.

For the average consumer at home, the thought of any power loss is inconvenient for sure. But for businesses, especially those with very sensitive and unique needs, the loss of power goes far beyond inconvenience. Energy companies have departments and teams that work on not just one but multiple programs that are designed to make sure that all customers, but especially those key customers with such urgent needs, can count on power. This includes backup options in emergency situations. A good mission critical power company likely has a series of backup options, including backups for the backup.

In addition, individual companies or businesses will have their own emergency energy plans. A hospital, for example, will have far more than just an emergency generator. The hospital administration will no doubt have a department that is dedicated to emergency planning, of which energy loss is one such emergency for which to plan. This team or department will work together and also with a good mission critical power company to devise a very detail plan for what to do in the case of any loss of power. This may include anything from backup generators to how and when to move patients to another facility.

Protection of data is another concern for many companies, especially those with highly sensitive material that could expose either the company or the public to some risk if not adequately protected. Everything from backup systems, server systems and more can be involved in helping to make sure that valuable information and resources are protected and making a business customer trust that a mission critical power company will be there to make that happen.

The ways that an energy provider may create a strong ability to deliver always on power vary greatly. Some may be by instituting good power saving programs. At a most basic level, these can often times be what makes the difference in having power when needed versus not having power when needed. Most people can remember the power crisis and “rolling blackouts” in California less than a decade ago when residents and businesses there were told there simply was not enough power. Silicon Valley businesses, for example, were highly concerned about information security and hospitals, military institutions and other such facilities throughout the state were watchful for patient and public safety.

Mission critical power companies are very important for our society today with its inherent need for constant power and access to not just comforts but information, security and appropriate lifelines in critical times.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Critical Steps In Data Center Maintenance

Any business or organization that relies on data for any part of its success should take data center maintenance seriously. It should be front and center on any CEO’s or president’s list of necessary functions for the organization. If this is not given the proper support and focus nor properly executed, the effect of any loss of data could be catastrophic in multiple ways, including financially. Some of the key components that need to be checked and maintained regularly include energy generators, UPS systems, HVAC infrastructure, batteries, breakers, switches and components, PDUs and ATS. In addition, IR scans should undergo routine performance and checks as part of an overall data center maintenance program and plan.

A data center manager should follow a few basic steps in ensuring proper maintenance. This starts with fully defining the goals of the program, what information needs to be protected, what is considered “appropriate” downtime and more. Setting up a procedure for documenting all activity is a critical step. In the event of any problem, having the ability to go back later and try to identify where a problem was introduced can help tremendously in the effort to prevent the same or similar situations in the future. Similarly, if things have been going well, it is equally important to be able to identify the processes and steps that are making that happen in order ot continue them.

Data center maintenance also is best done when many tasks are performed routinely. Setting up regular intervals for different steps helps to avoid the problem of something getting forgotten and not done which has a greater chance of leading to an outage or other downtime than if it had been addressed in a timely fashion. Data center managers should make sure that overall company management is aware of the plans and actual events. This helps them to understand the parameters and also be more willing to help spend necessary dollars to increase data center management efforts because they understand the overall landscape and situation.

A map of the data center can be very helpful. Having an inventory of all components of the data center connected to a schedule of who checks what when and how, goes a long way toward ensuring no balls are dropped or nothing falls through the cracks. Every single component from servers to power cords is important in the efficient operation of the data center. In order to deliver the utmost in uptime or lowest occurrence of data loss, data center maintenance needs to be one hundred percent thorough. It also needs to ensure that every task has an identified owner with a good set of priorities. When every team member knows his or her responsibilities clearly, you have a better chance of making sure they will actually get done.

When creating a data center maintenance plan, do not forget to follow all safety guidelines. There are many hazards in a data center world as electricity abounds and is at the center of all operations. Also, it is important to make sure that all personnel understand safety codes and processes in order to make the workplace safe and hazard free for all. Following these few basic parameters will help make sure that a data center is well equipped to provide the services it is needed for.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Data Center Construction & Importance Of Reliability

Explore Requirements For Modern Data Center Construction

Data center construction began to be an important consideration for many businesses, schools, and other consumers of computing power since the 1970s. At that time, large mainframes would take up an entire room. Another room could be taken up with the data backup tape drives. These early data centers had two things in common: they used a lot of electricity and they generated a lot of heat.

Interestingly, the computer power that used to be contained in a single room is less than is found on the common garden-variety laptop today. Similarly, the data in all the tape drives in the second room could be held on a single modern flash backup drive. However, the need for computing power has grown at least as quickly as the industry’s ability to shrink the size of computer hardware. Now that computing has become a critical requirement for many companies, data centers are built as a part of many campuses. Similarly, with the increased use of distributed computing such as used in cloud computing, stand-alone data centers have been constructed to supply the need.

Data center construction has some specific hardware and software requirements to be reliable and efficient. The main hardware in a data center is a server. Groups of servers are mounted in rows forming corridors, like the arrangement of many libraries. The standard 19-inch rack-mount servers, also known as 1U servers, are one implementation. Servers can also be constructed as a silo that can occupy several square foot of floor space. When servers fail, the entire group can be replaced at a time.

The key to an effective data center is reliable communications. This means that both the servers and their power supplies are designed in a redundant fashion. Two storage servers may maintain the exact same data, in order for the backup to step in if the primary unit has any troubles. Computing servers may operate in parallel in order to make sure that the computing stream is uninterrupted in the face of any hardware malfunctions. The other component of reliability is environmental control. This includes air conditioning, fire control, and equipment security devices. In addition, the main power routing must be carefully controlled. For some large data centers, the main power would be enough to run a small town. In the same way, data centers must be monitored for air pollution. They expel gases in the form of diesel exhaust under normal operation.

The software and control of the data center is also important. The regulatory body of the Telecommunications industry Association (TIA) generates specifications for data center construction. The standard is published in TIA942 Telecommunications Infrastructure Standard for Data Centers.

Data center construction follows one of four tiers, in order of increasing reliability. Tier 1 offers little hardware redundancy, and guarantees a maximum down time of 3290 ppm (parts per million). Tier 2 adds redundancy components with a maximum down time of 2590 ppm. Tier 3 guarantees multiple, unique distribution paths. Each component must have redundant power supplies. The downtime is 180 ppm max. Tier 4 requires environmental controls be redundant as well, and has a maximum downtime of 50 ppm.

As businesses specify the requirements for their own data center construction, or the specifications for the cloud they plan to use, they match their requirements to the capacity and reliability of the data centers they are considering.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off