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The High Costs of Downtime in a Mission Critical Facility

It isn’t hard to imagine what the outcome would be if a mission critical facility lost power for even a minute. With so much depending on those significant businesses, it isn’t surprising that thousands of dollars in revenue would be lost with every minute of down time. It is crucial to make sure that mission critical facilities receive the back-up they require to remain functioning at all times since they have so many people depending on them. There are many different mission critical facilities that demand the highest level of technical expertise. These include call centers, command centers, microwave and radio tower facilities, web-hosting telecom sites, network operation centers, optic transport facilities, storage and distribution centers, and data centers. Furthermore, for these facilities to succeed, they must undergo maintenance to assure that they are not going to fall into unseen problems. Data centers, for instance, should undergo data center maintenance to prevent down time incidences.

Some down time situations can’t be avoided, such as in the case of weather induced circumstances. But there are many other instances where down time can be prevented which might affect the performance of the facility. One difficulty might be the failure of a cooling system or server. If the equipment is properly maintained, the difficulties can be prevented. It is estimated that about 30 percent to 40 percent of system breakdowns that were caused by infrastructure hardware failures could have been avoided had the systems been properly maintained. Facility performance is affected by lack of preventative data center maintenance and can have a larger impact than down time. For instance, when a task takes longer to accomplish because of lower performance from the equipment, this can have an accumulative effect on productivity, costing a great deal of money. The percentage of loss in the performance can equal greater loss in revenue than down time. Data center maintenance is often placed on the back burner for several reasons. Sometimes the task seems arduous and the daily demands of a facility are overwhelming. A company manager might blame a lack of time or resources to be the reason for putting off necessary procedures. However, data center maintenance can actually save money and time by preventing costly problems in the future.

Data Center

There are many things in a data center that require maintenance on variable levels. Transformers, air and water distributions systems, and power distribution units require little maintenance. But fire alarm systems, chillers, and generators depend on a high level of care. Other devices such as an uninterruptible power supply is somewhere in between. Some apparatuses seem to get overlooked more than others such as switchgear, circuit breakers, power distribution units, UPS’s, batteries, and HVAC systems. A data center maintenance strategy can be implemented to help accomplish your maintenance goals. The first thing to do is to define your maintenance program goals and assign maintenance priorities. The next thing is to keep track of your maintenance history and other information. Another point is to make sure you are consistent with regular maintenance procedures. In addition, you should set safety and cleanliness standards. All in all, the benefits of preventative maintenance is truly an advantage to a data center or any other mission critical facility and can help to keep the company running, safe, efficient, and strong.

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The Importance of a 24/7 Data Center Emergency Response Company

Life is unpredictable and can produce unexpected circumstances. Hurricanes, lightning and wind storms, and tornadoes can result in damage to your computer systems and destroy important data. Although you can’t control natural disasters, and you can’t always protect your equipment in the midst of one, you can prevent the destruction of important data and have confidence in the security of your valuable information. With businesses, data is critical for survival. It’s nice to know that when so much is at stake, your information can be secure with a 24/7 data center emergency response company. The benefit of a company offering around the clock services is that you have the best in repair and technical support to attend to your emergencies whenever they might occur. A response team can prevent a long down time and save your business money. In addition to repairing your equipment in the case of weather related incidences, there are many other advantages to building a partnership with a data center emergency response company that can truly benefit your business.

data center design

A 24/7 data center emergency response company can provide maintenance services that not only predict but prevent problems that may lead to down time. Predictive services can ensure that every component of your mechanical and electrical system is up to date and within the manufacturer’s specs. Other services may include air conditioning or uninterruptible power systems and back-up generators. Whether you choose a traditional perimeter, ceiling mounted, or a refrigerant-based high density cooling system, focused heat removal is the answer to high density cooling and can be obtained through a quality cooling installation. Power generators and UPS systems come in different varieties and are crucial in backing up your system in the case of a power failure. Generators can include diesel, natural gas, and hydrogen fuel cell technology. Products relative to power distribution and circuit protection are switch boards, transformers, panel boards, safety switches, power monitoring and control systems, and distribution and control components. These products can help provide your system with high efficiency and effectiveness. Another option that 24/7 data center emergency response companies can offer is data storage. In addition to creating extra working space, your company can save time and money and allow your staff to focus on the more significant tasks they were trained for instead of storage maintenance.

Finding a good 24/7 data center emergency response company may require some research on your part, but it will pay off in the end. The company should be able to guarantee any of your mechanical or electrical projects to run smoothly and be performed by qualified and experienced technicians. When an emergency does arise, the response center should provide the best diagnostic and restoral technologies so that they can expedite a full system recovery. Their technicians should be highly trained with the latest electrical and mechanical technology.

A 24/7 data center emergency response company should be dedicated to their customers and have the experience to be able to provide you with the most reliable and quality service. By placing your trust in a 24 hour service, you can rest assure that your needs will be met no matter what time of the day it is and your business can continue on the road to success.

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UPS Maintenance

Data CenterThere will be times when the normal supply of power for your electrical equipment will no longer be sufficient. It could be that too many items are plugged in, that you are operating your equipment beyond its normal capacity, or that a winter storm has knocked out power to your neighborhood. When these problems occur, you lose productivity, profits, and you can lose important data not yet saved on your systems. It can even be dangerous to lose power without advanced warning, say for those in the middle of root canal at the dentist’s office. You need a backup system that will provide you with necessary power to maintain your systems in the event that some such event should occur.

An uninterruptible power supply, or UPS, steps in to provide this backup service. It is an item of electrical hardware that is places between the main power supply and the electronics you need to keep running. Depending on which model you choose, it will have the power capacity to supply your equipment in the case of a power outage for the amount of time you choose. And as its name suggests, it ensures an immediate, nonstop supply of power so that there are no costly gaps in power. Often UPS systems are made to plug conveniently into a normal socket.

Another added benefit of a UPS is that it can filter out disturbances from the main power supply. When the voltage from the main power source decreases, leading to a brown out, or electrical noise, like surges and spikes occur, it can really affect the life duration of your electronics. Such problems made your electronic devices age faster, making them wear out and need to be more replaced more often as well.

While it would be nice to just plug the UPS in and let it go to town, there are certain things you must do in order to make sure your UPS can do its job effectively. Most UPS systems come with user-friendly software that enables the unit to take over in the event of a power outage or surge. Without installing this software, the UPS device is an utterly useless piece of machinery gathering dust under your desk. Also, if you do not plug in the cable connecting the computer to the UPS, they will not be able to communicate in the case of a problem.

Checking the levels of the UPS battery regularly also helps avoid UPS failure. Make sure that the battery holds a charge and the strength necessary to power the systems should the main supply fail. Schedule these reviews regularly so the test never gets missed. If in these tests anomalies occur or a battery fails to pass inspection, always replace it immediately.

One of the more common reasons a UPS fails is because people hook it up to their laser printers. Inside each laser printer is a fuser that melts the toner applied to the paper, which is heated in a burst of power. Most laser printers will overpower the UPS and cause it to shutdown. UPS are simply not fast enough to meet the demands of these kinds of printers.

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Benefits Of Rittal TS8 Enclosures For Easy Access And Durability

Stuff, stuff, stuff. It is one common factor that all businesses deal with. And it is all useful stuff, too, because if it was not, it could be thrown away. But equipment has to be stored. Paperwork has to be filed so it can be found later. Parts have to be organized. Computers have to be accessible but protected from damage.

Even dealing with all of those items and issues, keeping a workplace neat and organized is also a top priority. Employees need to be able to get the materials they need when they need them; important papers have to be available for legal purposes; and expensive equipment needs to be kept safe so it can be used. Oftentimes businesses are not really sure what to do with all of these items and requirements. If only you could design a custom place, just the perfect size and perfect design that allows it to work for your needs. Do you need cabinets that hang on the wall or stand firm in the middle of the floor? Do you need shelves without doors or doors on both front and back? Or maybe even on the narrow side rather than the wide one? Do you need doors that lock for security purposes or doors that lift up so they can be moved out of the way during the day? What size would work best for your needs? If you have multiple units can they attach together or can they stand separately? Can they be used indoors and outdoors?

Fortunately, there is a solution that is eminently adaptable to every business environment, every business size, every business need. The company Rittal has practically perfected the solution for you with their TS8 enclosures. These are modular units, which means that they can be custom built to your exact specifications with standard interchangeable parts. So, for instance, you can choose size, door style, mounting style, etc. for your TS8 enclosure and it can all be built just as you want it, but without the expense of hiring custom-built enclosures. Not only that, but the quality of the TS8 enclosures is top rate – so you are getting the style and usefulness of top of the line custom-created enclosures, or maybe even more, but the cost is likely less.

These enclosures are designed for businesses and are absolutely durable and hardy. For example, the frames are created to handle large load capacities, up to an unbelievable 3,200 pounds. The hinges are multi-point and can hold up to 200 pounds just in case an employee decides to hang on the door! Their mounting panels, if you want the enclosures mounted, have a really large mounting surface to make sure that the enclosure will be securely attached to the wall. Because these enclosures are not designed for home use, but for businesses, they are also designed for instant grounding without a great deal of effort. In fact, some of the enclosures come with standard size and rear wall brackets that are ground-ready.

As you can see, everything you could possibly ever have wanted in an enclosure is available in the TS8 system, and if you are even thinking about installing or upgrading an enclosure in your business place, you should definitely look at these by Rittal.

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The Importance of Power Distribution Strips

Just like disposal engineers actually turn out to be what used to be called garbage men, the name power distribution strips is sort of a fancy way of saying plug strips, just like the kind you might have at home next to your entertainment center. Of course, a power distribution strip is much more important than that one that allows you to plug your TV, your DVD player, and your CD player all in at once. They are designed to be used by huge servers in data centers and instead of just letting you plug in 5 things at once with maybe a bit of power surge protection if you sprung for the more expensive model, these are very sophisticated devices meant to perform many functions at once.

Data Center

First of all, and most obviously, they supply power to the servers in a data center and since no computer can work without electricity getting to it, this is a very vital function. As you might imagine, it takes a lot more work to design a data center’s power needs than just throwing the strip in there and plugging in a few things. They are composed of transformers and circuit breakers and they may also include monitoring devices so that if there are any fluctuations in the power supply or distribution of that power, alarms may sound or automatic backup plans may trigger to make sure that the servers and the data they are storing are protected. Some can be wired through computers of their own that allow for remote controlling of the power distribution so that circumstances can be monitored on a minute by minute basis. If that is the case, then systems can be shut down if necessary in a controlled way from a remote location rather than just cutting all power to the entire room or even worse not being able to control the power unless someone is on site. It is important as all circumstances to be considered. Would there come a time when the servers need to be shut down and a reboot started? Will the system be growing? Will there be a chance of a power surge or blackout and a switch to a generator becomes necessary?

When a company starts planning for a data center, considering power distribution strip placement, size, and numbers is absolutely vital. If that company fails to do very careful planning, things could get extremely dicey pretty quickly because the circuits might be overloaded or there may not be enough power distribution strips to handle all of the requirements for the servers. Also, if the company has not thought about what sort of power strips they want, they may not invest in those that fit all of their needs and they might actually have data lost by those servers and this could even be detrimental to customers if they are providing service to others or to their own business if it causes a loss of very important data. Also, careful planning allows for the most efficient use of power and considering the typical cost of electrical power these days, with no end in sight, prevention of waste needs to be a priority. In other words, all of the plugs in the power distribution strip that can be used should be used.

By planning ahead, you can get the most use out of those power distribution strips and they will be a vital tool in your data center.

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Benefits Of Installing A Proper Power Generator For A Mission Critical Facility

Does your business run into power failure problems? Have power outages become a big irritant and complaint in your business? It is vital that your business finds a mission critical facility that uses a proper power generator and is reliable for all of your network users. It is worthy to note that mission critical facilities are referred to in a vast array of other names, such as: carrier hotels, cyber centers, co-location centers, telecom hotels, co-hotels, server farms and data centers. These names do tend to cause some confusion to those that are new to tech world; with this being said please know that there are many brick-and-mortar buildings that will utilize space to be a mission critical facility.
Mission critical facilities play house to computer and network servers for anything from a very large corporation to numerous businesses alike. If there is a power failure or system downfall, numerous people and businesses can be affected. In fact, some types of power failures in mission critical facilities can result very costly and expensive penalties and fees. The customers, the company, investors, board members, vendors, employees, net value and even the reputation of the company itself can all be affected by a power failure.

 

Data Center

So, with this important fact combined with the liability of millions of dollars in revenue and a bad reputation, it is imperative to install a mission critical facility power generator to 100% guarantee that your systems and users are not ever subject to a power failure or any type of power interruption. Because it is not just important to make sure that the entire infrastructure housing the equipment has excellent mechanical and electrical systems, the facility must also have a power generator for cases when power failures and interruptions happen do happen.

When a mission critical facility power generator is used then businesses and companies can save not only on time but also on costly expenses. Chicago, LA, San Fran, New Jersey, New York and other large, metro hubs of business are where hundreds of mission critical facilities are held. It is crucial for these sites and buildings to have a reliable and dependable mission critical facility power generator. When the system never goes down, more and more businesses will want to use those services.

There is more than one benefit that results in businesses that decide to house servers in a mission critical facility. First things are they are reliable and dependable. Having the ability to focus on the operations of the business itself and making data exchanges more efficient within computer networks is imperative for companies to succeed when they don’t have the resources available for their own protection against power failures.

Customers everywhere in all businesses want service availability all the time, not just during banking hours. This is why technology must never fail due to a power outage. When a mission critical facility power generator is used and properly installed, business systems are guaranteed to operate 365 days a year, 24/7. It will feel good knowing that no matter what happens in regards to power failures or power interruptions the network will not go down. Companies can rest easy knowing that they can deliver to their customers the access they have promised as well as offering support around the clock. Networks can operate seamlessly and dependably for the maximum revenue possible.

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Eaton UPS Creating Energy Efficient Uninterruptible Power Supplies

data center equipmentPower protection is extremely important in keeping IT assets protected from power loss issues. Even small outages are a problem to most companies and businesses. Losing power, even only for a second, can result in events that leave IT equipment down from fifteen minutes up to a day or more. This downtime is extremely costly for companies because lost time means a loss in money. Utility power isn’t clean and it isn’t very reliable when everything depends on the power to be stabilized and available around the clock. Voltage can vary and this means that while utility services promise that they will deliver a 208-phase voltage they can actually deliver a range approximately from 190 volts to nearly 225 volts on any given moment. These variations are wide enough that they can cause significant damage to IT equipment. Eaton UPS can create an uninterruptible power supply that can save sensitive electrical equipment in the event of a power loss.

So what is a UPS? UPS stands for uninterruptible power supply. Simply put, it is a device that provides a backup power for when the electricity fails. It provides power for as long as necessary for critical equipment to shut down properly to avoid data loss or long enough to retain operational until a generator can come back online. A UPS also monitors incoming power and conditions it so that surges and lags are not able to cause damage to sensitive electronic equipment. There are three main types of UPS; single conversion systems, double conversion systems and multi-mode systems.

The Eaton UPS single conversion systems work to feed the incoming AC power from the source to the IT equipment and when the input falls out of range from the inputted limits, the UPS will work to use its inverter to draw electricity from the battery virtually disconnecting the AC input to prevent major problems from backfeeding. The unit remains on battery power until AC input resumes or until the battery dies.

A double conversion system converts power twice. Firstly AC power is converted into DC and fed into an output converter. This inverter then converts the DC power back to AC power before feeding it into the IT equipment. This process isolates and smoothes out the loads that are received from the utility power feeds, ensuring that the equipment only receives reliable and clean electricity. In the event that AC input falls under predefined limits then the converter begins to draw battery power.

An Eaton UPS multi-mode system combines features from both the single and double conversion systems while providing improvements in reliability and efficiency. While operating under normal circumstances, the system keeps voltage within safe limits. However if the AC input falls under the predefined limits then the system switches over to double conversion mode which isolates the IT equipment from the fluctuating AC source. If the electricity goes out completely then the UPS utilizes the battery to keep loads running so as to not lose any data or revenue.

No matter which system is chosen for power manageability, it is important to remember that all electrical equipment is sensitive and prone to damage from electrical instability. Eaton UPS help to protect sensitive computer equipment by providing an uninterruptible backup power system for use in home applications or large commercial applications. As technology increases, so does the need for businesses to have many options in managing the power of their data centers.

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How to Properly Design a Data Center

When designing a data center there are more things to think about than just simply putting servers and racks in a room and naming it the data center. There are steps that can be taken to be sure that the data center is well designed and efficiently runs. A properly designed data center will be reliable and dependable for a company and all the network users.
 

 

Planning ahead is the first step. Failure to do this could result in mistakes down the road. Consider all the possibilities of what can go wrong and plan for all outcomes to keep everything running smoothly. Planning for the worst scenario that can happen will help to eliminate headaches when these problems do occur. Acts of God must also be considered as well as internal network issues. So by utilizing a solid plan when designing a data center, numerous problems can be minimized, if not eliminated completely.

The best design for a data center is a simple one. If a problem does occur and the system is easy to manage, then the problems will be fixed much faster and will minimize the loss in downtime for users. Keeping in mind that technology is advancing at an incredible rate and always will it is vital that maintaining flexibility in design will also allow for the necessary room that the center will require adapting to technology changes and upgrades in the future.

Utilizing standardized sections will also make it much easier to construct a data center. When servers need to be added or upgrades need to be done, it will be much easier to know what is needed and how it will all fit together. Keep in mind that servers are heavy and preparation for housing them is essential.

Flooring underneath heavy servers can crack or even cave in if it is not supported properly in the infrastructure. Having a contractor check the integrity of the floors prior to placing them in the intended space can save hours in labor and heartache in the future. Consider installing aluminum flooring if using a raised floor. This will also prevent damage. Aluminum is stronger than ceramic or plastic tiles and can handle the weight of the equipment in the data center more effectively.

It is an important step to take the time in the beginning of the design of the data center to label all cables and cords. Unfortunately many people overlook this step and then are unsure of which cables go where and end up wasting hours and hours of time trying to figure out which cable goes where. Having to pull up a floor just to find out where a certain cable is plugged into is a waste of time and company resources.

Safety is vital as well in regards to the data center. In order to prevent accidents, it’s important to keep the data center clutter free and out of sight of the general public. People will not tamper with something if they do not know it is even there.

Keeping the equipment properly cooled is another crucial step in designing a data center. When an optimum temperature is maintained, the computers are able to keep working smoothly and do not get overheated. Certain electrical components produce heat that can be detrimental to other nearby devices, so good air conditioning and the proper ventilation are absolutely imperative when designing a data center. By installing an air conditioning system that is mounted on the ceiling of the room instead of the floor, designers can save valuable floor space. Plus it will allow for the installation of free cooling servers that will emit cold air to keep the front faces of the servers cool.

By keeping these tips in mind when designing a data center can help optimize efficiency and ensure that problems are kept to a minimum.

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Top Reasons For Data Center Outages

In a world that is run heavily by technology, a data center outage can bring disastrous results. In recent years, internet users have suffered through many significant data center outages that brought news organizations, social media, and financial Web sites to a standstill. Oftentimes, these outages cost companies up to millions of dollars and were responded to with a hailstorm of outrage on social media sites. There are quite a few ways in which a data center outage can occur.

 

One way in which a data center outage happens lies in the limited capacity of the technology itself. Generally speaking, servers and routers are designed to handle a certain capacity of traffic and information. When a huge event happens, like the death of a world-famous music star, or terrorist event, or a world-renown sports event, the capacity of servers and routers can become stretched beyond their capacity, leading to system failure, crashes, and ultimately data center outages. Figuring out a way to take technology designed for one capacity and making it impervious to a higher flow of traffic is one of the ongoing struggles for the industry and remains one of the leading causes for data center outages.

Sometime one of the key components in a data center outage rests with a third party. While Web sites do have some control over how fast the elements of their sites load, they are limited in the speed for their-party content like widgets and ad networks. If a huge event happens and people rush to the news or their social media sites, these elements can slow things down the point of causing a data center outage. Electronic attacks from hackers present yet another distinct challenge to the healthy functioning of data centers. In past year, electronic attacks have held captive many Web sites until the defenses of the site could break through, causing an outage of usage for consumers. This kind of attack has been especially prevalent among social media sites in recent years, which are known for having less security than many other types of sites out there.

As advanced as modern technology gets, it still relies on the mechanics of its physical parts to operate well. A third important cause of data center outages comes with issues related to the physical components of the technology involved. A fire in an electric room in Europe could interrupt your email for a day. Faulty insulation for an electric duct could lead to systems overheating and shutting down. If the generator for the server for your favorite social media sites stops working, the resulting loss in power could make you wait for hours to post your new favorite vacation pictures or update your status. Even inclement weather, from lightning storms and floods, to hurricanes and earthquakes, has the power to interrupt your favorite show on the net. Often it is not the carelessness of people, but rather the harshness of physical realities that lead to data center outages.

Outages will occur as long as these elements continue to exist. The most we can do in the meantime is use sound backup principles and hope that these outages don’t occur during the game-deciding goal of our favorite sports team.

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Data Center Load Bank Testing

If you are a person or a company starting up a data center, whether it is starting from scratch or whether it has just grown in bits and pieces and is now being compiled into one area to make life easier for your IT person, or you, your power supply is going to be absolutely critical. It is much more complicated than you can probably imagine and making sure it is designed well is going to be much more involved than just plugging something in.

Part of the process that you will need to undergo as you start developing a plan for powering your data center is load bank testing. This is, to simplify the concept, simply allowing for there to be a dry run on your power needs, without any actual power being used, to make sure that your theoretical plan for how your power bank is designed actually can handle the load. This also might include power produced by a generator if you will have a generator as a back-up power source in case of a blackout.

This is just not something you can do yourself with a five-minute effort as you stand in your data center right before you are ready to put your computers on line. In fact, load bank testing is quite complex and there are actual companies out there who offer the service of coming in and doing your load bank testing for you. If you want to make sure that your load testing is done correctly, you might be wise to hire such a company which can offer you expertise and assistance. Of course, the process will be done differently depending on the company you hire and your needs so it is hard to predict exactly how the tests would be conducted, but you would be wise to ask exactly what they will do for you, how they will analyze the results, and what they will do if your system shows some problems. Will the company be twisting your arm to buy their products? Will they simply help you know what you need to buy to make improvements but then not give you any more information? Neither of those might be the most useful approach, but of course you will need to decide what you want to have happen during your testing process and afterward.

It might also be wise to make sure that all of the people who will be dealing with your power system, or those who will train those who will be dealing with your power system, are present for the analysis of the system so that they can understand how the testing has worked and what changes need to be made and why. This would be something you might certainly discuss with the people you bring in to do the testing as to how the data will be presented and analyzed and who should be present for that. After all, your power needs will undoubtedly not remain static for the rest of the existence of your data center. In fact, you might need to institute a program where the testing is done on a regular basis so that any potential breakdowns can be caught early.

Make sure that you do your data center load bank testing correctly, interpreted correctly, and corrected properly, so that you and your data are protected for years to come.

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