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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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What to Consider When Hiring a Data Center Design Company

If you are interested in having a data center for your company or a group of companies, designing such a thing may be well beyond your technological skill level. After all, unless your company is actually providing technology expertise to others, it is likely that you feel more comfortable doing your work rather than doing the job of an IT professional. If you have an IT professional on your staff and he really knows computers and servers and all of their needs, then he might be able to help you, but it is just as possible that actually developing a data center from design to reality is far beyond his comfort level. You might very well be better off, and get more value for your money, if you hire an outside company specifically to come in and design your data center for you.

If you decide this is what you want to do, then before you sign a contract with such a company, you need to decide a few things. Of course, setting a budget is always one of the first things you need to do because it is very easy to quickly go way over budget and then regret it as you have to take away things that sound wonderful and useful. If you go in with your budget in mind and that is almost the first thing you tell any prospective companies, then they can avoid going crazy with marvelous options that you just cannot afford. And keep in mind that the cheapest bid for your business may not be the best one for you. So often with computers and other technology aspects there are many things that go into creating value. If a company costs a little more for their design services but offer extras such as free system checks on a regular basis or perhaps the ability to come in and help you as you expand down the road, then such a company might actually be worth the extra cost.

You should probably have an idea of how many servers you will want to house and what the servers will be doing. If they are simply going to be backup storage, then the protection of the power grid around them may be much less vital than a server that provides medical interfaces with a series of clinics and hospitals where a server outage is simply unthinkable. That does not mean you have to make the final decision on size, brand, or number of servers, but you should know whether you will just be working within your own company or whether you will have clients counting on you.

You should also have an idea of who will be working with the system so that the company can structure the data center to work with the sole employee who will be in charge of the center or all 500 of your employees that need to understand how to work within it. You should also need to know whether you will have an IT staff of professionals working with your computer or whether it will just be amateurs who need to have very easy designs and instructions.

Once these decisions have been considered, then it is time to find a date center designing company that will give you exactly what you need.

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Data Center Battery Repair

data center maintenanceSince the invention of the computer and the age of technology have taken place, computers are now an absolute necessity for nearly every business and company to function and compete in the marketplace. Then there are homes. Nearly every home in America has a computer or the people in the home go somewhere to use a computer. Needless to say, computers are now more than just a way of life and that is not going to change anytime soon.

With this in mind, companies and corporations must also offer reliable and dependable service to their customers and stakeholders through computers and technology to keep them happy. Sometimes it just takes one bad battery to bring down your system during a power outage.  Computers, customers, businesses and more will not easily accept the results that are caused by power outages and electrical interruptions. This is why it is imperative that your data center for your business has the best battery power to ensure that the system is still operational in the event of a power outage or interruption in service.

A battery is necessary because surge protectors strips are not going to always protect equipment from failing or even ensure that service is always available. There has even been damage to some computer equipment when users have utilized the strips for reliability and protection all the time. Equipment that has been powered off but still connected to the electrical supply source have even suffered major damage when surges happened. Having a reliable and trustworthy battery backup for your data center can not only prevent damage to your computers but also can keep you from having to deal with loss in data that many others have suffered when they have depended on power surge protector strips instead of a proper data center UPS and battery.

It is recommended that using a good UPS system along with great battery backup can keep businesses from experiencing problems and costly issues that result from power surges, black-outs, brown outs and sags in the power supply itself. It is also beneficial for virtually eliminating the loud noises that come from some sources of power. Every battery must be checked out and serviced to maintain its true integrity. It is entirely possible to lose everything in the event of a power outage when a battery is bad and goes down. Yes, just one bad battery in the mix can cause thousands of dollars of damage or more because of the failures and loss in data that can result.

Don’t be like so many others and wait for costly errors and power failures to happen before taking action and installing a UPS with a trustworthy and reliable battery backup source. Prevent power outages at the office and house from affecting the work performed. Getting the UPS and battery is a simple matter and in comparison to the amount of money saved in regards to the risky, expensive outcomes is much more cost-effective. Avoid the loss in data, damage to computers, equipment and very expensive computer bills for the repairs by installing the UPS and battery. Doing all these things will not only keep business from losing important information and data but will make the stakeholders feel good in the service promises made when you can ensure that the data center battery will always be in good working order. Always have maintenance audits and checks to verify the equipment is in proper order and does not require any repair.

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Computer Room Air Conditioning for Optimum Equipment Performance

Proper Computer Room Air Conditioning Can Keep Data Center Equipment Running At Optimum Performance.  Any time that computer system equipment is contained in a typical sized server room, the environment can fluctuate quickly. Computer room air conditioning is an essential part of data center designs. The equipment in a computer room is usually running all day long, every single day of the year, non-stop. This generates in immense amount of heat that can inhibit the functions of the computer equipment in the room as well as the network users. When the heat increases, many problems can occur such as slow performance and system breakdowns. However, these problems can be avoided by making sure that the data center has a proper computer room air conditioning system installed.
Computer room air conditioning not only cools the temperature of the machines, it also lowers the humidity in the room. All electrical equipment needs the correct humidity level to operate effectively. If the level of humidity were to rise above 55%, then irreparable damage can occur. While this isn’t a factor everywhere, in areas where high humidity is likely, then humidity control is required so that malfunctions and breakdowns do not occur. Moisture can build up inside the equipment and will definitely destroy it. Replacing this equipment costs money and creates stress that data center operators do not need.

 

There are many innovative ways to keep computer rooms air conditioned. Before electricity was available, building designers had to find ways to provide ventilation to the buildings they designed. One way this was done was by using eyebrow or clerestory monitors. An eyebrow monitor is described as a raised section of a pitched roof that contained windows that could be opened for increased airflow. A clerestory monitor is slightly similar except that it is a raised section of flat roof that had windows around the side that could be opened as well. When put into operation, the clerestory monitor provided huge amounts of natural light and an efficient way for outside air to flow through the building thus providing cooling.

When utilizing this technique in a data center, cooler outside air comes in through ground level vents then it is vented vertically. The only step in this process that requires assistance is venting exhaust air away from the server cabinets . Once the hot air is away from the equipment, it will continue to rise until it is removed through the clerestory monitor. A vacuum is created by the air flow through the clerestory monitor and the exhaust fan operation which keeps the air flowing and cool.

It’s very easy to see how this cooling technique is not only possible to do and is beneficial but is energy efficient as well. The only mechanical requirement is the use of exhaust fans to vent the hot air away from the server cabinets. It’s also extremely easy to accommodate outside temperature changes by simply closing or opening different windows. There are a few tips to making this type of cooling system work. It’s important to size the clerestory monitor to adequately fit the size of computer room being used. In addition, by orienting the monitor along the side towards the prevailing winds the optimum airflow is provided. Lastly, avoid utilizing this cooling type in areas or regions that have little or no natural airflow or in areas with long lasting high temperatures as it will not work and will cause damage to the equipment.

 

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24/7 Maintenance Plan

When Power Outages Happen, It Pays To Have A 24/7 Data Center Maintenance Plan. It would be a big help for businesses of all types if the power company could give you an iron-clad guarantee that you will only ever have power issues on a regular workday, and maybe even first thing in the morning.  Unfortunately, that is just not reality.  In fact, due to the nature of storms it might even be the case that your power is more likely to have issues of blackouts, brownouts, or other disruptions in the middle of the night.  

If you are counting on your power supply, as would definitely be the case if you have a data center that provides information, storage, and access for thousands or millions of people or even just your own company, then it is almost a necessity that you have some plan in place for dealing with power issues no matter when they happen.  The plan should not just be theoretical.  It should be written and tested and everyone who will play a part in the plan should know their duty.   If such a plan includes backup power such as ordering it from a different provider or simply having a generator turned on when needed, then testing these power supplies long before the crisis occurs is a vital part of your load bank testing.  
There should also be regular maintenance to make sure that things are always working and that everyone involved in your maintenance plan understands how and why each step occurs and how they will contribute.  Nothing should be left to chance or it is almost certain that things will go just as terribly wrong as it is possible for them to go.

Fortunately, having a maintenance plan that is developed to work around the clock does not necessarily mean that you have to have an employee sitting on site to monitor the power system.  In fact, with today’s communication technology, you might be better not having an employee on site and counting on their awareness of problems and their ability to detect difficulties.  Instead, the power system can monitor itself, much better than your eyes can, and can notify you or any of the people involved in the plan wherever they are, whenever it is needed.  If the power starts to fluctuate, without actually going out, things can be done to shut down less important systems and push the power toward vital areas of your data center and this can be done in the blink of an eye by the computer that runs the system.  It could also let you know that this has happened so that you can know what to do next.  If human input is needed, that might even be able to be done from home with simply logging into a website and telling the computer what to do.  Or, if more input is needed, then the right people can be notified so they can physically go into the data center and get things working right.  And yes, this could even be done with a power outage.  You would simply need to make sure that there is an automatic backup power source that will allow the computer in charge of notifying people to do so before the power source dies.
Never leave things to chance.  This all needs to be developed far in advance for implantation no matter when or why a power outage happens.

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Importance of Data Center AC

How Proper Computer Room Air Conditioning Can Keep Data Center Equipment Running At Optimum Performance

Any time that computer system equipment is contained in a typical sized server room, the environment can fluctuate quickly.  Computer room air conditioning is an essential part of data center designs.  The equipment in a computer room is usually running all day long, every single day of the year, non-stop.  This generates in immense amount of heat that can inhibit the functions of the computer equipment in the room as well as the network users.  When the heat increases, many problems can occur such as slow performance and system breakdowns.  However, these problems can be avoided by making sure that the data center has a proper computer room air conditioning system installed.

Computer room air conditioning not only cools the temperature of the machines, it also lowers the humidity in the room.  All electrical equipment needs the correct humidity level to operate effectively.  If the level of humidity were to rise above 55%, then irreparable damage can occur. While this isn’t a factor everywhere, in areas where high humidity is likely, then humidity control is required so that malfunctions and breakdowns do not occur.  Moisture can build up inside the equipment and will definitely destroy it. Replacing this equipment costs money and creates stress that data center operators do not need.

There are many innovative ways to keep computer rooms air conditioned.  Before electricity was available, building designers had to find ways to provide ventilation to the buildings they designed.  One way this was done was by using eyebrow or clerestory monitors.  An eyebrow monitor is described as a raised section of a pitched roof that contained windows that could be opened for increased airflow.  A clerestory monitor is slightly similar except that it is a raised section of flat roof that had windows around the side that could be opened as well.  When put into operation, the clerestory monitor provided huge amounts of natural light and an efficient way for outside air to flow through the building thus providing cooling.

When utilizing this technique in a data center, cooler outside air comes in through ground level vents then it is vented vertically.  The only step in this process that requires assistance is venting exhaust air away from the server cabinets . Once the hot air is away from the equipment, it will continue to rise until it is removed through the clerestory monitor.  A vacuum is created by the air flow through the clerestory monitor and the exhaust fan operation which keeps the air flowing and cool.

It’s very easy to see how this cooling technique is not only possible to do and is beneficial but is energy efficient as well.  The only mechanical requirement is the use of exhaust fans to vent the hot air away from the server cabinets.  It’s also extremely easy to accommodate outside temperature changes by simply closing or opening different windows.  There are a few tips to making this type of cooling system work.  It’s important to size the clerestory monitor to adequately fit the size of computer room being used.  In addition, by orienting the monitor along the side towards the prevailing winds the optimum airflow is provided.  Lastly, avoid utilizing this cooling type in areas or regions that have little or no natural airflow or in areas with long lasting high temperatures as it will not work and will cause damage to the equipment.

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Customized UPS Maintenance To Meet Your Needs

Data CenterWhether you have a fairly standard data center, or one that is designed uniquely for your business, you still need to have a plan in place for regular maintenance of the uninterruptable power supply (UPS). Without proper and regular UPS maintenance, your system has a higher potential to fail, leaving you stranded without power, jeopardizing your data and hampering your company’s productivity for what may become a significant period of time. Depending on what kind of system you have, it may be beneficial to get a plan customized specifically for your needs.

What you require in your data center maintenance plan will often depend on the design of your data center and your power needs. Some of the most common things that regular UPS maintenance can address include UPS battery failure, exceeding the power supply capacity, equipment failure, and water- or heat-related failures. Your needs will be different from another business based on what your facility looks like, how much power you use on a regular basis, and how you are storing your equipment.

data center maintenanceThere are three basic phases that are crucial for UPS maintenance—physical examination as a preventive measure, calibration and checking the protection settings, and complete load testing. These procedures should be conducted at least every six months, more often if you believe that you may have a problem.

If your system is more prone to equipment failure, your plan may include more emphasis on maintaining the actual unit to identify areas where excessive heat or other factors could jeopardize the unit. One of the best indicators of a power problem is a higher-than-normal temperature in the unit. Your customized plan may include the use of infrared scanners that can show you the areas where your UPS is experiencing higher temperatures. While you are examining the unit, some additional work may be required to check for loose connections on the power supply and other components, and make sure there is no swelling, leaking, or pressure in the capacitor.

A system that is at risk for exceeding capacity may require checking the protection settings on your unit and calibrate it so it’s prepared in the event of an emergency. In order to check these settings, a UPS maintenance technican can simulate the emergency conditions that would trigger the alarm, then monitor all the settings and alarms to ensure they function properly.

This type of plan may also involve load testing to ensure the ability to handle any capacity you need. Testing things like input and output voltage, input and output current, output frequency, input current balance, and output voltage regulation are all part of this process. In addition, testing the system at different load volumes is important, for example, at 0 percent, 50 percent, and 100 percent load.

Finally, a system at risk for battery failure (one of the most common reasons UPS systems fail) should include a battery check. Identifying a degrading battery early can help you properly plan for and replace it before it shuts down the entire system. Checking things like the temperature, voltage and currents can help you identify potential problems early on.

Proper UPS maintenance is essential for an effective and long-lasting system, and a customized plan can benefit any company looking to maximize its effectiveness and minimize costs in the long term.

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Essential Tips For Replacing Your UPS Battery

data center maintenanceYour uninterruptible power supply (UPS) is your emergency plan to keep your business running in the event of a power failure, and one of the most critical components of that system is the battery. When the battery dies, speedy UPS battery replacement is important to keep your system ready and available in case it is needed. Here are a few essential tips for replacing your battery.

A typical battery will last about three to five years, but that is just an estimate and could change based on the power load and the environment where you store the system. Optimal conditions for storage are a cool, dry room with proper ventilation. Systems that are housed in hot, humid environments, or in areas where power outages are more frequent (thus requiring the use of the UPS system more often) may require more frequent UPS battery replacement.

data center designAssuming you have a modern UPS system, it should come equipped with an alarm that will signal when the battery is getting low, in most cases it will be both a lighted signal and an audible alarm. When the alarm is triggered, pay attention and address the problem immediately to avoid complete battery failure. Even if you do not see or hear an alarm, if your system is not working, it’s a good idea to check the battery and find out if a UPS battery replacement will fix it before scrapping the entire system and purchasing a new one, which can be costly.

It may seem like keeping spare batteries around would be helpful in case you need a UPS battery replacement, however, this is not the case. Purchasing and keeping a battery on the shelf for an extended period of time without using it will reduce the battery life unless you have some way to keep it charged the entire time it is in storage.

When you are ready to replace your battery, you can explore the options of either purchasing it from the original equipment manufacturer, or as an aftermarket product. The advantage of purchase an aftermarket battery is often a lower cost, but be cautious and make sure you are purchasing one that will fit in your unit. Do not estimate the size, measure to the exact millimeter and identify a replacement battery that is exactly the same size, as even small deviations can prevent it from fitting in your unit.

After you finish your UPS battery replacement, avoid throwing the old battery away with your regular garbage. The batteries contain several toxic agents, including metals and acids. If you’re not sure where to take it to get rid of it, ask the dealer from whom you purchased the battery if they have a recycling program or know of one. If that is not an option, call your local waste facility to find out the nearest place you can take the old battery.

To reduce the need for frequent battery replacement, you can perform routine tests and maintenance on the system. Performance tests, run time tests, and safety tests are all important to conduct on a regular basis.

UPS battery replacement is an essential part of maintaining an uninterruptible power supply that is ready whenever you need it. Knowing the proper steps for replacing an old battery can be crucial to having a proper backup power supply that keeps your business running smoothly no matter what happens.

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Purchasing An Uninterruptible Power Supply

data center designWith the world relying on electricity you may have found yourself suffering from the loss of power. With an uninterruptible power supply you will never have to suffer again. The device has the ability to supply electricity for a certain amount of time after a power outage or utility failure in order for any unsaved data to be properly saved before shutdown. Never again will you lose your unsaved research on your computer because of a utility failure.

An uninterruptible power supply can be used to back up power on computers, servers and any other piece of equipment. Some models can even back up an entire household or business if necessary while acting as a surge proctor at the same time.

If this sounds like something you might benefit from you should consider purchasing one of your own. When making your purchase there is much to consider and think about before purchasing. It makes a big difference if you are only intending it to back up a personal computer versus the server to a large corporation. It all depends on what you are looking for.

Data CenterThe first step in purchasing a UPS device is knowing the amount of devices you may need to protect. Just in the protection of one computer you might need to include the monitor, tower, cable modem and router. If you happen to make the wrong purchase you might think you are protected until a power outage. You will then find out you weren’t protected and it will be too late.

Once you determine what you need to protect and how much power is required, you will want to determine the amount of time you want your devices to remain functioning after a power outage. You might be simply looking for a few extra minutes in order to save data and properly close down programs. Or, you might need enough time for an entire business to shut down properly to save sensitive information or even possibly remain completely functioning for a couple hours. It makes a big difference when deciding what to purchase.

Determining what you need is half the battle when purchasing an uninterruptible power supply.  Once you know what you need your can start your search. Uninterruptible power supply devices come in a variety of sizes, capabilities and even prices. For example, if you know you are looking to back-up a large amount of equipment you will need to look into only those capable of doing so. Otherwise, you might purchase the wrong once resulting in inadequate power supply. Also, know your budget. Don’t set yourself on a certain device you know you can’t afford. There are options for all needs and budgets. Choose the right one for you.

After you have researched your purchase and made the best purchase to meet your needs you will need to properly set up the equipment to ensure that it is functioning properly. Again, it is useless to have the equipment if it isn’t functioning to meet your needs. Once set up, the equipment itself requires minimal maintenance and upkeep. However, you will want to make sure the UPS is located in a ventilated area. Do not allow the device to overheat and especially do not store paper products next to it. Just like any other electrical device, it will put off heat. Make sure to keep it clear of clutter and you will be set.

Now that you know what steps to take purchase an uninterruptible power supply today and never suffer from lost data again!

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Keeping Your Mission Critical Hardware Running

data center maintenanceIf you’ve ever lost important information or even potential business because of a power outage or utility failure, you might consider purchasing an uninterruptible power supply.

Almost every business or company today relies on the use of electricity. If you have mission critical equipment dependent on power and don’t want to risk losing out because of a power outage, take the control back with the purchase of an uninterruptible power supply.

What are the benefits of purchasing an uninterruptible power supply? First, you will never lose unsaved data on a computer. Second, you will never have to disappoint a client because you can’t access information or supply them with your product. Lastly, you will save time and money.

UPS devices are designed to maintain the flow of electricity even when experiencing a power outage, utility failure or power surge. Depending on the particular UPS device you choose you can maintain power for a couple of minutes allowing you to hurry and save data you are currently working on or save client information. If need be, you can even purchase a larger device allowing you to keep power for an extended amount of time to keep your business up and running while working on getting power back. You will never lose out because of something that is out of your control. You will still be able to serve your clients or customers the same as before.

UPS maintenance When running a business you are dependent upon those you are offering your service or product to. They are what make your business run. Without them, you would have nothing.

Imagine you are on a phone call with a potentially large client who could possibly generate a substantial amount of revenue for you. You type in the clients contact information and a couple details about them. You’ve also typed on your computer the particular service they are requesting. You hang up the phone, go to hit save and just then the power goes out. All you had just input is lost. Who knows if you will be able to get the clients number again. If you do, you run the risk of looking unprofessional and incompetent to the new client. Potentially, you’ve just lost a client. If a UPS device had been installed you would have had the time to save the information as if the power outage had never occurred.  No business or pride lost.

An uninterruptible power supply is not just used to ensure power to mission critical equipment; it can also be used as a surge proctor. Sometimes, when multiple pieces of equipment are powered together, a sudden power outage or failure could result in the frying of the equipment because of the interference. Spikes in electricity and “noise” can also cause damage. If this were to happen, you would lose all your equipment and have to not only repair the power source but also purchase new equipment before business could return to normal. Money would be going out with no money coming in.

An unexpected power outage has the potential to ruin your livelihood. Your business is important to you and the clients you serve. Protect your mission critical equipment with an uninterruptible power supply and ensure you can keep your business up and running. You will appreciate the time and money saved.

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