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Portable Cooling Units Keep The Data Center From Heating Up

Portable CoolingThe costs of lost data or computer downtime can be catastrophic for a business. Much of this loss may be associated with overheating, or, in other words, the loss of appropriate data center cooling. As businesses and even individual computer users within their own homes have found, overheating computers are a growing problem. The more that society relies upon technology and computers for the movement, sharing and saving of data, the harder hard drives and servers must work. When those systems aren’t carefully monitored, overheating and other problematic circumstances can occur and may lead to substantial losses.

Maintaining your data center cooling is a constant concern. As the data center and its operations grow, the needs for appropriate cooling equipment will also grow. Incorporating portable cooling units specifically designed for use in data centers is a convenient way to keep the cooling system simple. With the complexity that is an integral part of server rooms and data centers, simplicity is part of the cooling system can be a relief for anyone who is involved in operations, maintenance or repairs. As the data center grows, adding portable cooling units is an affordable and simple method of increasing the cooling capacity of the data center’s cooling system.

Portable CoolingToo much heat is a consistent problem in data centers and related facilities. Even though there are already intricate systems and complex equipment put into place for managing the cooling of the center, spot cooling or precision cooling can be managed with portable cooling units. Data center cooling is already an expensive component of data center systems and making adjustments with affordable portable air conditioning units is a much cheaper option than implementing additional permanent pieces of equipment. Furthermore, the fewer pieces of permanent equipment there are throughout the cooling systems, the less the potential for problems and malfunctions to occur.

Modern servers have dramatically gotten smaller over the last several years. Instead of requiring an entire building, the server may fit smoothing into the space generally set aside for a closet. However, the server, still doing the work of the larger machines, is generating a great deal of heat in that small space. The tightly packed spaces housing servers become very difficult places to control heat and maintain the appropriate temperatures. Even during the winter, keeping the space cool is a problem, but during the hot months of the summer, the normal capacity of the data center cooling system isn’t enough to keep the center’s temperatures down appropriately. Portable cooling units can provide the extra boost of cooling power and will fit into many small spaces.

Instead of considering the portable units a temporary part of your data center cooling system, consider them to be a convenient and movable source of emergency cooling, maintenance cooling, spot cooling or seasonal cooling. At times, the portable cooling unit can provide a higher level of efficiency than a permanent unit near the same capacity. This translates into savings in more than one way and every business can appreciate multiple ways to save on cooling, maintenance and other business related costs. Keep business in your data center from over-heating with a portable cooling unit.

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UPS Maintenance For Mission Critical Systems

Keeping Mission-Critical Systems Running With Reliable UPS Maintenance

In your data center you have all the proper planning in place to account for emergencies like a power failure, with a backup uninterruptible power supply (UPS) system to ensure that your mission-critical systems are always running—but is your system ready? If you are not performing regular UPS maintenance, especially on the battery, it may not be ready to go when you need it. Here are a few things you should be doing on a consistent basis to ensure that your UPS system, especially the battery, is ready to power your vital systems when the power goes out.data center maintenance

First, when you install the system, make sure that the UPS can maintain constant contact with the electrical ground. As you are performing your regular UPS maintenance, double-check to see that this is always the case. In addition, it’s important not to overload the UPS, and if you see potential problems during your routine maintenance, remove it from your system until you can repair or replace it. These small steps can save you a lot of trouble down the road.

Inside the UPS there is a battery, which is the most likely part of the system to fail, and in the long-term you will likely need to replace the battery to keep your system running. The system will come equipped with a battery sensor that should alert you when the battery is degrading, but if the sensors are not properly working, the battery can easily fail without you even knowing it. In that case, you won’t find out that you need a new battery until you need the UPS and it’s not working. To prevent this from happening, part of your UPS maintenance plan should include testing the battery sensors at regular intervals. Doing this approximately every six months should be sufficient.

Some of the things that will drain your UPS battery more quickly include exposure to extreme hot or cold temperatures or high humidity, and frequent power outages that tax the UPS. While there is not much you can do about the latter, to prevent the former, your UPS maintenance plan should include regular inspection of the data center facilities to ensure that the environment is optimal for your system.

 

When you do have to replace your battery, it is important to recalibrate the entire system, including the battery sensors and the dwell-time calibration. The process for recalibration will differ depending on your software, but it’s an important step to remember when you install a new battery.

If you are not sure you can perform these types of checks on your own, you may want to consider purchasing a UPS that includes a service contract. If you have a low-end unit, the cost of a service contract may outweigh the cost of simply replacing your entire unit if something goes wrong, but for extensive data centers that require multiple high-end UPS systems, service contracts can be beneficial, especially if the alternative is significant downtime following unit failure, while you are trying to get it back up.

The wrong time to realize that your UPS is not running properly is when you need the backup power supply. Instead of being left with downtime and lost productivity, be sure you have a proper UPS maintenance plan for your center.

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The Importance Of Maintaining Your Data Center Equipment

data center maintenanceYour data center is an important investment in your business, housing all of the equipment and information that keeps your company running from day to day. When you build a new datacenter, it may seem like the project is complete once the construction is over, but ongoing datacenter maintenance for the physical equipment is just as important as the initial build.

Inside your datacenter there are several different physical equipment components—the computers and servers, the racks, furniture, cooling systems, and flooring. All of this equipment is important to include in your regular datacenter maintenance plan. Without regular check-ups in all these areas, your server room can quickly become damaged, and even fail.

First, inspect your datacenter from the ground up. It’s a good idea to regularly inspect the flooring and make it part of your “equipment” maintenance plan, because even if it doesn’t seem like flooring fits in the same category as things like racks and servers, wear and tear on the floor can quickly become a problem for the rest of the things in your datacenter. Check for signs of chipped scratched, or worn areas, and also make sure to regularly clean it to remove dust, rust, and other problems. If you have a cooling system that is tied to the floor (for example, a raised floor that allows proper cooling to take place), inspect that system regularly and make sure that it is still working properly, especially after you have moved items around.

Next, check for dust. Regularly sweeping the floors to keep dust from building up, and also dusting the racks and the equipment, is essential for the long-term viability of the equipment in your datacenter. If your datacenter maintenance plan doesn’t include dusting, add it right away. Also, if your center is off-site and it’s difficult for your IT people to get there regularly, consider hiring a cleaning company to regularly dust and vacuum the entire room.

The equipment racks are not only subject to dust, but also to general wear and tear. Your datacenter maintenance should also include inspection of all racks to be sure there are no loose bolts, cracking, rust, or other damage. If you can spot these things early, you will be able to fix it before the rack collapses and damages all the servers and other equipment in the area. In addition, pay attention to how hot the area around each rack is to be sure all the areas are getting adequate cooling. If it is particularly hot in certain areas, you may need to introduce more cooling systems, or move the racks around until they are properly spaced for adequate cooling.

data center maintenanceFinally, check around for stray furniture. Over time you will probably accumulate pieces of furniture—a small table here, a few chairs over there—that people use when they are in the computer room. In order to properly maintain your datacenter, you want to minimize these items and definitely keep them out of the main walkways. This is good practice to ensure a safe environment and avoid workplace accidents or fire hazards as well.

While you may not have thought about all these things as part of your datacenter maintenance plan to keep equipment running in top form, these small details are just as important as the big equipment.

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Keep Your UPS Performance Up With Scheduled Maintenance

Your uninterpretable power supply or UPS is a series of batteries whose function it is to maintain the flow of power to critical equipments within your data center that are unable to withstand power interruption. Your UPS is also able to shield your data center equipment from blackouts, brownouts, voltage spikes and frequency variations as well as any transient disturbances in incoming power. A majority of your equipment requires uninterruptible power to function properly, which is why your UPS is so critical. Breaks in utility power supply are inevitable, and most equipment will shut down after a few cycles of disruption to their power source. Consequently, your UPS is an essential component of your data center system.

Minimizing disruptions to the power source starts during the power system’s design phase. A reliable power system depends on quality equipment and reliable design. A facility’s UPS should be designed to protect critical and high-tech equipment and to facilitate planned power outages so technicians can perform maintenance.

Preventative UPS maintenance should be a regular occurrence for anyone with a data center. Routine cleaning, testing, and inspection will reduce incidences of downtime and increase the longevity of data center equipment. To achieve optimum results, preventative maintenance should be performed at regularly scheduled intervals. For example, a standard UPS maintenance service plans might include the following maintenance schedule.

data center designVisual inspections of data center equipment could occur on a quarterly basis. If your data center’s backup power system includes a generator, it might be tested at quarterly visits as well. Semiannual maintenance would likely include backup generator testing and checking for liquid contamination effecting capacitors or batteries. At these same visits, UPS equipment and enclosures would be thoroughly vacuumed and cleaned. HVAC equipment would be checked at these visits as well to ensure temperature and humidity are at appropriate levels.

Annual and Biannual inspections should also be incorporated into your UPS maintenance schedule. Annual visits would include thermal scans on electrical connections. These scans verify that connections are tight and are not producing heat. An operational test of the entire system is also appropriate at an annual inspection. Biannual inspections include the testing of UPS transfer switches along with maintenance bypasses and circuit breakers.

This is just one example of a possible UPS maintenance schedule, and is neither exhaustive nor wholly comprehensive in scope. Nevertheless, it gives you a clear sense of the thorough over site and care that your UPS would undergo with such a service plan in place. You can easily imagine how malfunctions and needed repairs would be detected in a timely manner. Many potential problems would be averted completely, as UPS maintenance is highly preventative. The incidence of downtime would be markedly diminished and efficiency would remain at peak levels.

The mere existence of an uninterruptible power supply does not ensure protection from power surges or failures. If you want to be able to rely on your UPS, you must be sure to provide it with routine oversight and care. Regular testing of the UPS will protect data center and institutional equipment from power fluctuations and distortions, and ensure it is operating a peak potential. In so doing, critical systems will be protected and be enabled to operate reliably as well.

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UPS Maintenance Plan Recommended For Optimum Performance

Any quality UPS service plan will unequivocally include a preventative maintenance plan. UPS maintenance plans are imperative to proper and reliable UPS function. No matter how expertly your UPS was designed or how painstakingly is was manufactured; it will be vulnerable to failure for any variety of reasons. There are a wide range of factors that can cause a UPS to fail, therefore ongoing UPS maintenance plans are essential to protect your data center from events such as power surges or outages.

A significant percentage of UPS failure is attributed to batteries that have failed or degraded. The types of batteries generally used in UPS products have proven sensitive to heat, so overheating can cause a reduction in available power. Every time lead acid batteries are discharged, their capacity is permanently reduced and their operating lifespan is shortened. Quality UPS maintenance plans will include battery checks and facilitate needed replacements.

Fans are essential to keeping uninterruptible power supplies cool. While fans are simple and require little energy, the do eventually wear out or experience failures. Something as simple as a fan failure could easily go unnoticed. Fan inspections are also part of quality UPS maintenance plans. If fans have succumb due to electrical or mechanical problems, your UPS maintenance plan technicians will identify the problem and efficiently repair or replace fans that are so afflicted.

The UPS incorporated into your datacenter has many electrolytic capacitors that work in concert to smooth out voltage and filter fluctuations that could threaten your datacenter. Any time one or more of these capacitors fails, the remainder must take up the slack. This increased work load shortens the functional life of each capacitor that is so affected. If too many capacitors fail without being replaced, it can leave your UPS unable to safeguard downstream loads. This is yet another reason that UPS maintenance plans are so highly recommended.

Every UPS has a filter/rectifier side. Fatal damage can occur at these sites due to sudden power surges. Comprehensive UPS maintenance plans are preventative in nature and are highly recommended as your best defense against threatening power surges. UPS equipment that is properly and thoroughly cleaned, evaluated, calibrated, and tested on a regular basis is at a markedly reduced risk of interruption or failure. This means your likelihood of company exposure to IT downtime is greatly reduced, preserving your productivity as well as your bottom line.

When selecting a UPS service provider to perform your semiannual maintenance, look for a provider that offers a number of services in conjunction with your semiannual maintenance. They will have a team of experienced field technicians who participate in ongoing trainings and certifications. The focus of a strong UPS service provider will be on long-term solutions rather than just short-term fixes. Remote monitoring services will allow service providers to monitor your UPS between regularly scheduled maintenance visits. Finally, upgrades and modifications will be readily accommodated as needed.

Semi-annual UPS maintenance from a high quality service provider is highly recommended. Companies that follow this recommendation have significantly fewer failures than those who do not take advantage of regular UPS maintenance. What’s more, preventative maintenance for your UPS will not only reduce your incidence of downtime, it will also maximize your UPS performance. As a result, UPS maintenance plans are not only highly recommended, but cost-effective as well.

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Finding A Quality Construction Team For Your Next Datacenter Project

data center maintenanceWhen you are preparing for your next datacenter construction project, whether it is your first time or you have built datacenters before, you probably know that the construction team you choose can have a big impact on the outcome of the project. In fact, the construction team you choose is one of the biggest factors that determine whether your building project is a success, completed on time and within budget, or whether it’s a financial or operational disaster. To hire a good construction team, consider these factors.

Find a trustworthy company. Your data center is going to house some of the most important—and probably some of the most expensive—pieces of equipment in your entire business. Not only is the equipment very specialized and imperative to keep running in tip-top shape, but the volume of sensitive data that may be contained in the servers you install in your data center is equally valuable.

If you cannot trust the datacenter construction team to be strict about the quality of the data center, there are many things that can go wrong. The building itself must be high quality to ensure that it does not fall apart. In addition, if the construction team is not paying attention to detail, you may end up with faulty wiring, an inadequate cooling system, or some other problem that can damage the equipment inside.

Be firm about deadlines. Choosing a company that can complete your project in a timely manner is a worthwhile investment when you are preparing for your datacenter construction. Delays in the timeline of a project can be frustrating, not only because they delay the time before you can use your data center to its fullest potential, but also because they can be very costly. Check the track record of the construction crew you are hiring to find out if they consistently complete projects on time, or if they have a habit of cost and time overruns.

 

Save money with a quality construction crew. Because datacenter construction projects tend to be costly ventures for any business, it is often difficult to convince upper management that it’s a necessity. In some cases, even if management signs off on the project, they want to find the least expensive option for doing it. It is always a good idea to shop around and find an affordable company, but keep in mind that just because a company is charging the lowest price does not mean they are the best deal. Be sure that with the price you pay you are getting the highest quality construction, otherwise you may end up having to pay even more later to fix mistakes from low-quality work.

Get it done right the first time. Check out each company’s track record to make sure that their prior clients are satisfied and received quality, accurate work. Companies that can complete your project to your exact specifications the first time will always save you money and time over datacenter construction companies that do it wrong and have to keep coming back to fix it.

Constructing a great datacenter is an essential part of your business, and finding the right construction crew to build it just the way you need it is equally important. Using these tips, you can find the best construction team and be on your way to a new datacenter.

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Purchase The Right Data Center Equipment For Data Center Size

A lot of factors play into the equipment necessary for any data center. Data center design experts are able to deduce more quickly and more accurately what equipment you will need and how much of it. Knowing what Data center equipment you need is not just a matter of types. The process does not equate to a “one of each piece makes a whole” sort of format. Rather, each piece of equipment must be determined based on power needs, data storage needs, the amount of hardware that will be present, the amount of power that is needed to run the necessary hardware, and the backup power supply that would have sufficient juice to keep all systems running in the event of a blackout.

There are five main types of Data center equipment that you will need to build your data center. First is your UPS or uninterruptible power supply. The function of a UPS is to support servers, computers, data communications systems, and other electronic equipment during a voltage drop or power failure. Your UPS will sit in standby mode a majority of the time, but you’ll have to ensure it has the capacity to provide all the power you would need to stay functional and avoid data loss in the event of a power failure. The amount of power needed is directly related to the electronic equipment that will depend on it. The larger your data center, the larger capacity UPS you will need.

Batteries are another necessary type of Data center equipment. These are the power source for your uninterruptible power supply. The UPS battery represents the most vulnerable aspect of any UPS, despite its capacity. The battery is essential to UPS reliability. You must ensure that the battery is not only reliable, but be aware of its natural degradation, always careful to ensure you will have the juice your UPS needs to function properly. Once again, the battery size is a function of the energy draw your Data center equipment needs to function properly. One size does not fit all.

DC power systems are also key components of any data center. The hardware on your system requires DC power to operate. Most of these individual hardware units will have their own AC/DC power adapter which allows them to run off of AC current from the building. Unfortunately, when dealing with large amounts of hardware, this process is very inefficient, as a significant amount of entropy occurs during the adaptation. For this reason, your Data center equipment should include a DC power system which feeds your hardware with a direct current power supply. As with all the equipment discussed here, the size of the power system you need will have to be determined relative to the size of data center and the hardware it powers.

Computer room air conditioning (CRAC) is another significant aspect of Data center equipment you will need to factor into your data center design and build. Once again, your CRAC system size will be relative to your data center size and density. If you have a smaller data center, your cooling needs will be less and require a less substantial CRAC system. If you have a large data center, you will need to ensure that you have a substantial enough CRAC system to keep your hardware from overheating.

When it comes time to design and build your data center, utilize the experience and knowledge of data center design professionals to ensure your will have the right ratio of equipment to hardware. The equipment you need will be intrinsically based on the size of your data center.

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Datacenter Build Projects Are Vital For IT

For many companies today, the data center is the heart of your business, pumping out vital information that keeps your operation running as smoothly as possible. When your IT department has to constantly fight with inefficient datacenters, it is slowing your company down and giving your competitors a chance to catch up. If you have been coasting along with a sub-par datacenter, and you know that it’s time for a new datacenter build, here are some key points to consider to ensure that your new facility is appropriate for the vital mission that the center plays for your IT department.

First, take a look at your data center’s overall plan—and also your company’s overall needs. One of the most crucial mistakes companies make is to plan a datacenter build project that meets your information needs today, without any thought for the future. If you make this mistake, chances are you will be faced with building another datacenter in the very near future as your IT needs grow. Your plan should have plenty of room for today’s data needs, and also have lots of scalability to introduce new equipment and capacity as it is needed.

Next, think about your location. There may be some instances where you have the capability to house your datacenter within your current building, and there are advantages and drawbacks to this kind of plan, but in most cases you will likely be looking for a location outside your building. The advantage of having it on-site is its ease of use for your IT department; they can troubleshoot, repair, and add on to the center without leaving your office. The downside is that if something happens to your building—a fire, flood, earthquake damage, robbery, or other disaster—your backup data may be destroyed. If your datacenter build plan includes an off-site location, make sure it is still convenient enough that your IT people can get to it in a reasonable amount of time when necessary.

Another important consideration is the security of the facility. You already know that it’s critical to protect your data from cyber threats like hacking, and you have the best firewalls that money can buy, but that will not protect your data if the building is not secure and someone can simply walk in and steal the information. Security features like keycard access, biometric security, and cameras can deter a would-be thief.

When you are designing the interior of your datacenter build project, speed and flexibility are paramount to ensure your IT department and your equipment can do what you expect them to do. This means designing cable systems that are as fast as you can get within your budget. It may seem like a big expense, but again, if you build to support your capacity today, chances are your needs will grow soon in the future and you will be back to square one with an inefficient datacenter, having to add on or even build again (the worst-case scenario).

The mission of your IT department is to provide your company with access to data and information as quickly as possible. The data they provide is crucial to the rest of your employees’ success in being able to perform their jobs well. Without a good datacenter build plan, you are setting your business up for inefficiency, headaches, higher costs, and hassle down the road. Start planning now for your needs today and well into the future.

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The Importance Of Keeping A Data Center Build Project On Schedule

Constructing a data center is always a significant undertaking and any number of factors can cause hiccups along the way. An efficient Data center build is essential to avoid unnecessary use of various resources including time, funding, employee focus, and productivity. This is why having a project outline and schedule drawn up before implementing a Data center build is so imperative. Having a clear build plan and schedule will also be of benefit to every member of the build team. Knowing when and where they can expect their services will be expected allows them to focus their attention where needed and be productive otherwise when their services or expertise are not currently required. A plan and schedule are also essential to ensure that all the aspects of a build are working in concert and so that communication lapses do not cause an unnecessary loss of time or progress in the overall project. As with any major project, if one party is competently carrying out their aspect of the build but the team overall is not working in concert with the same goals and expectations, small or major derailments may result. These misalignments can not only be frustrating, but costly as well.

A clear data center construction schedule is essential to avoid various hazards during a Data center build. Unfortunately, defects during a build often do not show up until the latter stages of the project. As a result, back tracking is not uncommon. This can lead to a pattern of having to start over on various sections of the build. These types of defects that lead to back tracking are almost always the result of planning and process adherence rather than the defect of physical components. When team members understand the relationship between schedule adherence and successful implementation, they are more likely to take the approved Data center build schedule seriously. Efficiency can be very motivating, and avoiding the need to backtrack is an even greater motivator. In order to make the best use of their time and resources, and to increase the likelihood of a successful outcome that meets expectations, adherence to the schedule is imperative.

data center buildA schedule should be developed with team leaders involved who can appropriately assess goals and realistic implementation time frames. This schedule should not only involve major achievement points, but have a clear integration of smaller steps along the way. When a build schedule incorporates this level of detail, it makes is easier for various parties to adhere to the schedule on a day to day level. Another key component is having a project manager that sends a clear expectation of adherence to schedule’s time limes. Such a project manager can also keep consistent communications going out to team members reminding them of time frame expectations and that all pieces are required at each phase to keep the project on schedule.

Every Data center build is based around specific business needs. While the build is intended to meet these needs, the process has the potential to derail other projects, employee focus, and general productivity. For this reason it is essential that your Data center build be guided by an approved schedule and be held to that schedule. This will also improve the successful implementation of the data center and avoid unnecessary backtracking and delay.

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Computer Room Design For Expanding Businesses

As your business grows, so does your need to house data safely and securely. Whether it is customer information, vendor contracts, inventory data, or anything in between, it is important to have a computer room design that will enable you to meet your data needs today, keep your data safe and secure, and allow room for growth into the future.

One of the first things to consider is the location of your data center. Depending on your specific situation and the size of your current data center, you may be able to find a place in your current building where you can complete a great computer room design, or you may need to outsource it. If you are outsourcing, look for a building that is conveniently located in an area where you can get to it when necessary, but also far enough away that it is protected from a disaster that may strike your business building, such as fire or robbery.

Next, consider the size. If you have a computer room design that fits your business needs perfectly today, you can almost guarantee that it will be outdated and too small within a few months. With that in mind, plan for the growing needs of your business, and design an area with plenty of potential for expansion. Planning in advance can save you the hassle of having to design a new computer room a few months down the road because you need more space.

Another important consideration when it comes to space is the type of equipment you are going to use. Servers take up space, and space costs money, so you want to minimize the total space you need with your computer room design. This means finding technologies that optimize resources and minimize the space they take up. Things like enclosed racks, intelligent rack PDUs, and other organizing systems can be helpful in this area.

For most businesses, the primary cost of any data center is the cost of energy to adequately cool the room. Servers, especially in close proximity, can get very hot and without proper cooling will eventually fail. When you create your room design, be sure to account for areas where they may be “hotspots” that need additional cooling, and also use design ideas that can help promote cooling, such as higher ceilings.

When you have such a high volume of electrical equipment in one concentrated area, having space for the cords is also crucial. Without good planning, you will wind up with criss-crossing cords, wires, and other hazardous situations that could be prevented. Simply creating space under the floor can be an easy solution where you can hide cords to keep them safely out of the walkway areas of the computer room.

Finally, you should consider security as an important part of any computer room design. Since you have so much information that is stored in your data center, it’s important to keep it protected at all times.

These tips can help any business prepare for building its next data center. Not only will your new computer room be ready to meet your data needs today, it will also be scalable for future growth, and will ensure your data is available as quickly and securely as possible.

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