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Data Center Assessment and Design

Costly data center


decisions are too often made without the benefit of a solid assessment of your data center and identification of your potential alternatives.

Problems which could be easily resolved are often left unidentified until resolution becomes challenging, or even reaches crisis-level.


Day-to-day operations and minor issues commonly receive all the attention while significant risks are unaddressed due to lack of understanding.

 

UE’steam of experts perform detailed on-site assessments of data centers and other critical facilities.

 Although no two facilities are alike, a professional assessment should readily highlight concerns relative to other data centers supporting similar functions. UE’s assessment typically includes:

 

  • A concise, executive summary with recommendations and financial considerations.
  • A definition and a model of your current and future data center requirements / demand.
  • A detailed assessment of the current state of your facility and its effectiveness in meeting your current capacity and reliability requirements.


    Some key areas:
  • Geographic location risks, location in building risks
  • Usable spaces
  • Quality/condition check on currently operating equipment
  • Equipment usable capacities with redundancy fail over
  • Power and cooling efficiency
  • Equipment loading and available capacity (many operators believe they have more in reserve than they actually have)
  • Local and remote monitoring and controls
  • Equipment labeling and signage, as-built construction drawing accuracy, operating procedure effectiveness
  • Operator coverage based on the site-specific needs, qualifications
  • Repair/maintenance and operating costs
  • Options for refreshed data center designs to address expected changes in requirements. These may involve expansion, downsizing, rightsizing, hardening, refreshing equipment or allowing low-risk, online maintenance
  • Detailed cost estimates for future state options.
  • Block diagrams, sketches or other documentation developed to effectively convey current and future state details.

Data center assessments need to be up-to-date and should be refreshed at least once every few years. Over time, equipment ages, problems develop, loads change and available technology improves, including energy efficiency, which directly affects power costs (the highest ongoing operating cost of data centers).

 

Not all problems need to be resolved, especially where resolution is costly, risky or otherwise disruptive.  

But to effectively maintain and manage a problem, the risks need to be fully understood.

 

Many issues can be resolved at low cost and low risk. 

UE’s team of experts are often engaged to dig into a failure, uncover the root cause and provide mitigation options. 

UE is often brought in to resolve a specific problem:

 

  • Failures, especially repeat failures causing unplanned downtime
  • Replacing and often re-configuring end-of-life equipment
  • Not enough white space, or too much white space
  • Not enough utility power, generator, UPS or PDU capacity
  • Not enough cooling capacity or hot spots/poor air management
  • Inability to perform required maintenance without presenting undue risk
  • Emergency Power Off (EPO) shutdown risk
  • Water intrusion risk
  • Physical security risk

 

Design 


Once the requirements for a data center reconfiguration, upgrade, or new facility are identified, initial design concepts with rough budget costs need to be developed. 

The following process occurs:

 

  • UE often develops an initial Basis of Design, which provides design direction and allows for budget cost development.
  • UE provides full design, work with your selected designers or help in the selection of designers.
  • UE oversees design by others, keeping them on track with client requirements.

UE can also perform data center construction (upgrades or new-build) and commissioning, or represent you, the client, by providing oversight to other parties performing these critical functions.

UE is an expert in performing upgrades within an active data center, which many data center constructors find challenging.

UE also offers independent, third-party Commission  to ensure your data center is properly tested before going live.

See UE Construction Services for a complete description of our data center construction services.


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