Renovate the Data Center

Renovation projects are more complex than first thought.

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Your Challenge

  • 33% of enterprises will be undertaking facility upgrades or refreshes in 2010 aimed at extending the life of their existing data centers.
  • Every upgrade or refresh targeting specific components in the facility to address short-term pain will have significant impact on the data center environment as a whole. Planning upfront and establishing a clear project scope will minimize expensive changes in later years.
  • This solution set will provide you with step-by-step design, planning, and selection tools to define a Data Center renovation plan to reduce cost and risk while supporting cost-effective long-term growth for power, cooling, standby power, and fire protection renovations.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • 88% of organizations cited they would spend more time and effort on documenting and identifying facility requirements for initial project scoping. Organizations can prevent scope creep by conducting the necessary project planning up front and identify requirements and the effect that the renovation project will have in all areas of the data center facility.
  • Data Center facilities renovations must include the specific requirements related to power provisioning, stand-by power, cooling, and fire protection - not just the immediate short-term pain.
  • 39% of organizations cited they would put more emphasis on monitoring contractor management and performance to improve the outcome of the data center renovation project.

Impact and Result

  • Early internal efforts to create a budget and facility requirements yields better cost and project outcomes when construction begins. Each data center renovation project is unique and should have its own detailed budget.
  • Upfront planning and detailed project scoping can prevent a cascading impact on data center renovation projects to other areas of the data center that can increase project size, scope and spend.
  • Contractor selection is one of the most important first steps in a complex data center renovation. Organizations must ensure the contractor selected has experience specifically in data center renovation.

Renovate the Data Center

1

Identify and understand the renovation project.
  • Gain clear insight into the scope of activities that must be completed before any Data Center refresh or renovation decisions are made.
  • Identify what project (power, cooling, standby power, fire protection) needs to be accomplished and the scope around each project.

2

Renovate power in the data center.
  • Organizational growth will cause capacity issues in the data center.
  • For example, adding new servers and storage to support business growth will increase power demand requirements. An organization that needs to add power capacity for current or future needs will have to assess their current requirements and options for expansion.

3

Renovate cooling in the data center.
  • Cooling the data center can amount to approximately 50% of the cost in the data center. As cooling systems get older and reach their end of life, they become inefficient and less reliable - risking breakdown and increasing cooling costs.
  • In addition, a lack of cooling can cause damage and shorten the life of servers and equipment in the data center.
  • As cooling systems reach their end of life, an organization is faced with the decision to add additional cooling, or change their cooling methods.

4

Renovate standby power in the data center.
  • Organizations that do not have the proper redundancy in place risk the loss of data and downtime – a cost many are not willing to risk.
  • When improving levels of power redundancy, organizations should not focus solely on servers. Impact from other equipment on the load should also be included in the assessment.
  • Organizations with aged UPS, inadequate UPS (due to expansion etc.), or lack of UPS may require a renovation of the current system.

5

Define current and future fire protection requirements.
  • Fire protection is a critical and obligatory part of data center design and planning. Because the existing fire protection system was deployed using previous facility requirements and capacity, any renovation or refresh activity occurring will impact the effectiveness of the system.
  • Conducting a detailed review of the fire protection requirements will ensure that Life safety, protection of property, continuity of operations and, necessary Codes and standards are not negatively impacted by the renovation or refresh project.

6

Assess the opportunities and establish a clear project scope.
  • Initial planning for the data center renovation project is critical to its success.
  • IT leaders tasked with renovating a data center often experience scope creep and budget issues in later stages if initial planning, design and requirements are not properly outlined in beginning stages of the project.
  • Establish clear project scope, decision rights, and executable time-line for the project.

7

Establish a budget for the data center renovation project.
  • Early internal efforts to create a budget and facility requirements yields better cost and project outcomes when renovation begins.
  • Outline a clear and accurate budget and ensure funding for both the renovation phases and the ongoing operating expenses of the facility.

8

Select a general contractor to execute the project.
  • The skills required to execute data center facility renovations are rarely found in-house.
  • A competent general contractor with deep experience in data center renovation with projects of similar size and scope is required.