In addition to the above cost control should always be a significant consideration, especially in relation to improved efficiency and the reduction of power and cooling costs. Critical to achieving this is the maintenance of accurate IT and Mechanical & Electrical infrastructure asset registers. (95 -100% accurate), which also include projected lifecycle replacement plans and projected costs. In lieu of effective asset tracking tools and policies registers should be audited at least twice per year to maintain accuracy and contribute to a reliable ‘Single Source of Truth’ upon which disparate systems can rely for well informed decision making or even control where appropriate. The ‘Single Source of Truth’ is likely to be based on federated data sets which might involve multiple systems including those collecting real time information.
Critical operating and capital budgets should be separated from non-critical facilities and not pooled with other buildings or groups of buildings. This should include a documented process to ensure that funding levels are sufficient and available to support the site infrastructure according to business expectations at all times.
Effective Capacity Utilisation
Deployments in data centres should be in accordance with an established a master plan based on predicted capacity utilisation. This will potentially involve different deployment strategies based on specific usage and equipment density models. The effort required in this area can be reduced using intelligent tools to establish the optimum cabinet, cabling, IT, network and storage equipment layouts. These tools are also able to offer automatic provisioning, accurate recording of assets and locations and the creation of work orders to support and co-ordinate both local and remote provisioning activities.
Guidelines and procedures for power and thermal management should become an integral component of daily data centre operations. All elements from temperature and humidity settings to new system and cable deployments should follow well established and understood guidelines and policies that optimise available power utilisation as well as cooling efficiency and minimise airflow obstructions and hot/cold air mixing.
If a data centre contains equipment with significantly differing environmental and cooling requirements (E.G. Tape Storage, Tape Silos, Mainframes, Telecoms Equipment, Batteries etc.), locate this equipment in separate areas with individual environmental controls to avoid compromising the cooling across the entire data centre.
Prevent any unplanned installations and ensure that all equipment installation is only completed following Change Management approval preceded by detailed space planning and equipment specification. All under floor access should be subject to Change Management approval. Facilities should participate in IT Change Management planning and approval and vice versa. This should be accomplished through an integrated set of IT and Facilities Management (FM) / M&E Engineering Change Management, Incident Management, Capacity planning procedures. IT and FM / M&E Engineering should both be included in technical space capacity planning and sign off for all IT equipment installations.
From the outset IT, FM / M&E Engineering and management personnel should all be involved in the design process to achieve solutions that save energy and meet reliability, performance, cost control and other requirements. The wider teams built from this inclusive engagement should use life-cycle costing as a primary decision-making tool with both IT and FM / M&E Engineering having common goals, objectives and incentives within an aligned management structure.