Data center facility management is a careful balance of maintaining the status quo of success while looking for other areas to improve. From keeping up regularly scheduled maintenance to looking for ways to reduce waste, it takes a team of keen eyes to watch out for signs of performance leaks. If you're staffing a new data center or enhancing an existing team, here are the attention areas that a data center facility management team should be able to discuss.
Utility Use And Reporting Waste
Data centers require a lot of power, and often a steady, reliable source of water. Energy powers keep all systems in check, but if you have a high performance set of servers or a water-powered chiller system, the water bill needs to be watched carefully.
Keep an eye on the power bill and looking for wasted electricity is only part of the equation. Facility management professionals should be working with Information Technology (IT) professionals and electricians to understand how much power should be in use at maximum.
It's possible to count the amount of expected electrical use by counting up the wattage of all devices, although some systems actually use less than the advertised wattage. This will help you figure out if your facility management team needs to be on the look out for waste from certain areas, or if electricians need to attach meters to compartmentalize power areas to figure out where the waste is happening.
Emergency Protocol Efficiency
Emergency situations are often excuses to throw off all restrictions and work towards restoration as hard as possible, but facility management professionals can place efficient tools in place to make panic a little less wasteful.
One of the main waste risks in emergencies is overheating. When air conditioning units or chillers fail, a data center can get very hot extremely quickly. This means that personnel must have a plan for turning off the most vital systems to reduce heat from the systems, but it also means bringing in powerful fans and connected other devices in an attempt to help.
Measure every fan, emergency air cooler, and any other emergency device for its power use, and make sure that facility management performs at least quarterly maintenance and training for proper use. In an emergency, personnel may panic and drop or otherwise damage tools needed to get devices cooled or prepared for emergency quickly.
This can be mitigated with practice and an attentive facility manager who can spot potential loss during an emergency, such as marking raised floor panels used to hide fans for quick access or creating a labeling system for marking systems as vital, non-vital, on, off or broken with big signage.
Contact a data center facility management professional to figure out what future team members should know, and what you can do to bring current personnel up to speed.