Top 10 Mistakes in Data Center Operations: Operating Efficient and Effective Data Centers

Posted by on March 29, 2012

White Paper 2

For years, the data center industry has accepted that human operational error, not poor data center design or engineering, is the number one cause of data center downtime1. Uptime Institute recognizes this with its Tier Standards on Operational Sustainability. As the industry begins to adopt these ratings, regulators, insurers and end users are all going to be increas- ing their scrutiny of data center operations.

Now is the time for companies to evaluate their data center operations programs. They must be able to clearly articulate operational requirements and design an operations program based on the risk profile of the data center. However, the road to creating an industry-best operations program will not be easy, especially for those companies whose core expertise is not in business critical facilities.

While numerous consultants in the field can help you find your way, very few have data center or mission critical expertise—a vital component if you are looking to achieve operational sustainability. White Paper 145, The Top 9 Mistakes in Data Center Planning, discusses the nine top mistakes businesses make when building or expanding their data centers. Now we’re going to reveal the ten biggest mistakes you can make in the next logical step: data center operations.

“Top 10 Mistakes in Data Center Operations: Operating Efficient and Effective Data Centers” Full White Paper 2 (Click Here)

Executive Summary:

How can you avoid making major mistakes when operating and maintaining your data center(s)? The key lies in the methodology behind your operations and maintenance program. All too often, companies put immense amounts of capital and expertise into the design of their facilities. However, when construction is complete, data center operations are an afterthought. This whitepaper explores the top ten mistakes in data center operations.


  • Introduction
  • The Big Mistakes:
  1. Not including your operations team in facility design
  2. Relying too much on data center design
  3. Failure to correctly address the staffing requirement
  4. Failure to train and develop your talent
  5. Failing to consistently drill and test skills
  6. Failure to overlay your operations program with documented processes and procedures
  7. Failure to implement appropriate processes and procedures
  8. Failure to develop and implement Quality Systems
  9. Failure to use software management tools
  10. Thinking you can build a best in breed program as quickly as a data center


    Now more than ever, companies must realize the importance of a sustainable operations program. To achieve operational sustainability, organizations must act quickly to assess their current programs and begin building an operational methodology that avoids common mistakes. A complete program integrates people, processes, and systems in a manner that promotes quality assurance and continuous improvement.

    Companies ill equipped to quickly design a program of this magnitude should seek the assistance of mission-critical subject matter experts. The alternative invites unnecessary delay, risk, and expense. By implementing a best in breed program, you will protect your capital investment and ensure stronger returns years after year.

    White Paper 2 Written By:

    Bob Woolley is the Senior Vice President of Critical Environment Services at Lee Technologies, a Schneider Electric company.

    Mr. Woolley has been involved in the critical facilities management field for over 25 years. Bob served as Vice President of Data Center Operations for Navisite, as well as Vice President of Engineering for COLO.COM.  He was also a Regional Manager for the Securities Industry Automation Corporation (SIAC) telecommunications division and operated his own critical facilities consulting practice.  Mr. Woolley has extensive experience in building technical service programs and developing operations programs for mission critical operations in both the telecommunications and data center environments.

    Universal Networking Services brings a comprehensive solution from the utility pole to the server and assists with navigating the complex waters of most size and scope of projects. Whether you are upgrading, retrofitting or developing a new design-build, UNS and its partners generate efficient, scalable, reliable and manageable critical infrastructure solutions to your organization. Our holistic, common sense approach lowers our clients Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and maximizes efficiencies offered by the advancements in critical power and cooling infrastructure.

    Please feel free to contact us to learn more.

    Comments are closed.