Archive for March, 2012

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

Posted by on March 29, 2012  |  No Comments

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.

    What Is A Business-wise, Future-driven™ Data Center?

    Posted by on March 11, 2012  |  No Comments

    UNS is critical facilities. Our vision incorporates a “Single Solution Provider” in the data center market that specifically targets the small to medium enterprises.

    UNS brings significant value to the customer by viewing the IT and facility as a single entity. This approach allows us to bring highly reliable, cost effective solutions to your organization. The UNS approach reduces acquisition costs, enables faster deployment and brings the best of each component of the data center and makes it available to the customer at competetive prices. Our partnership with Schneider Electric, the global specialist in energy management, brings together the world’s leading manufacturers of critical components to ensure that your organization gets a reliable, cost-effective, right-sized solution.  A solution that is Business-wise, Future-driven™.

    Access Schneider Electric’s 10 Ways for Your Data Center to be Business-wise, Future-driven™ to see how Schneider Electric data center physical infrastructure enables companies to adapt data centers at the speed of business to meet ever-changing business needs—now and in the future.

    An excellent example of a Business-wise, Future-driven™ data center is Mercy Health.  Mercy Health is a cutting-edge health care organization that has partnered with Schneider Electric for all their data center needs over the past six years. Schneider Electric’s Business-wise, Future-driven™ data center has allowed Mercy to shift their business model from a hospital supported by a data center to a data center system supporting hospitals.  Please enjoy Mercy Health: Beyond the Digital Hospital” for more information.

    To learn more about how Universal Networking Services can help you achieve a Business-wise, Future-driven™ data center please visit or contact us.

    Don’s Corner: “Is Perimeter Cooling Dead?”

    Posted by on March 6, 2012  |  No Comments

    Don Melchert, Critical Facility Specialist


    Traditional data center “room” cooling is unable to accommodate the latest generation of high and variable density IT equipment resulting in cooling systems that are inefficient, unpredictable, and low in power density.  To address these problems row-oriented and rack-oriented cooling architectures have been developed.  Our presentation, “Is Perimeter Cooling Dead” examines and contrasts the 3 basic cooling approaches: room, row, and rack architectures. Each approach has an appropriate application but row-orientated cooling is emerging as the solution of choice for most next generation data centers. Next generation data centers demand the flexibility, predicability, scalability, reduced electrical power consumption, reduced TCO, and optimum availability that row and rack-oriented cooling architectures can provide. Additionally, the factors that gave rise to the establishment and use of the raised floor in the data center environment are presented.  For many applications the use of the raised floor is no longer justified or desirable. To learn more about this topic, “Is Perimeter Cooling Dead” is available for your organization via our unique “Breakfast and Learn” Educational Series For Data Center Professionals.  This series provides the education that will lay the critical found for your organization to run an efficient data center.  Please feel free to contact me for further information at or 918-760-8236.

    The Advantages of Row and Rack-Oriented Cooling Architectures for Data Centers (White Paper #30) Overview:

    Executive Summary:

    Latest generation high density and variable density IT equipment create conditions that traditional data center room cooling was never intended to address, resulting in cooling systems that are inefficient, unpredictable, and low in power density. Row-oriented and rack-oriented cooling architectures have been developed to address these problems. This paper contrasts room, row, and rack architectures and shows why row- oriented cooling will emerge as the preferred solution for most next generation data centers.


    • Discuss the following cooling approaches:  room, row and rack-based cooling architectures.
    • Benefit comparison of cooling architectures:  challenges in agility, availability, lifecycle costs, serviceability, and manageability
    • Special issues:  capacity utilization, humidification, electrical efficiency, water near IT equipment, location and redundancy.
    • Elements of the raised floor and problems associated with using a raised floor.
    • Hurdles to eliminating the raised floor
    • Designing without a raised floor.


    The conventional legacy approach to data center cooling using room-oriented architecture has technical and practical limitations in next generation data centers. The need of next generation data centers to adapt to changing requirements, to reliably support high and variable power density, and to reduce electrical power consumption and other operating costs have directly led to the development of row and rack-oriented cooling architectures. These two architectures are more successful at addressing these needs, particularly at operating densities of 3 kW per rack or greater. The legacy room-oriented approach has served the industry well, and remains an effective and practical alternative for lower density installations and those applications where IT technology changes are minimal.

    Row and rack-oriented cooling architecture provides the flexibility, predictability, scalability, reduced electrical power consumption, reduced TCO, and optimum availability that next- generations data centers require. Users should expect that many new product offerings from suppliers will utilize these approaches.

    It is expected that many data centers will utilize a mixture of the three cooling architectures. Rack-oriented cooling will find application in situations where extreme densities, high granularity of deployment, or unstructured layout are the key drivers. Room-oriented cooling will remain an effective approach for low density applications and applications where change is infrequent. For most users with newer high density server technologies, row-oriented cooling will provide the best balance of high predictability, high power density, and adaptability, at the best overall TCO.


    Avoidable Mistakes that Compromise Cooling Performance in Data Centers and Network Rooms (White Paper#49) Overview:

    Executive Summary:

    Avoidable mistakes that are routinely made when installing cooling systems and racks in data centers or network rooms compromise availability and increase costs. These unintentional flaws create hot-spots, decrease fault tolerance, decrease efficiency, and reduce cooling capacity. Although facilities operators are often held accountable for cooling problems, many problems are actually caused by improper deployment of IT equipment outside of their control. This paper examines these typical mistakes, explains their principles, quantifies their impacts, and describes simple remedies.


    The air distribution system is a part of the data center that is not well understood, and facility operators and IT personnel often take actions involving airflow that have unintentional and adverse consequences to both availability and cost.

    Flawed airflow implementation has not been a serious problem in the past, due to low power density in the data center. However, recent increases in power density are beginning to test the capacity of cooling systems and give rise to hot-spots and unexpected limitations of cooling capacity

    Decisions such as facing all racks in the same direction are often made for cosmetic reasons to project image; but as users and customers become more educated they will conclude that people who do not implement airflow correctly are inexperienced, which is the opposite of the original intent.

    Adopting a number of simple policies and providing a simple justification for them can achieve alignment between IT and Facilities staff resulting in maximum availability and optimized TCO.