If you’re considering whether or not to set up your own data centre, or looking to upgrade an existing one, you might be wondering how much time and effort you’re going to need to invest into the project. So, to help we’ve put together this little guide.

Data Centre Audit

First things first – if you currently have your own existing data centre facility and are looking to ensure that your facility is functioning as intended, we can arrange for a data centre audit to take place. Our Audit teams will visit your data centre and produce a comprehensive report in line with current best practice. We will assess your facility against standards such as Uptime Institute Tier Topology Standards or BS EN 50600 Data Centre Class Standards, or a target level or resiliency as you require.

You may wish to undertake a data centre audit before commissioning a new data centre in order to strengthen the business case for an upgraded facility. You may also require an audit once the data centre is up and running to ensure that it continues to adhere to the necessary standards and to take account of changes in best practice over the lifetime of the installation.

An audit will look at all aspects of the data centre including; cooling, critical power, UPS, security, fire suppression – even the physical location of the equipment is assessed. Measurements will be taken to ensure that systems are operating in accordance with design parameters and, where required, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modelling can be used to identify areas of improvement.

CFD simulation

Data Centre Design and Build

Our Data Centre Design team looks at all aspects of your current data centre provision and pinpoints the difference between what you need and what you currently have.

Having determined your current position, our Uptime Institute Accredited Tier Designers can get to work on designing a new, fit-for-purpose data centre. We cover all aspects of your data centre using (CFD) to model the effectiveness of the proposed cooling systems and choosing the best security and access arrangements to ensure the safety of your data.

Once the design and budget are agreed, our teams can then build and commission your new data centre. Alternatively, we can then act as project manager if you have other contractors in mind, who you’d prefer to handle the actual installation.

Our experienced Project Managers will ensure you are kept informed at every stage of the process and provide you with the information you need to be confident that the project will deliver the expected commercial benefits.

Testing and Commissioning

Before you entrust your data to your new data centre you want to be sure that it’s going to be safe and secure. Before we even start the build, we will be planning the final stages to ensure a smooth transition from your existing arrangements to the new data centre.

Once commissioned, we will undertake a thorough testing regime designed to give you peace of mind that the project is delivering the resilience promised.

The first stage is the Systems Acceptance Test (SAT). This verifies that everything has been installed correctly and in-line with the manufacturers’ recommendations. Tests of performance and capacity are undertaken, both under “normal” conditions and under “overload” conditions to ensure the system is functioning as expected.

The second stage is the Integrated Systems Tests (IST). These look at the data centre as a whole and ensures that it works, both under normal conditions and under extremes. If either you, the Tier standards, or current best practice specify something as important then we’ll ensure it gets tested – even to extreme scenarios such as the main generator failing to start up.

Our Testing teams work separately to our Design and Build teams to ensure impartiality. We can also act as a professional witness to third-party testing or undertake the testing of data centres that others have designed and built.

Data Centre Maintenance

Without the correct maintenance, your data centre will soon start struggling to meet its critical operational targets. When you choose our multi-discipline Facilities Management team to maintain your data centre, you can be sure that all areas are covered.

We have Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM) contracts in line with SFG20 and OEM guidelines. We continually monitor performance allowing for early detection of issues which allows us to repair the fault – in most cases before it becomes a real issue for your business. Through planned maintenance regimes and use of early warning systems, we can ensure that data centre downtime is kept well within the limits of the Tier.

Data Centre Specialists

We have many years of experience in installing, testing, maintaining and auditing data centres so whether you need a full lifecycle service, or a single aspect of what we offer, you can be sure that your data is in the safest hands.