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environment, technology, service

HPC Data Centres

November 2010 v1.1

Key questions to consider when looking at new data centre space

When evaluating new data centre space there are a number of important questions that need to be considered. The purpose of this paper is to review some of those questions and provide an iinsight into how they should be ideally answered. nsight 1. Application Criticality A. B. C. How important to the operations of the business a the systems that are being deployed? are Are the systems mission critical? Do they require 100% uptime? What amount of down time can the business tolerate before it begins to impact its performance performance?

An assessment of the systems needs to be undertaken to understand the degree of down time the systems can tolerate. understand In a disaster recovery (DR) system, backups are often undertaken at night ­ and only need to be accessed fairly infrequently. In this scenario 100% uptime may be considered unnecessary Alternatively in a production or "live" system unnecessary. ly which has customers accessing data 24/7 then 100% uptime would be required. Consider carefully any service level agreements (SLA) that the data centre make work to. Often the SL will make SLA provision for a degree of downtime i.e. working to a 99% uptime. The implication of this is that some degree of down time ime can be anticipated, and in a live system scenario this may not be acceptable.

2.

Electrical Power System A. Does the facility have redundant power? Does the DC have `true' A/B power delivery with physical separation for the A & B UPS and power delivery systems? Does the DC have backup power generators with at least 36 hours of fuel reserves? B. What is the average power density for the entire facility per rack or sq metre? Traditional design data centres are built at around 800 watts per square metre which equates to around 2kw per rack. With new 2RU servers capable of consuming 500 watts (2 amps) each ensure that there is sufficient power available today and in the future. C. How easy is it to upgrade power if needed? Can the data centre supply 3 phase power, or perhaps even a few more amps, without a service interruption? ata

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environment, technology, service

D.

What steps does the data centre take to maintain power quality quality? Power quality in a data centre is critically important. 2 key dimensions which influence the quality of the power entre are the Power Factor and Harmonics Poor power quality has been the cause of numerous power outages. Harmonics. e Consider therefore the steps that the data centre you are considering is taking to ensure power quality is considering maintained.

3.

Cooling, Air conditioning and environment A. What is the range of operating temperatures in the equipment's location? Every building has hot and cold spots. It is important to know how warm it gets in a particular area where very equipment will be housed. Remember to f factor in the additional heat that the equipment itself will generate. B. What is the cooling system like? Some data centres deploy standard cooling systems. What redundant components does the cooling system ts have? Air handlers, chillers chilled water piping? hillers, How is the cooling system powered and what happens to the cooling system during a power outage outage? Does the data centre utilise any air containment system to avoid hot and cold air from mixing mixing? Can the cooling system deliver sufficient cooling to your equipment? C. Is the data centre `pressurised' and operated as a `clean room'? This will minimise the introduction of external contaminants such as smoke from a fire that could accidentally set inimise off the fire alarms. It also reduce operational costs and efficiencies around air humidification and will assist with educes the cooling systems overall performance

4.

Security, Fire and Access A. What security measures are in place? Consider the following: Physical barriers to entry such as man traps. CCTV inside and outside. Swipe card and/or biometric access control. 24/7 systems and security monitoring monitoring. B. What sort of fire and smoke protection is provided? Consider the following: Is there a VESDA or Fast Sense detection system? Does the detection system sense only at the room level, or does it allow for rack level protection protection? C When will you have access to your equipment? Consider the following: Are the hours of access flexible? Is there access on a weekend?

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environment, technology, service

5.

Telecommunications A. B. C. D. Is telecommunications delivered over dual redundant paths throughout the DC? Are both Copper and Fibre cross cross-connects available? And at what cost? What carriers or services are available on on-site? What other telecommunications connection are available? connections

6.

General and Commercial A. What is the data centre's uptime track record? Ask to see documentation regarding the data centre's uptime. Request logs and downtime reports to get an idea of the vendor's long-term reliability. Also inquire about the data centre's failover procedure to ensure term re continuous operation. B. Data centre's maintenance? Ask to see the data centre's preventative maintenance schedule. Can the facility perform and carry out required maintenance to UPSs and other electr and mechanical electrical components without affecting delivery of service to the critical IT equipment Ask to know specifically which com components MUST be taken offline for quarterly and annual maintenance and what effect this will have on the redundancy of the centre. C. Is the Data Centre a traditional centre or is it a new "High Density" design facility? raditional

The above is a small sample of the many questions that need to be considered before deploying at a data centre. HPC Data Centres is experienced in helping its cli clients think through the various aspects of what is a complex and important ts decision. If we can help your business or you would like to learn more about data centre hosting please contact our managing centre director Justin Thomas on +61 8 646 77 222 or by email [email protected]

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