Planning Mission Critical IT Environments

For many organisations power is a critical agenda item. Whether the organisation is a private sector or stock market listed company, public sector or non-for-profit operation, decisions will have to made on whether to operate a server room in-house or outsource the operation to a cloud provider or a combination of the two. Most organisations are today in a transition period operating both their own local server rooms and using the Cloud for software-as-a-service facilities.

At Server Room Environments, we have developed an extensive range of services to support our clients and their projects. These include site surveys and electrical inspections, testing, facilities management, preventative maintenance, 24/7 reactive response teams and general maintenance contracts.

Our services can be purchased a single on-off service or as part of a wider service package for both new builds and existing server room and datacentre facilities. You may want to add additional server racks to your computer room, replace an old uninterruptible power supply, extend power availability and distribution within the space or require your air conditioning unit to be maintenance or upgraded.

Whatever you need for your mission critical environment we can provide it. Simply call us or complete our enquiry form for a free site survey.

Turn-key Project Solutions

The Server Room Environments approach is what we term one of ‘Total Project Management’. We have built our reputation on not just product supply but our design, management and maintenance processes, delivering outstanding projects for our clients, every time and off-course to budget.

The key principle of what we do is to ‘keep it simple’. We have a dedicated and focused team of experts from within the datacentre and associated fields of electrical power, critical cooling, access security and fire suppression. Whatever you need for your server room or datacentre environment we provide you with a single point of contact project manager who will liaise with you, your other on-site contractors and our suppliers and personnel to ensure we deliver a stress-free and on-time project.

Many of our suppliers provide us with off-the-shelf solutions that you can purchase from our website e-commerce section. We do use some of these for our ‘turn-key’ projects but as the term implies, when you select Server Room Environments for your ‘turn-key’ solution what you get is a total package, bespoke by design and implemented to meet the specific circumstances and specification for your critical IT environment. Put simply, we design a solution that is right just for you and your site.

In terms of our supply chain we have one of the most extensive and time-tested supply chains in the industry. To be accepted as a supplier to Server Room Environments, a company must demonstrate that it is best-in-class, offering innovative technology and with a strong road-map for future product development. Our suppliers must be able to support products now and for at least ten years or more into the future and offer certified engineer training program and local 24/7 technical support to work with our team of electrical, mechanical, cooling and security engineers. Aside from UK turn-key projects we also work overseas.

Bespoke Solutions

Whilst we are manufacturer independent and can supply a wide range of power protection and cooling products, we also work closely with a selected top-tier whose products and engineers make it easy for us to offer completely bespoke solutions.

6-Step Server Room Review Process

When you contact Server Room Environment you start an engagement process with a member of an industry-leading team. We can review projects scopes from an initial telephone, Skype or your preferred conference call facility. After this we always recommend a site-specific survey so that we can complete our own documentation to make sure all the bases or covered. Following the site survey, we can then provide a detailed quotation, drawings, modelling and a project timetable.

Whether it’s a new build or existing server room environment, our complete planning room process includes:

  1. General site environment: a site survey allows us to gain a complete understanding of your environment and project needs including IT systems and company procedures, access and logistics and to identify any issues that could slow down or cause problems. Our Project Managers use a comprehensive checklist to review the site that covers a wide range of factors including: load planning and expansion plans, room design and space availability, electrical distribution, energy efficiency and many other factors that will be critical to the project in hand. A ground floor, easy and level access is always the preferred route but sometimes this is not always possible. For large and/or complex projects we use a specialist logistics service to off-load and position equipment on site. Our project managers arrange all the logistics aspects including parking permits, crane hire and liaison with any local government councils or police authorities if road closures are required.
  2. Electrical Environment: in any server room environment, two aspects can limit a project. The first is the space available and the second the size of the room or building incomer. It doesn’t matter if the project is for a UPS system upgrade or additional air conditioning units, electrical power availability must always be addressed. Our project managers asses the electrical environment, reviewing distribution boards and power distribution, fault-clearance, breaker and cable sizes. For on-site electrical projects we can work with your own local electricians or use our own electrical contractors. We will always offer the most energy efficient systems and can provide energy efficiency audits as required.
  3. Cooling Environment: once we have established the electrical supply available we can look at the cooling environment required. For most server rooms an air conditioner was sized to cool the room when the initial room build took place. Server Room Environments can provide a full replacement service or maintenance contract for many leading air conditioner brands. Overall, we look at the total heat load within the room and can use heat-guns to identify local hot spots. Visual inspection can also lead to ‘quick-wins’ to improve cooling and air flow including the use of blanking plates in server racks and securely fixed floor and ceiling tiles. Server Room Environments can also supply hot-aisle and cold-aisle containment.
  4. Security Environment: security specifications differ from site to site. For in-house server rooms, door access may be restricted by secure locks and ID-specific badges. For a datacentre, higher levels of secure access may be required from the main site entrance to the building and at specific levels within the building.
  5. IT Network Environment: from this point of view, we look at how to integrate into the local IT network through fixed IP points using SNMP, remotely for off-site monitoring and if required via Wi-Fi access. For complex sites Data Centre Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software is available that can be used to monitor power and access down to individual server cabinets.
  6. Fire Suppression Environment: with server rack densities increasing it is as important to review fire suppression arrangements for server room. Rack power draws are increasing with some high-end computing server cabinets running at 5kW of power. That’s now only a lot of power but a lot of potential heat if a server fails catastrophically. In terms of fire suppression, we look at existing arrangements and what’s required for the future.

Following the survey, our projects team can generate a proposal appropriate to the budget and complexity of the project. This may include modelling, identification of single-points-of-failure to be addressed and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) calculations. Other aspects that can be built into the proposal include:

  • scalability for future growth
  • N+x resilience where redundancy is required for the power and cooling
  • Factory Acceptance Testing (FATs) and Site Acceptance Testing (SATs)
  • Commissioning and hover procedures
  • On-site training and crash kits
  • Maintenance contracts and response call-put facilities

At Server Room Environments, our engineers have completed thousands of installations of the years and have dealt with probably every type of site and installation problem you could imagine. References and case studies are always available to help demonstrate how we have solved power, cooling, fire suppression, access control and environmental monitoring for our clients. For your free site survey or a project discussion please contact us today.

Planning Mission Critical IT Environments was first seen on Server Room Environments