A data center assessment can be done for different reasons ultimately leading to a stronger performing data center. As we’ve discussed in other articles, data center assessments are critical to cut costs of operating a data center, as well as increasing the efficiency of operating and should be done fairly regularly in the course of data center operations.
More often than not, data centers that have been around for a while have gone through a number of technology updates and could benefit from modernizing their facilities. The first step of any plan to improve a data center should begin with an in depth data center assessment. Here are the five steps you should take to complete the assessment of your data center.
This is one of the more obvious steps but is forgotten far too often. Standardized assessments aren’t typically as effective as custom assessments because they don’t tend to take your specific goals into account. When reviewing your goals document, remember that your reliability, efficiency and redundancy goals are specific to your facility. Your facility’s goals should guide the entirety of the assessment of your data center and and recommendations should ultimately align with those goals.
The next step of ensuring a successful assessment of your facility is to develop a technology profile for your data center. Technology varies from facility to facility based on your primary business drivers and is rapidly evolving as more data centers adopt cloud deployments. Similar to your goals, any recommendations that are made while assessing your data center should take your present technology profile into account and help to create a plan for the future of your data center as well. To ensure a relevant assessment tailored to your unique environment, be sure to establish your profile early at the beginning of your process.
Once you’ve established your goals and technology profiles, do a detailed assessment of your facility’s physical infrastructure. You should take into account your data center design and state of power, along with cooling, fire protection, cooling, security and monitoring. The architecture and performance of all of the systems in your data center should be assessed and aligned with your goals and technology profile.
Mind the Gap
Once your goals are spelled out, your technology profile has been completed and your infrastructure has been assessed, it’s time to perform an analysis on any gaps that may exist between your currently assessed situation and your goals. If one of your goals is to eliminate single points of failure, any pieces of equipment with singe corded power supplies could be a gap that needs to be considered.
Build Your Plan
Working in a live data center definitely requires planning and can’t be done at once. Developing your plan should allow you to implement incremental upgrades while minimizing downtime in your facility. Upgrades to your data center need to be completed on a carefully planned schedule to reduce your risk and maximize the benefit of your data center assessment.