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Data Centre Solutions

Data Centre Solutions

Global 4 has extensive experience of Data Centre design and installation in Middle East (Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar) 

We specialise in designing and installing business critical, fault tolerant network infrastructure solutions for data centres.

Data Centre

Global 4 offers a broad range of project expertise.  We specialise in planning, designing, engineering, constructing, monitoring and maintaining data centres, computer rooms and server rooms that integrate ‘best-of-breed’ critical infrastructure technologies.   This can also include migration planning of existing installations to new or upgraded facilities. The result is an always available, scalable, redundant, fault-tolerant, manageable, and maintainable data centre environment.

Data Centre

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For more information contact sales@global4.co.uk, call 01403 272910 or complete our online Enquiry Form.

 

Data Center Design Process:

Data Centre

Identification of customer design and implementation requirements with options including levels of resilience and required expansion capacities.

Identification of all costs and development of the project budget.

Review to include desired timescales, power, lighting, false flooring cable tray, floor loading, false ceiling, cooling, access, etc.

Structural Assessment: access, fire rating, false floor, ceiling height, door sizing.

 

Working and Standards Compliant Environment


Costs vs Availability

Everyone wants a 7x24x365 environment. However, the impact of delivering that kind of performance is far-reaching. Availability is more than the reliability of components used and the redundancy by which they are configured. Systems must be concurrently maintainable as well. This means that as necessary periodic maintenance is performed, systems must be able to be completely brought off-line without affecting the load.

It comes as no surprise, that the greater the availability expectation, the greater the cost.

Global 4 helps you to:

 

Accurate Critical Load Profiling

Most architects and consulting engineers rely on their IT staff to provide space as well as equipment load requirements to determine the required facility infrastructure. Global 4 translates IT equipment details directly into power, cooling, and space requirements for the facility.

 

Standard and not-so-standard practices

Global 4 has developed a detailed set of design standards by which your data centre availability can be accurately predicted. We understand the obstacles facing uninterrupted data centre operations. In addition, we know how to design and implement the solutions to mitigate them. (Many architects and consulting engineers are not fully aware of the latest high density cooling trends and techniques, and the impact they have on facility infrastructure.)

 

Data Centre Design

Data Centre

Global 4 is uniquely qualified to help businesses assess their data centre and support infrastructure risks, provide recommendations for improvement and offer accurate project costs.

A good plan is critical for a successful data centre design or computer room design project.

The data centre design in or computer room design process starts with our client’s management staff determining the business’s data centre or computer room objectives and availability requirements.  We follow with a thorough survey of the existing systems and facilities.  We then work with the IT staff and the facility staff to identify and quantify the data centre or computer room project needs and combine them with our understanding of the trends and migrations strategies required to adapt to future changes.  Finally, we develop a conceptual data centre design or computer room design from which we develop construction budgets and schedules.

 

The three most important attributes of any good data centre design or computer room design are high-availability, flexibility, and simplicity.

A data centre achieves high-availability by implementing a fully redundant, fault-tolerant, and concurrently maintainable IT and support infrastructure architecture in which all possible hard failures are predictable and deterministic.

 

Redundancy and Uptime – Tiers

The expectation of 100% data centre uptime is an ideal. However, all data centres, regardless of how carefully planned, constructed and operated, will experience downtime, either intentionally (planned maintenance) or unintentionally. Downtime is minimised by creating redundant systems for possible single points of failure. An enterprise needs to carefully consider the amount of downtime it can tolerate when designing its data centres.

Redundancy comes by eliminating single points of failure. A facility without UPS or a generator makes electrical power its single point of failure. For the infrastructure systems (telecommunications, electrical, HVAC and architectural/structural), TIA-942 outlines four levels of redundancy, called ‘tiers’. Infrastructures are less susceptible to interruption in a higher tier. A data centre is defined by its lowest tier for an infrastructure system – a data centre with Tier III electrical and Tier II telecommunications access has Tier II redundancy. The multiple systems and multiple pathways that create higher redundancy also create higher expense.

Tier I defines a ‘basic’ data centre with no redundancy. It has one telecommunications point of entry, one entry for electrical power, one HVAC system and meets minimal standards for floor loading – if it has a raised floor. Optional UPS or back-up power runs over the same wiring as the main power. A Tier I data centre is typically shut down annually for maintenance, although failure due to unforeseen incidents will cause further interruptions. A best-case scenario puts Tier I uptime at 99.67% translating into 29 hours of downtime per year.

Tier II introduces redundant components into the various infrastructures for slightly higher projected uptime over a Tier I data centre. These components include a second telecommunications entry point, UPS and diesel generator electrical backup and a second HVAC system. The building structure has higher loads for floors, thicker walls (and a requirement for peepholes in the doors to the data centre). Like a Tier I data centre, a Tier II data centre should be shut down once a year for maintenance. A best-case scenario puts Tier lI uptime at 99.75% translating into under 22 hours of downtime per year.

Tier III is a concurrently maintainable data centre – any of the main infrastructure components may be shut down without disruption of computer operation. This requires both redundant components and redundant paths for telecommunications, electrical and HVAC systems. Floor loads are higher and building access more stringently controlled with CCTV, mantraps for one-person-at-a-time access, electromagnetic shielding in the walls and more, including 24 hour staffing. Downtime should be due only to errors in operation. A Tier III data centre should be operational as long as the computer equipment is functioning. Best-case uptime jumps to 99.98% translating into 105 minutes of downtime per year.

Tier IV is a fault tolerant data centre with multiple pathways and components so that it stays in operation during a planned shutdown of any of these infrastructures. It is also built to withstand at least one worst-case unplanned event. All equipment has redundant data and power cabling over separate routes. Separate distribution areas may serve mirrored processing facilities. Seismic protection is increased to beyond minimum requirements, as is the ability to withstand hurricanes, flooding or even terrorist attack. A Tier IV data centre should expect an uptime of 99.995% or better – downtime, which should be due to a planned test of fire alarm or emergency power-off, should be no more than a few minutes a year. A Tier II facility has a second entrance hole at least 66 feet (20 meters) from the primary entrance hole. In a Tier III facility, this leads to a second entrance room, also 66 feet (20 meters) from the primary entrance room, and with separate power distribution, HVAC and fire protection. Cabled conduit may be used to interconnect the primary and secondary maintenance holes and entrance rooms for further flexibility.

 

Redundancy can be further enhanced by using a second telecommunications provider, as long as the back-up provider uses different routing and a different central office than the first provider. Within the computer room, a second distribution area makes sense as long as it and the equipment it serves are in a different room than the main distribution area. Redundant horizontal and backbone cabling provide another level of redundancy if they are placed in different routes. As a secondary route may be longer, take care to make sure that the maximum channel length is not exceeded.

 

Tier Classifications – Uptime Institute & TIA 942 Standards

 

Tier I

Tier II

Tier III

Tier IV

Site Availability

99.671%

99.749%

99.982%

99.995%

Downtime (Hours per Year)

28.8%

22.0

1.6

0.4

Operations Center

Not Required

Not Required

Required

Required

Redundancy for Power and Cooling

N

N+1

N+1

2(N+1) or S+S

Gaseous Fire Supression System

Not Required

Not Required

FM200 or Inergen

FM200 or Intergen

Redundant Backbone Pathways

Not Required

Not Required

Required

Required

 

Flexibility

A data centre must support fast, seamless, growth, and deployment of new services without a major overhaul of its infrastructure and without a major disruption to its operation.

A data centre designed for flexibility can adapt to changing business conditions and thereby the demands put upon its function.  The use of modular systems within the data centres design, where the characteristics of the modules are known and the steps to add more modules are simple, is an excellent method for achieving flexibility.

Another key component in achieving flexibility is scalability.  Scalability is the design concept of proactively planning for changing requirements.  A data centre that is scalable has the capacity to sustain rapid growth in performance, the number of devices that it can host, and the quality of services offered.  Again, the use of modular systems is an excellent strategy to address growth without major disruptions.

A data centre achieves flexibility by implementing a modular IT and support infrastructure architecture allowing it to adapt quickly to unanticipated growth.

 

Data Centre

 

Simplicity

Like many old adages, the one about, ‘keeping it simple,’ is true, especially for data centres.  The major benefits of simplifying within a data centre design are – reduced change of failures due to human error (the most common cause of down time every year) – reduced cost for implementation – and easier systems monitoring, manageability, and maintainability.

Global 4 works to fulfil our mission of creating satisfied customers by emphasising pre-design and planning services to provide the optimal solutions to meet our clients’ needs.  This results in an early and accurate alignment between scope, schedule and budget.

 

Moving Data Centre

Data Centre

Moving your data centre is not a simple task, but it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming one. Let Global 4 handle the plans for the physical move, organise the people, manage the communications and move the data centre computing equipment.

Months of planning can go into organising a successful data centre move. The logistics are complicated by the technology involved and by the scale of the data centre move.

Global 4 will facilitate the process by working with the project leader to summon contractors, movers, IT specialists and others as necessary for weekly planning sessions. Our experts help your company calculate the acceptability of downtime during the data centre move. Some companies opt to transfer all data to the new location and launch the new data centre before they shut down the old system, thus preventing disruptions. Global 4 can help you decide what the best option is for your business.

When Global 4 facilitates a data centre move, the outcome is a new facility that accommodates the established needs of your company while allowing flexibility for new service offerings. And, it can all be done without requiring the complete redesign of the IT and support infrastructure or drastic changes outside the normal periods scheduled for maintenance. Our approach maximises data centre flexibility while simplifying the data centre moving procedure.

 

Data Centre Floor Plans

Effective data centre floor plans require the strategic placement of equipment in order to optimise airflow and cooling without adversely affecting workflow and the required service area, all while still providing for maximum availability and scalability. The floor plan design process involves significant evaluation and planning utilising top down and elevation methodologies.

 

Planning and Pre-Design Phase

Detailed planning and pre-design is an important first step in creating an intelligent, efficient data centre floor plan. By investing time and effort at this early stage, companies can save on capital and running costs, save time on correcting mistakes further down the design route, and save time on commissioning.

This process begins by determining a project budget for a particular layout for the IT and support infrastructure equipment including the computer room(s), mechanical room(s), electrical room(s), and any other supporting data centre spaces that may be required. Next, if the project is for an existing data centre, the conceptual design stage typically begins with a thorough on-site survey of the facility along with an examination of future growth constraints and the ability of the existing services to support the proposed floor plan.

A broad spectrum of technical and strategic concerns must be taken into account when drafting a data centre floor plan. The biggest factor to be considered when creating an effective data centre floor plan is the power and cooling density to which the equipment is deployed. For best results, hire an expert consultant to ensure an efficient design that will lead to maximum availability and scalability

Data centre and/or computer room project assessment and cost estimating are accomplished by identifying the key design criteria for the two (2) main areas of the project focus within the overall data centre infrastructure and services, the Technology Infrastructure & Services (IT) and the Support Infrastructure & Services (the Facility). The key design criteria are:

A computer room project, on the other hand, can be as involved as a project within a bigger base building project or as simple as a relocation and/or upgrade of an existing computer room within an established building space.

Availability Requirements

The first milestone in creating a data centre project budget is to determine the Availability Requirement for the facility. While it is common practice to state the need for 7x24xForever availability, the steep cost curve associated with delivering on this expectation must be realised. Global 4 data centre classification system is based, in part, on the Uptime Institutes tier classification system, as described above.

 

Power & Cooling Density

The next step in defining a project budget is to determine the Power Density to be used as a basis for design. The power density can be described as the amount of power delivered to the critical load per unit of area and is directly related to the amount of heat that must be removed via the computer room air conditioner (CRAC) systems. In general, Global 4 defines power density in terms of Rack Location Units (RLUs). In a typical data processing environment each RLU dissipates 1,500 to 4,000 watts. However, network RLUs, 1U server RLUs, and blade server RLUs consume considerable more power, and therefore dissipate considerably more heat. The uneven distribution of RLU power density is becoming ever more commonplace, and is the number one obstacle in present day data centre design.

 

Business Objectives

The final design criteria component of the project budget is the cost associated with achieving the Business Objectives for the facility. Selection of the network services delivery is what drives the final selection of all network, security, server, storage, access, communications, and monitoring infrastructure to be deployed within the facility. Ultimately, this equipment is the critical load that must be supported by the supporting infrastructure.

Unfortunately, the space requirements for a computer room project are often previously dictated by management and/or the project architect. This complicates the design by restricting the power & cooling density strategy utilized as a criterion. Inevitably, this also increases the overall cost of the project.

Data Centre

Technology Infrastructure & Services (IT)

As shown in the chart at the top of the page, in the design process, data centre infrastructure and services are broken down into Technology and Supporting categories for budgeting purposes. The Technology Infrastructure & Services budget is determined by working with IT personnel to identify the existing systems and growth projections, evaluate planned upgrades and improvements, and quantify financial constraints; as well as to correlate how each relate to the core business strategy they support.

The technology infrastructure & services budget includes the following elements:

 

Support Infrastructure & Services (the Facility)

As previously discussed, the Support Infrastructure & Services budget is determined by considering the technology infrastructure, power density, and availability requirement. In general, the higher the power density and/or availability, the greater the support infrastructure required and thereby the higher the overall cost. Within the overall data centre infrastructure plans, the support infrastructure & services budget includes the following elements:

 

Summary

Consider these three elements together:

In the end, establishing the design criteria for the project will lead to the determination of:

It is difficult to generalise the data centre technology infrastructure budget since so much depends on the type of business, the platform utilised, and so on.

Contact us

Enquiry form t 01403 272910 f 01403 273933 e sales@global4.co.uk

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