What to Do When You Acquire a New Data Center: Key Steps to Get Familiarized15 min read
Congratulations – you’ve just acquired a new data center. This could be a new build, a newly refurbished data center, or one that you’re temporarily utilizing for capacity and business needs. You now have more resources, more tools to work with, and a whole new way of supporting your growing business. As great as it is to acquire a new data center infrastructure – there are some very critical considerations to make sure you’re nice and familiar with all of the components in your new environment.
Although you may know your existing data center really well, the new one may have its own quirks and differences. With that in mind – here are the top 5 considerations when acquiring a new data center – and how to get familiarized faster.
1. What are the capabilities around redundancy and uptime?
If your new data center goes down, and you don’t know how to fix it – you’ll be faced with a very expensive challenge. A recent Data Center Knowledge study found that companies lose an average of $7,900 per minute of outages. This could be critical electrical systems or even mechanical in nature – like cooling. It’s critical to quickly understand the capabilities around power, cooling, humidity control, and IT equipment management. Never assume anything with a new environment. Rather, always document your new data center and make sure you know all of the systems which keep the platform up and running. This means understanding how planned downtime is scheduled, when there have been unplanned outages and why, and know the capabilities around continuous critical system operation.
2. What are the capacities around things like electrical and mechanical systems?
When you look at your existing data center, it’s critical to know the capacity of individual components and systems. Improper capacity management is a common cause of outages and a leading cause of cascading events in a failure scenario. It’s absolutely critical to ensure that your new data center has enough room to allow your business and its computer requirements to grow. For example, you should not be settling with a system that has more than a 90% load on the Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) systems. This could indicate the data center may be reaching the end of capacity and potentially at risk of failure.
3. Is there a monitoring/management system in place and how effectively is it managed?
Your data center is absolutely critical to your business. With that in mind – how well are you able to manage it all? What is your visibility like? Your new data center will come with unique assets, new tracking methods, new environmental management metrics, and much more. If you buy, acquire, build, or refurbish a data center – a monitoring/management system must be a part of the plan. When working with a new data center – these tools help with:
• Component and system capacity management
• Threshold alerting, alarms, and advanced monitoring
• Real-time thermal and power monitoring
• Visibility into cooling, humidity, and temperature controls
• Proactive and predictive trend analysis
• Cooling optimization recommendations
4. How will you be measuring your SLAs?
A new data center may very well come with new SLA requirements. What is the user that you’re supporting? How has the business model changed? What tools are you using to monitor internal systems and customers? A great way to familiarize yourself with your new environment is to create a solid SLA around your organization and the customers it’ll be hosting. This will allow you to better understand thresholds, metrics, and where specific services can be applied.
5. How well are you able to plan your focus around data center infrastructure services?
Your data center will host your business operations. In some cases, you might even be creating a multi-tenant ecosystem which hosts a number of different organizations. This means you need to have a fundamental understanding around your new data center, the services it can provide, and how you can optimize the entire process. Today, the modern data center is directly tied to business operations. Because of this – administrators and managers must be able to keep their environments running efficiently. Whether your organization is the customer, or you’re hosting other companies – know the services that you can provide and where there are potentially limits.
Acquiring a new data center can be an exciting and somewhat intense process. Still, when you take the time to really plan out your new data center – you’ll see how much you can really do with it. Remember, never assume capabilities; always make sure to test and document first hand. When working with new, refurbished, or acquired systems – you absolutely have to understand all of the underlying components and how they’re being managed. This will allow you to proactively resolve small issues and respond faster when there is a more serious challenge. When working with any data center environment – always remember just how closely it’s tied to your entire business.
Real-time monitoring, data-driven optimization.
Immersive software, innovative sensors and expert thermal services to monitor,
manage, and maximize the power and cooling infrastructure for critical
data center environments.
Real-time monitoring, data-driven optimization.
Immersive software, innovative sensors and expert thermal services to monitor, manage, and maximize the power and cooling infrastructure for critical data center environments.
Industry Analyst | Board Advisory Member | Writer/Blogger/Speaker | Contributing Editor | Executive | Millennial
Bill Kleyman is an award-winning data center, cloud, and digital infrastructure leader. He was ranked globally by an Onalytica Study as one of the leading executives in cloud computing and data security. He has spent more than 15 years specializing in the cybersecurity, virtualization, cloud, and data center industry. As an award-winning technologist, his most recent efforts with the Infrastructure Masons were recognized when he received the 2020 IM100 Award and the 2021 iMasons Education Champion Award for his work with numerous HBCUs and for helping diversify the digital infrastructure talent pool.
As an industry analyst, speaker, and author, Bill helps the digital infrastructure teams develop new ways to impact data center design, cloud architecture, security models (both physical and software), and how to work with new and emerging technologies.