Why should you go for an assessment of your data center?

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There are many benefits of opting for the assessment of your data center. With its help, you get a clearer picture of capabilities, reliability, and vulnerabilities of your datacenter. It is an important early step in developing a roadmap for future growth, upgrades, and expansion.

Focus

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They can focus on a specific technical feature or system. They may be broader in scope to encompass the full array of critical and non-critical systems that support the IT enterprise that includes the copper and fiber communication and network or storage infrastructure. When a technical even happens then as a response to them and to be better prepared for the future, assessments are initiated. Sometimes they are done to accommodate new computing initiative like cloud IT services.

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What Does It Do?

Assessment can help you identify capacity shortfalls and gaps in the existing topology that was otherwise considered as robust. More often than not these gaps are vulnerabilities that gradually erode the reliability and availability. It puts the entire facility at the risk of the unplanned outages. To identify these gaps physical verification is done, or the documents are reviewed as well. It mostly covers examination of the online electrical diagram, utility bills, cooling systems, control diagrams, etc. Meetings are also conducted to understand how the facilities are managed. An assessment report is then created which is contains the vulnerabilities identified and ranks the severity of the vulnerabilities.

What Are The Things That Are Usually Assessed?

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There are many areas of inquiry, let’s take a look at them one by one:

Electrical System

It involves the examination of the on-line electrical diagram to identify single points of failure and the other operational constraints. For instance, there may be redundant UPS modules, but they might be lacking in the bypass feature. Worse the redundant UPS modules may feed a single critical output switchboard. Most of the critical electrical systems are evaluated that includes the critical and standby power generation and distribution, utility service, monitoring systems for the electrical power, transient voltage surge suppression, protection from lightning, grounding, fire alarm, and access control.

Mechanical Systems

They are scrutinized to receive the same level of security. Cooling system capacity and the redundancy are closely examined. The failover scenarios are analyzed as well. The chilled water systems are more complex than the air-cooled refrigeration systems. They are scanned for the redundancy and the system configuration as well. The mechanical systems are reviewed to check the humidity and temperature control, space pressurization control, fire suppression, battery room ventilation, space pressurization control, generator fuel storage, and the delivery systems, plumbing drainage systems, etc.

Structural Systems

The building in which the data center are hosted contributes to the data center’s overall degree of robustness. The systems that are scanned are the wall and the roof construction materials, the presence of the windows, floor capacity, and adjacency of spaces relative to the other critical and non-critical support systems. The spaces such as the loading docks, IT storage and staging, burn-in and the test/development, NOC and the relationships with the critical mechanical rooms are considered.

Location

The building site is also assessed to find the possible vulnerabilities and the characteristics that may impact the data center operations. How the building is accessed, its proximity to the adjacent hazards like rivers, rail lines are a few things that affect the choice of location for the data-center.

In The End

There are many other areas of inquiry that are scanned before the start of a new computing initiative like cloud IT services to make sure that they deliver the best results.

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