Midsize organizations should emulate big company solutions on a smaller scale. IT managers in midsize companies may not know it, but their problems are similar to those in large companies, particularly concerning their data centers and system planning. From initial concept to final design, no matter if we're talking a new center or a complete overhaul, planning mistakes can magnify and expand through later deployment phases, resulting in delays, cost overruns, wasted time, and ultimately a compromised system.
But it does not have to be this way. If the right, dedicated professionals are brought in on the project in the beginning and they communicate properly during all phases of the project, the end result will be the best it can be.
My experience tells me that the biggest potential for mistakes happens in the early planning activity. The biggest and most difficult issues we see data center managers grapple with is capital constraints versus the need to plan for longer term growth and capacity. This is where expertise comes in. Your energy solution vendor should be able to help you plan, design, engineer and implement your energy needs with scalable and flexible solutions.
Granted, at our company, we don't build data centers from scratch. But we're part of the big picture plan. We take the same approach to our part of the project as we believe the manager should take looking at the entire project. It's a four step process.
Prepare: You can't beat the Boy Scout motto – Be Prepared. Make sure your energy solutions vendor is asking the right questions and willing to work with your other contractors to make sure the solutions are right for your project. Communication is key in the beginning stages of any project.
Design: Your energy consultant should provide you a comprehensive, engineered design for your business' specific needs when it comes to standby and / or supplemental power solutions. Make sure they take into consideration your immediate requirements as well as the flexibility to grow your data center for the future.
Acquire: Make sure you are getting the right equipment for the project. Not over or under engineered.
Implement: It's important to know that when your standby power system is called upon to operate, it's in prime operating condition. Ensure your energy solution provider is a full service company and there for you for any maintenance and support that is needed after the job is completed.
There's an old business saying that states, "Plan the work and work the plan." When it comes to planning your data center energy plan, this old adage is so true.