January 2015 Luncheon

January Luncheon – IBM Global Technology Services

By Emily Liner

Data Centers are planned and designed to meet the current and future needs of any size company.  Michael Hogan, Senior Technical Staff Member for IBM Global Technology Services joined us on January 22, 2015 to discuss how Mission Critical Data Centers are designed and the critical nature of facility management.

Operators must understand the implications of hanging technologies and the business initiatives needed to help prepare for them now and continue to run the existing workload.  Business needs consist of (1) cloud computing, (2) analytics and big data and (3) the use of mobile and social communications. Data Center implications include (1) power consumptions, (2) cooling systems and (3) space requirements. Determining the workflow, equipment needs and implementation requirements for a data center is just like any design development and the needs of a company help generate a complete design.  The design should be able to address growth flexibility, improve operational efficiency and ensure application availability.

Depending on the equipment in a data center determines the data center equipment layout. Michael would use the phrase “I don’t cool my entire house just to keep my beer cold; you cool the beer in the fridge to save money”. Designing data centers with raised floors, gives the equipment the proper cooling systems for the racks.

Physical location of the Data Center must be taken in during the design process as well.  There are many elements involved in choosing the right location; and every choice is different for each client. For an example; having a new facility in Colorado could generate 50% of the year in a free cooling system due to the cold weather that surrounds the building; however, depending on location you could be making up for the difference with property tax.

Data Center designs and building criteria coexisting on maintainability of elemental components and capacity planning for future business requirements are incorporated into facility infrastructure design. Evolving technology-forces requires strategy considerations over and above those of traditional IT centers. A Data Center strategy that is aligned to business priorities will provide a roadmap for flexibility; right-sizing and cost optimization.