Innovative software makes energy monitoring a breeze
The future is digital, the future is Data Centres… It’s the subject that everyone is talking about, and a utility that is a complete necessity in today’s workplaces, as more and more businesses move away from paper-based systems, favouring a more convenient and cost effective digital route.
Indeed many people rely on data centres, yet many don’t really know what they are all about, however for those that help to design, build, manage and maintain them, it is absolutely crucial to get it right as the cost implications of getting it wrong and the associated down-time can be truly enormous.
Data centres are buildings or portions of buildings whose primary function is to house a computer room and its support areas including connectivity to other devices both inside and outside of the centre. So basically, they securely hold and process data, that’s it! Sounds simple, but as you can imagine there are so many things to consider, not least the fact that they are responsible for the security of highly confidential and personal information, making network security and physical security absolutely essential. This is in addition to many other factors such as the location, original design, project planning, cost management, ensuring the data and optical fibre cabling is sufficient, power access, energy efficiency relating to reducing carbon footprint, cooling (with many data cabinets all in one place, just imagine the heat they emit) to name just a few elements. Not forgetting the on-going management strategy regarding the data and the maintenance of the centre as a whole?
With over fourteen years’ of designing, creating and delivering technical training programmes across the entire spectrum of IP communications, leading specialists CNet Training are known as The Data Centre training specialists within the UK and across the globe. Working with many local Government professionals, blue chip companies, the MoD, NATO and major investment banks amongst many others, their breadth of training and subsequent internationally recognised qualifications have become the global data centre industry’s chosen educational and qualification route.
CNet Training have developed entire frameworks of programmes and qualifications dedicated to the IP communications industry and most recently to data centres. The contents of the data centre framework has been carefully designed to meet the needs of professionals working in the data centre environment from initial design and build stage to the on-going management and maintenance.
CNet’s Data Centre Design and Build Suite consists of a carefully designed set of training programmes to provide the knowledge, skills and expertise relating to best practise principles for the design, construction and operation of data centres. Designing a data centre involves a high level of engineering for a technological complex computer facility and this programme, consisting of a total of seven days, involves taking the delegates through a journey of a three day core module that awards successful delegates with the Certified Data Centre Design (CDCD™) qualification, a level 3 BTEC qualification, followed by four dedicated one day courses. These courses blend together the essential components relating to physical infrastructure, electrical power supply, air conditioning and temperature control, cooling and cabling within data centre design environment. Best practice is considered along the way, utilising requirements of British, European, US and International standards and, like all CNet Training data centre programmes, they take into account the requirements of the 2009 EU Code of Conduct on Data Centre Efficiency. The end qualification, after the seven days of training, is entitled Certified Data Centre Design Professional (CDCDP™), a level 5 BTEC Professional Award from educational body EdExcel, a qualification that is exclusive to CNet Training.
With such demand for the Design and Build Suite of programmes, CNet have also designed and created a similar suite, however this time aimed at data centre professionals involved with the on-going management and maintenance of the centres. Entitled the Manage and Evolve Suite, the end qualification is Certified Data Centre Management Professional (CDCMP™), also a level 5 BTEC Professional Award. The suite is designed to equip data centre professionals with the knowledge to substantially improve operational efficiency, by understanding key management fundamentals relevant to data centre operations. The qualification begins with an initial three day core module, which upon successful completion awards an individual with Certified Data Centre Management (CDCM™), a BTEC level 3 qualification. Following the core module are four specialist one day modules focusing on the key areas of Auditing, Physical, Strategies and Compliance. Again, this is a total of seven days of training to gain the full qualification.
An overview of the key areas of consideration for Designing and Building a Data Centre
The Importance of Design Project Management
When investing in designing and building a data centre, the scope of the project, planning and project management are absolutely essential, not only to keep the project on track with regard to timescale, but to meet the stakeholders’ expectations with the physical data centre and the financial budget.
There is a need to achieve effective design throughout from the placement of cabinets and power access to essential earthing and bonding, management and installation of copper and optical fibre and the associated connectivity, in addition to essential cooling and the need for on-going safety and manageability.
Considering Power and Energy
The data centre challenge is not just about hardware costs, it is increasingly about the reduction of energy consumption and associated carbon footprint. However the requirement for very high levels of availability of power in data centres means that standby or duplicated systems are provided for business critical data and applications. So, although the performance of hardware keeps increasing, the total amount of power actually consumed is rising.
The operational costs of commercial data centres are almost directly proportional to how much power is consumed by the equipment. Worse still, a lot of that power is wasted and this needs to be reduced where possible. Therefore efficient and effective use of power is the name of the game in major data centres, even to the extent of turning off the lights. There are different methods of providing electrical power to a data centre and many strategies to minimise the hidden electrical power costs.
On average, existing computer rooms and data centres have around twice the amount of cooling as they require, but many of them are still facing problems with hot spots. This could be down to the technological advances with blade servers and networking equipment which enables data centre equipment that historically filled a room, to be contained in a single rack; sounds great, however this often creates extreme power and heat problems. Bearing in mind that more cooling plant requires more electrical power to drive it, coupled with many supply companies not always guaranteeing supply, and the subject of carbon footprint thrown in for good measure, there is certainly a lot to consider. Logically the main objective is to reduce the amount of power used by looking at effective techniques to manage the airflow and utilise tried and tested best practice with cooling resources.
An overview of the key areas of consideration for Managing a Data Centre
Data centres house a large amount of hardware and supporting facilities equipment, therefore data centre professionals not only need to understand these items individually but also their effective application. Considerations are network infrastructure, servers, software and services, access control, cooling, IT security and storage in addition to operational processes including moves and changes, managing energy efficiency, general operations and facilities management and decommissioning.
Every business naturally creates plans and adheres to effective strategies to ensure maximum productivity. A data centre has many areas that require careful strategising to ensure the consumed power delivers a cost effective service to its stakeholders and therefore delivers the defined business strategy. Key areas that allow a data centre professional to plan for the future include an effective business strategy, IT strategy, procurement strategy and supporting strategy.
Within any business there is a vast array of legislation to which organisations must adhere, everything from data protection to carbon reduction. To achieve compliance a data centre manager needs to understand all relevant standards, codes, best practices and methodologies and their potential impact, whilst selecting ways the information can be collated, utilised and applied.
With data centres consuming so much electrical power to drive both the IT equipment and the considerable supporting infrastructure such as cooling capacity, the data centre manager needs to understand where and how that power is being utilised and ensure it is being used effectively on an on-going basis. There is a need to set up processes to monitor, measure, report and assess on-going costs and performance from a physical, environmental and asset management perspective.
CNet Training’s programmes are designed with detail in mind and delivered to exceptional quality standards. The content is also constantly refreshed to reflect the latest technology, standards, legislation and practices, keeping their courses up-to-the-moment in terms of content and therefore provide delegates with the most relevant and current knowledge and skills.
For more information
On how you can benefit from professional Data Centre training contact CNet Training on 01284 767100. You could also speak with one of their expert and highly experienced instructors. See their data centre specific websites www.cdcdp.com , www.cdcmp.com or the generic site www.cnet-training.com.
Since 1997 e3 have worked with many government agencies, departments and NGO’s including The Environment Agency, National Archives, Natural England, Civil Service Learning, English Heritage, Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, Dept. of Work and Pensions and the Border and Immigration Agency.