Intelligent CIO Middle East Issue 23 - Page 95

TECH TALK the highest level of reliability. A comprehensive definition is provided by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) which states that the focus of commissioning is “verifying and documenting that the facility and all of its systems and assemblies are planned, designed, installed, tested, operated and maintained to meet the needs of the owner.” Done right, this essential service can deliver a host of benefits to data centre owners. performance, reduce maintenance and administrative overheads and even scale back energy requirements, resulting in lower utility bills. Return on investment Closely related to the above stated reduced cost of operations, the returns on investment offered by commissioning are truly impressive. While two to three year return periods are the norm for most system-related investments, ROI on commissioning is not only experienced faster, but often far exceeds the cost of the service itself. Higher availability and fewer repairs “ROI on commissioning is not only experienced faster, but often far exceeds the cost of the service itself.” the various physical infrastructure subsystems – power, cooling, fire suppression, security, and management – will work together. As a result, one of the most valuable exercises- data centre commissioning- is often overlooked with its benefits unrealised. Commissioning is the process that reviews and tests the data centre’s physical infrastructure design as a holistic system in order to assure www.intelligentcio.com With ongoing digital transformation across all industry verticals, business reliance on IT has increased to unprecedented levels. Along with this, keeping mission-critical applications and data always available to employees and customers is now a key IT requirement. Perhaps therefore the greatest value of commissioning is its ability to prevent or greatly reduce downtime. In all recent AESG projects, the potential cost impact of issues discovered and addressed during commissioning was far greater than the cost of the service. And these were conservative estimates too as they only accounted for the cost of labour and material, without factoring the significant productivity and revenue losses businesses could face as a result of downtime. Getting it right Commissioning ensures all systems in the data centre are properly integrated. It identifies single points of failure and remedies these with redundancy. In addition to mitigating system-related failures, the process also ensures data centre management and operations teams are well-trained and well-equipped, thereby reducing the possibility of human error leading to downtime. Fast fixes and fewer changes Under the oversight of a Commissioning Authority (CxA), projects experience fewer change orders, delays, and rework, avoiding the considerable costs of late occupancy, liquidated damages, extended equipment rentals, and other costs associated with delays. Reduced costs Commissioning is part of the implementation phase so its benefits are realised from the very start of data centre operation through the entire life cycle. Well integrated systems that have been tuned and optimised offer better Commissioning is a reliability science that documents and validates the result of a data centre’s design/build process. Placed in the context of an entire data centre deployment, commissioning should be part of the implementation phase and within this, it should come after the physical infrastructure systems have been delivered, assembled, installed, and individually started up. Once commissioning is complete, formal orientation and training of data centre staff can begin. Every piece of equipment should be tested by executing a sequenced failure followed by a restart and return-to- stable operation. A sequenced failure implies that a failure in one component, such as a generator, is communicated to a second related component, such as the air conditioning system, so that the second component can act in an appropriate manner to minimise downtime or to be ready for action when power is restored. This testing cycle should be performed on each component and also on the entire INTELLIGENTCIO 95