Powering Up For Business

by Jodi Holland on 4/22/21 2:35 PM

While DVL is known as a data center solutions company, as that is proudly our area of specialty, our expertise extends past this topic when it comes to the universally critical component of power management. And, as such, power distribution needs go far beyond the data center into a host of industries. Elements that make up power distributions solutions can include generators, all the way down to power requirements driven by the application. Data centers often define this within integrated IT Racks, but in other industrial facilities, that could mean just about anything.

Starline Track Busway is a revolutionary answer to the question of just how to distribute power easily throughout your facility(ies). Typically, power distribution solutions have only provided inefficient and potentially hazardous options, especially when you consider it in the context of getting the power to specific end-user application points. However, now, Starline’s flexibility and ease of use can help eliminate the need for multiple homeruns, pipe and wire, etc., and simplify configurations by incorporating multiple components. Even changes to the layout of your facility come easy when configured with Busway capabilities.

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This flexible power distribution system consists of enclosed CU and/or AL electrical conductors. It also has a continuous open-channel bottom access design which allows a virtual infinite number of electrical connection spots to insert plug-in units in order to deliver power at the exact point of use. The amount of pipes and wires you’ll need will be drastically reduced as the Busway gets power to exactly where you need it. In addition, cost-effective distribution options are offered that allow you to tailor your facility with literally millions of configurations. Its multiple plug-in units, which can also be tailored, have a “plug n’ play” design that enables safer access to the power, with the possibility of countless customizations to satisfy your business's always-changing needs.

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As mentioned, there is much need for solutions like the Starline Busway outside of the data center world. For example, it lends extremely well to the automotive industry when it comes to assembly lines and airbag productions. And, even last year, in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, when some automotive facilities were being repurposed to answer the call for more ventilators. An automotive production line that uses the Starline Busway for facility recently reported that when they needed to change the configuration of their assembly line with new applications and new equipment, it only took 55 minutes to reconfigure the Busway system to support these new changes. The customer was absolutely astonished with this short turnaround as alternative solutions would have required 3 weeks of work when you add up the actual labor and additional paperwork and permissions from different departments that an alternate solution would demand.

It becomes clear that the Busway system is a game-changer for dynamic environments where floorplans are always changing and turning over. Therefore, a retail setting would greatly benefit from this solution as stores and showrooms, both big and small, are routinely reworking their floorplans as they usher in new seasons and merchandise. In addition to being able to change the location of the fixtures, displays, and cash registers, the Busway can also allow for lighting options to become more versatile. Lighting fixtures can be hung directly from the busway housing without requiring additional grid support. Similarly, the system is hard wired to support track lighting, security cameras, speakers, occupancy sensors, and exit and other store signage.

When it comes to other industries, the busway is great for powering up fleets of forklifts in distribution centers, it can support clean-rooms and most research and development applications in the Bio-Pharm setting, while in schools the busway is ideal for computer rooms, welding shops, and college laboratories, and lastly, in restaurants it can offer flexibility for point-of-sales, kitchen, and dining room configurations. In addition, the busway is really starting to prove itself a great fit for up-and-coming ventures such as E-Car Charging in parking garages and vertical farming.

For more information about the benefits and options of the Starline Busway, check out our recent webinar in which we discuss the Busway with experts from Starline.Watch Webinar

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Topics: power distribution, starline

Out of Site, Out of Mind, Out of...Power

by Jodi Holland on 3/29/21 12:12 PM

Industrial generators are an organization’s lifeline to keep business running in the most critical of situations. In the instance of Healthcare facilities, their lifeline variable extends all the way to saving lives. With this type of responsibility, you’d think an organization’s standby power solution or plan would be continuously top-of-mind, but this is not always the case. Unfortunately, the old saying “out of sight, out of mind” usually proves to be true.

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In many instances, industrial generators aren’t thought about until they are actually needed. And the other 99.9% of the time, they’re just sitting “out back” collecting cobwebs or worse—critters. That is, until the next emergency situation when the power goes out and suddenly, the generator is expected to be the star of the show. No time for a dress rehearsal, it’s opening night, and the curtains are opening if you’re ready or not.

So, what happens in that emergency situation if the lights fail to come back on??? It happens more often than Facilities Managers would like to imagine. But why is this the case? Isn’t a generator supposed to save you and your facility in your time of need? Yes, but you have to meet it halfway. The number one reason a generator fails to generate power during these critical times? Lack of maintenance.

Like every other piece of your critical infrastructure, your standby power solutions need tender love and care. Just like your car before going on a long road-trip, you want to make sure your vehicle is in good working condition, with enough gas and oil to get you where you’re going. Otherwise, you run the risk of being left stranded on the side of the road. Or in the case of the generator, left in the dark of your building when it’s without power (and losing revenue… or worse).

Maintenance programs comes in many forms, and dictated by either the nature of your business (i.e. Healthcare having specific requirements defined by HIPAA and NFPA) or your organizationally defined plans. Some look at a once-a-year check-up as being sufficient, but that's just the bare-minimum. Okay, at least you’re acknowledging it’s existence, but we at DVL recommend a check-up at least once a year as the better you are with the maintenance, the less time you’ll have to spend there, and also, the life of your equipment will be extended. Above all, however, you will have piece of mind knowing that it hasn’t been anywhere close to 364 days since a trained factory technician took a look at your equipment. Therefore, quarterly or even monthly check-ups are recommended, which are preventative maintenance program that exist for the more critical of facilities.

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These visits include a variety of steps, beginning with Jobsite Safety Assessments.  If you’re not intimately familiar with industrial generators, they can be dangerous. Our factory-trained DVL Technicians advise customers to do cursory checks around the GenSet areas, but to leave the more technical of steps to certified professionals. Our teams go beyond “run tests” by checking filters, fluid levels, and performing batter checks; along with manufacturer defined diagnostic tests.

In our recent #BeyondTheProduct podcast, we sat down with Generator Service experts to discuss the details and more. Give a listen, or check out information on DVL product and service options from Generac Industrial Power on our website.

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Topics: service, generator, hospitals, standby power

The Science of Cooling

by Jodi Holland on 2/1/21 1:06 PM

You know electronic and industrial equipment produces unwanted heat, and these levels continue to rise to dangerous levels. This presents the problem of removing the heat
generated before damage can occur to sensitive parts of critical IT, Communications, and Networking gear. Some cases allow for a simple ventilation solution, but you need more than an oscillating dime store fan in the world of IT applications.

Most IT applications exist in an environment where the available ambient air is contaminated or too warm to be used for the safe dissipation of unwanted heat. You want to keep your equipment life expectancy high, and not adversely effect sensitive components causing equipment malfunctions, slowdowns or failures. To create the optimum environment for the application, an evaluation of the anticipated operating conditions and thermal requirements of the equipment (or system) must be completed.IT-Cooling-Technology-1

Many organizations are taking a more scientific approach to cooling. The goal is to understand the science and techniques of effective data center cooling management. This includes the ability to quantify the changes necessary, to identify the appropriate best
practice, and to implement the airflow management strategy in the computer room.
By approaching next-generation cooling solutions as a science, you can:

  • identify isolated airflow issues negatively affecting IT reliability,
  • increase cooling capacity to allow for installation of more IT equipment, and
  • learn how to defer capital expenditures on computer center cooling equipment.

So, when considering a variety of cooling technologies, what questions should you ask to get the information you need? Check out our IT Cooling Technology Guide to get started.

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Topics: Data Center, cooling, vertiv

Anticipating Your Organization's Growing Pains

by Robert Leake on 9/30/20 11:16 AM

The third in a series of posts that explores the vital signs of a healthcare system’s critical infrastructure, this blog looks at growth at the healthcare edge and lays out the key considerations for ensuring your infrastructure has an agile skeletal system, accommodating changes in healthcare delivery models and the exponential growth of healthcare data.

Growing pains aren’t unique to people. Organizations of all types experience them as they attempt to stretch already strained resources to handle increased demands. Healthcare may be one of the most impacted industries with the influx of patient-generated health data and the growth of remote outpatient sites.

According to an IDC report, The Digitization of the World From Edge to Core, healthcare data is projected to experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 36% through 2025. That’s enough data to fill 12 quadrillion miles worth notebook paper laid end to end, circling the earth 485 billion times! These organizations are struggling with how to store, manage, analyze, and secure the immense influx of information from established and ever-emerging technologies (i.e. EHR, digital imaging, IoMT, artificial intelligence, telemedicine, and wearables). As the volume continues to grow exponentially, they need a healthy infrastructure that can scale with it.

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While today’s healthcare organizations cannot afford to overprovision, they do need ways to add capacity quickly as needed. Like the human body’s skeletal system, their infrastructure must provide scalable, flexible, around-the-clock support and the highest level of protection as data and equipment are added.

Keys to building scalability and agility into your infrastructure:

  • Future proof your strategy with modular products that can support anticipated growth. Modular products give organizations the flexibility to grow as they go, reducing upfront costs and eliminating overprovisioning. Many modular products are available today, including:

    • Modular UPS. “Bricks” of power and battery modules can be added or removed according to output power requirements. These products not only support flexibility and scalability needed for edge applications, but also improve energy efficiency, serviceability, and availability at the same time.
    • High density modular cooling. As power demands increase, so do cooling requirements. Cooling solutions for high heat density systems are available in open or closed architecture, and pumped refrigerant-based or water-based technology. By using optional pre-charged flexible piping with threaded quick connect fittings, they allow for expansion without interruption of cooling operations.
    • Alternative thermal solutions. These solutions fit easily into racks within environments managing heat in small spaces and makes cooling possible in places where traditional equipment simply won’t fit. The Vertiv VRC offers the convenience of a plug and play solution with three heat rejection options, energy-efficient features, and scalable capacity, allowing IT managers to quickly add cooling when and where it’s needed.
    • Modular rack PDUs. Choose intelligent systems that easily integrate with your data center infrastructure management system, enabling yourself to stay on top of power usage and adapt to changing business needs as you grow.
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Considering the need for connectivity and visibility with each new asset you deploy, along with how those assets will be organized and protected within the space constraints of network closets, smart cabinets, or micro data centers, will help set the stage for effective monitoring and management of the distributed IT environment, a topic we will explore more deeply in our next post in this series. This not only supports more effective management of your current IT environment, it also gives you the ability to know where devices reside, how power is being used, and where space is available to simplify expansion planning.


To learn more about supporting growth at the healthcare edge, contact DVL to discover how our solutions are helping healthcare organizations achieve continuity for life.

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Topics: Data Center, efficient data center, hospitals, power distribution

The Connectivity and Reliability of Your Network's Central Nervous System

by Robert Leake on 9/23/20 1:49 PM

The second in a series of posts that explores the vital signs of a healthcare system’s digital and physical infrastructure, this blog takes a closer look at the connectivity and reliability of your network’s central nervous system—the digital infrastructure responsible for ensuring healthcare continuity.

The reliability of critical infrastructure is arguably the most important vital sign when it comes to ensuring continuity in healthcare. Functioning much like the human body’s central nervous system, your IT infrastructure must continuously communicate with, monitor, and protect power and thermal management systems in order to stop downtime before it happens, and ensure that patient data and medical equipment are always available when and where they are needed.

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As your healthcare system’s command and control center, your IT infrastructure is the link that connects medical staff with patient data. Its reliability is paramount as even a moment’s interruption could compromise so much.

Despite understanding the importance of improving network performance—a priority that is second only to ensuring data security and compliance, according to IDC’s 2019 Datacenter Operational Survey—downtime continues to be a big problem for data centers. Preventing downtime starts with creating a healthy and robust IT backbone, or central nervous system, that connects all components of your infrastructure.

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Healthcare organizations can succeed in doing this three ways:

1. Upgrade and optimize your legacy data center.

451 Research’s Voice of the Enterprise 2019 Annual Data Center Survey shows that aging infrastructure and keeping up with infrastructure demands are the top critical infrastructure challenges for healthcare organizations. If you are looking for ways to optimize your legacy data center, it may be time to upgrade key components or invest in technologies or services that help you monitor and manage the health of your infrastructure. As you plan for these investments, keep these tips in mind:

  • Consider investing in a recommissioning process to help you identify areas for efficiency improvement and upgrades that will bring your legacy data center up to meet today’s challenges.
  • Integrate intelligent products and solutions where possible, increase visibility, access, and control; along with detecting and quickly correcting problems before they cause downtime.
  • Look for future-proof, intelligent UPS systems that cover the backup power and power quality needs of your IT infrastructure. The best solutions will check five boxes:
    1. Intelligent (network connectivity and monitoring capabilities)
    2. Energy-efficient
    3. Reliable
    4. Modular
    5. Easy-to-maintain
  • Choose thermal solutions that deliver the right cooling capacity while avoiding overcooling. Containment is another strategy that’s gaining traction, as it separates hot and cold airstreams to eliminate reconditioning the same air, thus boosting efficiency by 30% or more.Scenario08final
  • Monitoring and data analysis. Monitoring systems such as Vertiv™ Environet™ allow you to keep tabs on power and cooling systems and environmental conditions

2. Build new flexible, scalable, and efficient data centers.

As delivery networks expand and emerging technologies increase loads, organizations need more space to manage IT. If it’s the right time to invest in a new data center, it’s the prime opportunity to make choices that will help future-proof your healthcare IT strategy, including:

  • Select intelligent power, thermal management, and monitoring solutions as well as racks, power distribution, and enclosures. Set the stage for better visibility, control, and planning capabilities that improve performance throughout the lifecycle of your data center.
  • Take advantage of prefabricated solutions that can save time and money while still allowing for customization and monitoring
  • Standardize equipment from one vendor to reduce costs through increased buying power. It also streamlines buying processes, workflow procedures, training requirements, and often simplifies maintenance
  • Invest in commissioning support. Commissioning can give you peace of mind that your new facility is designed, installed, tested, and maintained in ways that optimize performance throughout your data center’s lifecycle.

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3. Ensure proper protection and management of assets housed in a colocation environment or the cloud.

According to the results of 451 Research’s Voice of the Enterprise survey, about two out of five healthcare organizations currently use cloud service providers, while just over a quarter rent space from a colocation provider. Most (70%) own and operate their own data centers.  However, it’s entirely possible to protect and manage assets even when they are stored off-premise. Here are some strategies that can help:

  • Critical features to look for include intelligent, energy-efficient power and cooling technologies along with DCIM software to monitor the entire facility, fault-tolerant designs for backup power and cooling solutions, proper equipment maintenance practices, on-site technicians, and a solid understanding of HIPAA compliance.
  • Don’t make the mistake of relying on a ‘set it and forget it’ strategy. You can provide your cabinet equipped with features that improve security and efficiency, including biometric locks, smart PDUs that monitor power usage, and RFID technology that sends you alerts whenever an asset is accessed.
  • Hybrid cloud solutions can provide a way to tap into extra capacity for some assets. A recent article by Hit Infrastructure speaks to this growing trend, which allows companies to store different types of data in different locations based on how much bandwidth is required, the sensitivity of the information, and how often it needs to be accessed.

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Make sure your critical systems never miss a beat.

No matter where you choose to house your IT backbone, ensuring its health and viability is a must. With the right infrastructure solutions, you can create a powerful central nervous system that improves the connectivity and reliability of the digital infrastructure that powers your operations.

To learn more about protecting your IT backbone, contact DVL to discover how Vertiv solutions are helping more than 80% of U.S. healthcare systems achieve continuity for life. And be sure to stay tuned for our next post on growth at the healthcare edge.

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Topics: Data Center, efficient data center, healthcare, Resizing

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