Jodi Holland

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The Sustainability and Efficiency of Our Data Centers

by Jodi Holland on 8/30/21 11:32 AM

As Dave Rubcich (Vertiv’s VP, Key Accounts- Multi-Tenant) puts it, “you can’t be sustainable without being efficient,” and “if you’re going to have a sustainable data center you’re certainly going to be efficient—but you can be efficient without being sustainable.” He cautions they are two different terms not to be confused with one another.


Data center energy efficiency has varying driving factors for the range of effects yielded. When infrastructure and equipment are more energy efficient in the way they work, one of the most favorable results is the fact that operating costs will go down. Also, less repairs are needed, and less equipment too, which results in more open space in your data center. Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, the less energy that is used, the less of an impact you have on the environment and its natural resources. That’s where sustainability comes into the picture.

Sustainability is becoming more and more companies’ priority, but can have different meanings depending on how you’re looking at the issue. Overall, we are trying to sustain the levels of natural resources we have on the planet so as not to contribute to global warming, or even my some miracle make a dent in efforts to reduce it. To work towards this, data centers are striving to have absolutely no impact on the planet.

It is a dream of an ideal scenario. The way Vertiv sees it, sustainability means zero losses, zero carbon, zero water, and zero waste. “We’re nowhere near there today,” Rubcich admits, “But if we don’t start thinking about it, we can never get there.” So, is it plausible to truly not use any natural resources? Not today, but down the road, it’s the long-term goal, but only once real efforts have been made to chip away at the issue. Rubcich adds, “If you’re going to be carbon neutral or carbon negative, you’re not going to be using generators that are running on diesel fuels.” Alternative energy sources will be a must, going into the future.sustainability
Elsewhere, in the case of cooling equipment that rely on water, and therefore the equipment’s WUE (water usage effectiveness) is measured, there has been considerable movement away from certain any of these technologies that use a large supply water. Total water usage is becoming a leading factor for companies’ decision-making criteria for new equipment.

So, in what other way can end-users start to include sustainability strategies in the present-day operations of their data center? Rubcich notes that there are already a number of products readily available on the market today that are going to help improve overall efficiency of the data center and will help drive some of the sustainability goals. For example, pumped refrigerant as an economizer, as is the case with the Vertiv DX system, which doesn’t use any water.

Vertiv, along with many other companies are ramping up their efforts to be innovative with all types of technologies. Companies like Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and are able to make commitments for sustainability milestones in the future. For example, Microsoft is committed to use 100% renewables by 2025, and to be carbon-negative by 2030. While some companies’ sustainability goals seem like far off pipedreams, they are on the right path as they have brought on C-suite level sustainability officers to create and implement certain strategies to attain these results. As Rubcich points out, “when you’re hiring [someone to focus on sustainability] at that level, you’re committed to it.” And it is that commitment that will make it a reality.

To explore more of this subject with Dave Rubcich, we invite you to listen to our recent Podcast, The Cooler Side of Data Center Sustainability.

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Topics: efficient data center, Thermal Management, sustainability

A Great Place to Work

by Jodi Holland on 5/27/21 2:54 PM

Just five months into 2021, we, the employee owners of DVL, already have several positive milestones to be thankful for. Earlier this year we were recognized with the Pinnacle Award from our friends at Vertiv, given to Local Vertiv Offices that have shown excellence in many aspects of the partnership. We were then named the Company of the Year by the Pennsylvania/Delaware Chapter of the ESOP Association, awarded to a company that excels at engaging its employee owners and educating them about the ESOP and company culture. While still basking in this glow, we received confirmation that DVL has been certified as a Great Place to Work® for the 4th consecutive year!

Great Place to Work badge

Great Place to Work® is a global authority on workplace culture and employee experience, so their praise is an incredible honor, one which we do not take for granted. This accomplishment isn’t something we were able to earn overnight, it has taken many many days, and years of promoting our core values of Caring, Collaboration, Creativity, Integrity, and Professionalism to our associates. This is a large part of what Sarah Lewis-Kulin, the vice president of global recognition at Great Place to Work, means when she says, a “Great Place to Work Certification™ isn’t something that comes easily – it takes ongoing dedication to the employee experience.” And, as an ESOP, this dedication is second nature for us all.

Each year, Great Place to Work® certifies roughly 2,000 US companies. The rating is based entirely on what the companies’ active employees say about their experience working for the company. Employees anonymously complete an extensive Trust Index™ survey to determine numerous things, including their satisfaction with resources and responsibilities they are given, as well as if they think management is fair and ethical. When summed up, 93% of DVL’s 130+ associates said DVL is a great place to work. This figure is a whopping 34 percent higher than the average US company. A summary of these ratings can be found here

gptw chart

Conversely, some of our survey results were not as high as we would’ve liked. These findings serve as useful tools, as leadership can find and address areas in which improvement is needed. Whether a score is on the lower side or a number that dropped from last year’s results, these anonymous responses are an opportunity for the company to hear employee’s honest feedback. Once armed with this valuable input, we work together to improve in ways that matter to our associates.

Currently, DVL is on the lookout for our next employee owners. So, if you or someone you know would like the opportunity to have “not just a job, but a career” (as CEO Gary Hill likes to say), then check out our current open positions located in PA, CO, NM, and UT. Thanks to the Trust Index survey results, we know that if you’re hired, you can rest assured that 96% of your future co-workers agree that “when you join the company, you are made to feel welcome.” So, whether you’re on Day 1 or Day 10,950 (like some of our longest tenured employees) you’ll be a valued member of the DVL family.

Current Open Positions

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Topics: employee owned, great place to work

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.


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.

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.


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.


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.

Listen to the Podcast

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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.


Check Out the Guide
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Topics: Data Center, cooling, vertiv

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