Gems of Wisdom from Beyond the Product

by Jodi Holland on 1/30/24 2:26 PM

“Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.” — Oscar Wilde

When you’ve worked in the deep trenches of critical infrastructure long enough, like quite a few of our longest tenured employee owners, you know that the most valuable lessons don’t come from a textbook or a policy manual. Rather, we learn the most, right in the field, from those real world mistakes and mishaps—or “experiences” as Oscar Wilde would say.

So, we asked our Associates about their most valuable gems of wisdom that they could pass on to colleagues in the industry. Here are some of the top answers we received. We're sharing them here, in hopes that we'll be able to save others from learning some unfortunate lessons the hard way.

SERVICES

  • Spare parts are an on-site technician’s best friend.
  • A single-point-of-failure is NOT an end user’s best friend.
  • A hungry mouse can be disastrous to critical wires.
  • The smallest of unchecked details can be the source of a project’s biggest (and most expensive) problem.
  • Arc-flash is dangerous and not anything you ever want to see.
  • Weekly exercises are the surest way to know your GenSet will work when needed.
  • The UPS battery system is like a loaf of bread…you only get so many slices (or discharges)…and the bigger, and more often, the discharge, the quicker you’ll need a new loaf.

Let us know what you think of these nuggets. Have you had the unfortunate opportunity to learn any of these lessons on your own? Or do you have an important one to add to the list? Email us at Marketing@DVLnet.com. If we get enough responses, we’ll post a Part 2.

Read More

Topics: Data Center, service, optimized performance, top trends

Achieving Excellence in Data Center Operations

by Robert Leake on 1/9/24 11:41 AM

Data centers are the beating hearts of modern businesses. They house critical infrastructure and sensitive data that is vital to all departments across an organization. In this fast-paced digital landscape, making sure your data center is always in top operational shape shouldn’t be just a goal, but an absolute necessity on any given day that someone will need to access pivotal data at the click of a mouse.

And, as you know quite well, running a data center pulls you in multiple directions at once. That’s why, to ensure you’re never offline, it’s important to always have a real-time pulse on the areas outlined below. 

data center operations infographic

Security: Building Fortresses for Data

Imagine a data center as a fortress with a hard outer shell and multiple layers within, each with their own security measures. Strict management of access ensures only those who require entry to each of these levels can actually get in. This goes beyond the front door and is a physical concern throughout the entire data center. To minimize security risks, it’s a must to manage the who, why, and where of every person entering your facility, as non-company staff must access the grounds for daily demands or periodic maintenance.

Preparation is Key

The COVID-19 pandemic brought many unexpected challenges for those leading data center operations at the time. Companies have long developed various types of disaster recovery plans accounting for a variety of scenarios. However, the pandemic tested those plans. And, when we found ourselves in a situation that hadn’t been experienced in 100 years, many failed the test. Fortunately, lessons learned strengthened disaster recovery going forward. Such lessons include the delicate nature of supply chain management, the importance of procuring inventory when available, and being able to execute “on a dime” during even the most chaotic of times. For these reasons, establishing thorough disaster recovery plans and being able to quickly adapt to unknowns have become indispensable.

Safety: A Cultural Requirement

Prioritizing the well-being of employees working under extreme conditions is crucial and should never be a question. That is why, for very good reasons, safety has become a cultural requirement for all businesses. Main concerns within data center environments include managing worksites where employees from multiple companies are working in tandem, ensuring the safety of workers that are working alone, taking precautions when working with high voltage power infrastructure, and having in place efficient response processes in case of emergencies. It’s not just enough to have these processes in place, but to ensure that no one is cutting corners, especially organizational leaders, as values are engrained from the very top. If you get everyone home safely at the end of the day, you’ve got yourself a strong culture and a safe data center.

Continuous Improvement

Even the top tier of organizations have room for improvement, whether being driven for the need to optimize efficiency or new ways to stay on budget. Repetitive tasks can be improved by identifying process enhancements and design strategies. Challenging the status quo can have significant results when driven by the employees who are closest to the challenges. Buy-in at all levels is needed for improvements and long-term success, as support from leadership helps to ensure this evolution occurs.

Nurturing Future Leaders

As the most experienced data center professionals continue to retire, there is a greater need for fresh faces. But to accomplish this, the industry needs to make sure students at all levels are being properly introduced to the concept of data centers, how they work, and why they must work for society to function. For example, younger generations are the largest consumers and creators of data. The broadband requirements are ever increasing, and the workhorse behind this data isn’t even a thought, as they may not recognize the connection between data centers and their iCloud folders, unless it is demonstrated to them. Furthermore, tomorrow’s professionals stand to benefit from learning more about our industry, as it opens for them a new door of career potential and even lucrative compensation.

Exposing younger generations to the industry, whether through professional forums and societies or internships, providing guidance on required skills, and mentoring them as they mature, are essential to properly pass the torch. These future leaders will shape the industry's evolution and will more immediately allow you to sleep soundly at night knowing the lights are being properly kept on, and equipment is up and running.

Finding the Right Fit

Attitude and aptitude are definite requirements for an employee to succeed in data center operations. When recruiting for the best possible fit, you’re going to ultimately need someone who can handle the stress of working in such an unpredictable environment. Being resilient during challenging times makes for outstanding professionals in any field. Additionally, communication skills are vital. Being able to identify and resolve problems is great, but being able to turn those problems into learning opportunities for an entire team, is invaluable, especially in the high-stress moments.

By making these items a priority, and by constantly reevaluating your organization’s needs, you are positioning your organization for great success. One data center operations team that has figured this out quite well, is the EdgeCore Data Centers’ team of operations leaders, led by Therese Kerfoot, SVP Operations. In December, Kerfoot and her team, Harrison Stoll (VP Operations), Matt Silvers (VP Operations Programs), and Sarah Kasper (Sr. Director, Environmental Health & Safety) joined us on the DVL Power Hour, “Data Center Excellence: Operations & Safety,” where the four shared their experiences in these areas and more. To learn about the extremely valuable insights they brought to the table, please check out the On-Demand webinar, or listen to the adapted podcast version available below and on iTunes and Spotify.

WATCH THE WEBINAR LISTEN TO THE PODCAST
Read More

Topics: Data Center, Safety, beyond the product, operations

Available On-Demand: DVL Power Hour Webinars

by Jodi Holland on 7/6/23 2:15 PM

Since we began our DVL Power Hour webinar series a few years ago, we've been able to bring you more than 40 live episodes. We’ve hosted many discussions about a variety of topics related to critical infrastructure and data centers. Thermal Management. Batteries. E-Rates. Green Data. Pandemics. Service. We’ve talked about all of this and more, as we welcomed guests from some of our partners, such as representatives from Vertiv, Generac, Critical Labs, Packet Power, and more, as well as some of our customers, and even scientists who have helped explain some of the latest technologies and trends.

If you haven’t had the chance to tune in for any of these webinars, or haven't in a while, we hope you’ll make your way over to our list of past webinars, as all our previously broadcasted webinar episodes can be accessed on-demand via our website. We invite you to browse topics and titles to find any that may interest you.

webinars

Some of our most popular episodes include:

  • "How to Choose the Right Cooling System"
  • "The Importance of Indoor Air Quality"
  • "Research & Development: Advanced Methods of Cooling Electronics"
  • "Power Distribution in Critical Facilities"
  • "Expanding the Monitoring Equation: Alert Management to Risk Mitigation"
  • "NFPA Standards & Generator UL Listings with Generac"

As far as new webinar episodes go, we are currently on a break for the summer, but check back soon for more information. We will continue to bring you new episodes on a monthly basis. In the meantime, if you'd prefer, all our webinars are ALSO available in a podcast format as well. Episodes have been edited down--you won't be able to see video or slides, but will still get to enjoy some interesting conversations and insights into the critical infrastructure world while on the go. We hope you'll tune in. And if you have any questions or comments, please reach us at Marketing@DVLnet.com.

 

Read More

Topics: Data Center, Data Center efficiency, mission-critical, webinar

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.

IT-Cooling-Technology

Check Out the Guide
Read More

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.

HEALTHcare-racks-1

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.
icom-small

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.

Connect with a data center expert

Read More

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

Subscribe to Our Blog

Recent Posts

Posts by Tag

see all