Top 10 data center operating procedures

Every data center needs to define its policies, procedures, and operational processes.

An ideal set of documentation goes beyond technical details about application configuration and notification matrices.

These top 10 areas should be part of your data center’s standard operating procedures manuals.

    1. Change control. In addition to defining the formal change control process, include a roster of change control board members and forms for change control requests, plans and logs.
    2. FacilitiesInjury prevention program information is a good idea, as well as documentation regarding power and cooling emergency shut offprocesses; fire suppression system information; unsafe condition reporting forms; new employee safety training information, logs and attendance records; illness or injury reporting forms; and visitor policies.
    3. Human resources. Include policies regarding technology training, as well as acceptable use policies, working hours and shift schedules, workplace violence policies, employee emergency contact update forms, vacation schedules, and anti-harassment and discrimination policies.
    4. Security. This is a critical area for most organizations. Getting all staff access to the security policies of your organization is half the battle. An IT organization should implement policies regarding third-party or customer system access, security violations, auditing, classification of sensitive resources, confidentiality, physical security, passwords, information control, encryption and system access controls.
    5. Templates. Providing templates for regularly used documentation types makes it easier to accurately capture the data you need in a format familiar to your staff. Templates to consider include policies, processes, logs, user guides and test/report forms.
    6. Crisis management. Having a crisis response scripted out in advance goes a long way toward reducing the stress of a bad situation. Consider including crisis management documentation around definitions; a roster of crisis response team members; crisis planning; an escalation and notification matrix; a crisis checklist; guidelines for communications; situation update forms, policies, and processes; and post-mortem processes and policies.
    7. Deployment. Repeatable processes are the key to speedy and successful workload deployments. Provide your staff with activation checklists, installation procedures, deployment plans, location of server baseline loads or images, revision history of past loads or images and activation testing processes.
    8. Materials management. Controlling your inventory of IT equipmentpays off. Consider including these items in your organization’s documentation library: policies governing requesting, ordering, receiving and use of equipment for testing; procedures for handling, storing, inventorying, and securing hardware and software; and forms for requesting and borrowing hardware for testing.
    9. Internal communications. Interactions with other divisions and departments within your organization may be straightforward, but it is almost always helpful to provide a contact list of all employees in each department, with their work phone numbers and e-mail addresses. Keep a list of services and functions provided by each department, and scenarios in which it may be necessary to contact these other departments for assistance.
    10. Engineering standardsTesting, reviewing and implementing new technology in the data center is important for every organization. Consider adding these items to your organization’s standard operating procedures manuals: new technology request forms, technology evaluation forms and reports, descriptions of standards, testing processes, standards review and change processes, and test equipment policies.

About the author
Kackie Cohen is a Silicon Valley-based consultant providing data center planning and operations management to government and private sector clients. Kackie is the author of Windows 2000 Routing and Remote Access Service and co-author of Windows XP Networking.

source from: http://searchdatacenter.techtarget.com/tip/Top-10-data-center-operating-procedures

Data Center Generators

Generators are a key to data center reliability. Supplementing a battery-based uninterruptible power supply (UPS) with an emergency generator should be considered by all data center operators. The question has become increasing important as super storms such as Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast United States knocked out utility power stations and caused many downed power lines, resulting in days and weeks of utility power loss.

data-center-generator-delivery
Data Center Generator Delivery

Beyond disaster protection, the role of a backup generator to provide power is important when utility providers consider summer rolling blackouts and brownouts and data center operators see reduced utility service reliability. In a rolling blackout, power to industrial facilities is often shut down first. New data center managers should check the utilities contract to see if a data center is subject to such utility disconnects.

Studies show generators played a role in between 45 and 65 percent of outages in data centers with an N+1 configuration (with one spare backup generator). According to Steve Fairfax, President of MTechnology, “Generators are the most critical systems in the data center.” Mr. Fairfax was the keynote speaker at the 2011 7×24 Exchange Fall Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.

What Should You Consider Before Generator Deployment?

  • MTU-Onsite-Energy-Data-Center-Gas-Generators
    MTU Onsite Energy Gas Generator

    Generator Classification / Type. A data center design engineer and the client should determine if the generator will be classified as an Optional Standby power source for the data center, a Code Required Standby power source for the data center, or an Emergency back-up generator that also provides standby power to the data center.

  • Generator Size. When sizing a generator it is critical to consider the total current IT power load as well as expected growth of that IT load. Consideration must also be made for facility supporting infrastructure (i.e. UPS load) requirements. The generator should be sized by an engineer, and specialized sizing software should be utilized.
  • Fuel Type. The most common types of generators are diesel and gas. There are pros and cons to both as diesel fuel deliveries can become an issue during a natural disaster and gas line feeds can be impacted by natural disasters. Making the right choice for your data center generator depends on several factors. The fuel type needs to be determined based upon local environmental issues, (i.e. Long Island primarily uses natural gas to protect the water aquifer under the island), availability, and the required size of the standby/emergency generator.
  • Deployment Location. Where will the generator be installed? Is it an interior installation or an exterior installation? An exterior installation requires the addition of an enclosure. The enclosure may be just a weather-proof type, or local building codes may require a sound attenuated enclosure. An interior installation will usually require some form of vibration isolation and sound attenuation between the generator and the building structure.
  • Cummins-Lean-Burn-Industrial-Gas-Generators
    Cummins Lean-Burn Gas Generator

    Exhaust and Emissions Requirements. Today, most generator installations must meet the new Tier 4 exhaust emissions standards. This may depend upon the location of the installation (i.e. city, suburban, or out in the country).

  • Required Run-time. The run-time for the generator system needs to be determined so the fuel source can be sized (i.e. the volume of diesel or the natural gas delivery capacity to satisfy run time requirements).

 

What Should You Consider During Generator Deployment?

  • Commissioning The commissioning of the generator system is basically the load testing of the installation plus the documentation trail for the selection of the equipment, the shop drawing approval process, the shipping documentation, receiving and rigging the equipment into place. This process also should include the construction documents for the installation project.
    Generac-industrial-gas-generators
    Generac Generator

     

     

  • Load Testing Typically, a generator system is required to run at full load for at least four (4) hours. It will also be required to demonstrate that it can handle step load changes from 25% of its rated kilowatt capacity to 100% of its rated kilowatt capacity. If the load test can be performed with a non-linear load bank that has a power factor that matches the specification of the generator(s) that is the best way to load test. Typically, a non-linear load bank with a power factor between 75% and 85% is utilized.
  • Servicing The generator(s) should be serviced after the load test and commissioning is completed, prior to release for use.

 

What Should You Consider After Generator Deployment?

  • Caterpillar Industrial Diesel GeneratorsService Agreement. The generator owner should have a service agreement with the local generator manufacturer’s representative.
  • Preventative Maintenance. Preventative Maintenance should be performed at least twice a year. Most generator owners who envision their generator installation as being critical to their business execute a quarterly maintenance program.
  • Monitoring. A building monitoring system should be employed to provide immediate alerts if the generator and ATS systems suffer a failure, or become active because the normal power source has failed. The normal power source is typically from the electric utility company, but it could be an internal feeder breaker inside the facility that has opened and caused an ATS to start the generator(s) in an effort to provide standby power.
  • Regular Testing. The generator should be tested weekly for proper starting, and it should be load tested monthly or quarterly to determine that it will carry the critical load plus the required standby load and any emergency loads that it is intended to support.
  • bloom-energy-server
    The Bloom Box by Bloom Energy

    Maintenance. The generator manufacturer or third party maintenance organization will notify the generator owner when important maintenance milestones are reached such as minor rebuilds and major overhauls. The run hours generally determine when these milestones are reached, but other factors related to the operational characteristics of the generator(s) also apply to determining what needs to be done and when it needs to be done.

PTS Data Center Solutions provides generator sets for power ratings from 150 kW to 2 MW. We can develop the necessary calculations to properly size your requirement and help you with generator selection, procurement, site preparation, rigging, commissioning, and regular maintenance of your generator.

To learn more about PTS recommended data center generators, contact us or visit (in alphabetical order):

To learn more about PTS Data Center Solutions available to support your Data Center Electrical Equipment & Systems needs, contact us or visit:

Link Source: http://computer-room-design.com/strategic-data-center solutions/electricalequipmentandsystems/data-center-generators/