Specific expertise and experience is necessary to perform Data Center Feasibility Consulting and Studies. Most data center operators have expertise and experience in the Information Technology (IT) area in terms of network services, network engineering, network security, servers, desktop, storage, and other ancillary areas within the IT discipline. However, upgrading or building a new data center requires different skills in terms of power, space, cooling, fire suppression, computational fluid dynamics, data center architecture, commissioning of facility supporting infrastructure, just to name a few of the disciplines.
Therefore, it is an excellent idea to consider reaching out to a data center consulting team to provide these facility supporting infrastructure and architectural capabilities. The consultants will approach Data Center Feasibility Consulting by identifying the key design criteria for the two (2) main areas of the project focus within the overall data center infrastructure and services, the Technology Infrastructure & Services (IT) and the Support Infrastructure & Services (the Facility). The key design criteria are:
Key Design Criteria
Power & Cooling Density
Data Center Project Budget
Since a data center project typically involves base-building design, Site Selection must also be included as a criterion placed on the overall design.
A computer room project, on the other hand, can be as involved as a project within a bigger base building project or as simple as a relocation and/or upgrade of an existing computer room within an established building space.
PTS’ Data Center Feasibility Consulting services leverage the first four (4) of the eleven (11) step progression of the data center project process. Feasibility consulting includes Needs Analysis, Site Surveys (if an existing infrastructure is to be upgraded), expert Assessment Services of the data center, computer room, server room, or other mission critical facility, and planning.
The PTS services provided for a typical data center / computer room, planning / feasibility project engagement are as follows:
- Key Design Criteria (KDC) Development Establish Load, Availability, and Deployment Density Design Criteria
- Site Surveys Survey the Existing Conditions to Establish Facility Constraints
- Assessment Services Establish Recommendations for Upgrade and/or Improvement
- Conceptual Design with CFD Modeling Establish a Visual Representation of the Recommendations and Verify Design Considerations using CFD Models
- Project Cost Estimating Establish a Project Cost Estimate Including All Hardware, Labor, and Professional Services
- Preliminary Master Project Schedule Development Establish a Preliminary Schedule to Understand the Project Timeline
- Architectural & Engineering Design Plan and Engineer Room, Floor, Physical Security , and Other Intrinsic Elements Using Design Approaches Necessary for Mission Critical Facilities
Key Design Criteria Development Service
The first milestone in creating a data center project feasibility design is to determine the Key Design Criteria for the facility. PTS has a proprietary approach to classifying client Availability Requirements which are, in part, based upon the Uptime Institute’s tier classification system. However, PTS leverages many years of experience in designing and building data centers that are classified as Tier I, II, III, or IV to focus upon key elements for a particular client’s requirement rather than being forced to a specific Tier rating level.
For example, PTS engineers and architects may talk in terms of designing a data center meeting Tier II requirements with certain Tier III attributes per the Uptime Institute rating approach. Across the board Tier III attributes may not be needed but certain redundancy in the power path may be necessary to meet a specific client’s Availability Requirements.
Key design criteria development is a process of interviewing the project stakeholders with the goal of establishing the critical load, site availability requirements, and IT equipment deployment density for a specific computer room improvement, expansion, or new construction project. Additionally, PTS uses these high-level decisions as parameters in a cost model matrix to identify their effect on overall project costs across multiple scenarios, thus allowing the client to narrow the scope of the project to one that is affordable, yet meets the business’ needs.
Ultimately, time spent understanding how load, availability, and density affect the project cost will save you both time and money in the end. Changes to the scope, midway through the construction phase, cause most project cost overruns. PTS’ Key Design Criteria (KDC) Development Service will help you avoid this pitfall by establishing project feasibility via a high-level cost analysis that leads to an early alignment of scope, schedule, and budget.
Site Survey Service
If there is an existing site, PTS will field survey the existing conditions of the data center facility, including all computer rooms and supporting spaces as well as its supporting infrastructure and compile a list of findings including identification of critical and non-critical deficiencies as well as the risks to the overall availability of the site.
The intent of this service is to establish a baseline of the existing conditions to serve as a basis for determining a set of Program Requirements, a Conceptual Design & Project Budget, and ultimately design documents when considered in combination with the project’s key design criteria definition.
PTS’ data center assessment services provide a company with a non-biased, independent assessment of the current data center, computer room, and/or mission critical technical space, including sections of findings, critical deficiencies, and recommendations for upgrades and enhancements to mitigate scheduled and/or unscheduled downtime. Completion of this service requires both PTS’ Site Survey Service (to gather existing conditions information) and Key Design Criteria Services (establish design requirements) as prerequisites before recommendations can be made.
Conceptual Design Service with CFD Modeling
PTS provides a conceptual design of a new and/or upgraded data center as a culmination of previously established information gathered during the Site Survey, Assessment, and Key Design Criteria phases.
The goal of the conceptual design phase is to articulate in diagram format the narrowed project scope by detailing the components and systems that will comprise the project budget, thereby saving overall project cost.
PTS works with the client to determine the layout of the data center, including the space required for IT personnel, storage, and staging, the space required for computer rooms, the location of the IT equipment in the computer room(s), the size of the support infrastructure equipment, and the service areas around each piece of equipment. PTS then defines the space requirement for any mechanical, electrical, and/or support rooms and performs Computational Fluid Dynamics analysis to validate the cooling approach supports the IT infrastructure, eliminating hot spots in the design and providing proper cooling to all racks within the facility.
Project Cost Estimating Service
PTS works with your team to establish a +/- 15% accurate, line item detail, project budget based on the previously created Conceptual Drawings. Our cost data is established from years of experience working hundreds of budgets, and having the benefit of involvement in the design, and/or construction of millions of square feet of data center space.
A cost estimate this early project’s development provides the client with adequate cost data to complete their analysis as to the financial feasibility of continuing with the project for a specific design condition. Experience dictates it is far less expensive to make substantial changes to the project’s underlying Key Design Criteria (KDC) (load, availability, & deployment density) and Conceptual Design methodology now rather than later in the project process.
Preliminary Master Project Schedule Development Service
PTS will work with your team to establish a preliminary master project schedule based on the previously created Conceptual Design and Budget. Our timeline data is established from years of experience working hundreds of schedule, and having the benefit of involvement in the design and/or construction of millions of square feet of data center space.
A project schedule this early project’s development provides the client with adequate timeline data to complete their analysis as to the time feasibility of continuing with the project for a specific design condition. Experience dictates it is far less expensive to make substantial changes to the project’s underlying Key Design Criteria (KDC) (load, availability, & deployment density) and Conceptual Design methodology now rather than later in the project process.
To learn more about other PTS Data Center Feasibility Consulting and other Data Center Design & Build Services, contact us or visit:
- PTS Data Center Planning & Pre-Design
- Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Services
- Data Center Energy Usage Assessment Service
- Data Center Power & Cooling Systems Analysis
- Data Center Availability & Risk Assessment
- Data Center Design Commissioning
- IT Implementation Services
- Data Center Support Infrastructure Equipment Services
- Raised Floor Cooling Analysis
- The Challenges of Data Center Cooling
- Help With High Density Cooling
- Data Center Feasibility Analysis
- Data Center Site Assessment
- Thermography Assessment Service
- PTS Virtualization Strategies & Assessments
- IT Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery
- Data Center Routing and Switching Planning & Feasibility
- Data Center Server Planning & Feasibility
- Data Center Storage Area Network (SAN) and Data Protection Planning & Feasibility