Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Facilities Manager - Friend or Foe?

In the computer rooms and data centres that we visit there is invariably friction, to say to the least, between the IT department and the Facilities department. IT don’t want to allow access to ‘their’ computer rooms, and facilities need access to maintain the plant.

These frictions need to be overcome. Facilities do need access to the computer room, and this should be allowed in a controlled manner, and if necessary, accompanied by a member of the IT team. Don’t forget however, that access could be required 24/7.

Ideally the computer room or data centre should be built with Facilities in mind. Putting the chillers in corridors outside of the room means that they can be worked on without the need for anyone to access the secure rooms. The environmental monitoring system should be linked to the in-house BMS – usually within the Facilities team’s domain. There is no reason however, why access shouldn’t be given to the data collected by it or to be on the list of people to be paged, emailed and/or sent a text message in the event of an alarm. Indeed, this can be beneficial to everyone as the IT Ops team are often required to work 24 hour shifts.

As I will be discussing tomorrow, metering should be installed in any computer room to allow for the calculation of PUE and DCiE, and to allow for ‘charge back’ to encourage everyone within the business to reduce energy costs. Facilities charge IT for the energy used, IT charge their customers in some way - whether by application, U space, or some other metric.

Building strong working relationships between these business critical teams is imperative. With modern IT infrastructure, cooling and power requirements, IT and facilities will have to work closer together. Migration Solutions specialises in designing data centres and computer rooms for operation. We understand how to operate a well run facility.

For more information see our website at www.migrationsolutions.com or email us at info@migrationsolutions.com

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