Data Center Justification
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Thread: Data Center Justification

  1. #1
    Senior Member Spyrus's Avatar
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    Data Center Justification

    I am facing a dilemma right now. The data center that is at my current job is dated. I believe it was put in the 60's. Now, since it is dated my objective is to get it rennovated.

    The problem is accounting wants justification for that to happen. The first route i was taking was that the servers are running too hot. In 2 of the racks we had temperatures at 101 F and 98 F. Well they wanted proof from a manufacturer that stated that was too hot. so i started looking around, only thing i can find is an operating range for our servers. 45- 95 with 45% RH. Now that doesnt really dictate what i want because we can drop the temp in the room to 65 and then my servers equal out at about 90ish. In my opinion if you can keep your coffee warm behind a sever its too hot. Thats not good enough for the accountants.

    I need someway to justify, with stats and facts, that I have a true need for funding for a new data center.

    Issues I have: ceiling is old and missing tiles in various places. I dont think its fire resistant and our suppression system is Halon which requires a sealed room for the gas to work effectively/

    Floor is only raised 6 inches, has holes cut in in all over the place, is filthy above and below it.

    We have no wire trays so electric wires and network wires run over one another in a giant rats nest. If a line went bad i wouldnt have any method to trouble shoot it other than run a new one.

    I am looking for any advice or stats anyone can give me to help justify this to the books for a new room.

    Thanks in advance
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  2. #2
    AO's Resident Redneck The Texan's Avatar
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    Make an Itemized list in layman terms of what you need fixed right away then make a second list of what needs to be fixed but can wait a bit... then present it to your management. hopefully they are willing to work with you. that is my suggestion... a 40 year old data center is just too old...
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    The accountants get to make the decisions about what gets done? What a backwards way to do things. Try to get upper management to buy off on it and bypass the accounting people.

    As for the renovations. Do you really need to renovate the place? If you're having to ask an outside source for a reason to have it renovated I would venture to guess that you don't. Other than that, the proof is right in front of you. I doubt anyone could come up with a reason without looking at your setup.

  4. #4
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    Halon?



    http://www.chubb.co.uk/chserver/requ...00c/oldNav/000

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    I'm pretty sure Halon is allowed to be used where it is already installed, but cannot be refilled. In any case, this could be a good reason for a renovation, to upgrade the fire supression system.

  6. #6
    The ******* Shadow dalek's Avatar
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    nihil

    you beat me to the Halon, this was used in a lot of workspaces I was involved with, this system will Kill a person faster then the actual fire, and we had some spaces that required running up stairs to exit the space, so if you were quick you got out okay.

    Accountants as a rule, do not make the decisions on the spending of capital, they follow the guidelines set out by the General Managers or CEO's who in turn work under the directions of the shareholders (you and me), and if the expenses are higher then the revenue, then some things get tightened and some other projects get shelved, but it is almost always some one else other then the "Accountants" who make these decisions.

    For the renovations, the fact that it can be classified as "safety" should get Mgmt to release the purse strings, it sounds like it could be an accident waiting to happen, what with wires being lost in the shuffle, ventilation could be a problem as well if you say it is a sealed room from as far back as the 60's.

    pssst call the local Fire Inspector, and have him declare the room not up to standards, this will get people's attention.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    Another thought......................

    If you have a very shallow underfloor space and the cabling is just snaking around.............what happens when the air conditioning springs a leak and floods it..................seen that happen on an AS/400 site...................not nice

    Seems like some redesign is required there as well?


  8. #8
    Senior Member Spyrus's Avatar
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    Sorry for taking so long to respond to this article but... to answer some questions

    Since the money we need to upgrade the data center needs to go through accounting they need cost/risk evaluations of everything. I cant justify why the room needs cooled at 68 degrees since all specs show the operating temperature of servers is a min of 55 and a max of 91. They see that and dont care as long as its under 91.

    Nihil... Our AC is in a different part of the building so it cant leak under our server room. (good thinking though)


    UPDATE!!

    I got our auditors to audit the data center and they came back and said we need wire trays and electrical trays but didnt touch on anything else.

    I need to know, with proof if possible, the risk vs cost of replacing our 6inch raised floor with a standard 18-24" raised floor. If I can show that risk outweighs the cost then they will back it 100% but the only thing i can think of right now is the fact that if a flood happened 6 inches isnt enough, also that i think most wire trays are 6 inches deep so it would essentially be sitting on the floor.

    I can't think of any other risk assessment forms to justify this and would appreciate any help that could be provided.

    Thanks

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  9. #9
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    If your data center isn't housing important data, then maybe upgrading isn't neccessary (but what data centre isn't important!)

    Internal Audit? Are you able to get a third party into assess against best practices and where the center fails? I'm sure any number of vendors would be happy to do it, of course at a price...

    You could also try listing the number of tasks that need doing and an approximate amount of hours and translate into dollars based on market rates so that they can understand... messy cabling can be fixed in the long term...

    Are you looking for some sort of sure-fire equation? Because I dont think you'll find it... weighing up the cost of your equipment, cost of downtime in the event of a problem/disaster and existing running costs are just some of the parts of the equation.

  10. #10
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    Hi Spyrus

    You can certainly have them on the halon issue. It is supposed to be phased out, and you cannot get it refilled legally?

    What would you have to pay in compensation if that goes wrong? Sure it puts out fires, but it puts out people just as quickly?

    The publicity would not be very good, and don't expect the insurers to pay up willingly, they will squeal "contributory negligence" (if you have that over there)

    And the killer blow.............politely ask the CIO/CEO if he has taken legal advice as "reckless indifference" is a criminal offence and certainly not a misdemeanour...................

    As for raising the floor, they are going to have to lift it to put in the ducting, so you should be looking for a quote for the additional cost rather than the whole lot.

    Do you have sprinklers close by............any chance of flooding from a source other than the AC?

    Good luck

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