How to evaluate your data center for security, efficiency
and savings opportunities
How safe is your data facility?
Aside from people who may not have good intentions, computer rooms and data
centers are under threat from moisture, seismic activity, outages and other emergencies that can spell disaster for an organization.
Organizations are increasingly moving their IT assets outside their own facilities –
and they absolutely need to know that your IT and facility infrastructure is able to survive a challenge. The Uptime Institute’s annual survey revealed that 20% of respondents currently use a colocation or multi-tenant data center provider and roughly
half expect that most of their IT workloads will move off-premises soon. Of those,
70% predict a move by 2020 and another 23% forecast the shift to happen within the
next year, foreshadowing a significant increase in reliance on colocation facilities.
BUILDINGS recently toured one such facility – the Marion, IA branch of Involta,
a national IT intelligence and infrastructure provider that operates multi-tenant
data centers. Chief Security Officer Jeff Thorsteinson and Data Center Manager
Chris Rodeffer led BUILDINGS on a tour of the data center and explained the top
five focuses every FM should examine when evaluating a data center.
1) Building Construction and Layout
Examine the physical facility, both inside and outside. Don’t hesitate to pry
deeper into how data is protected from the elements, from construction materials
to emergency systems. The larger the potential customer, the more likely they are
to ask about these considerations, Thorsteinson says.
“Typically bigger customers are more prescriptive,” notes Thorsteinson. “Right
now I’m working with a large insurance company that has requested our design
characteristics. They can say ‘We like to see this flow rate’ or ‘We’d like to verify
what your very early smoke detection apparatus is’ and I’ll answer those questions. In the past we’ve answered questions on how our diesel generators separate
fuel supply, what are the weldments under our roof, and what the active snow load
and dead load are.”
“If you look at
the big breaches,
the ‘This doesn’t
look right’ barrier
— Jeff Thorsteinson,
Chief Security Officer, Involta