Benefits of efficient data center commissioning
Efficient data center commissioning is an essential step in the lifecycle of a data center. Data center systems now present greater complexity and potential for complications, and as a result, commissioning processes continue to evolve to meet these needs.
An effective commissioning process is often neglected and many data centers fail to benefit from the valuable processes it entails. Commissioning processes can safeguard data center facilities from the negative effects of system downtime by detecting hitches in equipment before they lead to system shutdown.
We have highlighted 7 key benefits of efficient data center commissioning:
◦ Less unplanned downtime & fewer repairs
Unplanned downtime can be detrimental for business success and data centers strive to reduce the possibility of outages where possible. Commissioning processes ensure that all equipment is installed and integrated correctly, whilst also carrying out procedural checks for equipment failures. Comprehensive system testing ensures that all operating equipment maintains availability, highlighting potential problems and allowing issues to rectified before the system is seriously damaged. Fixing these problems early on enables equipment to be restored without interruption to the running of the business. With operations and maintenance staff receiving proper training, time consuming mistakes will be less likely.
◦ Problem resolution
Recognizing and fixing problems at the beginning of a project results in a greater cost effective solution for data centers. When a design flaw is identified during the review stage, it is much easier to fix in comparison to later in the construction process, when added time and money are required to rectify the issue. Commissioning processes help identify installation issues before systems are operational, as well as flagging issues with O&M processes before equipment shuts down.
◦ Cut costs
Rather than concentrating on building capacity, in recent years, data centers have instead prioritized on lowering costs, with many focusing on increasing energy efficiency in particular. Commissioning processes ensure that the features integrated to improve system energy efficiency are performing as well as anticipated. Commissioning staff can accurately measure equipment and system energy usage to determine areas in need of update, change or control schemes to ensure optimum efficiency levels are maintained.
◦ Safety & compliance
It is the duty of data center owners to follow all safety and compliance guidelines to provide staff with a safe working environment. Commissioning processes can help data center management to adhere to these regulations by identifying safety issues before they become hazardous, from the design stage, right through to construction and finally occupancy. Not only will the commissioning team pinpoint dangers, they also advise on the most efficient and effective procedures to correct them. Commissioning guarantees the long term safety and compliance of the data center too, providing management and the O&M team with training on proper maintenance measures for the various systems and equipment.
◦ Speed to deploy
Project changes, delays and revisions are all costly for a business. Data center commissioning reduces the likelihood of issues arising that often lead to longer and more expensive equipment rental as well as added labor costs. A commissioned data center tends to be deployed as planned, on time and within the set budget.
◦ Informed workforce
The commissioning process offers facilities an extensive range of training resources and valuable knowledge to aid sustained management of the commissioned system. Data center staff will be prepared to continue maintenance and operation of the systems, with the expertise to solve any problems that arise. Both long term staff and new employees will have access to these resources to recap on skills and for new training purposes.
◦ Return on investment
While data center commissioning requires sufficient investment, the financial return gained far outweighs the initial cost. By identifying problems early on, either in installation, safety hazards or operating systems, issues are corrected before they develop into something much costlier for the business to rectify. The probability of downtime is reduced too, with commissioning processes highlighting problems that would otherwise have gone undetected.
While the concept of commissioning has existed for some time now, it’s value and benefits are still developing within the data center space. The harmful effects of system downtime have motivated data centers to eliminate the potential of outages where possible. Data center commissioning offers facilities with the preventative solution, identifying problems and offering advice to correct issues before failures occur.