Change Is All Around Us

By Frank Bibens  |  Posted 2010-09-26 Print this article Print

Change is all around us

With the constant transformation of technology, one of the biggest challenges data center managers face is change. Gone are the days when it was common to have smaller, distributed networks located in a handful of locations. Now, fewer, larger data centers in more centralized locations are becoming the norm.

Also, for many organizations, the IT infrastructure has evolved into an interdependent, business-critical network that includes data, applications, storage, servers and networking. A power failure at any point along the network can impact the entire operation and have serious consequences for the business.

Because of this change, it's crucial for organizations to have reliable, preventive maintenance plans and experts as their data center evolves. As organizations upgrade to new equipment and centralize data centers, they may not realize that it's as equally important to have the necessary power and cooling infrastructure in place to ensure IT availability.

One scenario we see all too often: The IT manager for a company decides to purchase new servers for the organization. As new servers are readied for installation, the facility manager finds that no assessment services were completed to see if the existing power and cooling infrastructure could support the new servers. After a professional assessment, it's determined that there is not enough backup power on one of the critical buses to support the new servers.

In addition, a CFD thermal analysis indicates that there would be insufficient cooling to one of the racks. Had the IT and facility manager communicated with each other earlier and contracted with a service provider to determine their power and cooling needs, they could have planned for the new capital expense and optimized their system instead of risking availability.

Frank Bibens is President of Emerson Network Power's Liebert Services business. Prior to joining Emerson Network Power in November 2006, Frank spent 28 years in a variety of service-related management positions with the General Electric Company (GE), including general manager of the global operations and maintenance business for GE Energy. FrankÔÇÖs areas of expertise include precision cooling, computer room air conditioning, high density cooling, energy efficiency, uninterruptible power supplies, power generation and distribution, power protection, data centers, data center monitoring, and data center professional services. Frank is a member of the Association for Services Management International. He received his Bachelor's degree in Marine Engineering from Texas A&M University. He can be reached at

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