Failure to Survive Project Budget Cuts

By Dennis Bouley  |  Posted 2010-09-20 Print this article Print

Error No. 5: Failure to survive project budget cuts

Periodic reviews of the design/build project often result in outside groups unfamiliar with the project process making recommendations on how to cut costs. Commissioning is often perceived as an easy target for cuts, particularly if the original construction schedule did not include time for commissioning tests.

Sometimes, suggestions will be made to curtail the commissioning agent's contract and to compress the testing schedule or scope. Acquiescing to budget cuts as it pertains to commissioning will open the door to increased human error and downtime once the new data center is in operation. The long-term negative consequences on overall performance will far outweigh the short-term benefits of project budget cuts if commissioning is targeted.

Error No. 6: Failure to simulate real-world heat loads

The heat generated by higher density servers now has a major impact on physical infrastructure components which, in turn, support the uptime of the servers. Often, the UPS is not tested as part of an integrated system. Thus, only a partial evaluation can be made as to how the data center will function once it is up and running.

Fortunately, tools exist that accurately simulate the heat generated by real, rack-based server loads. This artificial load is comprised of resistive heating units installed within the racks. These units mimic a rack's particular design load. With this artificial load installed and operational, the commissioning agent can now test UPS capacity, emergency power, cooling capacity and facility management (along with a host of other subsystems) in an integrated fashion.

Dennis Bouley is a Strategic Research Analyst at APC. In this role, Dennis is responsible for the generation of white papers, case studies and decision support tools. Prior to this role, Dennis held various positions within APC including senior writer, senior business analyst, and marketing manager, APC France. Prior to joining APC in 1998, Dennis was employed at IBM as a client representative for over 10 years. Dennis holds two Bachelor's degrees, one in Journalism and one in French, from the University of Rhode Island. He also holds a Certificat Annuel from the Sorbonne, Paris, France. He is currently a member of The Green Grid Technical Committee. He can be reached at

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