Failure to Identify Weak Links in the System

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

Error No. 7: Failure to identify weak links in the system

Potential pitfalls exist which must be flushed out during the commissioning process. These weak links can exist in several layers of the physical infrastructure.

The UPS integrated commissioning test, for example, will place critical stresses on the UPS batteries. Each test reduces the amount of battery charge available for future tests. After several tests that require the UPS to switch to battery, the overall amount of available battery runtime is severely reduced.

Each segment of the integrated commissioning test needs to take available battery runtime into account. A best practice is to allow for sufficient battery recharge after a major power drain test.

Error No. 8: Failure to publish emergency operational procedures

The commissioning team members may not necessarily be the same individuals who will be responsible for operating the equipment in the new data center.

Clearly viewable and accessible emergency operational procedures should be affixed to each piece of physical infrastructure equipment. This procedure should also apply to key non-data center support rooms and to each Emergency Power Off (EPO) station. Examples of key non-data center rooms include the generator room, the UPS room (if separated from data center), and the chiller and pump room. It is also a best practice to have a laminated set of "as built" drawings on the walls of each room to illustrate to all interested parties how the data center was originally configured.

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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