How to Properly Commission Your Data Center: 10 Errors to Avoid

Data center commissioning can deliver an unbiased evaluation of whether a newly constructed data center will be an operational success or a failure. Proper execution of the commissioning process is a critical step in determining how the data center operates as an integrated system. The documentation produced as a result of commissioning is also the single most enduring value-added deliverable in a data center's operational life. Here, Knowledge Center contributor Dennis Bouley outlines the 10 most common errors that prevent successful execution of the commissioning process.


Data center commissioning is an insurance policy that helps to ensure the high reliability of a data center. A proper commissioning exercise reviews and tests the data center's physical infrastructure design to make sure it can support the projected IT load.

In this article, we'll highlight the ten most common errors that occur when organizations attempt to commission their data centers.

Error No. 1: Failure to engage the commissioning agent prior to data center construction

The commissioning agent needs to be engaged early in the process-weeks or months before the data center is constructed. Early involvement of the commissioning agent allows for proper planning, helps in the coordination of vendor startups, and lays out a comprehensive framework for testing.

Error No. 2: Failure to align with current technology

Even an independent commissioning agent can incorporate outmoded testing procedures. Testing procedures need to take into account the age of the equipment being commissioned. Outmoded procedures are still regularly employed in numerous situations.

When commissioning a Delta Conversion Online uninterruptible power supply (UPS), for example, the commissioning agent may employ testing procedures that were originally developed for a Double Conversion Online UPS topology. This confuses the testing and command center teams since certain procedures will not make sense. The outdated procedures may also fail to test the critical functionality of the UPS's topology-specific interior design.