Q&A with Mark Svenkeson, principal and partner of Hypertect (http://www.hypertect.com/):
DCP:Why is a coordinated, balanced design useful in today’s enterprise data centers?  Why should data center and IT managers care about it?  How can they benefit from it?

Svenkeson: The reliability of any item or design is determined largely by the least reliable aspect.  Your data center operations need to be supported by mechanical and electrical systems which have equivalence in their capabilities.  A well-coordinated design will ensure that all aspects of your mechanical and electrical support systems have equivalent reliability, eliminating often overlooked vulnerabilities. Most importantly, it helps protect against the human tunnel vision factor of pushing one portion of the system past the capabilities of the other, which often occurs when excess capacity is available on the electrical side.

DCP:Where should a coordinated, balanced design rank in terms of overall priority in the data center?

Svenkeson: A balanced approach to support system design and implementation should rank #1 in priority, because it is directly related to reliability.  As data centers grow and densities increase, appropriately scaling the system as a whole is critical to managing that growth effectively.

DCP:What are the biggest challenges for data center and IT managers when it comes to implementing a balanced, coordinated design?

Svenkeson: Modern support systems for critical facilities require detailed knowledge and understanding of the individual components and overall system.  The tendency may be to replace or upgrade individual components of the support system on an as-needed basis without analyzing the overall effect.

DCP:How can data center and IT managers overcome those challenges?

Svenkeson:Retain independent engineering expertise to assist in understanding the complex issues involved.

DCP:What advice can you give to IT and data center managers that have a plethora of similar solutions to choose from?

Svenkeson: Do not rely on equipment suppliers for solutions without the support of independent engineering expertise.  The solutions offered are limited by their manufacturing capabilities, and their recommendations are limited to their available product line.

Hypertect, inc. has provided independent review analysis and design of critical processing facilities since 1988; call us to discuss your concerns.