The right service and maintenance package is just as important as choosing your datacentre infrastructure

GEOFF DENHAM

It’s always a good idea to invest time locating the optimum technology solutions and expertise for your comtec-power-servicesnetwork critical physical infrastructure.  Make sure you evaluate the latest technologies from the leading brands, and only listen to well-qualified independent advice.  The last thing you want is for your datacentre to go ‘bump’ in the night, and have your power, cooling or UPS/power protection fail to do its job.

Yet buying the right kit is only part of the story to addressing the ongoing needs of your datacentre environment.  As with a high-performance car, you need to consider the recommended service intervals and running maintenance costs.  You need to review how long parts warranties last and what they cover you for.  And you have to decide whether all this is exactly what you need, or not enough.

Only bespoke maintenance keeps the datacentre fully in tune with unique business requirements

If you don’t think carefully about service and maintenance, within a year or two you could be running your high-end infrastructure to minimum standards.  It’s time to consider how the needs of your business apply to everything from ongoing cooling efficiency and power load, to UPS battery testing.  More and more organisations are seeking out bespoke maintenance capabilities that can deliver an objective-centric service package geared to unique requirements, rather than a part-centric package geared to the manufacturer’s handbook.

Comtec Power is widely known as an Elite Partner (one of only six in the UK)  to Schneider Electric for its market-leading datacentre hardware and software offerings; most notably the APC brand.  Less well known perhaps  is Comtec Power’s status as one of just two accredited APC Service Partners in the whole country.  This reflects the uncommon level of multidisciplinary skills retained by Comtec Power’s service and support team, both onsite and via our remote monitoring capabilities (powered by APC StruxureWare).  Customers benefit from having their solutions maintained by us under the continuing visibility of the manufacturer.

What this also means in practice is that customers who feel they operate outside of the norms of datacentre management – perhaps because of high environmental governance standards or an extreme sensitivity to downtime – come to us to define a unique schedule of maintenance and exacting service levels.

The beauty of having one backside to kick

Datacentre operators can be uncomfortable about disaster events or other disruption to their environments, and rarely ‘act-out’ scenarios – except on paper.  But physically put yourself into that position and one of the glaring misgivings of datacentre management comes into view: just who the hell do you call first to help sort it out?

The fact is that the typical private datacentre environment is rarely serviced or supported by a single party; rather a motley crew of specialists.  One for the electrical supply and power distribution, one for the UPS, another for cooling.  One for the fire suppression, another for the secure entry and IP camera systems.  One for the DCIM, one for structured cabling… the list goes on…  You might suspect that the problem is the responsibility of service partner A, but their expert view is that service partners B and C are partly culpable.  This isn’t obfuscation – it’s the nature of how different parts of the datacentre environment are inexorably linked.  It sadly means that can’t easily grab just one neck to choke; one arse to kick.

Specialist skills are of course highly prized and respected, as is the notion of not putting too many eggs in one basket.  But if the reality of a disruption event is likely to be made worse rather than better because of so many parties being involved, it’s worth reconsidering your priorities.

A single service partner you can rely on is better than half a dozen you can’t

By creating scalable and efficient facilities to meet the power and cooling demands of the latest generation of IT equipment, a good datacentre design and build can ensure that growth requirements are accommodated and that energy, space and resource capacities are maximised.

Going beyond this is the concept of proactive management based on the evolving needs of the business and the changing performance of the datacentre itself.  By virtue of 24/7 visibility into a given datacentre environment, issues and concerns are increasingly raised and escalated by the service partner (rather than the customer), whereas not so long ago it was the other way around.

Comtec does just that, using our capabilities to prompt service visits based on the patterns we observe, over and above the bespoke package scoped and regularly audited with each customer to remain aligned with their business objectives.

Contact us today to discuss your needs, or find out more about our Datacentre Assessment offer.

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Preventive Maintenance Strategy for Data Centers

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