December 26, 2009

The Data Centre – the final road and completion…

As posted here and here during the mid point of this year I was taken “off radar” from a lot of my Exchange endeavours to work on the design, tendering and technical project management of the re-fit of my companies data centre.
Considering the amount of work that was involved (as we had to rebuild the entire facility with all of the existing kit within it – and LIVE) we managed to get from design to tender to project completion within six months – I have to confess that it was and indeed has been one of the most satisfying projects that I have ever worked upon – and indeed took an immense amount of pleasure from the people whom I worked with (both the supplier and my team) along the way.

I have had a few e-mails from people whom were curious to see how it all panned out, I had indeed planned to do an updated post – but had not found the time until now to write something of any substance.

For people whom are joining me here and have not had a look at the previous parts – this is what the server room looked like prior to work beginning in July 2009:


As a summary from where I left off in the in the last part, we had completed the following work items:

  • Removed 9 racks worth of redundant kit from the room
  • Removed all asbestos from the room
  • Removed two trees which were growing out of the roof of the data centre (I am not kidding…)
  • Removed the old ceiling
  • Completed 75% of the new floor
  • Ran the new power cabling from the mains to the room (although at this point it had not been terminated)
  • Installed 45% of the new ceiling
  • Moved all of the kit (servers / Sans / tape libraries / Mid Range AIX servers and Networking devices) into their final positions on the new floor
  • Removed redundant power / networking and fibre from the room (almost 23 miles worth! – yes we measured it!)
  • Installed x 5 condensers units on the roof of the Data Centre
  • Installed all of the pipe work for the new air conditioning
  • Performed x 3 room power downs (one of which included a full site power down) and brought all of our systems back for first thing on Monday
  • Begun the installation of the piping for the fire suppression system
  • Installed most of the re-enforcement for the walls to make them 1 hour fire rated

All of the above represented quite a lot of work for both the chosen supplier (Comms Room Services) and my team – but, although at this point we were still ahead of schedule (amazingly) – there was still a huge amount of work to do:

  • Installation of the new power distribution boards (A & B)
  • Completion of the “plinth” for the new Backup Generator
  • Installation of the new Generator
  • Implementation of the re-enforced floor for the Gas Suppression and the UPS systems
  • Installation of the UPS systems
  • Installation of the Generator Cut over
  • Installation of the Fire Suppression and Fire Control Systems (including Gas Venting and VESDA)
  • Completion of the Floor
  • Completion of the Ceiling
  • Installation of the CCTV and Door access control systems
  • The build of our Prototyping Area (where we would perform server and networking build prior to transportation to the Data Centre)
  • Installation of the new lighting (which includes emergency lighting systems) based upon PIR devices
  • Installation of x 2 new Data Centre doors and one for the builds area (these doors weighed 3 tonnes)
  • Installation of 7 Medusa Patch Racks with 2000 RiT ports and associated CAT5e cabling with 48 ports to each rack in the room
  • Installation of the text and e-mail notification system
  • Test all systems
  • Cut over to the new power feeds
  • Install moisture / flood detection systems
  • Top and tail the room (snagging)

To give you a more visual idea of how the project had progressed and indeed what needed to be done the following is the actual “Rocket” diagram which we had been using to provide summary overviews of the project to Chief, Senior and key officers:

At this stage on the above plan, we were at the 11/09/2009 – leaving us with two months with the remaining tasks to hit the final delivery date of 11/11/2009.
So we ploughed on with out endeavours the following is a “montage” of the progress that we made between 11/09/2009 and 15/10/2009

All of the above work (and indeed that which went on during the previous parts) – culminated in the following result.

So there we have it, during a period of July to December 2009 between us all we managed to deliver a new Data Centre – in-situ, on time and to budget!

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