More on Data Centre Best Practices (Steve Phipps)

I spent some time in the main Data Centre yesterday trying to fit grommets to prevent cold air leaking out of the under-floor plenum into the middle of cabinets.  It is very difficult to retrospectively fit these due to the cabinets either being fixed in place or having too much cabling or low-racked servers in the way.  I recommend you think carefully about this prior to purchase.

I managed to fit a few anyway and the difference in the hot aisle was remarkable – it was feeling cold at some points and now it feels uniformly hot – which dramatically improves the CRAH efficiency.  I still have to contain the hot and cold aisles in some way to improve airflow even more.  We have had a quote for ‘butchers curtains’ that can be cut to shape and fit around the cabinets – these can be very effective, though not pretty.  Although the price is low (in relation to custom walled containment) it is still too high with our current budget limitations.  So we’ll have to see if we can finance this somehow after the refurbishment of our other Data Centre.

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About Steve Bowes-Phipps

Over 20 years of operational systems management experience, specifically managing data centres since 1996. After a stint managing data centres and IT operations in the UK and Ireland, joined ambitious web hosting company GlobalCenter who were expanding from the US into Europe. Sitting on the senior management team, oversaw the building of five data centres in London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Munich and Paris until Exodus Internet bought the company in 2001. There, moved into a more strategic role, dealing with blue chip customer issues and relationship management, process improvement and building a culture of continuous improvement. Spent four years in Visa Europe managing strategically important projects and processes. In 2007, joined his Alma Mater, Hertfordshire University, to become their head of Data Centres and has been working with the UK’s Higher and Further Education IT funding arm, Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) ever since, to assist in embedding Green ICT in UK HE and FE institutions, and more recently across the EU as well. In 2010, the University of Hertfordshire became the first European university to comply with the EU Code of Conduct for Data Centres, and was recognised in the European Datacentre Leaders Awards 2010 Uptime Institute Green Enterprise IT Awards (GEIT) 2011 and the EAUC Green Gown Awards 2011. In addition, Steve has lead the University to win three internationally-acclaimed awards.

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