Data Center facilities expect more from the Commissioning process. While the maintenance and repair of heating and cooling systems used for comfort can be performed by fully switching them off at certain times seasonally and keeping them de-energized for days, this is not possible for data centers. Such an interruption would mean switching off IT devices even if partially and no data center facility can take such a risk.
The Testing and Commissioning process in Data Center projects has the following targets:
- Some of the systems used in the data center infrastructure consist of multiple units in order to control the redundancy, structural, investment and operating costs and the commissioning or operation of these units as a team can be managed by creating very complicated electromechanical models and through their practical control. The ideal conditions assumed in design do not exist in practice. Trial and error tests and optimization are required during this process to perform harmonization according to design and structural parameters at the site. Performing these verifications in a holistic way particularly in the case of varying IT loads guarantees the prevention of future problems.
- The number of systems constituting the data center infrastructure is around 15 -20. These systems have an integrated relationship particularly in power, cooling and automation disciplines. Prevention of unexpected problems is guaranteed when the equipment and distribution element of each system are switched off and on for maintenance and other operational interventions. At this stage it is possible to observe the contribution of each equipment, device and distribution element to the operation of the data center infrastructure with high business continuity. A missing material worth one hundred dollars is prevented from risking an investment worth 100 million Dollars.
- And the staff at the core of the operation team has the opportunity to actually test all the maneuvers under high-risk cases (full load, failure and maintenance scenarios etc.) before full commissioning. The initial operation procedures and guides are created practically to eliminate risk, thereby guaranteeing high business continuity in operations throughout the data center lifecycle. Once information technology assets are positioned at the data center and the actual service is initiated, the team is expected to be competent enough to perform all the maneuvers, back up all the systems and perform these with self-confidence.
- The testing and commissioning logs are the most reliable information to be taken as reference during the data center lifecycle. The library containing the critical values recorded during the implementation of each system, device and distribution element to be used throughout the database lifecycle at the site and during the full capacity tests, is a sort of “Data Center Infrastructure and Operation Fingerprint”. Providing 30-40 years of uninterrupted service is unlikely without knowing the weaknesses and risky maneuvers of the data center, areas not fully achieved during production and potential challenges to be encountered during operation.
For each data center, the Testing and Commissioning process should be started at the plan and design stage of the data center. The first two agreements to be signed after an end user decides to make a data center investment should be with the “consultant company that will set out the requirements and conceptual design of the data center” and with the “testing and commissioning consultant company” that will guarantee that this investment is realized in the best way for the business objectives.