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Unlocking Efficiency: The Importance of Commissioning in Data Centres

Cloud platforms are often the focus when discussing application servers and other server-related infrastructure deployments. However, many organisations are deploying their applications and other services via a hybrid model across both cloud and traditional data centres. The need to maintain, update and build new data centres has not gone away due to the emergence of cloud infrastructure. Indeed, the growth of digital technologies across all sectors means that there is a greater need for private data centres than ever.

 

It is vital that these data centres get designed and built using industry best practices. Expert-led commissioning from day one of a data centre build project (or a refurbishment update project) is essential to make sure that everything that should be considered gets discussed and implemented appropriately. 

 

In this article, we will outline what data centre commissioning entails and how Oleson is ideally placed to help organisations of any size complete their data centre projects on time and to the specifications they require.

Role of Commissioning in Ensuring Efficient Data Centre Operations

Commissioning verifies and validates the performance of a data centre’s systems and infrastructure. It makes sure that all components of the data centre, such as power, cooling, networking, security systems, and more, are designed to work together seamlessly to meet the specified requirements. One goal of commissioning is identifying and resolving issues early in the project lifecycle. Doing so helps prevent costly delays and project downtime, leading to a successful data centre project that is completed on time and within budget.

Key Steps in the Commissioning Process for Data Centres

A data centre commissioning process involves several necessary steps. It starts with integrating commissioning into the project design from the beginning. Commissioning needs to include careful planning, factory acceptance testing (FAT), visual inspections, site acceptance testing (SAT), system operation verification, and integrated system testing. Each step is carried out to make sure that all systems and components function correctly and work with other systems they need to interact with.

The typical stages of a data centre commissioning project are:

  • Design phase – Commissioning starts with the design phase. This ensures that all operational requirements are considered and incorporated into the design.
  • Planning – Detailed planning lays the groundwork for successful commissioning, identifying critical pathways and processes.
  • Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) – Equipment is tested at the manufacturer’s site to verify functionality and performance before shipment.
  • Visual Inspections – On-site inspections ensure that equipment is installed correctly and conforms to design specifications.
  • Site Acceptance Testing (SAT) – Once the equipment gets installed, it gets tested on-site to confirm that it operates correctly within parameters.
  • System Operation Verification – Comprehensive testing ensures that individual systems work together seamlessly.
  • Integrated System Testing – Final testing validates the data centre’s overall performance, ensuring all systems operate cohesively.

Importance of Planning and Preparation for Successful Commissioning

Successful commissioning heavily relies on planning and preparation. Oleson understands this and emphasises identifying critical pathways and processes early in a project. Our expert consultants work closely with project stakeholders across all suppliers and the organisation building the data centre using a detailed commissioning strategy that aligns with the project’s objectives. This approach reduces the risk of project teams overlooking issues during the commissioning phase, ultimately leading to a more streamlined and successful project.

Technologies and Tools Used in Data Centre Commissioning

In recent years, technological advancements and better interoperability and integration have significantly enhanced and improved data centre commissioning. State-of-the-art tools can be used during commissioning projects to deliver precision, efficiency, and better overall outcomes.

 

The technology and tool improvements include advanced testing equipment, automated monitoring systems, and comprehensive documentation software. Other techniques that have delivered benefits on these projects are better data analytics and the ability to simulate deployments using advanced simulations and, in some cases, digital twins. Using these tools to deliver insights during the design, implementation, and production commissioning phases of the data centre project helps ensure its success.

Benefits of Effective Commissioning for Data Centre Performance and Reliability

Investing in commissioning yields many benefits for data centre performance and reliability. Thoroughly testing and validating all systems and components through commissioning helps identify and resolve potential issues before they become major problems. This proactive approach minimises the risk of project delays, enhances energy efficiency (increasingly important for an organisation’s message on environmental issues), factors in regulatory compliance, and typically leads to improved reliability when the data centre is in use. Additionally, a well-commissioned data centre is better equipped for future upgrades and expansions, ensuring long-term scalability and adaptability.

Oleson Has the Experience to Deliver Success for Your Data Centre Project

With our extensive experience and expertise in commissioning, Oleson is well-positioned to deliver data centre project success. Our team of consultants possesses the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the complexities of data centre commissioning, ensuring your facility is ready to operate at peak efficiency from day one. By partnering with Oleson, you can benefit from our proven track record of delivering successful outcomes.

 

Commissioning is a critical part of data centre construction, and not including it leads to future problems. By engaging the services of Oleson, you can make sure that your data centre installation or upgrade is commissioned to the highest standards so that it is efficient, reliable, and delivers long-term benefits. Contact Oleson to learn how we can work together to provide your organisation with a state-of-the-art data centre that will serve your needs for years to come.

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