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5.01 Server Room Best Practices: Learn the Language, Understand the Metrics, Reduce the Anxiety

Wednesday, April 3, 2013
2:15 PM-3:15 PM
Track: Best Practices
Format: Workshop
Knowledge Level: 300 level
Session Description: Server rooms are the most critical spaces in the entire corporation and potentially the most frightening to the facility manager.  These spaces require continuous power, communications and air conditioning from your building and use 300 times the power of normal office space due to 24 x 7 operation.  More resources and attention are needed in these rooms than anywhere else in the building. 

Most importantly, server rooms are business critical. When servers go down the business stops or goes back to paper and pencil.  Financial losses and consequential damages from down time can be astronomical and job threatening.

To succeed, facility managers must engage IT staff who seem to speak a foreign language and can sometimes be ambiguous in requesting critical infrastructure work.  This session will decode the language of IT and explain in basic terms the building infrastructure needed to support it.  Knowing these basics will allow the FM to become proactive in managing change, reducing utility cost and improving reliability.

This session will cover the metrics, benchmarks and planning issues to report effectively and create comfort with upper management. It will also cover best practices and cite instances where things might have gone better had the FM been more thoroughly prepared to face the challenge.

Learning Objectives:
  • Understand IT concepts and terms to better communicate with IT staff on infrastructure requirements.
  • Know space and infrastructure design options including layout, power, process cooling and wireways.
  • Be able to assess system reliability in common industry terms.
  • Know the metrics of server room performance for benchmarking cost, utilities and availability.
  •     Conference Proceedings



    Richard Janis, R.A., P.E., LEED AP BD&C, Senior Lecturer, Washington University School of Architecture
    William Tao & Associates, Inc.

    Rich Janis is both a Registered Architect and a Professional Engineer for William Tao & Associates in St. Louis, where he does design and consulting work on the built environment. He has been an IFMA member since 1986, is a past president of IFMA's St. Louis Chapter and has presented on sustainable design at IFMA's World Workplace. He has designed Data Centers since 1976 for corporate, government and higher education clients nationally. In addition to his work at Tao Associates, he is on the faculty of the School of Engineering and the School of Architecture at Washington University, St. Louis.

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