Hyperspeed for Hyperscale: Speeding up data center projects

Dave Sterlace presented ideas for speeding up data center upgrade projects called, "Hyperscale: Speeding up data center projects."

At Automation & Power World 2015 in Houston, Dave Sterlace, ABB’s Market Development Manager for Data Centers and Critical Power, presented ideas for speeding up data center upgrade projects called, “Hyperspeed for Hyperscale: Speeding up data center projects”

A few topics that Dave covered were:

  • When to upgrade?
  • Cost of downtime/cost of upgrades
  • Time is of the essence
  • Prefab isn’t just for shipping containers
  • Total solutions

When to upgrade?

Knowing when to upgrade requires industrial-class, real-time visibility and performance metering of both IT and facility systems, including status change, predictive maintenance, energy consumption, environmental and physical data from any location.  ABB’s Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) is a solution.

Dave mentioned a few tools to begin an upgrade, including:

  • Building Information Modeling (BIM), a process involving the generation and management of digital representations of physical and functional characteristics of places
  • National Electric Code (NEC)
  • Restriction of Hazardous Materials (RoHS), which originated in the European Union and restricts the use of six hazardous materials found in electrical and electronic products.
  • Material Safety Data Sheet(s) (MSDS). In the U.S., the Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires that MSDSs be available to employees for potentially harmful substances handled in the workplace under the Hazard Communication regulation.

Cost of downtime/cost of upgrades

The typical hourly cost of downtime by industry (in US Dollars):
Brokerage Service – 6.48 millin
Energy – 2.8 million
Telecom – 2.0 million
Manufacturing – 1.6 million
Retail – 1.1 million

Sources: Network Computing, the Meta Group, and Contingency Planning Research

Time is of the essence

Cost to build a data center
Cost to build a data center

Prefab isn’t just for shipping containers

Dave stated that prefabricated solutions can offer quicker solutions to data center power needs.  One example is ABB’s UL1558 Abbreviated Switchgear.  The switchgear offers:

  • Modular design for quick deployment
  • Configurable to match existing lineups
  • 100kAIC bracing
  • Up to 10kA through bus

UL 1558 Abbreviated Switchgear

UL 1558 Abbreviated Switchgear


Total solutions

Dave wrapped up by discussing some advantages to ABB’s DCIM offering, and how it can help solve companies’ need to speed

  • DCIM can help with complexity and timing of upgrades
  • BIM and online toolbox are invaluable for planning
  • Break fix is the most expensive strategy for upgrades
  • Breaker retrofit can significantly upgrade functionality without the lead time and expense of new power infrastructure
  • Innovative construction components speed projects and lower installed costs
  • Prefab solutions for metal framing and wire management streamline time and remove errors during projects
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About the author

Scott Bornkessel

I'm the Director of Online Marketing for ABB North America, and country website manager for the U.S. I help ABB businesses in the United States, Canada, and Mexico leverage our online presence in web, social, and email to improve lead generation and customer service. I've been with ABB since 2010, and previously worked at IBM, Navteq, and Cisco Systems.
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