The data center industry’s events, conferences, white papers, trainings, magazines, and marketing are all full of information related to IT and physical infrastructure equipment design, features, and management tools. But there’s very little info about the operations & maintenance program so vital to the long term performance of the facility. It really deserves more attention and focus from the industry.
On paper, a MotoGP race bike has mind-blowing performance capabilities: a sub-300lb machine producing 230+ horsepower and speeds over 240mph with computer-monitored dynamic traction control schemes and lean-angle sensors. Achieving max performance requires more than just gobs of technology and capabilities. To operate the bike to compete and win races also requires a highly-skilled professional rider as well as a well-trained and dedicated team who continuously optimizes and maintains that motorbike. Shouldn’t the same be said for data centers? A super well-engineered and constructed facility can still be brought down by human error, neglect, or ignorance. Every data center relies on effective operation, maintenance, and management by well-trained, organized human beings. This program of operations and maintenance (O&M) plays a critical role in how successful a data center is in meeting its design goals and business objectives.
Data center owners should be asking themselves, “What are the important elements of an O&M program?” and “how does our existing program stack up? What are we not doing that we should be given our facility’s performance and business goals?” Over the course of many years, Schneider Electric’s Mission Critical Services team developed an 80-some page Facility Operations Maturity Model. We had been using it as sort of an ad hoc service for customers who had requested help in identifying gaps in their program and for developing action plans to address them. We had also been using the model as a basis to evaluate the performance of our own critical facility operation teams that manage customer facilities as a third party service. Years of experience in both managing others’ data centers and using the model itself has led to a highly evolved and comprehensive framework for grading programs. The scoring criteria has been tested and vetted with real data centers and their owners. The score criteria represents a realistic view of the spectrum and depth of O&M program elements that owners have in place today ranging from poorly managed data centers to highly evolved, forward thinking data centers with proactive, measurable programs.
We recently made the decision to make the model available to the public. We did this to fill a major gap in the public info available from the industry on the topic, as well as to promote Schneider Electric’s thought leadership and experience in the field of facility operations and maintenance. The complete model is embedded in our new white paper 197, >Data Center Facility Operations Maturity Model”. Check it out today for free! And if you decide you might prefer “another set of eyes” who aren’t necessarily invested in “the way things are” to perform this evaluation of your O&M program, contact your local Schneider Electric representative.