If you think about all the phases of a data center’s life cycle…plan, design, build, commission, operate/maintain/monitor/optimize, and assess…..that first early planning phase ought to be the quickest and cheapest of them all. But it arguably has the greatest potential for having the biggest impact on long term performance and costs. Decisions and choices made in the plan phase will cascade and reverberate throughout the life of the facility. So it is important to get it right…and it, perhaps quite literally, pays to get it right the first time. Despite the widely recognized importance of this, we hear from a lot of customers and partners that doing the early planning work (determining key project parameters…capacity, budget, density, etc) for a data center project remains a big challenge for many. Just getting started can be troublesome. Plans are often poorly communicated. Decision makers may be presented with proposals that are described in excruciating technical detail, yet still appear to lack the basic information needed to make good business decisions. Seemingly small, upfront changes and preferences can have huge cost and time consequences later on when it’s time to build and commission the data center. People sometimes make decisions without fully understanding the cost and time implications. Other times, the wrong people are involved and make decisions they have no business or expertise to make.
Our experience with many data center projects around the world suggests that many of these problems can be avoided if the right decision makers are given the right information in the right sequence. Schneider Electric Chief Innovation Office, Neil Rasmussen, talks about how to make this happen in this entertaining video blog post… check it out here.