Development of a data center concept

The SIA Citrus Solutions group of specialists – engineers, designers, project managers – during this stage, the specific business needs of a client are scrupulously researched, as are possible influencing factors. A data center concept is developed while working closely with the client, so that each step recognises a client’s requirements and priorities, to optimally follow the progress of a project, and to reach agreement on other important issues.

After carefully studying the information, a technical concept is developed for the data center. Depending on the defined requirements, it can include data center architecture, construction of telecommunications networks, a security system, a fire extinguishing system, a fire-safety system, projects for management systems of data center infrastructure, etc.

The concept also includes energy efficiency calculations, adjusting these for various loads according to the power capacities for a specific project. Our experts also provide consultations on a secure and continuous function level for a data center and, if TIER certification is intended for the data center, develop a concept in accordance with TIER certification requirements and recommendations.

It is important to remember that in data center designing process, opposite as it is in civil construction cases, data center architect (supplier which is responsible for critical infrastructure design) plays key role.

The development of a concept depends on which development stage the client’s facility is in and what goals are being set for it – construction of new facilities are being planned, construction of facilities is in progress and improvements are necessary, it has been decided that certification is necessary, existing facilities shall be expanded/improved, etc.

Accordingly, consultations are provided, and scenarios are developed for the specific situation. We offer consultations beginning with the idea phase, that is, from the moment that financial resources are identified and a decision is made regarding the realisation of a data center construction project. In this case, we can provide consultations and support for choosing an appropriate property. If support is needed for choosing the optimal property for where to build a data center, SIA Citrus Solutions experts define all of the necessary technical criteria for choosing the appropriate location of the data center, including requirements in regards to arterial electrical supply, or, in specific situations, search for land to build on or buildings to renovate. Other aspects are also taken into account, including what additional communications and resources might improve the working efficiency of the data center, for example, an adjacent water body – sea or river (water can be used for cooling a data center), or other opportunities. In cooperation with real estate professionals, possible locations are looked for and offered for data center construction. Each of the recommended locations are professionally evaluated for compliance, including compliance with all initially defined technical criteria, using the Uptime Institute or TEA risk methodology analysis, assessing the surrounding infrastructure, risks of environmental impact, risks of noise levels created by generators and cooling, and other criteria.

When we have performed risk assessment, we can develop several concepts for construction of the solution that provide the requirements defined by the client. During this phase, there still are several alternatives for further work. Possibly, the client needs a data center to be implemented in a very short deadline or the work of a data center is intended for a limited time period, both of which would reject construction of a building as an option. In such a case, other options for creating a data center are considering, including shipping container type construction for the data center. According to the situation and the investment amount intended by the client for the data center, we offer our vision for constructing the most effective solution with the accessible resources. For clients who already have access to a building, it is usually possible to create an acceptable solution for the existing situation. Even though requirements for data center facilities are very high, spaces are usually transformable and adaptable, as proven by our experience. We also analyse the situation and, as required, offer our assessment and recommendations for improvements in situations when the client has already started to construct a data center and has realised during the process that an independent review would be beneficial. For example, during the construction process, there could be a situation when the requirements change for the accessibility of the data center (guarantee of uninterrupted service), TIER certification becomes relevant, etc. In such cases, SIA Citrus Solutions experts also analyse the existing conditions, define requirements, and accordingly develop the optimal solution.

Concept development is provided as a separate project and is performed according to best PMP practice.