Writer: Julia Troy, Bisnow
When data centers go down, the consequences can be disastrous. Even if a center is only down for a few minutes, companies can quickly lose money, sensitive data and the trust of their customers.
“It’s not just about maximizing uptime, it’s about minimizing downtime,” said Boland Senior Account Executive, Garay “Doc” Goglio. “If every data center on the planet went down just a few times a year, it could cost trillions of dollars.”
Goglio has maintained data centers for some of the largest companies in the DC area, so Bisnow sat down with the mission critical expert to find out what owners can do to reinforce systems and prevent future shutdowns.
Bisnow: How did you come to work with data centers?
Goglio: I have been working in the HVAC industry for more than 35 years and have focused on data centers, also known as mission critical facilities, for a good portion of that time. Late one night early on in my Boland career, I received a call from one of the largest banks in Washington, DC – their data center was failing. I rushed over and quickly determined that the center was overheating and the cooling towers needed more water.
Once I fixed the initial problem, I spoke with the bank’s senior vice president, who asked me how to prevent this from happening again. I said there were measures he could take to stay online, but it would be a sizeable investment. He simply pointed to his watch and told me that every second the center was down, he was losing $10K. At that moment, I realized the important role HVAC plays in making sure data centers stay online. Additionally, as I’ve grown in my role, so has the role of HVAC in mission critical sites. It’s not just about uptime and downtime, it’s also about equipment efficiency, sustainability and preparing for tomorrow by purchasing the right equipment for the job today.
Bisnow: What new challenges do today’s data center owners face?
Goglio: I believe data center owners have three main goals: maximize uptime, improve energy efficiency and prepare for the future of technology.
Maximizing uptime is an obvious challenge for data center owners and operators. A few ways to tackle this include implementing system redundancies, contingency plans and preventative measures.
The second major challenge is utilizing resources like water and electricity efficiently. Data centers have a better potential for improving their energy efficiency and reducing utility load by working with a skilled HVAC company, like Boland, who takes the guesswork out of selecting the right system by looking at factors building owners may miss.
The third major challenge is future technology. Everyone is planning for the next phase in communication infrastructure, 5G, but data center owners need to work with a partner who is focused on the future of G. The key is to make sure a data center is prepared to handle the needs of today, tomorrow and beyond.
Of course, data centers vary and so do their needs. It’s important for data center owners and their property managers to have an HVAC partner who knows the mission critical market and can be trusted to provide the best options to meet their specific needs.
Bisnow: How do you determine when a data center needs to be updated?
Goglio: Once a data center’s system has been operating for 10 to 15 years, the equipment is as outdated as technology of the same age. That’s when owners should bring in a subject matter expert who can really help with the tough decision of fixing, replacing or retrofitting the system, or even re-building the facility.
Bisnow: What one piece of advice do you have for data center owners?
Goglio: I urge data center owners to invest in proper and regular maintenance as this will directly result in utility savings and improved equipment life. Maintenance is relatively simple and more than pays for itself, but is by far one of the most overlooked solutions.
This is a Bisnow written article and originally published through Bisnow.