Data Centre White Papers

Here you will find a selection of Data Centre White Papers so you can improve your knowledge and keep up to date with the latest best practice. If you want to learn more try one of our data centre training courses.

The importance of correct design and management for data centre fire safety systems

ANSI/TIA-942-B-2017 Telecommunications Infrastructure Standard for Data Centers, recognises the need for an adequate fire detection and suppression strategy in a functional data centre. It calls for; This is a comprehensive set of requirements and although not going into detail it relies on other standards such as NFPA 75:2020 Standard for the Fire Protection of Information […]

ASHRAE tightens up on data centre environmental parameters

ASHRAE, the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Ventilation Engineers, is the world’s most respected authority on what constitutes the best environmental parameters within a computer room environment. Their key document, Thermal Guidelines for Data Processing Environments, originally published in 2004, has just been re-issued as the Fifth Edition, March 2021. In this paper we […]

Getting your data centre ready for Open Compute and Open19 rack layouts

The Open Compute Project’s mission is to design and enable the delivery of the most efficient server, storage and data center hardware designs for scalable computing. The Open19 project offers operators of data centers and edge solutions an optimized open platform. The two projects have similar aims. This paper discusses both and compares them to traditional 19in. rack solutions.

The importance of cleaning the data centre

After auditing hundreds of data centres we’ve realised that cleaning data centres is an erratic and usually overlooked affair. There is no standard that says how and when a data centre should be cleaned but it is obvious that an uncleaned data centre will slowly build up dirt and debris until it starts to impact equipment reliability. In this paper we explore some of the key issues involved.

Data Centre Certification – Who can certify? Which Data Centre Standard?

How do we decide which data centre standard to build a new data centre to and who can certify that it meets the requirements of the standard?

In this Whitepaper we discuss the key data centre standards which most operators are interested in certifying against, what the differences are and who can certify data centres against them. Find out the difference between the Tier, Rating or Class of a data centre…

Edge data centres – What are they? What makes them different to cloud data centres?

Wondering what Edge Data Centres are and what makes them different from traditional data centres or cloud data centres? If so you are not alone.In this paper we explore the characteristics of Edge Data Centres and compare them to our traditional understanding of data centres….

Data Centre Fire System Cause and Effect Algorithm

A Data Centre Fire System Cause and Effect Algorithm helps us to understand how the power, cooling, ventilation and gas-based fire suppression system will react to the various smoke detector inputs and manual fire alarms. We discuss what a Data Centre Fire System Cause and Effect Algorithm is and what should be in it.

Data Centre Documentation Management Systems

A Data Centre Documentation Management System is an essential element of the management of the complex and diverse environment of a data centre. This paper looks at the structure of a data centre documentation system and focuses on the requirements of as-built technical drawings…

Why Data Centre Earthing, Grounding and Bonding is essential

Earthing, Grounding and Bonding are important for safety but in a data centre they can also help to reduce network problems and equipment failures. This paper explores the reasons for installing Data Centre Earthing, Grounding and Bonding and what the numerous international and national standards recommend……

The Importance of Data Centre Fire Safety Management

Poor Data Centre Fire Safety Management can cause massive disruption and cost. This white paper discusses the consequences of getting it wrong and how to get it right!

Running UPS Economy Mode is fine, isn’t it?

What is Economy Mode on your UPS and is it always ok to use it? This white paper discusses what to consider before switching a UPS to Economy Mode.

Data Centre Fire Suppression Risk Assessment

This white paper explains the need to carry out a Data Centre Fire Suppression Risk Assessment and what to include. A gas fire suppression system can be very effective in a data centre but can be costly and disruptive if they are activated. A Risk Assesssment can help to mitgate against the problems. Find out how to do one…

ISO Standards for data centre management

This paper discusses how Data centres can benefit from ISO (International Standards Organisation) management standards and techniques as much as any other business and consider what the relevant ISO data centre standards are, what they cover, and what they don’t cover in a data centre context.

At last, a regulation to reduce cable fires – and that includes data centres

Building fires are regularly in the news, from the devastating tower block fire in London in 2017 to the lesser publicised fires in data centres. We are aware of at least 45 recent fires in data centres around the world. In this paper we look at the new European regulation intended to reduce cable fires in buildings.

Improve computer room cooling and airflow

This paper discusses the key issues which need to be understood in order to improve computer room and data centre cooling and airflow.

The vast majority of computer rooms are cooled by air conditioning systems that attempt to deliver cold air to hot IT equipment placed in racks.

A few systems use cold water pumped around the rack and there are even some exotic solutions using liquid carbon dioxide and even chip level cooling. The majority however use cold air derived from direct expansion or chilled water-fed air-conditioning units, sometimes augmented by free cooling circuits.

The amount of cooling capacity delivered to an equipment rack depends upon the design of the system and how effectively it has been implemented.

The benefits of a Data Centre Electromagnetic Survey

There are two main reasons for conducting a Data Centre Electromagnetic Survey and radio frequency survey of a facility;

1. To meet regulations and recommendations concerning the exposure of people to high levels of non-ionising radiation, better known as electromagnetic fields
2. To ensure the reliable operation of information technology equipment which can be impaired due to electromagnetic interference

In this whitepaper we explore the regulations and recommendations relating to both of these and discuss how data centre operators can ensure they are compliant with them.

Data Centre ISO27001 Certification is not enough on it’s own

In this paper we discuss why you should not rely on Data Centre ISO27001 Certification alone to prove the security and resilience of your data centre.

There are a number of excellent ISO standards that should be applied to data centre management. One of them, ISO 27000 series, covers information security management. It poses one simple question about the security and availability of power and supporting utilities. This is a huge question and cannot simply be left to one simple tick-box response. So which other standards should be considered in parallel with ISO 27000?

Static electricity in data centres – The hidden failure mechanism

Everybody accepts that static electricity can and does destroy sensitive electronic components and microchips. Exactly what the impact is upon equipment within data centres is difficult to determine as few, if any, statistic seem to be published on the matter.

Equipment does fail however and static is a known failure mechanism and there are at least three known mechanisms for static build-up and discharge within a data centre. This makes the optimisation of the design to minimise this risk an obvious choice.

This paper discusses the problems caused by static electricity in the data centre and what can be done to prevent them.

The importance of Data Centre Fire Stopping

“Fire Stopping” means sealing off any penetrations through a fire wall so that smoke and flames cannot spread around a building. This whitepaper discusses why Data Centre Fire Stopping is so important and the recommendations and regulations which define the requirements.

In this paper we explain why it is important to use fire-stopping in a data centre, where it is needed and the different types available.

Data Centre Health and Safety Management

In this paper we will discuss Data Centre Health and Safety requirements for data centres. Good Health and Safety practices are required at all places of work and are written into the laws of every country. We will quote from the relevant British legislation but the UK requirements are virtually identical to those in any territory you are operating in because they are mostly based on common sense and good practice.

Beware Zinc Whiskers

What have the Australian Tax office, NASA, a nuclear plant, and a Patriot missile battery all got in common? Data Centre failures caused by Zinc Whiskers. In this white paper we will explain what they are and what problems they can cause in a data centre and how to avoid them.

Data Centre Failures and how to avoid them

We, at Capitoline, have developed our own data centre management and operations methods largely based on our work with existing related standards, the Amsterdam Internet Exchange and other data centre audit customers.

We thought a good place to start establishing good practices would be to try and analyse why data centres go wrong and put in place practices which prevent these failures. Information on this has been published before but usually by manufacturers who have a specific interest in justifying a demand for their own products or sometimes by users such as Google who are not in a hurry to give much away about their own shortcomings. As a result information tends to be varied and with no common reporting terminology.

Over a sixty month period, 219 major failures were identified. This paper explains what caused them and how you can avoid the same happening to your facility.

Data Centre Temperature – Is hotter better?

Data Centre Temperature – Should it be hotter? There are many stories in the technical press and online about the virtues of running data centres hotter and hotter in order to save electricity and money overall. However this is a game of diminishing returns and at some point running the data centre hotter will be more trouble than its worth.

This paper explains why running your data centre hotter may not be the best thing to do.

Troubleshooting with Data Centre Thermal Imaging

In this paper we focus on using thermal imaging to identify overheating IT equipment and to understand what temperatures should be expected as normal in a well laid-out data centre and what might indicate potential problems.

Data Centre Fire Suppression Techniques – and a meeting in Rwanda

How did the outcome of a meeting in Kigali, Rwanda in October 2016 affect the data centre fire suppression market?

In this paper we consider the current ways of putting out a data centre fire and some of the wider technical and environmental issues they raise.

Requirement for data centre auditing for the Finance, Banking and Insurance industries

All industries and corporations now rely upon Information Technology for the success and very survival of their business and none more so than the finance, banking and insurance industry.

Financial industries have particular requirements put upon them for the security of their data and physical assets, ability to back up their data and an audit trail of transactions.

In some areas of the world legislation has been passed to force financial institutions to demonstrate this required level of security and backup.

In this paper we discuss this legislation and the standards which can be used to prove compliance.

What is Data Centre Operations Management ?

Data centre operations management, sometimes referred to as data centre facilities management, means looking after the physical structure of the data centre and is a separate discipline from the Information Technology (IT) function that the data centre exists to provide.

In this paper we discuss the distinction between IT systems management and data centre management.

Data Centre Management vs Design. Which is more important?

A well designed and run Tier 3 data centre may last 40 years without major failure whereas a poorly operated Tier 4 data centre could fail every six months. A well designed data centre must surely be easier to manage but without good management the data centre will not provide the service for which it was built.

In this paper we discuss the importance of both data centre design and a data centre operational management in improving the availability of data centre services.