Monday, February 12, 2018

Site Tour for Critical Infrastructure in February 9, 2018

A BIG thank you to the participants and the coordination granted by the China Unicom (Hong Kong) Global Center in Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate (TKO). The site tour was successfully completed. The interaction and feedback created enable all of us to share the experience on the mission-critical infrastructure (Tier III+ / Tier IV ready) and the data center services.




China Unicom Global Limited ("CUG"), headquarter in Hong Kong, with 31 worldwide subsidiaries and offices, and 107 overseas Point-of-Presences (PoPs) in 70 countries/regions, CUG endeavors on global business development, operation and servicing outside Mainland China.







Leveraging on China Unicom’s extensive global network coverage, CUG is providing reliable end-to-end global integrated telecommunication services and solutions including


  • Global Internet Access (IP-Transit for China & International);
  • Data Center (IDC) & Cloud;
  • Global Connectivity Services (IEPL, MPLS-VPN);
  • Internet of Things (IoT), Video Conferencing, Unified Communications, Content and Security Services, and provides customers with premium Voice and Mobility services; and
  • ICT and System Integration solutions


For details, please visit www.chinaunicomglobal.com.


About the organizer

Strategic Media Asia (SMA) is one of the approved CPD course providers of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) UK. The team exists to provide an interactive environment and opportunities for members of ICT industry and facilities' engineers to exchange professional views and experience.

SMA connects IT, Facilities and Design. For the Data Center Design Consideration, please visit 

All topics focus on key components and provide technical advice and recommendations for designing a data center and critical facilities.


Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Learn Energy Audit for Mission-Critical Infrastructure (Program Developed by the U.S. Department of Energy)

Energy Monitoring?
Efficiency Improvement?
A comprehensive strategy to evaluate your critical infrastructure?




The data center industry and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) partnered to develop a Data Center Energy Practitioner (DCEP) program which certifies energy practitioners to evaluate the energy status and efficiency opportunities in the mission-critical infrastructure worldwide.




The DCEP curriculum was updated in 2016 and formed collaboration with the industry to reinforce proven best practices and to introduce new tools and techniques in key areas such as IT equipment, air management, cooling systems, and electrical systems:-

Level 1 Practitioners ("Generalist", Day 1) will be expected to have a good understanding of 3 data center disciplines (HVAC - Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning, Electrical and IT-equipment) for providing broad recommendations based on the high-level DC Pro (Data Center Profiler) Tools.

Level 2 Practitioners ("HVAC-Specialist", Day 2 & 3) address HVAC energy opportunities using in-depth Air Management Assessment Tool.

Successful candidates who complete the 3-day program and pass the exams will gain Data Center Practitioner (DCEP) status by listing their names and contact information on the official website (http://datacenters.lbl.gov/dcep) as well as issuing certificates.


Level 1 Practitioners ("Generalist") - Day 1

- Generalist Training Introduction
- Data Center Profiler (DC Pro) Overview
- IT Equipment
- Air Management
- Cooling Systems
- Electrical Systems
- Assessment Process Manual
- Data Center Profiler (DC Pro) Case Study
- End of Generalist Training / Exam (2-hour, open-book exam)


Level 2 Practitioners ("HVAC-Specialist") - Day 2 & 3

- HVAC Specialist Training Introduction
- Air Handlers and Air Conditioners
- Liquid Cooling
- Chilled Water Plants
- Cooling System Controls
- Assessment Process
- Modeling Data Center HVAC Systems
- Environmental Requirements
- Airflow and Temperature Management
- DOE Air Management Tool
- End of HVAC Specialist Training / Exam (3-hour, open-book exam)

 
Official syllabus and program rundown -
http://datacenters.lbl.gov/resources/dcep-typical-training-agenda



Program Speaker

Dr. Bob Sullivan, a Worldwide Eminent Educator and a Data Center Infrastructure Specialist, is the concept creator of Hot Aisle-Cold Aisle. He is the winner of Data Center Dynamics 2016 - Outstanding Contribution to the Data Center Industry Award. TechTarget named Dr. Bob one of "five people who changed the data center" in August 13, 2010.


Exam and Certification

The Level 1 and Level 2 exams are open-book with multiple-choice questions following the training sessions. The result is either Pass or Fail. The passing score is 75%. There is a waiting period of 30 days to retake the exam(s).


Prerequisites to Gain the DCEP Designation (Level 2)

- 4 year technical degree with 3 years verifiable critical facilities design/operation experience; or
- 2 year technical degree with 6 years verifiable critical facilities design/operation experience; or
- 10 years verifiable critical facilities design/operation experience; and
- Completion of the 3-day instructor-led training; and
- Pass the exams of Level 1 and Level 2


Enrollment Details

Date: 16 - 18 May 2018 (Wednesday - Friday)
Time: 09:00 - 18:00
Venue: 19/F, New Victory House (OfficePlus), 103 - 93 Wing Lok Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
Official Rate (3-day): US$2,900 (HK$22,800) per head


Course materials (in digital copy), examinations and applications fees are all included.
For enrollment and registration, please visit www.stmedia-asia.com/data-center-energy-practitioner-dcep.html.


Applications can be submitted online or by email. The copies of degree certificate(s) and projects / work experience / reference letters will be requested by the official Program Administrator (PA) in U.S.


"ANCIS Incorporated" is the Program Lead and authorised trainer of the Data Center Energy Practitioner (DCEP) program and "Strategic Media Asia Limited" is the approved program partner in Hong Kong for local administration.

Adverse Weather Arrangement - Events in the morning, afternoon or evening will be cancelled if typhoon signal No. 8 or above or black rainstorm warning is still hoisted after (or is announced by the Hong Kong Observatory to be hoisted at / after) 6:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. respectively. Delegates will be notified when the class will be made up as soon as possible.


P.S. Think your team might also be interested? Pass it on ›


Strategic Media Asia Limited
Connecting IT, Facilities and Design

T (852) 2117 3893  |  F (852) 2184 9978

Room 403, 4th Floor, Dominion Centre, 43 - 59 Queen's Road East, Hong Kong
http://www.stmedia-asia.com  |  http://green-data.blogspot.com




Monday, February 5, 2018

(14th Round) Preparatory Course to become a Registered Specialist Contractor (Ventilation Works) - RSC(V)

Further to the data center & critical facilities design courses, the team is going to launch a preparatory course which helps engineers / enterprises to facilitate compliance with the Buildings Ordinance and to become a Registered Contractors in Ventilation Works in Hong Kong.

Last update on 5 February 2018

Preparatory Course to Become a Register of Specialist Contractors
(Sub-register of Ventilation Works Category) - RSC (V)

14th Round

Date: 5 and 12 May 2018 (Saturday)
Time: 9:00 - 13:00 / 13:30
Venue: 14/F, On Lok Yuen Building, 25-27A Des Voeux Road Central, Hong Kong



The course is designed for ventilation and air-conditioning engineering company's Technical Director (TD), Authorized Signatory (AS) or other officers successfully becoming a registered specialist contractor (ventilation works category).

Participants will familiarize themselves with the Buildings Ordinance, ventilation and fire safety legislation, occupational safety and health and environmental protection, ventilation and air-conditioning and specialized knowledge, etc. within a short time and up to a professional standards of ventilation / air-conditioning engineer.


For syllabus and content, please visit our website:

Course Details (Chinese) or 
Course Details (English)

Please download the application at http://www.stmedia-asia.com/images/aircon.pdf








About SMA


Strategic Media Asia (SMA), a critical infrastructure training and event organizer, provides an interactive environment and opportunities for members of engineers to exchange professional views and experience on critical infrastructure and electrical and mechanical facilities.


In addition, SMA is one of the CPD Course Providers of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE).


For other data center design and critical facilities courses, please visit our website at http://www.stmedia-asia.com/trainings.html.




Friday, January 12, 2018

Electrical System Design - Grounded or Ungrounded?

Further to the discussion of Earthing & Grounding for UPS System, we are going to explore different cases making mistakes to ground everything by default which creates parallel paths and are strictly prohibited!


We all note that ungrounded electrical systems are not often employed due to real and perceived safety concerns. Predominately, commercial systems are solidly grounded (SG). SG systems are characterized by high line-to-ground fault current with reliance on quick overcurrent protection to limit the release of dangerous energy.

Alternatives to an SG system include low-resistance grounding (LRG), reactance grounding (RG), and high-resistance grounding (HRG). LRG or RG systems are recommended on medium-voltage systems to limit fault currents while overcurrent protection operates. HRG systems, which limit the fault current to a small value, were adopted by the mission critical data centers. Onsite power generation and uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems are used extensively where equipment costs can be justified against the losses due to business continuity interruptions:-




The picture shows an UPS installed in a typical equipment room with associated switchgear. This is a good illustration where the user is planning for future growth of the UPS, and has allowed space for additional modules to add capacity or redundancy.


Transformerless UPS systems are preferred due to efficiency savings, lower thermal heat rejection, and a smaller footprint as compared with transformer-based UPS systems. These transformerless systems have been introduced in the past decade and are commonly employed on a large scale for data centers and critical manufacturing processes. For domestic, medium- to large-scale applications, engineers are specifying UPS distribution as a 480 V, 3-wire system with 208 V power distribution units (PDUs) at the point of connection. A PDU or isolation transformer is provided when single-phase loads are served. A neutral is not required or advised for this system until single-phase loads are required:-




This 3-wire UPS system depicts an ungrounded zone. Ungrounded operation occurs during battery discharge when the UPS isolates the incoming source.


For smaller systems, such as a 208/120 V UPS input source, a 4-wire system may be specified (see the following figure). Systems in both figures operate ungrounded during an event where power is lost. Whether a short circuit is flowing through the neutral or grounding conductor when the UPS is providing power, transistors in the UPS rectifier isolate the input power, opening the supply circuit and interrupting the return path:-



This 4-wire UPS system depicts an ungrounded zone. Ungrounded operation occurs during battery discharge when the UPS isolates the incoming source.


For applications that can’t tolerate an ungrounded zone within the electrical distribution system, an isolation transformer inside the UPS is an option. Without an isolation transformer, there is no safe way to connect the direct-current source to ground without introducing a parallel return path. With transformerless applications being the leading choice in the industry, it is important for engineers to mitigate and understand the risks of operating an ungrounded system during power transfer.

Careful application of grounding continues to rank No. 1 in safety priority. It is a mistake to ground everything by default. Grounding duplication creates parallel paths, which is strictly prohibited for neutral conductors.

By design, when connecting exposed metal cabinets and conduit to the grounding system, there are many parallel paths to the source. However, properly grounded systems are only connected once at the source. A grounded conductor is provided to intentionally return unbalanced current back to the source. These grounded conductors are separated from the grounding system to avoid a parallel return path. Most important, the isolation of a grounded conductor from grounding keeps these intended and unintended exposed metal paths from carrying current under normal conditions.

For critical applications, redundant components along with alternative utility and standby sources are normal practices. These separately derived systems are grounded at the source and interconnected by transfer-switch schemes. Grounding interconnection is required and care must be taken to avoid hazards, such as not being able to isolate a ground fault or circulating ground currents. Where 4-wire sources are required, auto-transfer schemes must consider switching the neutral.



About us

Strategic Media Asia (SMA) is one of the approved CPD course providers of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) UK. The team exists to provide an interactive environment and opportunities for members of ICT industry and facilities' engineers to exchange professional views and experience.

SMA connects IT, Facilities and Design. For the Data Center Design Consideration, please visit 

All topics focus on key components and provide technical advice and recommendations for designing a data center and critical facilities.


Friday, December 22, 2017

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Boost Your Data Center Efficiency with Multi-mode UPS Systems

When consulting-specifying engineers look at the hundreds of technology factors that go into a data center’s design, they know that even small variables, when multiplied by big numbers, add up quickly. That’s the case with seemingly small incremental increases in energy efficiency for uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems used in data centers around the world.

According to the Uptime Institute, traditional transformer-based UPS devices represent only 12% of a typical data center’s energy consumption, given power use and energy conversion inefficiencies and heat loss. Although they account for only a fraction of the total energy consumption in a data center, even small improvements in UPS energy conversion efficiency can add up to significant lifecycle operational cost savings.



Figure 1: Typical Data Center AC-Power Configuration


Traditional double conversion UPS units (Figure 1), which protect the load during outages — use a rectifier to convert the alternating current (ac) power to direct current (dc) power, and an inverter to provide safe and clean ac power to the load using either the main or battery power.

Unfortunately, in this scenario power efficiency is the price paid for protection. Transformer-based double conversion UPS systems have a typical power efficiency rating in the range of 88% to 92%. As a result, double conversion UPS systems place a steep toll on annual data center energy operating budgets.

Newer three-level insulated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) UPS technologies, which reduce switching and filtering power conversion losses, offer efficiency levels approaching 97% in double conversion mode, and up to 99% efficiency when operating in energy-saving multi-mode. These new, three-level UPS topologies create new OpEx rationales when designing data center power systems and specifying UPS technologies.


Multi-mode Transfer Speed


So what’s that optimum switching or transfer time? According to a Green Grid white paper on multi-mode (or eco-mode), “if, for example, a UPS has a transfer time of greater than 10 ms and is paired with information technology (IT) equipment that has ride-through capabilities of only 10 ms, the UPS may not be able to support the IT equipment.”

That’s one of the reasons a few companies design their multi-mode UPS products with transfer speeds of less than 2 ms. The technologies that help achieve these speeds are seamless and represent a robust set of power disturbance detection, analysis, and control systems.

When a multi-mode UPS unit’s responsive monitoring technologies detect any sort of deviation on the main or bypass power path, the inverter is immediately turned on to allow quality power to flow from the double conversion premium protection mode. In the same instant, the static switch on the bypass path from the utility is turned off to block the disturbance from reaching the load.

A variety of disturbance analyzers and fast-switching technologies are employed in combination, including


  • An instantaneous adaptive voltage error detector that monitors subtle changes in amplitude and duration
  • A root mean square (RMS) voltage error detector that computes the RMS of all three UPS output voltages for variances
  • An output short circuit detector that, after a breaker is tripped, will automatically increase line current to rapidly clear and reset the breaker
  • A sophisticated transient inverter controller that quickly manages the transfer of the load to inverter power and back again to the bypass path.


All of these advanced monitoring and control systems work in concert to anticipate and respond to a comprehensive set of possible power conditions, creating a transfer switch speed of less than 2 ms. This speed helps to maximize the intermittent transfer to double conversion protection, while maintaining higher multi-mode efficiency for the majority of the time when quality utility power is flowing.


Lifecycle Costs


In evaluating efficiency and lifecycle costs for multi-mode UPS systems, some might ask: If our UPS running in double conversion already gets us to 93% efficiency, why take a “risk” for a few percentage points in efficiency? Can that extra energy efficiency provide a significant return?



Figure 2: Small percentage improvements in power efficiency can yield significant savings over a 10-year period.


If we look at a UPS deployment at a typical 10 MW data center realizing just a 1% gain in efficiency, we can see a significant impact over 10 years. As Figure 2 shows, while CapEx (Capital Expenditure) are fixed, a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) evaluation of the OpEx (Operating Expense) for running an UPS over 10 years creates an operational savings of $1.4 million when energy efficiency improves a single percent — from 93% to 94% efficiency. With newer multi-mode UPS technologies that provide up to 96.5% efficiency, that savings could jump to almost an additional $3.4 million.

As both corporate and data center providers challenge their consulting-specifying partners to deliver projects that balance capital and lifecycle costs, as well as ensure the reliability and energy efficiency of their facilities, new multi-mode UPS efficiency models provide a compelling set of tools for data center designers and engineers.


About us

Strategic Media Asia (SMA) is one of the approved CPD course providers of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) UK. The team exists to provide an interactive environment and opportunities for members of ICT industry and facilities' engineers to exchange professional views and experience.

SMA connects IT, Facilities and Design. For the Data Center Design Consideration, please visit 

All topics focus on key components and provide technical advice and recommendations for designing a data center and critical facilities.






Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Data Center Design Consideration: Meet Me Rooms (MMR)

A co-location facility / carrier-neutral data center hosts services from multiple carriers (telecommunication companies) or organizations. Meet-me rooms (MMR) are important physical spaces (2 or more for redundancy) located in the building of a co-location data center or carrier-neutral data center. Data center clients use this space to interconnect or cross-connect to a single or multiple carriers (for redundancy) and to exchange information, which can be transmitted to individual computers via the Internet, without incurring local-loop fees.




Although the concept and practice of using an MMR are not new, the initial creation and management of these spaces over time has become a serious challenge for operators. Owing to some poor practices and lack of building standards, there have been occasions where new clients' preferred carrier could not be accommodated as a result of physical / location challenges. We are going to outline some design best practices.



CABINETS AND SPACE


A carrier generally asks for at least 2 four-post, 84" (45U) high cabinets in each MMR. If the operator is providing only AC power, the carrier may request additional rack space for rectifiers and batteries, should they be using DC equipment.

The best practice is to meet with the intended carriers all at once to create a rack and space solution that they can all agree on. Although this may be a difficult task to schedule, it will be worthwhile to reach an agreement on one typical rack type and one layout look and feel.

Clients who inspect your facilities before signing a contract will appreciate a consistent look to this space. Permitting odd-size cabinets combined with open-frame racks of all colors and widths will detract from a professional look and limit the usefulness of space for new or different functions.

Meet-Me Rooms tend to be smaller because fibers would be run from a user suite to patch panels in an MMR to be interconnected, which requires little space. With time, these rooms have grown in size and are starting to resemble data centers, including features such as cages.



LOCATION


The location of the MMRs would be outside the computer rooms, in the secure data center space. When determining location for one or redundant rooms, consider the industry standards for distance, which will vary according to service type and media (fiber/copper/coax). Placing the MMR on an outside wall is ideal if the space will double as the point of entry so that equipment and workers can go in and out using external doors without disrupting data hall's operations.

Depending on the expected user population, locating the MMR on an exterior wall and even near a loading dock could be a deal breaker for security reasons. If your clients require significantly more security than normal commercial businesses, the MMR should not act a main point of entry but should instead be placed within the data center, away from external walls.



CONNECTIONS


The connection to the data center clients and carriers / MMRs have many methods. Some standards exist. Each method has challenges in co-location facilities, and each challenge can be met so long as they are identified early and planned for.


Direct Connect —

Each carrier connects directly with the client from the carrier-equipment rack to the client-side demarcation point or equipment rack which is also located in a secure half of the MMR (see figure below). The client then extends to the floor space.

The MMR is split for security reasons between clients and carriers. Clients are permitted in their side of the MMR, and carriers in theirs. This approach could increase the amount of conduit in the ceiling space and limit future installations.

Using a private cage for client-side equipment or third-party cross-connect provider as the only staff permitted in the client side of the MMR could limit a security concern.




Direct Connect (Extended Demarcation Point) —

It means each carrier connects directly with the client from the carrier-equipment rack in the MMR to the client-side demarcation point located in the client space (see figure below). Multiple conduits demanded by clients can quickly fill any available space above the ceiling.




Cross Connect in the MMR —

Each client space has pre-installed patch panels located in a secure side of the MMR whereby multiple carriers cross-connect (see figure below). The pre-installed facility is then patched to the client's equipment in the floor space.

Similar to the "Direct Connect" method, some clients may express security concerns with this topology and carriers may not like the potential that a competitor could accidentally unplug their patch. If the MMR is professionally managed (which is highly recommended), the carrier would not have access to this side of the MMR.





Cross Connect in Client's Floor Space —

Patch panels are placed in each carrier’s secure equipment rack and pre-connected to each client's space (see figure below). Drawbacks include higher upfront costs to carriers and operators, who may never connect to every client, and loss of operator cross-connect fees.





MANAGING  MMR


Try to create in-building standards and include them in every lease agreement. In addition, carrier agreements should include adherence to your standards. These standards need to outline access-control, cross-connect, interconnect, and direct-connection means and methods, as well as installation and pathway standards, cable count and color standards, and labeling criteria.




Access Control —

Control access to carrier sides and, if designed, client sides of the MMRs. Only permit third-party MMR management companies to have access to both rooms. Make sure this access is authorized, authenticated and audited. Ensure the design disables any opportunity for a carrier or tenant to literally “throw a cable over the wall” to make a connection.


Connection Methods —

A good cable installer can be assigned to the task of managing the MMR as long as the standards are well documented and SLAs between that company and the operator exist.


Pathway Standards —

The MMR space above the ceiling is not limitless; as such, controls must be put in place to ensure large (and typically unused) conduits are not positioned between data connection points. Traditional cable tray is a sure means of transporting media; most clients will claim that cable trays are an inherent security risk, however. The use of flexible armored cable is something all operators should consider. It is lightweight, able to bend and ultra-thin compared with conduit.


Color Codes —

Color coding the media is a best practice for many reasons. Colors can designate fiber-types, counts, installation dates and specific client connections. Mining out the infrastructure of past clients is easy once the cables are identified, and identification by color is a quick means of disposal.



For details of the MMR and structured cabling system design (copper and fiber cables), please consider to attend a credential program and further learning for telecommunications spaces, horizontal and backbone distribution systems.



About SMA

Strategic Media Asia (SMA) is one of the approved CPD course providers of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) UK.

The team exists provide an interactive environment and opportunities for members of ICT industry and facilities' engineers to exchange professional views and experience.

SMA connects IT, Facilities and Design. For accreditation details and background, please visit www.stmedia-asia.com/about.html.



Understand the Cooling and Ventilation System Design for Data Center


Air Conditioning System Design for Data Center
(23 - 24 March 2017, approved CPD course by CIBSE UK)


It targets to engineers involved in designing or handling HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) equipment for mission critical facilities, IT infrastructure and data center projects.

All sessions highlight design principles such as psychrometric chart, cooling load calculation / estimation, etc. and the design considerations such as air distribution, availability / redundancy, common mistakes, Computer Fluid Dynamic (CFD) model, integration with MEPs (Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing system), etc.

You'll be able to make informed decisions about the best choices of cooling systems for mission critical purposes and how system can best meet the project goal and SLA (Service Level Agreement).


Date: 23 - 24 March 2017 (Thursday - Friday)
Time: 10:00 - 17:30
Venue: 14/F, On Lok Yuen Building, 25-27A Des Voeux Road Central, Hong Kong
Fee: Special rate for CIBSE / HKIE all membership classes



> Datacom Equipment Power Trends and Cooling Applications

-- Load trends and their application
-- Air cooling of computer equipment
-- Liquid cooling of computer equipment


> Design Consideration

-- Design criteria
-- HVAC load
-- Computer room cooling
-- Air distribution
-- Liquid cooling
-- Availability and redundancy
-- Controls
-- Integration with other MEP (Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing) system
-- Computer Fluid Dynamics (CFD)


> Testing and Commissioning

-- Air cleanliness test
-- Heat load test
-- Factory acceptance test
-- Site acceptance test
-- Integrated performance test (IST)


> Energy Efficiency

-- Power usage effectiveness
-- Chilled water plant optimization
-- Water side and air side equipment
-- Part load operation
-- Controls and energy management
-- LEED certified data center
-- Building energy code


> Sustainable Design

-- Combined heat power plant (CHP)
-- Solar cooling
-- Geothermal cooling
-- Evaporative cooling
-- Air side economizers
-- Desiccant unit


For details, please visit http://www.stmedia-asia.com/newsletter_6.html.





Get Ready to Become a Registered Specialist Contractor (Ventilation)
(29 April & 6 May 2017, Saturday)


Designed for enterprises in ventilation / air-conditioning engineering - Technical Director (TD), Authorized Signatory (AS) or other officers, our speaker introduces the register requirement, interview technique, Buildings Ordinance, ventilation and fire safety, occupational safety, health and environmental protection, etc.

The preparatory course helps local engineers and enterprises to facilitate compliance with the Buildings Ordinance in Hong Kong and to get ready to become a Registered Specialist Contractor for Ventilation Works (RSC-V).


Date: 29 April + 6 May 2017 (Saturday) - 11th round
Time: 9:00 - 13:00 / 13:30
Venue: 14/F, On Lok Yuen Building, 25-27A Des Voeux Road Central, Hong Kong
Fee: Early bird discount available for payment & application made before March 17, 2017


The RSC-V preparatory course is also available online www.stmedia-asia.com/aircon.html.





About us


Strategic Media Asia (SMA) is one of the approved CPD course providers of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) UK. The team exists to provide an interactive environment and opportunities for members of ICT industry and facilities' engineers to exchange professional views and experience.

SMA connects IT, Facilities and Design. For the Data Center Consideration Series, please visit 


(1) Site Selection,
(2) Space Planning,
(3) Cooling,
(4) Redundancy,
(5) Fire Suppression,
(6) Meet Me Rooms,
(7) UPS Selection, and
(8) Raised Floor

All topics focus on key components and provide technical advices and recommendations for designing a data center and critical facilities.



Data Center Design: Codes and Standards

Data center is a dedicated space where it houses the most important information and it being safe and accessible. Best practices ensure that you are doing everything possible to keep it that way.

Best practices mean different things to different people and organizations. We are going to focus on the major best practices - codes, design standards, and operational standards -  applicable across all types of data centers, including enterprise, colocation, and internet facilities. We will explore the best practices with respect to facility conceptual design, space planning, building construction, and physical security, as well as mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection. Facility operations, maintenance, and procedures will be the final topics for the series.




Following suitable codes and standards would seem to be an obvious direction when designing new or upgrading an existing data center. Data center design and infrastructure standards can range from national codes, like the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association), to local codes, like the New York State Energy Conservation Construction Code, and performance standards, like the Uptime Institute’s Tier Standard. Green certifications, such as LEED and Energy Star are also considered but optional.




Codes must be followed when designing, building, and operating your data center, but “code” is the minimum performance requirement to ensure life safety and energy efficiency in most cases. A data center is probably the most expensive facility your company ever builds or operates. Should it have the minimum requirement by code? It is clear from past history that minimum code requirement is not the best practice. Minimum requirement for fire suppression would involve having wet pipe sprinklers in your data center. However, it is definitely not a best practice for your critical facilities.



Major Data Center Standards

The major data center design and infrastructure standards developed for the industry include :-


Uptime Institute’s Tier Standard




This standard develops a performance-based methodology for the data center during the design, construction, and commissioning phases to determine the resiliency of the facility with respect to four Tiers or levels of redundancy/reliability. The Tiers are compared in our previous post below and can be also found in greater definition in the "Tier Classifications Define Site Infrastructure Performance". The origins of the Uptime Institute (UI) as a data center users group established it as the first group to measure and compare a data center’s reliability. It is a for-profit entity that will certify a facility to its standard, for which the standard is often criticized.

(1) Data Center Tier Levels and Uptime
(2) More about Data Center Tier Levels


ANSI/BICSI 002-2014


Data Center Design and Implementation Best Practices by BICSI - The standard covers the major aspects of planning, design, construction, and commissioning of the MEP (Mechanical, electrical, and plumbing) building trades, as well as fire protection, IT installation and maintenance. It is arranged as a guide for data center design, construction, and operation. Ratings / Reliability is defined by Class 0 to 4 and certified by BICSI-trained and certified professionals.


TIA Standard



Telecommunication Industry Association (TIA) for Data Center Infrastructure Design Standards: This standard is more IT cable and network oriented and has various infrastructure redundancy and reliability concepts based on the Uptime Institute’s Tier Standard. In 2013, Uptime Institute requested that TIA stop using the Tier system to describe reliability levels, and TIA switched to using the word “Rated” instead of “Tiers”, defined as Rated 1-4. TIA uses tables within the standard to easily identify the ratings for telecommunications, architectural, electrical, and mechanical systems.


TIA has a certification system in place with dedicated vendors that can be retained to provide facility certification.


EN 50600 International Standard

The European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC) develops European standards for electrical engineering. The committee represents the interests of 33 member countries and 13 affiliate member countries for the European marketplace. Their standards pattern with those developed by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

The New European Standard for Data Center Facilities and Infrastructure Design is the EN 50600-X series. Many aspects of this standard reflect the UI, TIA, and BCSI standards. Facility ratings are based on Availability Classes, from 1 to 4. Approved CENELEC Standards include




EN 50173 series: Information technology - Generic cabling systems

EN 50173-1: General requirements
EN 50173-2: Office premises
EN 50173-3: Industrial premises
EN 50173-4: Homes
EN 50173-5: Data centers
EN 50173-6: Distributed building services

EN 50174 series: Information technology - Cabling installation

EN 50174-1: Installation specification and quality assurance
EN 50174-2: Installation planning and practices inside buildings
EN 50174-3: Installation planning and practices outside buildings
TR 50174-99-1: Remote powering

EN 50600 series: Information technology - Data center facilities and infrastructures design

EN 50600-1: General concepts
EN 50600-2-1: Building construction
EN 50600-2-2: Power distribution
EN 50600-2-3: Environmental control
EN 50600-2-4: Telecommunications cabling infrastructure
EN 50600-2-5: Physical security
EN 50600-3-1: Management and operational information



Regulatory Standards

Government regulations for data centers will depend on the nature of the business and can include HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), SOX (Sarbanes Oxley) 2002, SAS 70 Type I or II, GLBA (Gramm-Leach Bliley Act), as well as new regulations that may be implemented depending on the nature of your business and the present security situation.



Operational Standards

There are also many operational standards to choose from. These are standards that guide your day-to-day processes and procedures once the data center is built:


Uptime Institute : Operational Sustainability (with and without Tier certification)
ISO 9000 – Quality System
ISO 14000 – Environmental Management System
ISO 27001 – Information Security
PCI – Payment Card Industry Security Standard
SOC, SAS70 & ISAE 3402 or SSAE16, FFIEC (USA) – Assurance Controls
AMS-IX – Amsterdam Internet Exchange – Data Center Business Continuity Standard


These standards will also vary based on the nature of the business and include guidelines associated with detailed operations and maintenance procedures for all of the equipment in the data center.



Consistency and Documentation are Key

The nature of your business will determine which standards are appropriate for your facility. If you have multiple facilities across the US, then the US standards may apply. For those with international facilities or a mix of both, an international standard may be more appropriate. The key is to choose a standard and follow it. If deviations are necessary because of site limitations, financial limitations, or availability limitations, they should be documented and accepted by all stakeholders of the facility.

Regardless of the standard followed, documentation and record keeping of your operation and maintenance activities is one of the most important parts of the process. Software management tools such as DCIM (Data Center Infrastructure Management), CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System), EPMS (Electrical Power Monitoring System), and DMS (Document Management System) for operations and maintenance can provide a “single pane of glass” to view all required procedures, infrastructure assets, maintenance activities, and operational issues.

Your critical facilities must meet the business mission. Data center design, construction, and operational standards should be chosen based on definition of that mission. Not all facilities supporting your specific industry will meet your defined mission, so your facility may not look or operate like another, even in the same industry.



About us


Strategic Media Asia (SMA) is one of the approved CPD course providers of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) UK. The team exists to provide an interactive environment and opportunities for members of ICT industry and facilities' engineers to exchange professional views and experience.

SMA connects IT, Facilities and Design. For the Data Center Design Consideration, please visit 


(1) Site Selection,
(2) Space Planning,
(3) Cooling,
(4) Redundancy,
(5) Fire Suppression,
(6) Meet Me Rooms,
(7) UPS Selection, and
(8) Raised Floor

All topics focus on key components and provide technical advice and recommendations for designing a data center and critical facilities.

Data Center Site Tour in June 2017

The team sincerely thank you for all visitors and the coordination granted by the professional data center management team in Chai Wan, Hong Kong!

The half-day visit on 2 June 2017 enables our visitors to gain an insight about the mission-critical infrastructure system (UPS system, NOC, CRAC units, etc.) supporting the data center cloud and IT services.

We look forward to cooperating with the data center and organizing the similar event in the near future!








About us

Strategic Media Asia (SMA) is one of the approved CPD course providers of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) UK.

The team exists provide an interactive environment and opportunities for members of data center industry and facilities' engineers to exchange professional views and experience on the mission-critical facilities and IT infrastructure system.

SMA connects IT, Facilities and Design. For accreditation details and background, please visit www.stmedia-asia.com/about.html.