The Making of Lean and Modular Data Centers

Modular and lean data centers are imperative for efficiency. However, it is very difficult for a data center to switch over to become "modular" or "lean" overnight.

The Making of Lean and Modular Data CentersEfforts towards the making of a truly modular and lean data center start from the construction stage. The modular approach entails first building a frame and then attaching components as required. Conventional data center construction requires a lot of work on the assembly site. The lean approach entails using pre-assembled structures, frames and other components, and transporting these components in flat boxes to facilitate easy assembly with zero waste. It also entails minimizing the number of unique components to make the construction site agnostic, meaning that it becomes possible to use most of the components interchangeably, regardless of the data center location. Another characteristic is the use of materials that minimize work. One example is the use of Epicore metal deck product for ceiling ducts of the cold aisle and racks, which would perform the additional task of carrying the load of the trays, power bus and light fixtures below, using a hanger clip for the threaded rods. Needless to say, these data centers would be scalable, with the ability to add additional capacity easily as and when required.

However, such a modular setup is useless unless it is backed by an effective design with implementation of lean concepts in data center operations. The objective of going "lean" is to improve service delivery and service assurance. This takes various approaches, such as applying 5S to reduce cost and improve productivity, and using QFD to understand and specify customer value better. The results would manifest as better and faster response to issues, more balanced server loads, improved maintenance and more.

5S is a proven Japanese concept, which aims to organize the space for efficiency and effectiveness through five principles of Seri (sort), Seiton (streamline), Seiso (shine), Seiketsu (standardize) and Shitsuke (sustain). QFD or Quality Functional Deployment is another proven method to transform qualitative demands made by clients into quantitative parameters.

If you're looking for a modular and lean data centers, look no further than Lifeline Data Centers. Contact us today for a tour.

Alex Carroll

Alex Carroll

Managing Member at Lifeline Data Centers
Alex, co-owner, is responsible for all real estate, construction and mission critical facilities: hardened buildings, power systems, cooling systems, fire suppression, and environmentals. Alex also manages relationships with the telecommunications providers and has an extensive background in IT infrastructure support, database administration and software design and development. Alex architected Lifeline’s proprietary GRCA system and is hands-on every day in the data center.
Alex Carroll