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Efficient data center installations
Efficient data center installations
Efficient data center installations
Efficient data center installations
Efficient data center installations
Efficient data center installations
Efficient data center installations
Efficient data center installations
Efficient data center installations
Efficient data center installations
Efficient data center installations
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Efficient data center installations


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John Brimmer and Tony Hansmann's talk on Data Centers for

John Brimmer and Tony Hansmann's talk on Data Centers for

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  • 1. Efficient Data Center Installations
    John Brimmer, Data Center Manager
    Tony Hansmann, Storage Manager
    Complete Genomics
  • 2. Why Focus on Installations?
    Our goal is to create an installation process to operationalize the management of our data centers
    Most organizations have “self service data centers”, where your DBA or Unix admins are also data center managers
    No standards- wild west of DC installation
    Not efficient - poor power and cooling management
    Error prone - Circuit overload, unmarked cables
    Long lead time – good gear sits on the shelf
    Not cost efficient – Data Center providers typically charge per circuit so under utilized circuits and racks cost $$$
  • 3. Why we looked for a better way
    A small IT team can’t afford to have installs be a distraction
    The IT support team may have a limited knowledge of power and data center equipment
    Wiring and labeling standards are hard to maintain
    Vendor Installs were taking to long (worst was 2 weeks)
    Disorganized on install day
    Vendors don’t know our environment
    Incorrect plug types of networking cables, leads to delays
    Problems with orders were dragging out for weeks
    After a bad install that dragged out for weeks, our vendor told us they could have fixed all the issues on install day
  • 4. Understanding Requirements
    Hardware requirements (physical space, power)
    Network requirements (MAC address, IP address, switch ports)
    Finance requirements (serial number, asset management)
    Support requirements (Service Tag number, remote management)
    Data Center requirements (host names, documentation)
  • 5. Efficiency = Growth
    Using 3rd party rack stack vendors (RSV) can significantly help in maintaining installation policy, and reduce deployment time. Typically RSVs cost much less than having a full time IT admin installing hardware
    Efficient Data Center installation policy helps maintain:
    Infrastructure standards- cable plan management, rack elevations, power management
    Simplified manageability – resources are easy to locate and support
    Fast installation process – plan and execute quickly
    Stable data center operations – reduces accidents, overloads
    Gather and report data – PDU’s , UPS, temp/humidity monitors, BMS all provide data
    Cost Efficiency- Get the most out of your big $ investments
  • 6. Installation Day
    Technical Installation Team needs to be trained
    Request “dedicated” install team from RSV
    Train installation team on standards (naming standards, labeling standards, documentation)
    Provide rack elevation diagrams pre-installation
    Create a host list with label names
    Outline work timeline and completion time
    Validate installation
    Using standards we were able to install 1PB storage cluster in a day!
  • 7. Managing Vendors
    Vendors need to be trained to our standards
    Hardware specific data to be provided pre-install (MAC, Serial Number, Support Number)
    Onsite hardware verification
    Vendors unpack hardware to ensure shipment accuracy
    Vendors checks for damaged goods
    Vendor provides installation overview
  • 8. Defined what an install should look like
    Moved to having our RSV do install by default
    Asked our vendors to sell us gear integrated into our environment
    Stopped accepting best effort
    Conference calls to do dry runs of the install
    Install-day Schedules are to the 30 min
    We sense it’s a bit torturous to our vendors to start, but they have no excuse if they don’t cover something
    They still miss stuff
  • 9. What we’ve gained
    Installs can be run by John alone
    It works better if there’s only one staff member there
    All questions are answered promptly, no miscommunications because there’s only one person to ask
    The vendor does what their best at, we do what we’re best at
    They are specialist at navigating their org, we let them
    We have issues, but they are not problems for us, they are something they managed for us
    We have schedules we can count on!
    Much more Fire and Forget
    Spend time on install tasks your vendor can’t do for us
    Our wiring/racking standards stay strong
    A real sense of teamwork and everyone is covering their zone
  • 10. Lessons Learned
    Have to get over feeling like a grade-school teacher
    We learned to say ‘because’ a lot
    Because we have a quality initiative
    Because our purchasing department says cut install costs
    Have to spell out: the only people lifting/installing/wiring is your RSV
    Otherwise vendor tries to ‘help’
    Shoo them off as soon as possible
    The vendors end up appreciating it after they go through the process a few times
  • 11. Thank You!