The COVID-19 global pandemic had a huge impact on all our lives, including our way of working. All sectors of activity have had to adapt and opt for a remotely way of work - in order to comply with the measures announced by the government but also in order to continue their activity during shutdowns and lockdowns.
And unfortunatelly, the impact of this new reality was felt across all industrial sectors of the global economy, including the construction industry.
One of the biggest effects of this situation, has been a large increase in the number of people working from home all over the world. And this was made possible thanks to the Cloud & the Data Centers industry. Indeed, Data centres are the core infrastructure that allows virtual workforce to remain productive, while away from the office. And so, big cloud players and global IT companies are spending billions on building and equipping new data centres in order to meet this huge demand of teleworking.
But this is not easy in this rather troubled time. Indeed, it becomes challenging for the owners of these infrastructures to manage constant moves, adds and changes all over the world. Without forgetting that many owners of critical sites have restricted on-site access as a result of global and local guidance around social distancing. So it could become difficult to perform some commissioning tasks which require site visits, face-to-face contact and functionnal testing.
This is why a new form of commissioning is rising up. The virtual and remote Commissioning ! And contrary to what one might think, this new form of commissioning has a lot of advantages.
But before identifying the benefits, do you know exactly what commissioning is?
According to the National Conference on Building Commissioning here is the closest definition of total building commissioning :
« systematic process of assuring by verification and documentation, from the design phase to a minimum of one year after construction, that all facilities perform interactively in accordance with the design documentation and intent, and in accordance with the owner's operational needs, including preparation of operational personnel ».
This is what Commissioning is all about.
And this verification of the proper functioning of a new Datacentre is also made possible thanks to virtual tools. Indeed, many operators can still, in this situation, perform virtual inspection of their critical assets with tools that provide visibility into cooling, power, network, security and other functions. They can see virtually what works and what doesn't (including "Faults") and so they know what they need to improve next to increase the performance of their data center. So we understand that these digital solutions help to reduce the number of personnel on site as well as the duration of tests (up to 30% time saving). Which is quite positive in this COVID-19 period !
The Uptime Institute (the global datacenter certification center) recommends by the way that these facilities use remote monitoring, remote management and remote automation softwares when it's possible. As for the industry insiders, they report that after using these systems, the results of virtual and remote commissioning have exceeded all expectations this year. Indeed, it was very positive!
We can say that these solution seems to be validated and recommended by professionals for datacentres to the extent that they are efficient and meet a need.
SMART Connected loadbanks for successful virtual and remote commissioning !
Loadbanks are used in the Commissioning phase to demonstrate the proper functioning of the electrical and thermal infrastructure of a new datacenter and to validate the good adequacy between the construction and the original design. So, they bring a real guarantee !
Connected loadbanks also exist to optimize significantly the "Test & Commissioning" phase of datacentres. They are increasingly used by these infrastructures, particularly to limit the number of people on site during this period of global pandemic.
And the Rentaload company, the leader of IST Commissioning solutions in Europe offers precisely SMART & Connected loadbanks from 0,5 kW to several MW to the datacenters industry (by the way, it’s the first fleet of connected loadbanks in Europe). Rentaload allows datacentres to carry out tests in a different way closer to the current reality and in a very efficient way.
More specifically, these smart & connected loadbanks can be remotely controlled by a computer - up to 200 loadbanks at the same time which limits the number of people on site and saves time. Instead of pressing 200 buttons individually you only have to perform 1 manipulation via the computer. These connected load banks will also collect specific measurements both electrical and thermal of the IT room. The virtual commissioning thanks to the connected loadbanks, provide more recorded data than we would have had with the traditional process which is a considerable advantage for the end customer. Then these measurements are recorded and processed and forwarded to the end customer in a full test report. These collect datas support conclusions of final commissioning reports. They provide real added value during testing and help to optimize the performance of the datacenter and limit possible risks.
- In fact, connected loadbanks appear to be the future of data centres commissioning : reducing on-site personnel, reducing test duration (up to 30%), saving money, checking data center equipment and installations, collecting & recording data and finally drawing up a final commissioning report for the end customer
That's why we talk about
« Virtual & Remote Commissioning » !
« A new vision on how testing Data Centres. »