With the rise of social networking, online banking, paperless storage and IT services such as virtualization and cloud computing, the requirements for safe, resilient and energy-efficient data centers are growing. Siemens provides integrated, reliable solutions and services for maximum uptime and efficiency, and to meet the growing demands of secure IT processing. Among the unique requirements are continuously functioning and high-performing cooling systems to maintain operating temperature of large-scale IT equipment. Video surveillance, access control and alarm systems, and specialized software solutions ensure compliance with security standards. Highly sensitive fire detectors and special gas extinguishing systems guarantee fire protection and prevent damage to expensive equipment. Reliable, cost effective and fast-to-deploy electrical distribution systems are also critical.
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Data centers have their origins in commercial office buildings, whose tenants had space set aside for data rooms. As the size and power demands increased, old warehouses were converted to house the servers – these were the first data centers. Today, due to their size and complexity, purpose-built facilities are constructed. A new ecosystem of contractors and consultants has emerged along with the market, bringing commercial procurement, engineering and management practices with them. The successful contractors are adapting to the new industrial-like environment.
Conventional procurement strategies in the commercial market often focused on reducing upfront capital expenditure. Savings in capital expenditure often come at the expense of time, operational expenditure and risk. Through our long-term involvement in the industrial market, Siemens has experience with alternative, indirect procurement strategies. These strategies simultaneously provide lower capital and operational expenditure, improve the speed to market and reduce risk.
Construction risk is a significant concern for data center owners and the wider ecosystem. If not properly managed, equipment delivered to site needs rework, this causes significant variation and delay. Management and technical time is spent on finding out who is at fault and who is going to pay.
In the industrial construction environment, these risks are better understood and handled by employing a balance of plant contractor, whose role is to ensure interface engineering between different systems and vendors is managed and resolved before equipment is delivered to site. This means minimal onsite rework is required; variations and time delays can be significantly reduced. It creates a positive environment whereby the onsite focus is on solving problems and achieving critical milestones rather than determining blame.
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