The importance of consultation in a commoditised world

22 December 2016

By Brian Macnamara, Vice President of Europe Sales, Tripp Lite.

When it comes to data centres, people’s thoughts almost immediately turn to servers and storage. But it was not a lack of computing power that Icomm Technologies struggled with during a recent data centre update at its Birmingham headquarters.

As an IT managed service provider, Icomm’s range of solutions includes hosting, data storage and backup.  In order to accommodate this growing business, Icomm was tasked with upgrading its data centre to the most current and effective technology.  Icomm had to ensure reliability, protect against any possible source of failure and plan for future growth. The renovation included upgrading the fire suppression system, installing redundant air conditioning and designing a complete IT infrastructure solution to organize, protect, power, manage and connect the new equipment.     

When it came to ensuring these needs were met, Eugene Muller, Icomm’s project manager, decided to seek advice rather than go it alone.  He reached out to Tripp Lite, the only consultant-vendor whose experience and product offering were extensive enough to address all of Icomm’s infrastructure needs. Tripp Lite also offers a comprehensive and complimentary IT Infrastructure Assessment service. After speaking with a Tripp Lite application specialist, Eugene gained a deeper understanding of the potential issues he was likely to encounter during the fitting out process.  

For example, each of Eugene’s racks contained 20 servers and 40 three-metre power cords. Tripp Lite pointed out that by changing to half-metre power cords, he could remove over 100 metres of cable clutter per rack and increase air flow by 70%.  Tripp Lite also designed a custom expandable UPS solution with built-in wraparound maintenance bypass that provided Eugene with the flexibility to add UPS capacity when needed as well as the capability to hot-swap all of the UPS components without having to power off the connected equipment.  Furthermore, Tripp Lite helped Eugene overcome unforeseen challenges, like moving equipment through narrow halls and stairways, by providing practical solutions like heavy duty cabinets that could be easily taken apart and reassembled.

At no cost to Eugene, Tripp Lite provided him with a detailed specification that included cabinets, power distribution, UPS backup and cabling, plus a KVM console to manage all the servers. This made it easy for Eugene to calculate the budget, manpower and time needed to complete the project.  A comprehensive plan was of the utmost importance prior to installation because the omission of a single part could have resulted in a costly delay.  Plus, working with a single provider with such an ample portfolio of components meant Eugene was able to avoid having multiple meetings with multiple vendors to put together just one specification. 

As Eugene explains: “I was surprised by how willing Tripp Lite were to engage with us, the end user; as well as their breadth of product.  Other vendors are just not willing to do that. They really knew what they were talking about and it went so well, we recently asked Tripp Lite to help fit out a second data centre for Icomm in Manchester.”

Infrastructure equipment may constitute just five to 10% of costs, but it is the fundamental building block of the data centre, without which nothing works.  Collaborating with a multi-tiered vendor who will provide valuable advice on data centre builds can help ensure that your project runs smoothly, under-budget and without surprises.