Tiers Co-author Hank Seader returns to Uptime Institute

Posted by mstansberry | Posted in Uptime Institute Accredited Tier Training | Posted on 18-08-2011

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We’re very excited to announce the return of Hank Seader to Uptime Institute. Seader was one of the co-authors of the Uptime Institute Tiers standard, and co-developer of the Institute’s Accredited Tier Designer curriculum.

Seader will be further developing Uptime Institute’s educational and professional accreditation offerings. He will also be working on research and delivery of analytical information, valuable to data center owner/operators driving investment and management decisions.

Seader’s data center career started in 1991 as Director of Facility Engineering at Aerospace Data Facility, an Air Force run and DoD owned, computer and communications facility. During those years Seader completed four major design and construction projects, while managing O&M for $1.3 billion facility.

In 1995 Seader spent an interim six month posting with Uptime Institute, transitioning the Uptime Network’s AIRs information into traditional database structure.

He then joined American Airline Sabre eventually becoming Vice President for Global Infrastructure.

While at Sabre, he developed facility architecture for two new data centers, managed facility operations for current Sabre U.S. data centers, and helped create operations strategy for data centers in multiple states and countries.

Hank joined Uptime Institute, then called ComputerSite Engineering, in 2004, provided site facility infrastructure assessments, design consulting, and Tier Certifications. During this tenure helped transitioned Tiers from a basis of owner requirements consulting into an international standard for data center facility development. His last contribution during that period with Uptime Institute was development of ATD curriculum and delivery of the first two ATD courses.

For the past two years Seader worked for Swanson Rink, where his principal focus was to work with clients in developing data center infrastructure requirements through facility assessments and design reviews for compliance with owner data center objectives.

“I found my tenure with an engineering firm to be extraordinarily enlightening into the process clients use to determine their facility infrastructure requirements and how engineering firms strive to define them during the design process,” Seader said. “So much of what some portions of the industry feel are settled issues are not universally embraced by all data center owners – nor perhaps should be. My curiosity has lead me back to The 451 Group and Uptime Institute to discover why this dichotomy exists. The 451 Group and Uptime Institute have the global, market-wide access, resources, and perspective to root out the whole story not available to an engineering firm engaging the market project by project.”

Surviving data center lightning strikes

Posted by mstansberry | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 09-08-2011

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Data Center Knowledge reported this week that lightning knocked out major cloud computing data centers in the Dublin area.

Chris Brown, Uptime Institute Professional Services consultant offered some advice on how to protect your company’s data center from lightning strikes:

A near lightning strike is very difficult to protect against. Many items designed for protection against lightning strikes don’t handle large near strikes well. So it is important to have that in mind when designing a system.

Good lightning protection and a good facility grounding system are necessities. But because lighting protection and surge suppression are not foolproof, it’s important to design the system itself to provide some resiliency.

The story suggested multiple engine-generators sharing a single bus requiring the units to be synchronized. In such situations, it is typical to have engine-generator paralleling switchgear isolated from the incoming utility feeder. The engine-generator paralleling switchgear is used to synchronize the generators then connect that power to the individual substations. In this arrangement, the switchgear, bus, and controls are separated from the incoming utility. The controls are powered either via a UPS or station batteries.

Either way a lightning strike would typically destroy a double conversion on-line UPS or rectifier of a station battery system, instead of allowing energy to propagate through to the controls, providing protection.

Typically the only connection between the substation and the paralleling switchgear is control wiring (phase signals for closed transition switching and dry contacts for utility loss and circuit breaker positioning). With the isolation, the generators are allowed to synchronize to the bus and connect to the substations via closed transitions.

But if the controls in the substations were destroyed it is possible the system would not automatically connect the available generator power to the substations. This would require trained personnel to manually open the utility circuit breaker and close the generator breaker. But not nearly as difficult or hazardous as manually paralleling engine-generators on the same bus. So it is important to have trained personnel on site 24×7 for mission critical facilities.

In summary, near lightning strikes are difficult to protect against. So a full approach of grounding, lightning protection systems, surge and transient protection, system topology, and personnel are key to helping ensure your data center survives a near lightning strike.