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CDA Presents at the Data Center World Conference

May 19th, 2011

By David Brender, CDA National Program Manager

A history-making 800 IT professionals attended Data Center World in Las Vegas to collaborate on issues concerning  cybercrime, security, cloud computing, collocation, power ,cooling, change management, data center redesign, mobile devices and their role in data centers.  I represented the Copper Development Association and promoted our role in the support of data center infrastructure.  It’s our goal to help keep them online all the time.

Data center customers cannot have their facilities go down.  These customers are referred to as mission critical, and the customers are often comprised of financial companies crunching numbers, medical researchers running medical tests to cure disease, government agencies and various companies streaming video across the world.  Therefore reliable, consistent power is critical 24/7.

Data centers differ from other industries in that electrical power reliability and power quality are exceptionally high. They currently represent about 5% of the total electric usage in the U.S.,   with a forecast of growth in the next 5-10 years of up to 20% of all electricity.  High power quality implies stable, correct voltage with undistorted waveform, and redundancy in electric sources and cooling. It is imperative that equipment is correctly installed, rigorously maintained, and, not incidentally, dependent on copper for reliability.

The conference opened opportunities to speak with organizations about the importance of back-up power, grounding, bonding and planned maintenance.  We presented a case study of Boston’s Downtown Crossing Data Center, which servesno less than 40 national and international communications providers.  The center is located in an 800,000 sq ft building that has many positive attributes – a potentially large nearby customer base, and utility feeds from two substations for reliable power.  Since the building was built over 70 years ago, new electrical, grounding, IT and HVAC systems had to be installed.  The building needed a complete makeover to ensure reliability as a data center.

For additional information on the Data Center in Boston  click on the link below: http://www.copper.org/applications/electrical/pq/casestudy/a6134/a6134.html

Overall, we attend many conferences to offer educational services to companies and organizations with questions about how to design electric infrastructures.   The US Army, among many other users,  was in attendance at the Data Center World Conference and had asked for our educational support on grounding, ground testing and electrical design for reliability.  So, the Copper Development Association is now scheduled to host a 2 day seminar on their campus reviewing grounding, redundancy and electrical infrastructure.


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