Top 5 Tips for Creating Operation Critical Environment Excellence

Dec. 6, 2017
This is the final entry in a Data Center Frontier series that explores how to create complete resiliency and compliance for mission critical data centers. Stewart Collier, Managing Director of Critical Environments at Stream Data Centers, offers his top 5 recommendations when it comes to deploying critical environment capabilities.

This is the final entry in a  four-part Data Center Frontier series that explores how managing data facilities for the critical environment is evolving. This series, compiled in a special report, also explores design and operations for mission-critical data centers. 

Download the full report.

In reality, there is no industry standardization when it comes to data center resiliency. The interpretation can be huge. If you’ve got a massive process, are people going to be able to follow it? Is it standardized to your own business and data center?

Stewart Collier, Managing Director of Critical Environments at Stream Data Centers, offered his top 5 recommendations when it comes to deploying critical environment capabilities in the recent Data Center Frontier Special Report:

Try to solidify your processes, train your users, and do your best to avoid human error. The only way to do this is through a good operational process. Good data center partners, capable of managing critical environments, will be capable of supporting operations, supplying powerful data center tools, training of key IT and business staff, and incorporate continuous improvement. Stream employs a wide range of tools and training designed to ensure uptime, and provide visibility of all activity inside one’s mission-critical environment.

Make sure the team is trained and onboard before your critical data center is even up. Stream provides PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT of staff through a robust training curriculum that is complemented by professional development and certifications, along with a well-defined career path. Stream’s Critical Engineering Training Academy provides a multi-level development life cycle for staff, improving employee skill sets and knowledge to minimize risk of failure or disruption in mission critical facilities. Through this training, an increased awareness of human factors improves human performance, prevents outage, injury or death, thereby increasing the bottom line. Stream’s assertive recruiting and retention policies attract and develop the right talent, while retaining a valuable and consistent workforce.

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Learn the environment, before it’s live! There is only ONE chance to learn your data center before it goes live. Integrated operations team are so critical. You know your requirements, you know the criticality of your data center, and you know that you absolutely need 100% uptime for your critical systems. Before you build or deploy anything, make sure you get your operational strategy in line with IT and business requirements. This is your chance to build a critical infrastructure which maximizes uptime and value without compromising health, safety and security.

Involve IT and business when creating critical environments. When working with critical environments, it’s important to ensure you can see the big picture. Expert delivery of end-to-end data center services is the mission of Stream Critical Environments Services, including these and other mission-critical activities.

  • Efficiency survey and financial reporting
  • Lessons learned documentation
  • Asset verification, condition survey and life cycle reporting
  • Vendor innovation charter
  • Critical environment consulting services
  • Energy audits and cost reduction initiatives
  • Single point of failure and systems availability reporting
  • Critical disaster recovery and business continuity planning

Remember, IT helps drive the requirements for a mission critical architecture. However, it’s the business that will benefit from outcomes around safety, uptime, and resiliency.

Train, develop and test… and repeat. You can have the best critical environment architecture out there, but if no one knows how to operate or keep it healthy, it won’t be much use. Critical Environment Services partners like Stream offer advanced training to minimize risk or the disruption of critical operations. Through this training, an increased awareness of human factors improves human performance, prevents outage, injury or death, thereby increasing the bottom line. Stream’s assertive recruiting and retention policies attract and develop the right talent, while retaining a valuable and consistent workforce. The personal development of staff includes the following curriculum:

  • DC Pro training courses
  • Human factors training
  • Critical Environment Training Academy (CETA)
  • Qualifications cards for site systems
  • Safety champion programs
  • Staffing skillset analysis
  • Uptime ATS and CDCMP accreditations
  • Site specific vendor training
Over the past few weeks this series on mission critical data centers also covered the following topics:
About the Author

Bill Kleyman

Bill Kleyman is a veteran, enthusiastic technologist with experience in data center design, management and deployment. Bill is currently a freelance analyst, speaker, and author for some of our industry's leading publications.

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