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DCS Case Studies

Data Center Solutions (Parent Company of DCS Data Centers) has been a trusted advisor to the US Army Corps of Engineers since 2009.  We maintain a TS Facility Clearance and many of our staff maintains TS clearances.  We have been contracted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to act as the owner’s representative offering Project Management support throughout the completion of their data center and mission critical projects located in various sites around the United States.  We have proven that our expertise is invaluable in the execution of the Army’s mission to design and build mission critical spaces for their clients.

The following excerpt is from a recent CPARS evaluation issued by USACE to our prime contractor, Black & Veatch regarding our performance.  We have only included the sections relevant to our direct performance, and not that of our prime:

Assessing Official Comments:

QUALITY: The Contractor has been very responsive to the needs of the Corps and the client on both project sites. The QA staff on the Midwest projects has been invaluable in moving numerous projects forward and keeping them on schedule and on budget. They are always timely in their responses to questions and their communications with the RSFO Project Managers are excellent always keeping them informed of any problems or issues that may arise. Their solutions to any design or construction issues are always based on the best technical information available and considerate of the project schedule and budget. Overall, they have been very professional and have always gone the extra mile to see that everyone’s needs are met.  The Project Managers Bill Long and Scott Hoover for both project sites always provided the technical expertise required to make these complicated projects successful.

MANAGEMENT: Management of the staff in the field was exceptional. Scott Hoover and Bill Long oversaw subordinates, assured the staff was performing duties as assigned, and provided training and close oversight to assure the Government

was receiving the support it required.  Due to the criticality of this project, two Senior Project Managers were assigned as the Contract Representatives to oversee this task order. Communications were concise and any follow up on any matterwas handled swiftly. All members of the Black & Veatch team conducted themselves professionally and with the best interest of the mission in mind.

ADDITIONAL/OTHER: All staff assigned to this task order performed exceptionally, exceeding the expectations of the Government. Scott and Bill took further steps to support the government project managers through attendance in the daunting number of meetings, amount of paperwork, and staff supervision that gave the confidence to the Government the programs would succeed. Bob Piranio’s quality assurance and coverage in the field assured the customer we were getting what was contracted.

DCS is regularly on-site to provide insight and assistance as needed throughout the construction and commissioning process.  Our expertise in mission critical environments allowed us to provide substantial support in the design and development of the clients EMCS and SCADA systems.   Additionally, DCS has full time staff on a number of sites to continue to assist the Army with additional task orders for.

 

DCS Commissioning Services

USACE has leaned heavily on our data center experience to provide commissioning (Cx) oversight on a series of major projects in the Maryland region.  We have a team of five Cx specialists working full time on two major programs for USACE in support of their DoD clients.  Our work includes the review of all Cx scripts as well as the supervision and oversight of all Cx activities.  This involves monitoring the execution of all Cx tests as well as validation of Cx results.  In addition to our direct oversight of all day-to-day Cx activities, we are also responsible to act as the owners representative for the entire Maryland program.

We have also been asked to support a generator expansion project for a different client in Virginia because of our knowledge of complex electrical systems and the Cx activities needed to prove the systems will perform as expected.

We have been very fortunate to be considered a trusted advisor for USACE and we work hard every day to maintain our position with this very important client.   This position has allowed us to expand our support in the Midwest facility and continue to expand our level of support in the Maryland and Virginia facilities.  We feel that if we continue to exceed our clients expectations, we can continue to expect to this relationship to prosper.

Project Size: 2500 SF, Command Center and Data Center

Project Duration: 5 months Availability: N+1

 

This project encompassed the full range of Data Center Design – Build services.  These include: project design, project engineering, general construction, raised flooring, fire protection systems, precision air conditioning, electrical service upgrades, equipment racks with UPS protection, video distribution systems, and command center furnishings.

The Facility specified three separate spaces for construction.  These were a fire protected, temperature and humidity controlled Data Center, Command Center, and a co-located backup recovery site.

This area was built to provide N+1 redundancy. Each area has dual computer grade air conditioning units as well as a distributed Uninterruptible Power System. The entire enterprise is connected to a stand-by generator for 7×24 uptime reliability.

ELECTRICAL CHALLENGES

The core infrastructure of the building that houses the data and command centers was over thirty years old. The local power service provider did not support new service levels consistent with what was in this location. Therefore the entire power infrastructure needed to be upgraded. DCS coordinated with the public utilities, building owner, electrical contractor and engineers to make the site compliant with NEC code.

COMMAND CENTER

This 24 station showcase features flat panel monitors built into the custom designed furniture.  The stations are on a tiered raised floor allowing all to view multiple video cubes.  The lighting design features wall sconce indirect lighting, overhead non-reflective spotlights, as well as ceiling room bright utility lighting.  All of the command center lighting circuits are on dimmer controls and the widows are equipped with blackout curtains.

SERVER ROOM

The Server Room has computer grade air conditioning equipment; a clean agent fire protection system as well as an ADA certified wheelchair lift. The raised floor allows for ease of installation and maintenance of the video and network cabling as well as the distance read water detection system.

 

Project Size: 2500 SF Data Center

ATS provided the full range of Data Center Design – Build services which included project design, project engineering, general construction, raised flooring, fire protection systems, precision air conditioning, electrical service upgrades, emergency back up power, security and environmental monitoring controls.  ATS designed a scalable power distribution solution with redundant air-cooling capabilities.

ATS created the design-criteria for the 2,500 SF space to include 30 tons of redundant cooling and UPS power scalable to 80 kVA.  This data center will have emergency power available to it from the hospitals existing generators.

This area was built to provide N+1 redundancy.

DESIGN CHALLENGES

This space was a laboratory prior to demolition.  Several concrete masonry concrete block walls were located through the middle of the structure.  These block columns contain duct shafts that had to be removed back to the point of origin.  ATS designed the air-handling units to be located on the roof of this two-story structure.  Additional engineering was required in order to fit these units within the building systems existing units

Trident Systems  requested the services of The Data Center Solutions Corp. (DCS) to provide a new emergency generator system to back up operations on the third floor in its building as well as a lab on the 1st floor.  The buildings HVAC system operates from a large central plant that cannot be supported by this system.  The system will keep electricity online for the Trident space, but heating and cooling will not be operational. The independent system in the computer room will however be supported by this system.

Trident Systems required DCS to consolidate multiple rack mount UPS systems for one large central UPS system.

DCS provided complete project management services for the design and construction of the recommendations outlined. The final product included the following services:

Reliability

Based on the power and cooling requirements of the existing hardware equipment and projections of the addition of equipment, DCS recommends a Tier II reliable space, which is a single path for power and cooling distribution, redundant components.  According to the Uptime Institute Standards for Tier II data centers this equates to 99.741% availability.

Architectural

  • Seal Room Penetrations
  • Raised Flooring

Mechanical

  • New Data Center Grade HVAC System

Electrical

  • One Centralized UPS System with Battery and Generator Backup

Fire Suppression & Detection

  • FM-200 Clean Agent

Security & Monitoring

  • Security & Monitoring of physical and environmental conditions.

Commissioning & Integrated Systems Testing

The Integrated Systems Testing (IST) program establishes documented evidence to provide a high degree of assurance that the critical systems have met the pre-determined, manufacturer specifications.  IST will assure that, on an intersystem level, the critical systems operate in accordance with the engineering specifications.  DCS will work with applicable contractors to perform operational testing of selected critical systems in the data center.

DCS provided all required necessities throughout the design and construction phases, including:

  • Provide Full Engineered Drawings
  • Complete Redlined Construction Documents
  • UPS & Electrical Systems
  • Stand-By Generator
  • Pre-Action System
  • FM 200 System
  • Security and Monitoring Systems
  • Provide Commissioning Services

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