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Used Data Center Equipment

Decommissioning Data Center Equipment
Network & Security Operations Control Center

Facilities that house large data centers are a combination of complex systems and equipment. Dividing the systems into operational design sections aids in understanding the equipment that can be used in a complex data center. Below are the sections:
  • Equipment for Daily Operations
  • Daily Operations Supporting Equipment
  • Backup Power & Distribution
Each of the systems can have multiple electronic controllers that communicate with one another to complete a needed function. All systems functioning in unison complete the equipment picture.

Equipment for Daily Operations

The size and capabilities of a data center define the equipment used. Routers, switches, storage systems, and servers are mounted on racks. In addition, computing equipment, modems, and other communication equipment for gigabyte connection to the internet contribute to the equipment list. Firewalls and other security equipment are mounted on racks and all are connected together with a wiring and cable network. The racks of equipment are located in dedicated rooms, often cooled with dedicated systems.  

Large data centers use a Network Operations Center (NOC). The NOC supplies a room for the staff to monitor, maintain, and administer IT services. This is the first line of customer support by a service desk. Incident and problem management are often controlled from this room. Network security and physical security can also be controlled from the NOC. Each work station can include multiple monitors, keyboard, and mouses. All office furniture rounds out the list. 

There are many more examples of equipment used in daily operation. Most can be sold as used data center equipment. When selling used equipment, it can benefit both the seller and buyer to sell the data center and all of the equipment as a package deal. Often decommissioning, removal, and disposal services can be included. Contact Us with any questions.

Daily Operations Supporting Equipment
Inert Gas Fire Suppression System

These systems are largely unseen by the general workforce. However, facilities maintenance and repair force ensure all equipment is performing or ready to perform when needed. Some are safety systems, and some are used to support the daily operations of the data center. Some examples of these systems are listed below.

Fire Suppression Systems

Inert gas fire suppression systems are favored because of the ability to extinguish Alpha (A), Bravo (B) and Charlie (C) fires. Definitions below:
  • Alpha (A) - Any fire that produces ash after burning, such as wood & paper products and construction materials.
  • Bravo (B) - Petroleum products, liquids, and insulation covering wires is considered a chemical fire.
  • Charlie (C) - An electrical fire is considered one of the main risks in computer server rooms. The electrical fire contributes to both A & B fires during emergency conditions.
C0is an inert gas that can extinguish the fire types associated with a server room fire. It successfully breaks the fire triangle and can be piped to individual equipment racks to extinguish only the fire in the affected equipment rack. This is the first line of defense against a server room fire. Many facilities also employ a sprinkler system that uses pressurized water to extinguish the fire. It is the last line of defense because of equipment damage. Equipment in a building fire suppression system includes pumps, controllers, and supply pipe that comprise the sprinkler system, C0bottles, piping to server racks, sensors, and controllers that feature an alarm and warning system.

Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC)

Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems generally provide heating and cooling to all non-server spaces. Large rooftop units provide heated or cooled air to individual rooms. Air is distributed through ductwork and is often controlled by a Variable Air Volume (VAV) controller. Rooftop units, the system controller, and the VAV controller are the big-ticket equipment items. 

Server Room Air Conditioning

The ideal operating temperature of a data center is 80F, says Joe Kava of Google. Racks of equipment are placed on pedestals. The pedestals are connected to the Computer Room Air Conditioner (CRAC) units. External refrigerant or cooling water systems supply cooled medium to the CRAC units. Air from the CRAC units is routed through ductwork into the racks. Warm air from the top of the racks is either routed to the outside or recirculated. Major equipment for these systems consists of refrigeration units, cooling towers, heat exchangers, and CRAC units. Ductwork, piping, and cabling can be reused or recycled.

Backup Power & Distribution 

Electrical Distribution and Control Room
No utility grid is free from power interruptions. These can be brief or longer-term events. Data centers require a constant uninterruptible power supply. The first line of defense is the battery backup system. The batteries are a short-term solution when utility power fails and used until backup generators are online.

When the power fails, the back-up batteries automatically assume the load they were designed for. The generators start and prepare to assume the load. Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS) switches backup generator power to the distribution panels. Once utility power is available, ATS switches to the grid. Diesel generators go into a shut-down sequence. This all happens without power interruptions to critical data center equipment. 

Size, physical location, and design determine the equipment used. Diesel or Natural Gas (NG) generators supply backup power. Generators in sound attenuated enclosures are used for outside applications. Indoor generator applications use generators on skids. They are complete units but need auxiliary systems support. Some examples of supporting equipment are:
  • Fuel Tanks - When the day tank level drops below a set point, the main tank pump engages and supplies fuel to the day tank. Once the fuel level in the day tank reaches a set point, the main tank pump shuts off. Many of these systems use dedicated controllers.
  • Exhaust - Engine exhaust must be routed out of the building. Each generator must be connected to mufflers and routed outside with insulated piping. It is possible to route multiple generator exhaust pipes into one outlet exhaust pipe that is properly sized. 
  • Cooling System - Buildings with outside access for the generator radiators use an automated louver system that opens when the generator is issued a start command. Facilities that do not have this access can use a heat exchanger system. The heat exchanger cools engine coolant. An additional closed loop water system including tanks, pumps, treatment system, and cooling towers that cool the water after routing through heat exchanger.
Multiple generators are operated in parallel. Paralleling switchgear is considered the master control panel. The control panel of each generator is connected to the master. When power is lost the master is control of all generators. The ATS routes backup power to the distribution, switching, and control system. 

All of the equipment used in a data center has value. We can supply consulting services to determine the value of your data center. With our extensive partnership, we can remove, purchase, ship, recycle, and dispose of all equipment in a data center. Contact Us with for more information.


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