In 2011, a Fortune 500 insurance company was prompted to reconsider its data center performance and operations after very noticeable airflow problems were identified by employees. Great Lakes Case & Cabinet was contracted to provide a comprehensive evaluation of the data center. After numerous site visits, the operational capabilities of the data center were captured in a proposal that included a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis to establish baseline standards against which potential future improvements would be measured.
The data center was comprised of three areas: the server farm, the network core and SAN equipment. Recommendations from the data center proposal were implemented in three phases, with modifications and reorganization taking place in each area of the data center. After initial completion of all three phases, upgrades continue to be made in each area of the data center, with a focus on security and airflow management to accommodate increased density.
As the needs of the customer grew, Great Lakes provided continual support. They created product specifically for the customer and were able to use those same product concepts for other customers. The customer's data center is an evolution not only of their own internal growth, but also of Great Lakes products - products that were upgraded, improved upon or completely replaced with something better. Many areas were addressed in the data center, but cooling solutions, security and retrofitting existing cabinets were the key items improved upon.