So a friend of mine called me today. She was telling me that at her job they have a few servers and switches and they’re all tied to one duplex 20A dedicated circuit. Dedicated because the outlets are orange. But she found out that she had a serious under-volt condition at the outlet – and tracing it down she found out that the alleged dedicated outlet circuit was shared among three rooms, and in one there was a portable heater in operation.
I started laughing when I heard that. You see, I’ve been through massive transition projects moving serious I.T. infrastructure, and adding infrastructure. That includes telecom services, data services, finding bonded and insured carriers to move servers, working with electricians to determine outlet, data and phone taps at each position, and coordinating service cuts and re-implements. Yes, been there not once but three times now and got the t-shirt, the briefcase etc.
If there are two factors you have to consider with I.T. it’s power first, and then cooling. Stuffing servers in unventilated closets is just inviting disaster.
So at one job I did the specifications for power and cooling. We had redundant 2 ton cooling, an APC Symetra (The 3 19″ rack cabinets worth) and a 125kW natural gas fired generator with auto-trip. In fact I in the move I had even recommended we replicate the DNS zone for the state in our office since we did indeed have redundant power. That got quashed by upper management but 8 months after we’d moved in we had a massive power outage in the city. All our systems were up and running, but we couldn’t get out and nobody could get in. You see, the state DNS had gone belly up. Ah well.
But the thing that stood out in the last move/transition was the building management. My friend told me about how the property manager had outright lied to her. I recommended that my friend and her boss record all interactions with the property manager from this point forward.
When we had moved that facility we put out an RFP and got back 8 responses. And we traipsed out and looked at each. Now mind you the RFP specified x number of parking places, easy access on public transit, things like that. You’d be shocked how many of these properties didn’t meet our requirements.
But the last one was an old iron goods foundry. When we toured the building it was a mess but the owner and management were professionals and we negotiated in good faith. The time scale was six months from signing of the lease to move in date. And that company was Everet Amaral – the work he and his crew did received a reward from the RI State Council on the Arts:
Project Award to Everett Amaral and his innovative conversion of the Rhode Island Tool Complex (1853-1954) into first-class office space.
It was a joy to work with them, the engineers at APC, etc. I suppose when the money is available you can get great things done.
But talking to my friend I realized something. I could make a space for myself working as tenants representative. I know what it takes to have Class A office space – and I know how to translate requirements for it.
But the thing you have to remember with property managers is this: Everything in writing or recorded. Actually you don’t need to do that until they screw you at least once. Once they’ve done so you have to shorten the leash.