Live Data Center Floor Replacement Growing in Popularity

by Randy Bishop, President, Critical Facilities Solutions

There are a large number of legacy data centers out there with raised floors in excess of 20 years old. Those raised floors have surpassed their life cycle (according to manufacturer standards) and are failing, or in danger of failing.

Once upon a time the only way to remedy this situation was to shut off the servers in the racks, move the racks, replace the floor and then repeat the process throughout the data center. This process takes a tremendous amount of time and planning, and requires a certain amount of downtime. Now, thanks to the Live Data Center Floor Replacement Process revolutionized by CFS, raised floors can be completely replaced (tiles and understructure) with no downtime involved.

How Does It Work?

Server cabinets, PDU’s, UPS units, and other equipment (even CRAC/CRAH units) are hoisted from underneath, using the subfloor as the base to support the weight. Multiple cabinets (we have hoisted up to 23 at a time) so cabinets that are ganged together, or have wires/cables running horizontally, can all stay together without interruption. The hoist height is approximately four inches, and is a very slow process which allows us to keep a close eye on cables and wires to ensure nothing is stretched too tight during the lift.

The process uses a combination of steel beams, iron couplings, hydraulic jacks, jack stands and cribbing. We are able to lift any size, shape or weight of equipment, including cubicles. Cabinets can be fully accessible while suspended on our system, so work flow can continue as usual.

The raised floor can be replaced at a like-for-like height, or we can increase or decrease the plenum depth as well. The process also allows us to remove the raised floor completely and lower the equipment cabinets down onto a slab.

Popularity

Presentations and pictures/videos of the process are always popular at trade shows and conferences. It’s a process that many people say they didn’t think could be done until they actually see it for themselves. It brings a real ‘wow’ factor when potential customers see the process.

Live Data Center Floor Replacement projects CFS has performed range in size from 500 square feet to over 30,000 square feet. As of March 2019 we are in the middle of a 4 month, 32,500 square foot replacement in Oklahoma. Upon the completion of that project we will begin a 10,000 square foot project in Kentucky. Washington, California, Texas, New York, Tennessee, Idaho, Michigan and Georgia are some of the other United States locations where we have performed this service. Inquiries have come in from the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Belgium and Saudi Arabia.

If you have a legacy access floor that is showing signs of failure, has failed, has zinc whiskers, or is just past its life cycle, rest assured that there is a proven process for replacement that requires no downtime.

What was once not thought possible is now being performed successfully on a regular basis.

Schedule a consultation with us today, to determine what steps you need to take to ensure the strength and quality of your flooring.