Alacrity Engineering

Server & Workstation Relocations

International Physical Data Center Specialists

Consulting Engineers & Indoor Rigging Specialists



 #1 Since 1996       Data center relocations, office relocations, workstation relocations

(888) 539-8440


44 20 3239 5695  U.K.

Prep, Shutdown, Insure, Pack, Transport, Un-Pack, Restart!



Vertical data center relocation case study:

Alacrity proves Occam's razor...simple solutions are best.
On a chilly spring afternoon IBM's western regional manager invited us to bid on a most challenging project, "Due to new earthquake guidelines we need to upgrade our most critical data center floor, panels and struts...a shutdown will cost millions". 
I was nonplussed,  figuring that  a dozen or so racks was no real challenge.  We have often engineered complex logistical solutions, with secure mirrors and rapid deployments.   But when Scott told me that the center was comprised of over 400 fully stocked IBM, EMC, Dell, and HP enclosures he had my full attention.   He explained that these enclosures managed both the active electrical grid and customer service for a few million customers in multiple western states.  A failure would most likely result in rolling blackouts, lawsuits, and very angry customers.
He was  putting the project out for bid, and he had come to us on the recommendation of a large ISP whose operations we had relocated a few months ago.  We won the bid after some major internecine battles, which culminated with a 76 person conference call between 75 sharp stakeholders and yours truly. 
We considered many options.  Traditional relocation and virtual accommodation methods was impractical due to both the politics and key operational concerns.  Jointly we decided on an innovative vertical solution.  
Vertical methods, wherein the equipment would be lifted off the raised floor panels by a minimum of 2 feet, and held for 2 hours, was needless to say controversial.  However, we quickly discovered that the lifting of the equipment was only a small portion of our challenge.   I recalled the sage advice that "all tasks are fundamentally simple...its the quality of solutions to the inevitable sharp problems that occur, that is the truest test of success"!
Data center relocations, office relocations, workstation relocations
The primary challenges are in both the logistics of minutia; cable strain, interface integrity management, and the larger issues of stabilizing an active enclosure, with drives spinning, and rack cooling fans whirling.
Data center relocations, office relocations, workstation relocationsOnce the project got started, it took 2 months just to figure out the logistics, and to get the equipment that we needed designed and manufactured.  After a few fits and starts, some of the appliances that we had developed, proved untenable due to weight distribution and center of gravity issues, discovered during exhaustive pre-test simulations. 
There were of course no shortage of ideas from our engineers.  Everything from overhead cranes, to hydraulic platforms were proposed and tested.   We finally decided on a series of procedures that provided maximum stability, and extraordinary safety.  A crew of 6 headed by a senior structural engineer, required from 4-8 hours per enclosure to accomplish the tasks safely.  
Each phase of the 6 phase operation informed an extensive checklist.  These checklist embodied situational and procedural  guidance for the crew, while simultaneously generating documentation for OSHA, the insurance companies, and the ever nervous stakeholders.
We will skip the minute details for now, but we can report complete success.  We successfully performed over 400 vertical relocations, over a 6 month period...without a single outage.  The utility's customers never lost power, their bills remained accurate and timely, and none of the stakeholders jumped, as threatened,  from high office windows.
A carefully executed, ego-less, yet simple plan is the stuff of success.
Data center relocations, office relocations, workstation relocations

Alacrity Engineering Services


Consulting Engineers specializing in Data center & workstation equipment relocations

New York, London, Philadelphia, Paris, San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta, Doha, Cleveland, Washington DC, Houston,  Cairo, Miami, Los Angeles  


US & Canada  (888) 539-8440       International  44 20 3239 5695  U.K



Short notice, ultra fast... data center equipment and capability relocations.