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'We Built Two Data Centers in the Middle of the Pandemic'


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St. Peter Port, Isle of Guernsey

Data center equipment was shipped to the island by air instead of the usual ferry service.

Credit: Oceania Cruises

The IT team for the Isle of Guernsey in the English Channel built two data centers in the midst of the pandemic, within budget and only two weeks behind schedule.

Success came down to scrupulous planning. "We went down to a ridiculous degree of detail in terms of not only the activities that everybody had to do, but also the risk in health and safety impacts," said Colin Harvey, transformation director at Agilsys, Guernsey's technology partner.

Harvey and his team had already completed designs for the data centers, and were starting to procure servers, firewalls, and racks when the Covid-19 pandemic hit Europe. Delaying the build was not an option. "We quickly broke down the plan for what we needed to get done, and by when, to achieve the build," Harvey said.

Every single activity to be carried out by engineers in a data center was listed and assessed, to understand how workers could complete the tasks and maintain social distance. Only one task required four arms: lifting the servers and putting them into the rack. The team worked out how the engineers could stand so as not to face each other, while also wearing masks, gloves, and visors.

From ZDNet
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