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Overcoming Data Center Supply Chain Challenges

by | Jun 16, 2022 | blog | 0 comments

Delays, shortages, higher prices aren’t going away any time soon. Here’s what you can do to maintain uptime for less.

Data centers have always been under pressure to maintain uptime and keep companies running smoothly. But worldwide supply chain issues and record-high energy prices are adding new layers of difficulty to the job. It’s getting harder and harder to get the right parts at the right time. And if you do get the parts you need, they come at a BIG cost.

How did we get here?

Supply chains were already stretched in 2019, then COVID hit. During the lockdown, many businesses were put on pause, resulting in lower consumer demand for several industries, and a reduction of industrial activity overall. As industry “reopened,” there were positive signs of supply chain disruptions easing in early 2022. But China’s zero tolerance lockdowns and the Russia-Ukraine conflict have now escalated the world’s supply chain issues to unprecedented levels.

When will we return to “normal”?

Not anytime soon.

supply chain issues

Experts estimate that the ripple effect of the current Chinese backlog might last till the end of 2022 and beyond. According to the research firm Resilinc, shipping one container from China to the West Coast now costs roughly twice as much as it did a year ago.

The Russia-Ukraine war has caused the cost of power across the world to rise to record levels. Prices for petroleum-derived products, such as the plastics used in cable sheathing, cable trays and liners, have subsequently gone up. And with both Russia and Ukraine being major producers and exporters of steel, global steel prices have increased to 10-year highs. This is already impacting the availability and cost of steel cases, enclosures, busbars, etc.

What Can We Do About It?

For data center builders and operators that are used to working with ‘just in time’ deliveries on most products they deploy, it’s become imperative to plan way ahead and do more with what you already have in place.

Plan Ahead

Whether you’re overseeing a new build or a retrofit, we can’t stress this enough! It’s a good idea to map out your build process and bring procurement decisions as far forward as possible. While availability of equipment and components changes day-to-day, you should plan that most everything will take 3-4 times longer to arrive.

Ensure and increase the lifespan of existing equipment

When new equipment and replacement parts are in short supply, preventative maintenance throughout your data center should be a top priority. This is especially true for your UPS system because it’s the short-term guarantor of a clean, steady flow of power to your IT equipment.

CEG UPS maintenance

CEG provides comprehensive maintenance programs for both the small network-ready UPS and large multi-module systems. Regularly scheduled UPS maintenance from CEG can easily pay for itself by preventing unplanned downtime events due to a battery failure, clogged air filters, obstructions, corrosion, etc. 

And in the event of power disruption, a well-maintained system can prevent data loss and damage to other valuable equipment.

Look for ways to optimize your existing environment

Even if you’ve decided to put capital improvements on hold, you won’t be able to escape the rising cost of powering your data center. This makes right now the ideal time to improve the efficiencies of your current setup.

CEG’s assessments and our CFD Modeling capabilities can clearly define facility infrastructure and operational issues in your data center. Our assessments will reveal best practices you can implement today to decrease energy usage and improve power and cooling capacity. 

data center cfd modeling

We can also help you determine what you’ll really need in the future for smart growth and sustainability.

Monitor to sustain efficiencies, prevent problems

You’ve done all you can to extend the life of your equipment and optimize your environment. But you won’t sustain those improvements if you’re not monitoring them.

CEG’s Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) solutions will empower you to manage capacities, reduce risks, and sustain efficiency improvement. And our fully automated, real-time, wired and wireless sensor technology allows you to remotely monitor airflow, humidity, temperature, fluid leaks, and more.

Partner with CEG

The reality is that delays, shortages, and higher prices aren’t going away any time soon. Waiting this crisis out and hoping for the best is not a viable strategy. CEG can offer a variety of solutions right now that will help you maintain optimal uptime for less. CONTACT US today for proactive help in overcoming your supply chain challenges.


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