There was no constraint in this entire process being conducted virtually. On the contrary, it was slightly better because the Uptime Institute inspectors had access to the control room feeds. However, in a physical process, they would not have got this access, and the dependency would have been on the local personnel for any access.
In the virtual scenario, there was the involvement of 3 inspectors. While one observed the camera, the others could monitor the BMS room with the freedom to look at any parameter of the data center without the knowledge of the local site team. This would not have been possible in a physical testing scenario.
N K Jain further explains, “One thing that stood out in this entire process is that, since we had given them the IP connectivity of the control room, we had to ensure the BMS is totally available. In earlier cases, during such testing and certification, the BMS system generally did not work 100%, and many issues are noticed during the test, which is corrected later. But in this case, wherein we gave them the control of the entire BMS without being aware of what parameters were being observed, BMS was working 100% during the entire activity. And because of BMS availability, they had complete technical access to the entire data center. This was unique and has never been attempted earlier.”
We had to make one big adjustment from a physical to virtual scenario arrangement of high-resolution mobile cameras that could be taken around the facility and show live videos to the inspectors over a virtual platform. The team managing the camera was very new to this kind of experience. Holding the camera steadily for at least 20-30 minutes is commendable. We had the task to show precise feed and avoid unsteady videos. Initially, there were some hiccups, but the team quickly adapted to it, and the rest is history.
Besides, the entire BMS had to be pre-tested to detect any bug in the system. Otherwise, it could have hampered the testing process. So we had to do these noticeable changes for remote testing.
Rajesh Kadu, Head of DC Operations, who was the binding force in this project, points out, “One thing was clear in everyone’s mind – be it Projects, Operations, Design, or IT Ops team – we had to achieve this certification. Since the aim was high, the roadblocks were easier to deal with. As the end goal was in sight, the whole coordination, promptness towards the queries from Uptime Institute, and interaction level – everything was conducted smoothly.”
Another key member of our team who deserves to be mentioned here is Aalhad Sherikar, Head of Corporate IT at Yotta. His proactive and logical approach helped us set up the backend IT infrastructure required for the remote testing process.
Sherikar highlights, “Virtual testing required strong and seamless internet connectivity across the facility. When we knew about the virtual testing process, we set up Wi-Fi access in each corner of our data center within a record time of 2 weeks. This ensured remote, 100% live, and real-time demonstration without any lag or disruption. There were no pre-existing cables in the areas where access points were required to be placed. The IT team and vendor did the cabling and made access points arrangement online overnight and ensured Wi-Fi availability.”