Aug 10, 2015
Cisco is a worldwide leader in Internet networking. They also design, manufacture and sell networking equipment. Eighty-five percent of Internet traffic travel across Cisco’s systems.
Cisco was in need of expanding their data center footprint at their Boxborough, Massachusetts location, specifically, Building #200. While going offline during construction was not an option, Cisco decided to build a new state-of-the-art data center immediately adjacent to the existing data center. Once construction was complete on the new data center, they would move the existing equipment from the old data center to the new location, and then renovate the existing space to match the faster capabilities of the new data center. Upon completion, Cisco would be able to offer its customers better capacity.
Cisco’s data center is located on the second floor of their building. Cisco primary concern was that they did not want any piping located in the data center. Our team along with the engineers designed a layout for the piping to go from the first floor up.
In order to move the existing data center to the new location, we knew we had to turn off the existing primary chilled water pumps and make the switch to the new primary chilled water pumps, but the existing pumps had no valves. There was no way of shutting off the water in the lines. We would be forced to do multiple line freezes at a time. Luckily we jumped on an already scheduled power outage that Cisco had on the calendar. We were able to schedule our team to be onsite Friday night and work through the weekend. We started freezing the lines at 10:00pm and by 6:00am on Saturday morning the pipes were frozen. The MSI team worked all day Saturday cutting and taking piping out and replacing it with piping we prefabricated offsite. We worked around the clock during that weekend in order not to interrupt business. Despite the situation not being ideal, overall the timing worked to our advantage, and our team without hesitation got the job done in the short allotted time frame.
In addition to the unforeseen challenge with the existing pumps having no valves, we ran into another issue along the way; the computer room air conditioning units (all 9 of them) were too large to fit through Cisco’s internal space. The data center was located on the second floor forcing us to come up with an alternative action plan. We decided to hoist the units by crane through the second floor windows. While this unforeseen challenge did not slow down the project, it did cause our team to quickly executive a Plan B. A section of the 2nd floor windows were extracted from the building during this process.
We are proud of our MSI team. Despite the unforeseen challenges, our team can quickly develop alternative strategies to get the project completed without delays.
Cisco’s new data center is completely operational.
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