CRA was engaged by Ark to perform a risk assessment of their datacentre modules to better understand the availability and performance of their critical systems. Power, heating and cooling systems were identified by Ark as business-critical functions that needed a high level of availability to support safety critical systems and maintain the operational state of the facility.
CRA led a series of workshops to establish the task requirement, and gain an understanding of the critical demands placed on the systems during operation of the facility. The workshops provided an important platform for technical discussions between a specialist team of CRA consultants and systems engineers to identify all credible events (engineering, technology, processes, human interaction, and maintenance) that would result in failure of their core operations.
The resulting data was used to perform a Reliability and Availability assessment and develop a fully integrated risk model which considered all known dependencies between the systems of the facility and the operators (people, processes, equipment and environment). These complex models were built using bespoke software and utilised operational and industry data to predict the overall availability of the power, heating and cooling systems. Redundancy, diversity and segregation of the systems were modelled to measure the facility’s resilience to different faults.
The predicted availability of the systems was compared against the client’s baseline targets for availability. Risk reducing strategies were proposed, including potential improvements to processes, technology, engineering and human performance; thereby providing practical and impactful solutions to risk reduction which would be cost effective and satisfy operational constraints.
The availability of Ark’s datacentre power, heating and cooling systems was estimated along with an indication of the major contributors to operational risk. Suggestions for improving reliability, availability and ultimately operational performance were discussed with the client. Additionally, the close working relationship established throughout the project helped cultivate a more risk-aware culture within the client organisation.
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