Understanding Failure

Duration: 3 Days    CPD: 21 Hours      

This is the industry’s most successful foundational course, completed by thousands of students worldwide to date and providing with the essential knowledge they need to be participate at a business level within any part of the data center industry ecosystem.



Course Description


This course encompasses the basic principles of data center design, tracking its history from the early days of the mainframe to the modern enterprise data center in its many forms and the future. It has modules on all the major sub-systems of a mission critical facility and their interdependencies, including power, cooling, compute and network.


Students will learn to apply best practice recommendations to site selection, building layout requirements, including resiliency level and space requirements as well as gain a good understanding of relevant standards, regulations, definitions and metrics that apply to the data center industry

Who should attend?


  • Consulting Engineers (Mechanical & Electrical) upskilling or transitioning to data center projects.

  • Critical infrastructure engineers from data center operators responsible for facilities operations.

  • Sales engineers and product engineering staff from technology vendors looking for broader awareness of their market



We were commissioned by DCPRO to completely redesign a specialist level cooling course that will provide students with an in-depth learning experience anywhere in the world. To achieve this we have consolidated our many years of experience working directly with critical environment teams to improve the efficiency of their cooling infrastructure into a three day course. Not easy but I think we did it.

Prof. Robert Tozer

Managing Partner 

Operational Intelligence Ltd. 

This course has met the required standards of the organisations listed below and is approved, accredited, validated or endorsed by them. More details of our relationship with each and the process for gaining credit equivalencies is available upon request.

Day 1 | Fundamentals​

  • History of the data centre

  • Business justification

  • Facility types & classification

  • Stakeholders & ecosystem

  • Site selection and environmental considerations

  • Architectural design and standards 

  • Raised access floor and design best practice

Day 2 | Air Management 

  • Connectivity: copper & fibre

  • IT architecture and network design 

  • Fundamentals of cooling

  • Cooling system options & environmental control

  • Electrical power systems basics

  • Power quality & supply

  • Uninterruptible power systems (UPS)

  • Backup power & renewables

Day 3 | Energy Efficiency​

  • Room Layout

  • Racks & equipment considerations

  • Hot aisle/ cold aisle configuration

  • Fire systems

  • Data center security factors

  • Automation & monitoring including BMS & DCIM

  • Commissioning and handover

  • Codes & statutory regulations


Learning Objectives

  • Explain data center technology advances throughout history, today’s challenges and today’s industry bodies, standards, regulations, definitions and metrics

  • Identify key stakeholders and design considerations in development of data center specifications

  • Explain key considerations for data center site selection

  • Apply best practice recommendations to building layout requirements, including resilience level and space requirements

  • Discuss configuration options for the data center including cabinet types, sizes and layout

  • Distinguish between copper and fibre cable and the appropriate containment of each

  • Identify servers, storage equipment, communications equipment and technology developments used in the data center today

  • Discuss today’s challenges, standards and regulations

  • Define best practice for cooling systems, including AC options and new technology developments

  • Identify major components of electrical systems, including back-up systems, generators and application of efficiency standards

  • Discuss configuration options for the data center, including cabinet types

  • Recognize the essential elements of fire detection and fire suppression

  • Discuss best security plans for physical and electronic security and surveillance. Identify policy and procedures, regulations and standards

  • Define building automation protocols, integrated systems, measuring and monitoring, reporting systems and applicable industry standards

  • Identify commissioning scope, project phases, commissioning plan and documentation, maintenance plans, codes and statutory regulations

Course Calendar & Costs


Below are public classroom dates for Data Center Design Awareness (DCDA). Prices are shown in local currency however will display in USD on next screen. You will be given a choice of currency to pay in at point of transaction or when requesting pro forma invoice. 


Exam & Certificate


Students must complete a supervised open-book online examination on the final afternoon of the course (1 hour). A score of <60% will constitute a pass mark - course work activities will also be taken into consideration by the Instructor.

A certificate of completion will be available for students to download from their online account page that reflects the 21 CPDs they have earned. This can be used against annual professional development hour requirements of numerous professional bodies.

This course is part of the Data Center Practitioner credential which allows use of the post-nominal title DCP®

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Mission Critical Training