Facilities, physical plant, and space for I&IT operations are critical for the maintenance of NIEHS I&IT systems and the availability and preservation of data. Electrical power, cooling and other climate controls, and associated components provide the foundation for system reliability and performance. Strategic and operational planning, provisioning, auditing and monitoring of facilities, physical plant, and space allocations are essential to ensure effective operations. Facilities dependencies and impacts will be coordinated with I&IT systems modernization, change, and risk management in alignment with NIEHS strategic plan goals.
Facilities Operational Security
- I&IT facilities systems will control and manage security and I&IT personnel access.
- I&IT facilities systems will be audited, monitored, and managed to ensure reliability, and provide data and metrics that support reporting compliance.
Facilities Strategic Alignment
- I&IT facilities and physical plant modifications will be planned and communicated to all stakeholders, to create an engineered and sustainable I&IT ecosystem that is aligned with the institute’s strategic plan goals.
- I&IT facilities and physical plant design and management will be agile and flexible, to accommodate changes in scientific and administrative I&IT requirements.
Strategic Capability Priorities
Data-Driven Data Center Environmental Management
NIEHS will implement and maintain a data-driven data center environmental management system, including electrical, air and temperature, fire protection, and physical access. Data center environmental management is essential for security, efficiency, and external audit compliance; and will be evaluated by enhanced utility and efficiency for systems managers and users. Supporting data and systems are currently incomplete.
Software-Enhanced Facilities Management
NIEHS will have software-enhanced I&IT facilities systems management that promotes automation, supports reliability and flexibility, formalizes processes, and defines best practices and standard operating procedures (SOPs). Facilities systems management will enhance definitions of processes and best practices, improve collaboration, and help maintain standards; and will be evaluated by redundancy in workflows and systems, including electrical infrastructure. Status is heterogeneous with some systems operating effectively and with gaps in others.
I&IT Facilities Risk Tolerance and Management Planning
NIEHS will implement risk tolerance and management-based planning that incorporates realized loads and maximizes uptime. Risk planning will foster improved risk management, minimize planned outages, improve reliability, and enable dynamic software managed infrastructure, including power. Risks will be categorized by probability and potential impact. Status of risk tolerance and management planning will be determined by measuring actual loads and uptimes.
I&IT Facilities Integrated Systems Automation
NIEHS will implement integrated systems-level automation that promotes and utilizes redundancy, and emphasizes alerting, reporting, and auditing. Integrated systems will improve communications and provide understanding of system-wide electronic footprints. Analyses of all current processes will determine appropriate automation and redundancy. Improved reporting and auditing metrics with reduced effort will be tracked.
Office of Research Facilities Engineering Standards and Material Requirements
NIEHS will increase alignment of I&IT facilities and space-impacting practices to Office of Research Facilities (ORF) engineering standards and material requirements (ESMR) and other general NIH facilities guidelines. All I&IT facilities and spaces will be compliant with NIH ORF standards for compliance, safety, efficiency, and cost savings. Audits of I&IT facilities and spaces will support understanding of alignment, and continuous improvement will be measured. Current ORF manual alignment is heterogeneous.
Telecommunications and Structured Cabling Infrastructure Management
NIEHS will enhance jurisdictional understanding and control of federally owned and leased telephone, computer and data, building automation control, and closed-circuit television cabling systems, if applicable. Four discrete, on-premises wiring infrastructures – distributed antenna system (DAS), NIH wireless network, I&IT network, and ORF facilities I&IT – and on-premises, vendor-owned equipment, are managed differently with different binding agreements. Improved communications, understanding, and integration of telecommunications and structured cabling jurisdictional controls will promote robustness, agility, and cost management. Enhanced integration of control will be determined by required level of effort for each network, as well as the overall system.
I&IT Facilities Lifecycle Modernization
NIEHS will expand strategic planning for systems lifecycle and modernization, including planning for end-of-life capital replacement of I&IT facilities equipment. Facilities lifecycle planning will make systems modernization more proactive, enhance I&IT facilities integration, and help secure capital funding. Lifecycle planning will be evaluated through consistent capital management monitoring and decreased past end-of-life equipment risk. Current lifecycle planning is ineffective, with overreliance on unmet needs. The status is Red.
I&IT Facilities Monitoring and Accountability
NIEHS will enhance security monitoring and integrity assurance, by expanding use of badge readers to promote individual accountability and support auditing and logging. Expanded use of in and out badge readers, logging, centralized management of in and out logs, and automation of logs will promote enhanced individual accountability and improve performance. Increased measurement of the number of personnel and visitors per day, as well as audits of manual logs, will be reported and improved accountability monitored. Badge reader use is currently heterogeneous with robust use in the data center and no availability in communications closets.
Communications Closet Modernization
NIEHS communication closets will be modernized to accommodate I&IT facilities−approved spaces, including spaces needed for networks, systems hardware, and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). The institute has a growing need for endpoint computing and power over ethernet that demands modernization of closets. Modernization will be measured by enhanced utility and compliance, as well as minimal impact on productivity during the upgrade process. Communications closets are currently critically undersized and out of date.
DCOI/DCIM Reporting Alignment
NIEHS will enhance alignment to Data Center Optimization Initiative (DCOI)/Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) reporting and compliance, including overall utilization metrics that are cognizant of data center consolidation risk. DCOI/DCIM alignment is critical for improved efficiency and to meet compliance mandates. Alignment will be measured using central metrics, including server utilization, achievement of 1.5 measurement of power usage effectiveness (PUE), power and performance monitors of I&IT systems, and reporting and auditing centralization as mandated by NIH and HHS. Current DCOI/DCIM metrics are heterogeneous with inefficient or insufficient reporting in critical areas.
I&IT Space Planning
NIEHS will enhance I&IT space planning to support proactive flexibility, including dynamic support for staffing changes. Continuous periodic planning and assessment will improve short- and long-term space allocation, including support for staff changes that impact available space. Space planning will be evaluated by impacts to operations and maintenance staff, software developers, the number and location of CSPs, and the desire for certain staff to be co-located. I&IT space planning is improved but needs more rigorous and integrated governance.
Facilities and Physical Plant Theme Map
|I&IT Landscape||Agility||Analytics||Communications & Transparency||Foster Collaboration||Governance||Optimize Resources||Workforce Development|
|Facilities and Physical Plant||