The transformation of the data center strategy in the pharmaceutical industry, associated life sciences and biotech research can ultimately play a significant role in improving their success. Many factors contribute to the need to develop new data center sourcing strategies. These include rapid data growth, the growing need to exchange research information between therapies in a company, the integration of research partners as well as new set of security challenges from nation state hacking all contribute to a growing complex environment.  Pharma is also challenged by the need to maintain strict regulations and privacy standards, and stringent resiliency requirements.  Core to all their data needs are strong disaster recovery plans, and connectivity within a multi-cloud hybrid environment. Our experts will assist in the analysis of present state capabilities and the development of a long-term strategic plan to address all these issues.

What's driving the change

The pharmaceutical industry easily faces one of the most complex environments, particularly as it pertains to their data center facilities and enterprise IT architectures.  Their challenges directly link to their distinct heterogeneous requirements.

 

Some of the many challenges pharmaceutical companies face include:

 

  • Integration: With multiple divisions, each with its own therapeutic missions spread throughout the world, harnessing the total data center investment necessary to meet these diverse requirements is the main challenge facing these organizations. 

  • Enterprise data centers: Breaking down the normal data center approach by designing solutions that focus on the enterprise application base and its adoption/integration of cloud and SaaS-based solutions

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  • Research data centers: Defining and understanding the overriding role of research applications and their data warehousing requirements will have a profound effect on their design.  Whether dedicated to High-Performance Computing (HPC); wet-lab data collection; or collaborative scientific research with peers, colleges and universities, and other biotechs, not all research data centers need the same strategy and design.

  • Challenges in data center design: Legacy air-cooling systems in existing data centers are becoming less effective, and more inefficient. As hardware footprints decrease and processing power increases the density produces an exponential heat footprint and the need for cooling solutions, like immersion and liquid cooling, that can meet the challenge. This drives costly data center reconstruction or the need for specialized colocation capabilities. The economics of either solution can be significant if not forecast correctly.

  • Multiple levels of regulation, validation, and certification for systems supporting research, clinical trials, and maintaining associated personal information/patient data: Any transformation and associated strategy is subject to both internal and regulatory review which can challenge the rapid deployment of new data center sourcing solutions. ​​

 

  • Pharmaceutical sales and marketing support to keep track of the order process and supply chain: Important to monitoring the communication and interconnectivity between doctor's offices, clinicians, other pharmaceuticals, distributors, and patients.  

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  • Increase in Big data: Dealing with the massive data sets looking for trends, problems, or issues with each drug that is being developed or manufactured. 

  • Multi-Cloud Strategy: Evaluating the cost to run applications in the public cloud, and the complex environment of validating and regulating these systems and data in the cloud. 

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  • Covid-19: How do you develop methodologies to support the basic and applied research necessary to attack this threat and future pandemics, and adroitly move to the manufacturing step? This will require data center resources prepared to support this surge and process and the development of alternate but immediate data center sourcing capabilities.

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  • Mergers, Acquisitions, and Partnerships (small boutique biotech's), to support the development of a particular therapy or drug. How do create the timely and appropriate data center infrastructure to address this development? Do you bring assets into your data center, do you coexist in separate facilities and simply maintain a network presence; or find a neutral third space or colocation facility to meet the need?

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How can you meet these requirements?

The pharmaceutical industry requires consultants who understand the unique requirements of their field. The data center strategy is not just a technical strategy, it also requires a series of playbooks to address these complex situations that will require governance requirements for control and management of the data center and the IP that it's working on. 
 
A Data Center Strategy meets the objectives of addressing the challenges detailed above by developing solution scenarios that vary in cost, time, complexity, and risk to implement. It starts with a rapid assessment of your current environment and pivots to the needs of your future state IT, application, and cloud / SaaS architectures. It should also include an assessment of the network infrastructure inclusive of bandwidth requirements to match any future state changes.
 
The process itself helps to gain consensus through the inclusion of multiple communities of interest. It helps build a plan that is focused on coping with change rather than being a static solution. It addresses capital and operating costs as equal in importance to the technical solution. It develops total cost of ownership forecasts for each solution scenario to understand the impact of technology, implementation, and growth in scale of any plan.

What services are included?

 

 

  • Present state data center analysis that includes your IT and network architectures, application portfolio, and OpEx/CapEx cash flows.

 

  • Evaluation of the technical infrastructures of your legacy data center(s) to understand capacity, resiliency, remediation, and growth potential. Cost considerations and associated facility risks are driving measures in determining if legacy facilities are good candidates for modernization. This analysis will also include any off-premise solutions including the use of exiting colocation data center deployments and cloud / SaaS environments.  

  • Workshops with the team to understand:

    • Key data center technical requirements.

    • Application portfolio needs and growth.

    • Security and compliance issues.

    • Financial guidelines for developing solution scenario OpEx and CapEx budgets.

    • Future state planning. 

  • Development of the future state through:

    • Modeling of IT requirements.

    • Developing the right mix of on-premise and colocation data center space, cloud, and SaaS solutions.

    • Creating alternative strategies with associated costs.

    • Analyzing best-phased implementation timelines and associated risks.

    • Developing a set of presentations to assist in the dissemination of results and report outs to gain both technical and financial senior-level approval.

 

 

Case Studies

 

 

 

Covance
Princeton, NJ
Data Center Consolidation Plan and TCO Analysis

Covance, a global contract research organization, is the world’s most comprehensive drug development company.  They needed to consolidate their infrastructure and selected EYP MCF to aid in understanding, creating, and populating high density data center facilities, as well as select, design, and build a world class data center under a very aggressive timeline.

 

EYP MCF worked to provide:

  • A strategy to consolidate Covance’s worldwide data centers down to three regional facilities, as well as a disaster recovery and data bunker data center.

  • A “right size” disaster recovery data center topology.

  • Operational, design, computing, redundancy, and resiliency standards across all data centers.

  • Tier III level for all facilities.

 

Ultimately, Covance experienced:

  • An increased speed to market for medication and other treatments.

  • Reduced cost to public for medication.

  • The lowest TCO scenario for each regional data center including collocation and expansion of client owned facilities.

  • Reduced operational costs/complexity and PUE.

  • A forecast of the SPC requirements for each of the new facilities.

 

Abbott Laboratories
Capacity Modeling, Consolidation Strategy Development
Chicago, IL

Abbott Laboratories engaged EYP MCF to perform a high-level data center analysis on a select number of data centers and develop future state planning options for the data centers.  The driver of the project was a recent acquisition which brought more data centers into the client’s portfolio.  The goal of the project was to consolidate data centers where possible and develop a plan to accomplish this.  The tasks performed included the following:

 

  • Capacity projections – determining power and space needs for current and future facilities.

  • Facilities review – consultative documentation review and interviews of facilities “owners” to evaluate data center reliability and use in future state scenarios.

  • Future state planning – defining the data center topology based on IT, business, legal and contractual requirements, integrate capacity models, existing and new facilities into future state scenario options.

  • Financial analysis – model the TCO of each developed scenario – data center capital and operations costs, remediation costs, migration costs etc.

Express Scripts
Fairlawn, NJ 
Data Center Design
+25,000 SF of RF

Express Scripts, 

Medco, a leading pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) with the nation's largest mail order pharmacy operations, Express Scripts assists its customers to moderate the cost and enhance the quality of prescription drug benefits provided to members nationwide.  EYP MCF provided design services of a 2,200 sf data center, which is part of a new 325,000 sf state of the art robotic prescription processing
facility.

 

Additionally, EYP MCF provided the concept design of a new 50,000 sf data center that will include 25,000 sf of raised floor area.

 

Confidential Global Pharmaceutical
Global
Master Planning and Site Evaluation

This Global Pharmaceutical company was looking for a company that can support with their facility assessments of their data centers and local server rooms associated with manufacturing and research sites. These assessments included:

  • Review of all major MEP systems, identification of single points of failure, and remediation recommendations.

  • IT Deployment assessment:  Development of IT inventory, layout,  and rack elevations for existing inventory as well as planned deployments of new systems and layout, IT deployment and structured cabling. 

  • Develop a Data Center sourcing strategy to define In-house/Colo/Cloud environments.

  • Support on identifying and selecting Colocation candidates in multiple countries around the globe. 

National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Bethesda, MD
5,400 SF

A portion of an existing office building (Approx. 5,400 SF) was repurposed into a new data center facility or Consolidated Computational Research Facility (CCRF). Work included extensive coordination with mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, landscaping, vibration, and technology consultants. Mechanical systems work includes construction of a new bidirectional fault-tolerant chilled water distribution system teamed with in-row type chilled-water cooling units situated on the raised data floor. New heat exchangers, redundant chilled water pumps, chilled water storage tanks and controls, along with a local low ambient emergency air cooled chiller will be installed to support the data center cooling needs. Systems to include new interior and exterior distribution gear, automatic transfer switches, uninterruptible power supplies, transformers, power transformers, and remote power supplies. Special systems include fire alarm systems, access control, video surveillance, and paging.

 

 

EYP MCF commissioned the new data center facility, wrote complete operational procedures for all components and systems, and worked with the client to vet those procedures

 

Confidential Manufacturer of Medical Devices
Spot Colocation Market and Financial Analysis
Boston, MA

EYP MCF was engaged by client to assist in a data center search within the greater Moscow area in Russia. Specifically, EYP MCF issued a request for information (RFI) to known Colocation providers in the greater Moscow area that could potentially meet the client's IT and business requirements. The goal of the effort is to provide industry indicative pricing for hosting the identified capacity needs, along with providing EYP MCF’s assessment of the providers facility and operational experience within the response. The report included a Total cost over 5-year analysis.

Golden Omega
Micro Data Center Design & Implementation
Santiago, Chile

Golden Omega is a Chilean Company focused on producing high quality Omega 3 concentrates up to 85% of EPA and DHA obtained from fish oil.  Their business relies on an improved technical infrastructure, therefore, Golden Omega required the creation of a remote support system based upon the latest technologies to gain operational efficiencies, agility in anticipation of lower support costs.

 

EYP MCF designed a micro data center which provided an end-to-end solution to transform Golden Omega’s manufacturing capabilities to support localized manufacturing and research and development, and fitted with a hyperconverged platform for virtualization.

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PHARMACEUTICAL

 
 
 
 
 
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