Project: B-Bus Build-out


Johnston Technologies recently completed a build-out at a large healthcare insurance provider in Tampa, Florida. At the time we accepted the project, the data center was already live with one Uninterruptible Power Supplies, an Automatic Transfer Switch, and a single generator.

Our customer needed both a solution and a project manager to manage adding a B-Bus to their facility. This would allow complete 2N topology in their facility and data center to ensure maximum uptime. The 2N topology allows the data center a complete backup of the power infrastructure in the event that the A-Bus lost power and equipment malfunctioned.

The biggest obstacle in the project was to avoid a complete data center shut down and to properly (and safely) install the B-Bus equipment. All equipment and wire runs needed to be in place prior to transferring load and audited without impacting the active data center.

A 13-week time constraint was another obstacle that had to be considered. All equipment had to be ordered, set, tested, and monitored during this time constraint.


Johnston Technologies provided a second UPS, two PDU’s, a Geist Environet Facility Monitoring System with temperature sensors, a Cellwatch Battery Monitoring, a second generator, two additional CRAC, and an additional two battery cabinets to extend runtime for each UPS.

Johnston Technologies was integral in coordinating all work between the end-user and contractors hired to work the project. We had an employee onsite full time to ensure the project was heading in the right direction and at the right time. Daily conference calls between the clients, contractors, and Johnston Technologies were scheduled to have a steady flow of communication and job updates.

This project was to have zero impact to the live data center. Any impact at all would cost our client financially from both downtime and a business opportunity standpoint. In order to ensure the correct equipment was ordered, load audits had to be made prior to ordering and implementation. This was a critical step in ensuring the customer received the proper equipment to correctly operate the B-Bus.

As both the project manager and integrator, Johnston Technologies tackled the project in three major phases.

Once the load audit was completed, Johnston Technologies sourced equipment that would provide our client with both the correct specifications and could be delivered within our tight timeframe. In order to reduce costs, we sourced products from all over the country that could adhere to our timeline.

Second, the CRAC needed to be cut into the raised access floor and a stand needed to be installed to support it. Per Johnston Technologies’ design, the CRACs needed to be dual fed for redundancy purposes. The remaining equipment was placed inside and CAT 5E ran between all the new and existing equipment and Environet server. We also had the Cellwatch Battery Monitoring pre-installed to the four existing cabinets and generator batteries. The remaining cabinets would be pre-installed upon their arrival.

We then added the temperature sensors to the front of the cabinets. These sensors are automatically recognized by the Environet monitoring system via wireless transmission.  We then added Manual Transfer Switches to every single-corded device.

The next step took place after all the equipment was set in place. We oversaw the new equipment start-ups, ensured proper functionality, and tested. The testing process included load bank testing the new UPS and generator. We then ensured that the dual fed loads were moved to two PDUs, recreating the B-side equipment shutdown with zero impact to the critical loads, then intersected these B-Side loads with the new B-Bus power plant.

The third phase, Johnston Technologies oversaw the final installation of the equipment and walked through with Environet to ensure all of the equipment was being monitored. This included the temperature sensors that were installed on the front of the racks in the data center. The system was now up and running and providing real-time alerts to the data center NOC.

Hurricane Irma

As the project was reaching its midway point, Hurricane Irma struck the West Coast of Florida and moved its way into the Southeast United States. Our customer was in the direct path of Irma. Thankfully, the job site was only affected by loss of power for a couple of days. The generator provided power to the data center and no damage was done.

This event, however, drove in the need to add the B-Bus that much further. Being so close to the Gulf of Mexico raises the risk of a major data center catastrophe.


The Environet will now give our client total visibility into the status of every piece of equipment in their data center, as well as, provide an alerting system if the equipment starting malfunctioning, overheating, etc. They will also have a daily report on the status of each battery in each UPS. Our customer’s data center is now live with a fully functioning B-Bus.

Now that Johnston Technologies has successfully wrapped up the job, we would like to thank all of the contractors and team members involved with this project. We worked closely with the end-user and had to coordinate all work between them and the contractors to achieve the end goal of this project. Without the coordinated efforts and communication from our partners, this project would not have been as successful as it was.