Your data center is the lifeblood of your business. Data centers not only house your core business applications, customer transactions, storage of all digitized information, but they can also include telecommunications and environmental controls of your entire business.
The modern datacenter has such a vital role in today’s business world, it is essential that when building one, the build is done correctly the first time.
With virtualization technology now enabling businesses to create virtual datacenters it’s imperative that the build/design strategy encompass not only the physical datacenter components, but the virtual software components that are now an integral part of datacenter builds.
Below are five areas where datacenter builds are most commonly done incorrectly. Considering the costs involved, these can be expensive mistakes that have long-term cost implications regardless of size or scope. Be sure to address these problematic areas prior to building your data center:
1. Incorrect power density level
Power density in this context refers to the amount of power needed per server rack. This definition is essential in the data center build as it will define levels of power and cooling needed. Accurate power density must be determined per rack (both now and in the future), as opposed to the power draw of the room or row of server racks.
2. Incorrect assessment of current IT environment
The current capabilities of your IT equipment must be correctly determined in order to select the proper equipment for a data center build. Consulting a specialist can help you determine the capabilities you currently have versus the capabilities your business needs now and for the future.
3. Inadequate cooling
Correctly determining the power density required by your server racks will help you determine the proper level of cooling needed, but there are other issues involved in getting cooling right within your data center. Hot spots must be found and minimized to keep your data center running at maximum efficiency and with minimum maintenance.
4. Excess data center capacity
Data centers are expensive. Be sure to build out for what your present and future business needs are. Use past history, experiences and the proper analytical tools to help determine what is needed while considering future growth at your company. With virtualization technology impacting all aspects of the technology infrastructure, it’s important to consider the huge benefits of server consolidation as more and more companies embrace virtual datacenters.
5. Data center components not following standardization
In your data center design strategy it is essential to adapt to industry standards. Standardized components allow for the data center to be constructed modularly which streamlines the whole process and allows for future expansion and upgrades. Building with specific design and component standards avoids unnecessary costs associated with downtime and lost business opportunities because your equipment is noncompliant or incompatible with newer emerging technologies.
Planning your data center is essential for a successful build. Inadequate planning will result in an inefficient build that more than likely falls into one of these five problematic areas that are commonly found with incorrectly configured data centers.
Proactively addressing these problematic issues will improve the quality of your data center and its ability to support your business both now and in the future. A data center should serve to facilitate certain core-business processes in the most cost-effective manner.
Below are 5 smart tips describing what to avoid when building you next data center:
1. Over-engineering the data center with unnecessary equipment and capital expenditures.
2. Using personnel with limited knowledge, skills, abilities, and exposure to emerging data center technologies.
3. Failure to standardize on data center equipment that’s adaptable and scalable to both current and future needs.
4. Failure to objectively test electrical load flow, air flow, and cabling into and outside of the data center.
5. Failing to get a second opinion from the manufacturer or vendor prior to installing the actual equipment for the data center build.
Always have a second set of eyes review the data center build strategy. Involve facilities, key IT personnel and executive management in the process.
Remaining conscious of these smart tips will help you avoid costly traps that could prove detrimental to your data center build. It is essential to consider outside help in determining your business’ data center needs. Depending on your datacenter project, considering outside expertise will provide you with an unbiased opinion on the needs of various elements that make up a modern datacenter.
After you have completed the design plans for your new or existing data center upgrade, check with the equipment manufacturer you intend to use and ask them if the proposed hardware is at the end of its life cycle or will soon be replaced by newer technology.
Remember this: Manufacturers stay up to date on this kind of research and will be able to provide you with the answer. The very nature of the data center business demands that key personnel stay up-to-date on emerging technologies within their realm of expertise in order to avoid purchasing outdated legacy technology.
The reason I suggest this is because during the period from initial planning and conceptual design to the actual installation of all equipment, usually a significant period of time will pass. On top of that (especially with tenant improvements) multiple permits must be obtained, space requirements change and there are a host of other unforeseen events you must contend with that will influence the final date you actually complete the build.
Don’t forget, your business needs a data center to facilitate the processes of everyday operations. When done correctly, the data center build will enhance the continuity of your business with a reliable IT infrastructure that can be readily upgraded should the need arise.
Proper data center builds provide peace of mind with a secure environment that minimizes downtime and provides data redundancy to accelerate disaster recovery should the need arise.