5 Aspects To Consider For Your Data Center Layout

Data Center LayoutThe planning needed to be done for your data center layout is considerable these days. This includes more than simply the equipment room. In fact, the physical design could even be more important than the actual wiring and energy consumption utilized. You should be thinking about all data center functions, space requirements and even the potential of future expansion. Here are five important aspects to consider and plan around.

Density vs. Capacity:

One of the most important factors to consider regarding the layout of your new data center is balancing the idea of density with the reality of capacity. In other words, there is a tradeoff here between space and power. Budget will also be a factor as you consider whether or not it will be more cost efficient to use a more dense server strategy.  A dense strategy will require advanced power and cooling infrastructure which can cost much more on a per watt basis.

This may mean alternating the power demands and wattage requirements of your rack layouts. While you could take the dense-pack approach, it might be more efficient to use a blend of high and low density rack configurations. This should ultimately reduce the amount of wattage used on a per foot basis and also provide the possibility of future expansion. Planning for expansion using modular power and cooling infrastructure can save huge dollars in the future if you need to add capacity. The tradeoff of space for density seems to make more sense; with energy costs being so high today (maybe four to five times the cost of space).

Consider Unique Layout Designs:

Don’t be afraid to try something unique. Data centers all have unique requirements, such as how to facilitate the cooling of their servers. One of the most interesting examples of such data center innovation comes from the Google center in Finland. This is built in a former paper mill and makes use of the cold outside air and nearby seawater to help in these cooling needs. Pumps and other electrical equipment from that former paper mill have been re-purposed in order to help accomplish this job.

The bottom line is to be open to consider something that might be a bit nontraditional. Inspiration can come from a number of sources and there are already amazing new servers and other pieces of technology coming that are making non-standard and other physical forms more of a reality than before. Soon, there may be no other choice than to evolve.

Future Server Architecture:

There is an interesting trend happening in the world of server architecture right now. The X86 still may be the dominant general purpose platform, but this is beginning to change. A new generation of highly scalable servers is hitting the scene. They have low power processors (were originally designed for smartphones and tablets). This has the potential to dramatically increase overall performance and even speed.

Whether or not you and your data center are ready for this advancement is not really the point. Instead, it means you need to be ready when this technology ends up taking over. Think to the future and how you might be able to adapt your current structure into a new form or layout. Give yourself the space needed to be able to expand. Think about the location of your equipment, the interconnecting backbone structured cabling, etc…

Storage & Cooling Requirements:

The data center will also need to plan for how it will physically store all of the needed data and how the storage devices and servers will be cooled. While spinning disk drives are still a bit more common, the future is definitely on the side of the Solid State Drives (SSD). With their higher read-write speeds and lower power usage, these storage devices should likely command the first place in your data center’s storage scheme. Prices continue to drop and they are much easier to keep cool.

Consider The End User:

Each data center will also have a particular purpose. Whether this is to store data and information for a wide range of different hosted websites to data and information being downloaded, used, and stored on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, the end user should dramatically influence the type of data center layout and equipment used. Traditional data centers will probably like the standard racks and IT hardware. Co-location facilities will need more flexibility in order to server a wider range of clients.

Choosing Your Data Center Solutions:

No matter which type of data center layout and design you decide, the final steps will be purchasing your equipment and getting everything set up. For that, you have many options. Calling Data Center Resources today would be your best move to see many of your equipment options such as power, cooling, monitoring and even furniture solutions.