Buy versus Build Dilemma
Users responded with a middle-ground instead: Buy existing unused space and build within. Technochic’s company removed the raised flooring and installed chimney racks. Now they’re able to install racks as they go, saving money on cooling costs and diminishing the initial investment for a new data center space. Labnuke99 had a similar experience finding that happy middle ground; now his company has a personally owned, designed and managed solution without the monthly cost of a data center lease.
Who knew that Goldilocks was about data centers…
So many aspects of operation fall under the data center’s jurisdiction. How do you wrap your head around a task as daunting as designing and developing a data center? IT Knowledge Exchange members didn’t even flinch at this one, instead offering great insight and a spectrum of concerns necessary to creating an efficient data center checklist.
Green is the new black when it comes to data center operations, so be sure to consider how to improve your current cooling costs and methods. Every decisions affects another decision: Your backup methods and policies affect the amount of power your servers need which affects cooling costs. Then there are more fundamental checkpoints such as ensuring that the new data center is compatible with existing hardware and software.
Member BigKat got specific, listing the necessary nitty gritties: Regularly updated list of hardware and software, including model and version numbers and vendors’ contact and contract numbers; procedures for requesting and installing temporary keys to authorize new computers; and an up-to-date list of in-house IT contact information for support.
Rechil and StevenG7 emphasized the importance of KISS: Keep it simple, stupid. Steve lived it:
I was involved in the design of a large “simple” enterprise data center 12 years ago; in 12 years the total downtime (both scheduled & unscheduled) was about one hour. It was replaced by a new “tier 3″-class data center costing 20 times more and 20 times more complex; and it’s 20 times less reliable. (During a t-storm this summer, none of the 3 redundant generators could be started; it took 7 hours to restore power to the floor). It is so needlessly complex that none of the designers or vendors have been able to figure out why it is so unreliable.
Carlosdl was kind enough to compile some great resources from right around ITKnowledgeExchange:
- Common data center setup mistakes
- Basics for Data Center planning
- Data Center Standards
- Building a Data Center from the ground up
- Physical and logical security for new datacenter
- Sun Microsystems Data Center Site Planning Guide (pdf)
- Cisco Data Center Infrastructure 2.5 Design Guide (pdf)
- HIGH PERFORMANCE DATA CENTERS – A Design Guidelines Sourcebook
Vent Session: Data Center Edition
From bosses to lack of foresight, it seems the main hindrance in the data center (and all of IT) is money. Whether you’re building a new data center or managing a well-seasoned one, looking ahead to problems that may snowball will be your best pathway to cost-efficiency.
Still Want More?
Check out these data center pros on Twitter for updates and resources:
@datacenter: Google anything on the data center these days, and chances are you’ll get a handful of links to Data Center Knowledge. Check out Rich Miller on twitter for bite-sized updates on all thing data center.
@DataCenterGuru: Gabe Cole on data center design, development, financing and operations. What more could you ask for in 140-character bits?
@datacenterpulse: For multimedia updates on what’s going on in the data center globally.
@DCThinkTank: Hang out and chat about what’s going on in data center news all over the world and the Internet.
@ecoINSITE: Green data centers are all the rage. Get the latest info and, well, insight.
Or check out some of the lists from @DataCenter for specific groups of data center-related information: