Common data center setup mistakes

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Data Center Layout
Data Center Logistics
Data center planning
Data Center Topology
What are some common mistakes to avoid when setting up the layout of your data center? What setup have you found works best? Are there any good guides for data center layout techniques that you would recommend?

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Cooling is a really important issue…. I’ve been working in a Data Center for years and I can tell you of numerous mistakes recently… here is what I suggest:

1. When purchasing A/C units, make sure you have enough to cover the additional heat load you will have in the future. Make sure you purchase redundent units because one will fail in the future.

2. If the floor is raised, make sure it’s raised high enough for proper air flow with all the cables to plan to run under. You should have one unit to blow under and unit to bring air down from the ceiling.

3. Have hot and cold isles with preforated tiles in the front and solid tiles in the back but make sure you do not install your A/C units where hot air for the server racks will be blowing on them.

Another really good idea in a Data Center is to label everything… especially both ends of all cables so you won’t need to trace them. If using a raised floor you should generate a map of all the electrical connections so you don’t have to pull all the tiles up looking for them in the future.

Have generators ready to back up your UPS units.

I’m sure people will add plenty more tips for you.

* as mentioned above temperature is a vital factor for a Data Center since most of the new server will automatically gets shutdown when it meets the maximum Temp threshold. Same time backup power systems apart from UPS power like Row power and Generator should be in place.

* you have to keep Fire Extinguishers in place and should match the requirements.
* you have to mark the way points clearly on the raised floor. it helps for users find the way out if there is a fetal power failure.
* Need to mention useful phone numbers of Authoritative users inside the Data center.
* As a Practice Avoid vendors to take Pen drives, DCs, Camera Phones.
* Avoid use of users own shoes inside the DC and provide separate sets of Shoes.

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  • SpyMoose
    One of the newer ideas (ok, not newer... but new to me) that I'm excited about is the Flywheel UPS to help with a bit of load balancing from conventional UPS batteries. The pros that I've read on the Flywheel are: Better power management for small fluctuations, Pending optimal performance the Flywheel does not need to be replaced as opposed to standard battery UPS systems asking for replacements every 5-10 years, Maintenance is every 20 years for the Flywheel whereas batteries need to be tested 2-5 years. That's just a little bit of the information on it, the main reason I'm touting this addition to a data center is the impact it has to save battery life from the small dips that happen each week. Placing the Flywheel ahead of the conventional batteries will allow the batteries to be used for extended power outages rather than causing cell degradation over a few years due to little 1-2volt outages in it's life time. The Flywheel can keep the pace for the smaller outages reserving the batteries for more critical uses.
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  • Kevin Beaver
    The industry standard for data center design is the EIA/IEA 942 specification. Anixter has a good guide on it. Also, make sure any data center-related control systems are changed from their default settings (esp. users/passwords). You wouldn't believe how many of these I see that can be completely overtaken by a trusted insider to erase logs, delete video, set access control lists, create backdoor accounts, etc. It's kind of sad/funny that so much money is spent on data center design and security yet something like this can undermine everything.
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  • Meredith Courtemanche
    Clive Longbottom recently wrote a tip on designing data centers to be more flexible -- to adapt to different equipment configurations and more or less equipment in the space. Here's the link for those interested: http://searchdatacenter.techtarget.com/tip/A-flexible-data-center-layout-made-for-the-new-standard

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