Open IT Forum: What to consider when building a data center?

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What are some of the key factors the enterprise should consider when building a data center that can last? We'd love to hear stories from your own experience, or see lists of your own must-haves when it comes to a new data center. Share your thoughts and we'll share 100 Knowledge Points!

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Planning ahead is key. Servers are getting smaller and smaller so you’ll need more and more power and cooling available per rack the longer the data center will be up and running. One company I worked at didn’t plan well and could only use 3/4 of each rack in the data center because there wasn’t enough power available when the newer denser servers started getting deployed.

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  • carlosdl
    There were many interesting contributions in this previous Open IT Forum question. Take a look: Open IT Forum: What's your list of considerations when developing a data center?
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  • batye
    in our Co. thirst things for the server room is security and env. monitoring, including access control, power req. and space need it. secure area for back up drives
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  • James Murray
    The first question for me is what will the SLA for the data center be. Is this a production public facing enviroment, a lab, internal network or... Second what can our vendors actulally provide us with? It's frustrating when six months after building the lab, to find out that a supplier has an OLA much lower than what you promised the clients of your data center. This gap is killer when your clients come after you from not providing the SLA. Then going to your vendor and finding out that what they promised was exactly what they gave you. The room itself seems to be one of the biggest afterthoughts specifically around airconditioning. Like MrDenny, I've seen plenty of data centers where the limit of the air conditioning was reached long before the room was filled with equipment. Managing stakeholder expenctations is very important. You never want to hear from a stakeholder or business owner... "So I was promised that after spending all this money <insert what ever went wrong> would never happen again!" Having been on projects where these thing happened it teaches you to go indepth on understanding everyones expectations vs the reality of what can actually be provided.
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  • MelanieYarbrough
    Paying attention to detail and understanding reality versus expectations seems to be the key focal points for someone building a new data center. Thanks for sharing, and keep the insight coming! I've added all of your Knowledge Points so far. Thanks, Melanie
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  • NickHutcheson1
    I have moved a data center from one building to another. The New room was a room with a raised floor(thanks for that), and a door with lights and wall plugs. There were three 208V plugs. Not nearly enough. Planning is key(if time permits). We did not have time to rebuild the room before having to vacate the other. Ask, plenty of questions, what is going in there, where should it be located, what type of cooling will the room require, power requirements, ups, attached to a generator, security, fire suppression, vent fans, raised floor or hang racks for wiring. We had to do everything backwards due to the forced exit of the old room. We moved the equipment, hooked the ups to the generator, changed the power breaker box, took out the drop ceiling, installed a new framed ceiling (sealed) with a drop ceiling(locked tiles), fire suppression, redundant a/c units, temp monitor replaced lighting. Allow physical room, and capacities to grow and change. Nothing stays the same long. Nick
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  • WorkSmart
    Redundant Raw Power sources, backed by UPS connected inturn to generator. BCP plan tested environment to be maintained. Internal audit and external audit to be seriously done. Humidity controlled cooling to be maintained. Physical Security access control should be tight enough. Data Security should be monitored and controlled.
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  • MelanieYarbrough
    [...] Wondering where to start when building a data center? IT Knowledge Exchange members don’t spare a [...]
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  • Apatheticnow
    Managing the upfront costs of "greening" your datacenter against the value it brings in can be tough to gauge.
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  • Apolsky
    banner check rd3 test 4
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  • Rosie3
    If you want someone to develop your Data Centre for you visit www.sudlows.com Highly recommended!!
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  • HMSSL2K
    Maybe it time to look at earth data centers, like earth homes, underground. Totally off the grid. Make your own energy and have a propane tank generator for backup. Cooling would not be a very big issue if done right. I had the chance to visit some earth homes in NM & AZ, very amazing what you can do with them.
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