Open IT Forum: What’s your list of considerations when developing a data center?

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Data center budget considerations
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What considerations or checklist would you provide to someone creating a data center for the enterprise? From cooling and racks to data retirement policies and security, what are some of the concerns that a developer can’t afford to overlook?

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Carlos thanks for the link…

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  • carlosdl
    There have been many questions regarding datacenter design, with very good answers from the community. I'm not providing a new answer, just helping build a compilation: 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 These two data center design planning guides were mentioned in those questions: Sun Microsystems Data Center Site Planning Guide (pdf) Cisco Data Center Infrastructure 2.5 Design Guide (pdf) And I'm adding this one: HIGH PERFORMANCE DATA CENTERS - A Design Guidelines Sourcebook
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  • Technochic
    I know when we built our newest data center cooling methods and costs were HUGE on the list of considerations. Being as "green" and cost-efficient as possible plays a big role in this day and age.
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  • MelanieYarbrough
    Wow, thanks for the round-up, Carlos! That's a great resource. Technochic: Those are definitely two top concerns. When we asked about what's plaguing people's data centers, money was voiced as a major inhibitor. Do you think, as Carlos suggests, that this is only because of poor planning? What are some ways developers can plan for possible future headaches in the planning stages to prevent an overstretched budget later on? - Melanie
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  • FrankTheTank
    Cooling systems is very important and also The actual back up solution you come up with is crucial. And if the new data center would be compatible with existing hardware and software used on other machines. Carlos compilation sums it up pretty good.
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  • Subhendu Sen
    The list of URLs r very helpful to understand about Data Center, though it may also helpful.... http://searchdatacenter.techtarget.com/resources/Data-center-design-and-construction
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  • BigKat
    • Up to date list of software and specialized hardware including model/version numbers, vendors' support contact and contract numbers, and any information that was necessary for configuration.
    • Procedures how to request/install temporary keys so your software/hardware can recognize a different computer as an authorized one.
    • Up to date list of contacts and phone numbers for in-house (IT) support for each business area
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  • MelanieYarbrough
    Thanks, BigKat! Those are definitely the finer details that can make all the difference in a pinch.
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  • Silverface1980
    Based on my experience regarding data center. Firstly, you have to consider virtualization technology in these days. You have to consider blade servers that support virtualized environments. Tape libraries for backup system. Storage solutions. Load balancing and network access switch appliance. And more...
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  • MelanieYarbrough
    [...] we asked our members what their top considerations were when building a new data center, Technochic said that cooling methods and costs are definitely forerunners: “Being as [...]
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  • Subhendu Sen
    The following are a guideline for considering to develop a Data Centre: 1. Keep it simple, Simple designs are easier to support, administer, and use. It helps to fix problems quickly 2. Flexibility that means, Aware about the technology changes and upgrades 3. Always be Modular, This will help keep things simple and flexible. 4. Look after about Weight, Servers and storage equipment for data centers are getting denser and heavier every day. Make sure the load rating for all supporting structures, particularly for raised floors and ramps, is adequate for current and future loads. 5. Use aluminum tiles in the raised floor system. Cast aluminum tiles are strong and will handle increasing weight load requirements better than tiles made of other materials. Even the perforated and grated aluminum tiles maintain their strength and allow the passage of cold air to the machines. 6. Make Label everywhere, Pay attention for cabling! 7. Keep things covered, or bundled, and out of sight. If it can’t be seen, or it can’t be messed with. 8. Always Plan ahead and be Positive, never want to hear “Alas !” in the data center. Thanks -----
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  • StevenG7
    Some excellent comments and links in this discussion! I want to chime in on Rechil's "keep it simple" comment: Amen!! I've seen a study which showed that with the exception of a few specified circumstances, if you figure reliability/availability and costs, the sweet-spot is just around 2.2 on the "Tier 0-->4" spectrum. 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.
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  • StevenG7
    And my personal/professional manta: Why do we continue to build Modern Legacy Data Centers? By that, I mean data center designs from which the only thing missing is an IBM System-360 mainframe? And what were the major design elements of data centers built in the 60s-70s? (1) Raised floors. (2) Underfloor cooling (3) Battery-based UPS (4) a Mainframe. Most likely, none of these are really required anymore. I'm not claiming "never"; I'm saying don't be afraid to start with a clean sheet of paper. And be warned that many in the industry only have experience with data centers having design-items 1,2,& 3, so that's what they are comfortable (and competent) with and they will often try to spread FUD if you challenge them. Data centers are expensive projects, so take the time to read up and do your own research. Don't believe marketing hype; question all design assumptions. And don't fall prey to the "Data Center Design by Fad" trap in which you read about the latest new solar-powered, LEED Diamond-level certified data center with a PUE of 0.001, and say: "Here! Design us a data center like that least we fall behind our competition."
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  • StevenG7
    I would also consider containerized solutions. They are not optimal for many data centers, but for some they may be and may be highly advantagious. And some "modular" offerings may be thought of as "a containerized data center without the container". There are even a new developments in the "containerized" field: Micro-containers which encompass 1-2 racks and may be "casterized" and rolled around inside the data center room.
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  • rtopping
    Thank you all for you input. We are doing the same thing at this time looking to develop a colocation data center facility in the beginning of 2011. I will accept all the assistance i can get.
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  • MelanieYarbrough
    Hi Rtopping, There are some great suggestions in this thread already; I hope you'll have a look through them. As for further assistance, if you start a new thread with specific questions or concerns, IT Knowledge Exchange members would be happy to provide additional assistance and suggestions. Best of luck! Melanie
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  • Subhendu Sen
    Melanie's suggestion is always welcomed ! It is good practice to create a new Q under Ask a Question and u can get no of answers from this esteemed community !
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