Posted by: PTSacco
Let me start off by giving a big thanks to our blog readers who’ve submitted stories about their horrendous data center encounters in regards to APC’s Sponsored Contest, where you have the chance to win a Nintendo Wii. If you haven’t already submitted your story, please do so; we would love to hear from you! For more information, read about the APC Contest.
And now, back to our blog topic:
Good data center design is a combination of high-level conceptual thinking and strategic planning, plus close attention to detail. Obviously, things like the cooling system and support infrastructure are critical to maintaining an always-available data center, but smaller things like well organized server cabinets can also contribute to the overall efficiency of a data center or computer room. That being said, I think Computer rooms are an important component of the overall data center environment. Their purpose is to shelter network and server infrastructure as well as their related cabling, otherwise known as the computer room’s critical load.
In creating a secure and efficient computer room design, special consideration must be given to good planning and the implementation of the right technologies. The success of your design is dependent on the long-term scalability, flexibility and availability of your facility. Here are some computer room design tips to help your business optimize network performance, achieve its long-term availability goals and avoid costly problems in your computer room:
In any mission critical environment, it’s important to provide adequate, scalable power for the load. Comprehensive load studies can produce a reasonable estimate of your facility’s power requirements. Once you’ve assessed the power needs of your computer room, conceptual and detailed planning can go forward.
To design a computer room cooling system that operates effectively, you need a firm understanding of the amount of heat produced by the equipment contained in the enclosed space, along with the heat produced by other heat sources, such as conduction from adjacent spaces. Be sure to account for factors such as ceiling height, access floor depth, equipment layout and overall heat load.
The design and construction of your computer room should meet the current technological needs of your business, while allowing for expansion along with the changing technology and business landscape. The use of modular systems, where the characteristics of the modules are known and the steps to add more modules are simple, is an excellent strategy to address growth without major disruptions.
High-availability is accomplished by providing redundancy for all, major and minor, systems, thereby eliminating single points of failure. By installing additional resources for system redundancy, hardware upgrades can be handled without fear of network failures. Incorporate redundant systems into your initial computer room design and continue to do so as your facility expands or upgrades its technology.
After your computer room is complete, the job of monitoring the IT and support infrastructure begins. Computer room monitoring is the vital last line of defense in achieving a high availability environment. When evaluating monitoring systems, look for solutions that are cost effective, easy-to-use, designed with intuitive alarming and escalation methodologies, and built to provide robust reporting all from a central, secure, locations.