As a VAR, your clients will depend on you to consult closely on the data center design process. Steer them in the right direction and you can help keep costs in check while ensuring more consistent uptimes and fewer maintenance hassles. Focus on the wrong aspects of data center design, and you put the centerpiece of their mission-critical IT at risk.
Below are the five considerations that can't be overlooked:
This is a crucial consideration in data center design, but one that too often gets overlooked. The footprint of the data center will affect the amount of hardware it can accommodate, the level of utilities it will require, and the extent to which it can be scaled upward. Your clients will need to calculate their needs over both the short and long term before committing to a specific footprint.
The cost of operating a data center can be significant, and much of the expense is spent on electricity. For that reason, efficiency must be a priority. Minimizing energy consumption can be done by selecting more efficient equipment and selecting a data center design that keeps consumption low. You can better serve your clients by highlighting the electricity requirements of any equipment you recommend and directing them toward monitoring tools that make it easier to track and calibrate overall energy usage.
3. Fire protection
The risk of a fire in a data center is significant, and the consequences can be catastrophic. As your clients are putting together their data center designs, they must incorporate redundant fire protection measures and make heat dispersal a priority. They should also keep in mind the importance of data backup and recovery just in case a fire compromises the essential information housed on their servers.
Your clients are most likely already aware of how many servers they need. However, there may be confusion with racks, cooling devices, and monitoring tools. Estimating the client's needs over the long term can help keep costs in check, access deals on hardware, and keep capabilities in line with requirements.
Recent high-profile data breaches have underscored the importance of security when devising a data center design. Network security is paramount, but physical security is just as important. Your clients should consider all ingress/egress points and put measures in place to restrict access to only authorized personnel. They might also consider installing CCTV cameras and putting measures in place to audit all types of access.
It is up to you to emphasize the importance of data center design. If your clients want to get their data centers up and running faster and rely on a facility that serves all their IT needs better, they must prioritize the design process. Work closely with each one to determine their specific needs, then scour your product line to create a customized solution. If you assist with the data center design process in a thoughtful way, you can count on your clients returning to you to satisfy their long-term hardware and software needs.