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Talking Strategy – 3 Important Data Center Design Tips

April 15, 2017

In that emerging climate of change, having a sound strategy is imperative for aligning today’s data center design to tomorrow’s needs. Because some things will never change, here are three data center design tips that integrators and resellers can keep in mind when engaging clients.

  1. Always take the long view


While saving on construction costs is definitely an important consideration, it can be shortsighted and hamper the data center design in the long run. Consider a phased design strategy to keep costs low while planning for the future.

The relationship between a data center’s efficiency and profitability is a close one that requires balancing a host of considerations. The architectural layout of the data center design will set the blueprint for how efficiently people move, work, and process equipment. By taking a long view via a master plan for growth, the data center design can be cost-effectively implemented in phases that meet the immediate and future need of the business.

  1. A detailed data center strategy will inform design


Optimizing your data center design strategy requires a holistic view where you take into account how all systems will impact each other. The physical footprint of the data center is intertwined with many factors such as capacity, performance, maintenance, power, and cooling. By having IT managers working closely with facility managers, the data center design can ensure:

  • Optimal equipment placement
  • Advance determination of the thermal profile via power requirements of IT equipment in order to utilize data center cooling capacity efficiently
  • Creation of a preventative maintenance program for the cooling system
  • Accurate critical load assessment on a per-cabinet basis
  • Proper cabling system design and management that meet the high-density requirements of today’s networking hardware as well as capacity and cost requirements
  • Cabinet scaling for changing needs
  • Maximized integration of power, heating, and cooling systems for cost savings and efficiency

  1. Create a storage infrastructure that doesn’t limit scalability


In an era where virtualized data center environments are increasingly becoming the norm, databases must be able to scale, just as storage performance needs to scale. The goal is for the data center to be capable of meeting the needs of today's and tomorrow's applications.

In order to accomplish this, data center design must take into account the combination of different users and applications from differing departments that are combined in the same infrastructure. There are a number of reasons why putting solid-state drives (SSDs) into the mix, either in conjunction with hard disk drives or as a growth standard, can create that no-limit scalability.

Operational efficiencies can be gained with SSDs due to the greater capacity and higher performance in a smaller footprint. This space savings helps to consolidate data center hardware for space and cooling savings. In addition, an SSD solution provides the capacity/performance needed at a similar price, but also results in massive operating cost savings.

Data center design is not always about being totally new. Consequently, SSDs as a cache or tier can keep old storage arrays viable inside of the storage area network (SAN) or inside of the attached server.

A strategic data center design plan lays the foundation for the business’s level of efficiency, productivity, and growth, so it helps to refer to industry standards and best practices for guidance. Learning about your options before making purchase decisions goes hand in hand with the guiding principles of best practices. That means looking at data center design solutions based on equally matched comparisons so that you can plan for your needs today as well as far down the road.