The physical layer of the internet, the data center, is largely dependent on floor plans, not only the floor design and type of the floor itself, but where you put everything, and how that impacts data accessibility and delivery for your clients.
Perhaps the most important feature of any data center is agility and flexibility. To prepare for the future, floor plans must have the ability to adapt built-in. How do we get there?
Jump to Section:
- Density and Capacity
- Prepping for Future Architecture and Changes
- Storage and Cooling
- Building Management Systems
- Built-in Redundancy
- Remote Management
- Physical Layer Security
- Using Renewable Energy
1. Density and Capacity
First, we must think in terms of both density and capacity: there is always a tradeoff between power and space. A denser server system will require a more sophisticated power and cooling strategy, which may in the long run be more costly per watt than a less aggressive approach.
The most common answer is a blend of both high and low-density rack layouts to get the maximum benefits of each. Modular density allows for the addition of capacity over time and with energy costs higher than the cost of space (at least currently) a less dense approach makes more sense for most applications and data center floor designs.
2. Prepping for Future Architecture and Changes
This brings us nicely to the next point. Server configurations are constantly changing, and likely will continue to do so going forward. Balancing density and capacity when it comes to data center floor design makes it easier to make moves and changes when the need arises.
A forward-thinking floor design simply means you are ready when whatever technology is next taking over the market. Think of how your current layout can be adapted to new forms and layouts.
3. Storage and Cooling
This naturally leads to storage and cooling, which is directly related to density and capacity, and future thinking. You must consider how you will store data, what kind of servers and racks you will use, and even where you will source them and other materials.
A part of that will also be your cooling plan. How will you cool your systems? Will you have an underfloor wiring plan or an overhead one? What kind of floor will you have? What will your HVAC system look like, and how will access to the building be controlled? This is all something to think about while looking at your floor designs.
4. Building Management Systems
What does your building management system look like, and how well does it meet your data center needs. There are several aspects to consider, including your maintenance services
- UPS Batteries and backups
- Electrical supply infrastructure
- Mechanical systems maintenance
All these various pieces require various levels of maintenance, and physical accessibility must be a consideration. This also leads to our next point.
5. Built-in Redundancy
When maintenance occurs or disaster strikes, redundant systems need to be in place to keep the stellar uptime customers demand. This must be a part of your data center floor design from the start. This is a part of not only data center service, but physical and data layer security as well.
6. Remote Management
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that people can do many things remotely in an amazing way. While remote monitoring and even management of data centers have been possible for quite some time, the pandemic propelled it to a mainstream priority. Any data center design conceived going forward must be structured to enable remote monitoring and management.
This goes relates to everything, from building management systems to server management systems. Sensors can detect when something is wrong, in many cases take action to correct the issue, and inform human data center management of the issues, so that permanent corrections can be implemented.
7. Physical Layer Security
Of course, a part of remote management leads to physical layer network security. This includes everything from digital locks for entrances with biometric security in place to door alarms, AI monitoring of camera systems, and more.
These systems are far better than an on-premises security team, can be monitored from anywhere, and both managers and if necessary the appropriate authorities can be notified of any incident requiring attention.
8. Using Renewable Energy
Finally, an important part of data center management and development going forward is the use of renewable energy. While this does not always impact the physical layout of the interior of your data center, it may impact your power and electrical configurations, the redundancies you need to have built into your data center, and the area you have to expand the physical footprint of your data center going forward.
A big part of your data center floor design and how you arrange both high and low-density areas of the data center is related to the server racks, cable management products, and physical layer security systems you choose.
At AnD Cable Products, we can make sure you have everything you need to set things up properly from the start or to make moves and changes as you need to. Contact Us today! We’d love to discuss your data center needs.
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About the Author
Louis Chompff, Founder & Managing Director, AnD Cable Products
Louis established AnD Cable Products – Intelligently Designed Cable Management in 1989. Prior to this he enjoyed a 20+ year career with a leading global telecommunications company in a variety of senior data management positions. Louis is an enthusiastic inventor who designed, patented and brought to market his innovative Zero U cable management racks and Unitag cabel labels, both of which have become industry-leading network cable management products. AnD Cable Products only offer products that are intelligently designed, increase efficiency, are durable and reliable, re-usable, easy to use or reduce equipment costs. He is the principal author of the Cable Management Blog, where you can find network cable management ideas, server rack cabling techniques and space saving tips, data center trends, latest innovations and more.
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