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Data Center Design Trends

data center designThere are three pressing questions that have, and likely always will, drive data center design decisions. Accordingly, design trends for data centers can be seen as an attempt to deal with those three decisions. They include:

  • How reliable must the data center be?
  • How big must the data center be?
  • How can the data center meet those reliability and capacity needs at the lowest cost?

In years past, many companies treated their data center like their children’s clothes. Buy it big, and they’ll grow into it. When it’s a bit tight, replace it. This led, of course, to huge data centers with unnecessarily huge power demands wasting plenty of money.

Today, data center design takes a different approach. Here are some of the rising trends in data center design:

Energy costs now equal (or even surpass) capital costs

If you can use just 10 percent more energy than what your data center needs, the average data center will reproduce its own costs five times in 20 years. Accordingly, companies are building only what they need right now, and operate at or near 100 percent capacity. This will save you in both energy costs and capital costs.

Data centers should be modular, not comprehensive

Your data center should be designed in such a way that you can add capacity without having to replace the entire data center. You should be able to treat your data center as modular, able to switch out the pieces that aren’t needed and add new ones that are. The data center should not be a comprehensive unchangeable whole that needs to be replaced.

Cooling needs take priority

The type, configuration and deployment of cooling infrastructure is more important than ever. For example, a small data center might have the cooling systems positioned close to servers, where large data centers might utilize raised flooring and chiller or cooling systems on the perimeter. Choosing efficient systems is key, as well.

Virtualization is for more than servers

Servers are usually the first component to be virtualized in the data center, but they shouldn’t be the last. Storage and other data center functions should also be virtualized in order to maximize efficiency and control costs.

Data centers are becoming smarter

Today’s data centers implement technologies such as real-time environmental monitoring, as well as equipment pre-failure notifications. The more diagnostic and troubleshooting work your data center can do on its own, the better.

No one can be sure what’s coming in data centers, but with the current pace of innovation, it’s bound to be a wild ride over the next few years.

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Unitiv, Inc., is a professional provider of enterprise IT solutions. Unitiv delivers its services from its headquarters in Alpharetta, Georgia, USA, and its regional office in Iselin, New Jersey, USA. Unitiv provides a strategic approach to its service delivery, focusing on three core components: People, Products, and Processes. The People to advise and support customers. The Products to design and build solutions. The Processes to govern and manage post-implementation operations.