Data Center Design contd. The Power of Alternatives
Good planning requires looking at multiple options, especially early in a project. Many consultants sell a one-size-fits-all solution, but experience tells us that there is always more than one way to meet your objectives. Creating and reviewing alternatives with an open mind is the best way to discover hidden opportunities. Open this process to a wide group of stakeholders, including people outside the data center bubble. Look at “stupid” ideas and list why these concepts don’t work. At the very least, it shows others that you haven’t simply “rubber stamped” the approved design.
Consider the diagrams to the right. We are given four basic programmatic elements: “People Space”, “Electric/Mechanical A Side”, “Electric/Mechanical B Side” and “Data Center”. Obviously, this grossly simplifies the planning of a Data Center. However, this is meant to illustrate the point that there are multiple options for arranging space in any building project. Your evaluation of the concepts shown will be based upon your specific objectives. There are always multiple ways to design for a given program – looking at a wide variety of alternatives is a great way to conceptualize your use of the space, exploring the impact your decisions will have on your business – good or bad.
A caveat: data center managers should be most alert when there seems to be one obvious solution and no alternatives are explored – this is a big, waving red flag!