June 17, 2010 | bfeldman | Data Centers

Data Center Planning Contd. Scalability

Perhaps no other issue has a bigger place in early planning than scalability.  With improvements in technology, increasing digital storage requirements, internet usage and higher power requirements from today’s chip manufacturers, about the only thing one can be assured of is the need for change.

Designing to grow (or sometimes shrink) the data center is imperative. Understanding scalability  begins at the earliest stages of design. Most data centers will grow linearly, meaning growth in server capacity will drive growth in electrical and mechanical requirements.

Fox advocates a modular approach to growth: when determining the module, items such as pedestrian and loading traffic, structural and MEP systems, cabling systems, enclosure and topography must be considered.In addition, access to increased electrical capacity  may drive placement of the data center on the site, or the selection of a given site altogether. A scalable facility should have similarities with a simple one-line electrical diagram.

Scalability Diagram: Blue = servers, Orange = electrical, White = battery/mech
Scalability Diagram: Blue = servers, Orange = electrical, White = battery/mech

In any Data Center planning project, insist on seeing multiple growth scenarios and understand how growth projections will affect both front end and future costs.

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