Top Ten Data Center Design Guidelines

The following are the top ten guidelines selected from a great many other guidelines;

  • Plan ahead. You never want to hear “Oops!” in your data center.
  • Keep it simple. Simple designs are easier to support, administer, and use. Setthings up so that when a problem occurs, you can fix it quickly.
  • Be flexible. Technology changes. Upgrades happen.
  • Think modular. Look for modularity as you design. This will help keep things simple and flexible.
  • Use RLUs, not square feet. Move away from the concept of using square footage of area to determine capacity. Use RLUs to define capacity and make the data center scalable.
  • Worry about weight. Servers and storage equipment for data centers are getting denser and heavier every day. Make sure the load rating for all supporting structures, particularly for raised floors and ramps, is adequate for current and future loads.
  • Use aluminum tiles in the raised floor system. Cast aluminum tiles are strong and will handle increasing weight load requirements better than tiles made of other materials. Even the perforated and grated aluminum tiles maintain their strength and allow the passage of cold air to the machines.
  • Label everything. Particularly cabling! It is easy to let this one slip when it seems as if “there are better things to do.” The time lost in labeling is time gained when you don’t have to pull up the raised floor system to trace the end of a single cable. And you will have to trace bad cables!
  • Keep things covered, or bundled, and out of sight. If it can’t be seen, it can’t be messed with.
  • Hope for the best, plan for the worst. That way, you’re never surprised.

“Enterprise Data Center Design and Methodology”, by Rob Snevely (ISBN 0-13- 047393-6)