Designing a Data Center? TIA-942 is the Way to Go

If you are building a data center or planning to build one and haven’t considered TIA-942 standard, then you might be progressing towards a possibly inflexible and unplanned implementation. There are two other standards, Up-time and Syska, which also provide a framework for data center design but neither of them goes into as much detail as TIA-942.

Designing a Data Center? TIA-942 is the Way to GoThe Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) has developed this standard specifically as a reference for the design and implementation of a data center. It’s the first standard for a data center infrastructure and comprehensively covers the following:

1.       Site selection and layout planning:

a.       Site location selection

b.      Surrounding environment consideration

c.       Data center structure and architectural design

d.      Space distribution into entrance room and distribution areas like main, horizontal, zone and equipment

2.       Cable details and their network:

a.       Horizontal and backbone

b.      Deciding between copper, coaxial or optical fiber, based medium and their specific type

c.       Security for data center cables

d.      Separation of power and telecom cables

e.      Raised floor cabling and overhead cabling trays

3.       Redundancy planning by using multiple tiers. Tiers are named as basic, redundant, con-current and fault tolerant based on increasing reliability.

4.       Operations considerations:

a.       Power consumption and load handling

b.      Cooling infrastructure based on heat anticipated

c.       Electrical Infrastructure layout

d.      General facility maintenance

Based on the above coverage points, it gives you an idea as to how much thought and deliberation has gone into building this standard. There is no doubt that there is any other comparable standard for data center infrastructure building. Since it has covered almost everything needed for data center planning in depth, it might not be entirely easy to implement it correctly. A data center compliant with TIA–942 in conjunction with PCI-DSS is what you need to be looking for to ensure a safe and protected environment for all your data needs. To consult the right folks that have industry experience in guiding these standards, please visit

Alex Carroll

Alex Carroll

Managing Member at Lifeline Data Centers
Alex, co-owner, is responsible for all real estate, construction and mission critical facilities: hardened buildings, power systems, cooling systems, fire suppression, and environmentals. Alex also manages relationships with the telecommunications providers and has an extensive background in IT infrastructure support, database administration and software design and development. Alex architected Lifeline’s proprietary GRCA system and is hands-on every day in the data center.