Your organization might have multiple data centers scattered all around the country. Some of them may be running out of cooling and powering needs, some are bringing high energy costs, and others are unable to expand due to limited or expensive available space. In these situations, what do you think is prudent for sustaining your data center reliability today and tomorrow? Expanding/building more data centers, or optimizing your current data center infrastructure?

Of course, optimizing existing data infrastructures would increase efficiency and reduce your expenditure. But before you begin, you should ask yourself: “Is my space ready for data center optimization?” For many organizations, the first move towards optimization is simply consolidating 2, 3 or more data centers for reducing costs and simplifying management. But can squeezing together two inefficient data centers into one bring you more efficiencies? How can you know if your infrastructure is actually ready for optimization strategies? And most importantly, are old data centers strong enough for supporting modern data centers?

Considering the square footage, maybe yes. The data center built in 1980-1990 period may be enough for modern day data center strategies. But its client server and mainframe facilities may NOT be the perfect space for today’s flexible, agile, service oriented and virtualized data centers. An optimized data center may sometimes demand a complete rebuild!

Experts say the following characteristics are indispensable for modern day data centers:

·         Old data center designs were built to support distributed weight. But today, revamped raised flooring is preferred, with the ability to support concentrated weight. It should be able to accommodate traditional wiring as well as better air exchange capabilities for modern cooling systems.

·         The multi blade racks and storage pool densities in today’s data centers should get matching and scalable electrical services.

·         The standard fluorescent panels for targeted lighting systems are outmoded in today’s optimized data centers. Instead, they need lighting systems reading the components’ information from either side of the racks and capabilities to dim, switch on and off automatically, thereby maximizing the power usage and effectiveness.

Do you still think your data center is ready for optimization?

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.