The raised floor has been an integral part of data center design for decades. In fact, many veterans often define a data center as an enclosed computer space that has a raised floor. It is not surprising that the numbers indicate that almost 90% of all data centers have raised floors at this current time. What is interesting to note though is that only 48% plan to use raised floors in the future, according to a research conducted by the Up-time Institute.

Raised Floor: Is it time to let go?Raised floors do offer certain benefits, such as allowing for simpler cabling and cooling systems. At the same time, there are many reasons for avoiding raised floors in future designs:

  • Modern data centers are aiming for higher power densities in the range of 8 to 10kW per rack and upwards. In these situations, the raised floor can prove to be a hindrance to the effectiveness of the cooling.
  • Increase in capacity: Data centers today need to be designed with expansiveness and scale in mind. However, raised floors may not always be able to handle increase in heavy equipment than what they have been originally designed for. They also face additional dangers in seismic activities.
  • Costs: When constructing a new data center or redesigning an existing data center, costs of raised floors can prove to be high. For smaller dimension data centers, the raised floor could also impact the space utilization.

The main factor that prevents the removal of a raised floor is the perception that a data center with a raised floor is a high quality data center. Many data centers often keep the raised floor just as a presentation element, even though they do not utilize it for cooling or cabling purposes. Research indicates that modern, high density power solutions, as well as high-efficiency cooling solutions, do not require a raised floor. It is worth watching out for industry trends with regards to this significant element in data center design.

Will the leaders make the bold leap forwards and eliminate the raised floor or does following a middle safer path seem to be more practical? For the best consultation for modern and traditional colocation data centers, book your appointment with the experts at Lifeline Data Centers today.

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.