Data Center Design Basics

Building a data center from scratch is no easy feat. It requires you to consider aspects such as site selection, facility design, hardware, networking, and cooling systems. And each of these critical factors must be optimized for the data center to run seamlessly.

Load Balancing And Clustering

The primary reason a server exists is to provide reliable cloud computing capabilities to its users.  To achieve this, a data center designer should put the majority of his focus on server clustering and load balancing. Clustering refers to a group of servers working on a single system to provide reliable service.

How these servers are organized will determine their downtime and outages. Load balancing refers to how the traffic is distributed across multiple servers. Setting this up comes after the servers are installed, but you’ll want to plan it in advance.

Capacity And Future Expansion Plans

Building a data center is an expensive affair. But what most businesses don’t realize is that extensive renovation to fix errors is even more costly. When designing a data center, you need to understand its current capacity and plan future expansions carefully.

Your current and future plans will help you determine the amount of floor space, hardware, and power you’ll need. It’s ideal to invest in the future and leave some space for upgrades.

Wiring Management

Servers transmit information to one another through wires. Without proper wiring in place, teams will struggle to keep the server running. Therefore, you need to invest in a smart wiring strategy.

The main objective should be to diagnose and identify faulty wires as fast as possible. Depending on the servers and racks, you’ll have hundreds, if not thousands, of cables running across the floor. Measures must be taken to keep the wires away from water and rodents, both of which can cause massive damage.

Cooling And Airflow Management

Any experienced data center manager can tell you that cooling the servers is a central focus. If the facility gets too hot, it impacts performance and can even cause hardware failure. This is why you need to design an air-cooling system and know where your units need to be installed for current and future plans. You’ll also need to decide the type of cooling systems you’d be using. We’ve outlined the four standard types below:

  • Traditional air conditioning
  • Water cooling units
  • Outdoor air cooling
  • Localized cooling

Traditional air conditioning (AC) is most popular, while water cooling (common in centers built near oceans) is much more efficient.

Cooling is just one part of temperature management. The other is airflow management. This is where you design intake and exhaust systems, aisles, and server rack airflow. In simpler terms, you plan how the air will flow throughout the data center for efficiency.

Physical Security

Finally, it would be best if you didn’t neglect physical security. Data centers house expensive equipment and sensitive information. As a data center designer, it is your responsibility to ensure that all of this is safe. Cameras, biometric systems, doors, secure server racks, and security guard stations should be designed accordingly.

In Conclusion

We’ve looked at all of the basic factors that impact the data center design. With this information, you should better understand what goes into planning a data center. What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.

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