Building a company data center is a major project. Doing it right requires a lot of planning and forethought to meet current needs as well as those of the future. If you are building your first company data center, there are a few things to consider. Let’s get started.
One of the critical needs of a data center is being as disaster proof as possible. You need to select a location which is above the flood plain. If the building is not above the flood plain, you can locate the data center on the second floor.
Another important need is reliable sources of high-voltage power. Locating near power lines is the first step, and this will require the aid of a city contractor and permit to avoid worker injury or fatality. Your data center will also need on-site generators, in case the power goes out. You also need reliable Internet connectivity. You will need to have at least 2 optic fiber routes run to the location for redundancy.
You have the option of building your data center in a new building, or rehabilitating an older building to fill that role. Just ensure the structural strength of the floors can handle the weight of full server racks, cabling, and other infrastructure needs.
Servers put out a lot of heat. You will need a steady supply of cool air to keep the servers cool. When possible, channeling cool outer air is preferred as it is free for the taking, even if it has to be cooled a bit more before blowing over the servers.
The servers themselves must be configured in specific patterns so the cool air flows over the processors. The heated air is drawn out to be recooled.
Security and Safety
You need to secure your data center against outside intruders. This comes in two forms: physical and network. You will need to secure the data center from unauthorized personnel and outsiders with secured doors and multiple layers of security. You also need to secure your assets with advanced network appliances and software.
You also need to install a fire prevention system. A small data center at least needs fire alarms and fire extinguishers to handle an unexpected fire. Ideally, you would have an automatic fire suppression system that uses inert gases to smother the fire.
This is Just the Start
Building a new data center is more than filling up the server racks and closing the door. You have to consider location, cooling, security, and safety, among many other things. But once that baby is up and running, you will have a level of control over your data system that you’ve only ever dreamed of so far.