How to build an infinite data centre

Wouldn’t it be great if your data centre never ran out of capacity and you never had to allocate budget to buy a new one?

Simple data centre management best practices can help a data centre last for quite a long time, according to David Cappuccio, analyst for technology research firm Gartner Inc.

Using sound design principles and regular, systematic server refreshes a data centre can “last for decades.”

If you’re looking for a data centre that is energy efficient, economical to build and is able to keep up with new technologies as well as support the growth of your business, here are the steps you should take:

Build up server rack density – Increasing density enables existing workloads to run on a smaller footprint and this creates more space for future growth. If your server racks are at 50 per cent capacity, consider increasing density to 80 per cent or 90 per cent.

Keep it cool – Many data centre managers don’t run server racks a 90 per cent capacity because it makes servers run too hot.

To get around this you can install an expensive cooling system or you can just demolish a few walls in order to create a separate room for your high density servers. This solution allows you to deliver the needed cooling to that room alone while your storage devices, telecom gear and other hardware are in an area that doesn’t require the expensive cooling system.

Cappuccio estimates that the strategy will save most companies $40 per cent in operating expenses.

Refresh – Follow a systematic refresh cycle. If you buy new state-of-the-art 1U servers and move workloads to this new rack methodically until it is 80 per cent to 90 per cent capacity, the energy efficiency you achieve will pay for itself over time and in some cases fund 80 per cent of the refresh cost.

Make this an ongoing process that allows you to continually improve the performance of your existing data centre without having to build a new one.

Find out how to improve data centre performance here

Nestor E. Arellano
Nestor E. Arellano
Toronto-based journalist specializing in technology and business news. Blogs and tweets on the latest tech trends and gadgets.

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