With the whole world running on data, data centers are more important than ever. Building data centers is no small undertaking though. Facility managers need to understand the ins and outs of working on large-scale construction projects. This knowledge can help create functional and safe data centers. If you are a facility manager, here are 7 data center construction tips to help you along the way.
1. Consider Your Needs
Before you get building, you need to have a comprehensive understanding of what your company needs in its data center. Will you have hundreds of servers to house information in the cloud? Do you work with a small team that just needs to stay connected or a huge global group of people with high-tech needs?
The answers to these questions will help you figure out what exactly you will need in your data center construction. These answers may also influence if you are building a data center from scratch, or can repurpose another facility to suit your needs. Take your assessment and build from there.
2. Choose Durable Materials
The most common materials that are used when building data centers are concrete and steel. Both are extremely durable and can get the job done. You will want to pick the material that makes the most sense to your location and structure.
Steel is less fire resistant but easier to transport and construct than concrete. Whereas concrete can hold up against natural disasters and weather. They can also be built easily with tilt-up construction. You may also want to consider using recycled materials to offset the environmental impact of your data center.
Learn more about the data center construction details with this in-depth guide from FMP Construction.
3. Choose a Modular Setup
You want your data center to be as flexible and functional as possible. Modular setups can be moved around more easily and offer more opportunities to expand your space in the future. If you’re just starting up your company, this is a great option to keep up with any needs you may have moving forward.
4. Sharing Resources
Since data centers are such massive projects, it helps to share resources and integrate wherever possible. If you are remodeling a data center, don’t be afraid to use what’s already there. Repurposing is a great way to lower costs and create a flexible space. Sharing resources can also help keep your data center eco-friendly.
By using recycled materials and repurposing them in your data center, you are already one step ahead on your environmental impact. Sharing resources can also benefit a singular company and others that may need to house data in the same place rather than building their own center.
5. Design for Airflow
When planning the design of your data center, you’ll want to make the space as efficient as possible. If you design the center with airflow in mind, you’ll be able to use less cooling equipment and still keep everything safe.
You can place equipment that is more prone to overheating closer to air ducts and air conditioners, while more durable equipment can be housed further away. With enough room for consistent airflow, all of your equipment will be safe.
6. Plan for Extra Floor Space
You never know how your company will expand after creating your data center. So it is in your best interest to plan on having extra floor space in your data center. To most efficiently use the floorspace, you should account for stackable racks and shelves for equipment.
You may also want to consider installing wires above or below the floor. This will clear up any clutter that may get in the way of people going through and prevent wires from being damaged by everyday wear and tear.
7. Security Needs
When building a data center, one of the things you need to keep in mind is security. Security of a data center includes the physical security of the building as well as data security. You should consider surveillance and security equipment when building your data center.
As well as making sure that the equipment is safe from damage like fire, flooding, leaks or other factors. Including security measures into your build may add some more detail now, but will keep everything safe later.
Building a data center is a complex construction project. But with these tips, you should be able to build a functional and cost-effective space to house data for a company.