Top Three Tips for Successful Data Center Planning
1. Make Your Objectives ClearBefore you start upgrading or building a data center, it’s vitally important to have a clear vision and approach in place. Prior to beginning any work, ask yourself the following questions:
- How will your data center help you meet and exceed your business goals?
- What are your business objectives over the next year, two years and even five years?
- What are your technical goals?
- If you currently have a data center, where are the gaps between existing and future needs?
Having answers to these questions before moving to design will give you clear direction on all other data center planning phases.
2. Do Not Rush the Design Phase
When it comes to building a data center, the most critical phase is the design phase, as it lays the foundation for everything to come. During this phase, the system and physical infrastructure are mapped out, as well as the physical facility issues, such as cabling pathways, heating and cooling capabilities, and power consumption. This is a phase that should never be rushed, as doing so can lead to mistakes and oversights that could negatively impact the future of the center.
Special care should be taken during this early planning phase to ensure every critical element is being addressed and all basic data center standards considered. These standards include requirements for space, environmental factors, cabling infrastructure and site layout.
3. Plan for the Future
While it is important to plan for a company’s current data needs, it is equally important to project future growth and incorporate that into the data center planning process. In fact, growth tends to be one of the biggest reasons why a company needs to increase data center capacity. For example, a 2014 Forrester Consulting survey of 1,000 companies reported more than half of those surveyed said business growth was the key driver for data center capacity growth. To avoid data center constraints down the road, try to project growth as best you can during the primary planning and design phase.
Defining a business strategy, taking your time with the design and considering the long-term are all factors that should be included in data center planning. If any of these key components are not part of your process, the success of your business operations could be hindered.