Space, Power density and redundancy are three highly important facets of any successful data center. Today I will turn my focus toward space. Data center raised floor space can be very hard to come by. Whether you are designing the most efficient layout for an enterprise center, allocating cage space for a colocation center or arranging an environment with in a cage, space is important. Most often more space cannot be added and when it can the cost will generally be substantial. Therefore it is paramount to effectively use all the space available at a given center. This is not always easy. Equipment on the floor such as PDUs, RPPs, CRACs and CRAHs can get in the way. Access clearances need to be provided and take up additional space beyond the footprint of the equipment itself. Structural pillars can present an obstacle to the overall space layout. Also cages that separate environments at colocation sites need to be taken into account. For various reasons data center floor layouts can change over time. Replacing old equipment with newer equipment that has a smaller foot print or customer turnover are just a few examples. Changes on the raised floor can leave equipment in the way of utilizing raised floor space most efficiently over time. Most people would not think to move critical IT infrastructure, however doing so can lead to more usable and revenue generating space.
This is geared toward the colocation side of the data center world.
Working in such an engineering based and high tech field it is easy to forget what really allows us to bring home the bacon, our customers. Colocation data centers would not exist without the customers to fill them up. While you may have good customers and difficult ones, we should all approach our business with them in mind. Now I am not going to get into a philosophical conversation whether “the customer is always right” or not. This is not the time or place. I will focus on small changes that will help out the customers and in turn the data center staff.
The data center can have a wide array of foot prints. Centers have grown over the decades from small closets, operating in corners of office buildings, to large multi floor buildings with the only function of housing the computing equipment. Based on company size and needs, centers can range from large ware house size enterprise data centers to small cage footprints in a larger colocation center. With many highly advanced building monitoring systems being utilized by data centers today to operate, nearly all aspects of the center can monitored, and sometimes operated, by viewing one monitor screen. With this in mind my focus is on a topic that can easily be forgotten in this high tech industry, the human aspect. No matter how high tech or how much money we put into a program, they will never be all encompassing and eliminate the need to go out and visually inspect the various facets of the data center. I feel that over the course of time, however, we have come to rely on our technology and the advantages of physically looking at something have been neglected. Continue reading The Raised Floor Perspective- Making the Rounds
I can hear my mother telling me this like it was yesterday, “It’s the little things that make a big difference.” So often do we get caught up in the big picture that this can be all but forgotten. As I walk around the raised floor I am reminded of this by the sight of one and two open U spaces appearing sporadically throughout the center. The saying, “It’s the little things,” could not be more true for this scenario. Considered best practice throughout the data center industry, blanking, more often than not becomes an afterthought at best. Open spaces left within racks allow the hot isle air to recirculate to the cold isle leading to a number of problems from placing operating equipment at risk of overheating to the added energy costs. Now rack blanking and the use of various types of blanking panels is nothing new to the personnel that work at a data center. To get the most out of this “little thing that makes a big difference” though, a new approach or deliberate effort, to blanking could go a long way. Continue reading The Raised Floor Perspective- Blanking