3 Money Draining Mistakes to Avoid in Your Next Data Center Build

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If business managers in your organization view your data center as an energy-hungry, money-draining, space-eating entity rather than an efficient, business-critical facility, perhaps you are suffering from one or more money draining data center mistakes.

When building or expanding a data center, the methodology you follow can have repercussions for the life of the data center, for better or worse. In this post, I’ll walk through three common mistakes I’ve seen companies make along with some best practices to help you avoid them.

Mistake 1: Lack of capacity planning

For a data center to be truly efficient, its floor and rack space must be coordinated with power, cooling, power distribution and cooling distribution capabilities. Failure to do so can result in stranded data center capacity, such as when you’ve got sufficient HVAC capacity but inadequate ability to distribute cool air to IT loads, or power distribution units (PDUs) with sufficient capacity but no available breakers.

The solution is to use an effective capacity management tool that provides visibility into power, cooling, energy and other data center resources. Tools such as Schneider Electric’s StruxureWare for Data Centers help IT managers optimize resources, thereby controlling costs and limiting stranded capacity.

Mistake 2: Failure to right-size the data center

When building a new or expanded data center, any company naturally wants it to last for 10 or 15 years or more. But too often, companies oversize their data centers, building for anticipated needs rather than gradually adding capacity as needed. This leads to power and cooling systems that are oversized for the actual IT loads, leading to dramatically increased electrical costs.

The solution is to right-size the data center by using prefabricated, modular components such as Schneider Electric’s InfraStruxure offerings. They enable companies to add data center infrastructure only as their needs demand, leading to significant savings in total cost of ownership (TCO).

Mistake 3: No end-to-end data center strategy

Simple decisions made during the data center build process can result in big savings over the life of a data center, provided they’re made with a systematic, structural end-to-end plan in mind. Systematic decisions during the build process, around everything from the positioning of air conditioners to IT racks and the like, can result in avoidance of 90% of electrical costs (see the free Schneider Electric white paper, “Implementing Energy Efficient Data Centers,” for details).

Using high-efficiency blade servers as opposed to traditional low-density servers, for example, can result in a 20% reduction in power consumption while server virtualization can further reduce electrical requirements and lower TCO.

Business profitability, effectiveness and efficiency are directly related to an organization’s data center. Utilize our Data Center Design Planning Calculator to help understand your business needs and plan your data center build accordingly to avoid these money draining mistakes.


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