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How to Implement Feng Shui in Data Centre Design

21 July, 2016

feng shui in data centres

Feng shui is an ancient Chinese philosophical system, which harmonises people and their surrounding environment. The elements of feng shui combine nature, science and philosophy and this ancient art has been used widely across the world in interior design. Businesses often try and implement feng shui practices in the office to boost productivity and promote a healthy, calm environment – so why stop there?

The fundamentals of feng shui can also be applied to the data centre, specifically data centre design and layout. The concept can be achieved simply by applying the art of feng shui to your data centre design. One of the most important theories in the system is location; everything belongs somewhere for a reason. This is easier to apply to the data centre than you may think, as of course the location of all components in a data centre is extremely important.

You can improve the harmony of a data centre by using feng shui techniques – which will in turn improve the facility’s efficiency and help the business reach its goals. Many people won’t be able to connect feng shui with data centres at all, as they instantly think of water features and candles, or other stereotypical decorative approaches. So how can the concept of feng shui be used in data centre design?

The Five Elements

Feng Shui is all about finding the right balance between the five elements: wood, fire, metal, water and earth. If there is too much of one and not enough of another, the room will be unbalanced and this will affect whoever is living or working there. Data centres have to work closely with the elements – we have to use cooling systems to cool the air and remove warm air. If the environment gets too hot, the room will become unbalanced and the equipment will begin to fail. The power of water can be utilised in modern air conditioning and cooling systems, such as adiabatic cooling.

A good example of a feng shui practice which works is the hot aisle/cold aisle design. This helps to create a harmonious environment by sending cold air one way and hot air another way, ensuring it doesn’t mix. This design concept makes sure the components are in the best possible location to work at their best, as well as harmonising the data centre with the outside environment as it saves energy wastage.

If feng shui principles are used in office environments to boost employee wellbeing and productivity, there is no reason why it can’t also be used in the data centre to boost efficiency.


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