Not all companies have the investment power of Google and Microsoft, and few can afford the mammoth data centres on this scale. But you don’t need a huge plot of land to build your own data facility – in fact, many businesses have an on-site computer room which acts as a data centre, as an extension of their head office.
Space isn’t a huge problem in data centre design, as there are ways to condense and increase efficiency. New servers are smaller and more energy efficient than previous models, so this is already a space saving advantage. The equipment you need to house is smaller and you may need less of it to begin with.
Every company has different capacity requirements, however if you’re building a data centre from scratch then you’ll almost always be told to “start small” and then expand when needed. This is good news if you have limited space and need to build small anyway. A modular approach to design is very helpful and also offers energy saving potential – for example, why would you invest in 400 servers and use them all year round when you only require 200 for most of the time? You need to plan for peak times but you also need to scale back when needed.
Use vertical space
The area of the floor is important when it comes to designing a data facility, because there needs to be sufficient floor space for servers and there needs to be space between racks. However, not everything needs to be placed on the floor, which is why you should also consider using vertical space. If required, you can stack equipment all the way to the ceiling if it is designed in the right way.
Build a mezzanine
Installing a mezzanine structure within the data centre can effectively double your space. Spread your racks out over two tiers with a steel mezzanine and lift system. This type of installation is recommended for a warehouse style building, and is a cost effective option for increasing floor area. If you’re struggling with a space limit, a mezzanine can transform a useless space into a functioning data centre.
If you have a building which you think is unsuitable to transform into a data facility because it is too small, think again. Speak to data centre design experts to discuss the project and see what can be done before sourcing another site.