Many businesses operate outside of safe capacity thresholds with little or no room to expand. According to the IDC, the average data center is 9 years old. However, Gartner states that any site more than 7 years old is obsolete. Overcrowded or obsolete data centers create a roadblock for growing organizations and building a new data center(s) is sometimes the only solution. While speed-to-market is critical to success, companies that fail to assess their business needs properly will create dead-end data centers that will not deliver uptime performance goals or meet future business needs
How can you avoid making major mistakes when entering the build and expansion world?
The key lies in the methodology you use to design and build your data center facilities. All too often, companies base their plans on watts per square foot, cost to build per square foot, and tier level—criteria that may be misaligned with their overall business goals and risk profile. Poor planning leads to poor use of valuable capital and can increase operational expense.
Many organizations get overwhelmed, focusing on “speeds and feeds,” green initiatives, concurrent maintainability, power usage effectiveness (PUE) and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. All of these criteria are critical in the decision making process. However, the details often overshadow the big picture. Most companies miss the business opportunity in a data center expansion—an expansion driven by a holistic approach.
While there are numerous consultants in the field to help you find your way, assessing ideas and input can be overwhelming. Organizations with critical capacity requirements in the 1-3 megawatt range may fall into this risk category. The critical nature of mid-size users is no less important than mega users; however internal technical expertise to drive proper expansion plans may be limited. The result is information overload from multiple sources, leading to confusion and poor decision making.
“Data center owners have so many problems right now. Their assets are mission critical, but they are out of control. Power consumption is costing them a fortune. They can’t cool what they have got and cut the risk of a catastrophic outage. And if they make an investment, by the time it is built, it is already out of date” – Stanford Group