Saturday, February 17, 2007

Network Computing: Data Center Design

Network Computing has a nice article on data center design. It's an outsourcers' notebook, lessons learned, on a 15 month project to design and build a 10k sq. ft. data center. Although it is only the basics of design and construction, it is a good overall article.

Side rant -- once again, a raised floor is listed as a requirement!! WHY???!!!???

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

John,
I've heard you rant about raised floor before. Why? To me, raised floor provides an additional pathway for delivery of cabling, power and/or cold air to servers and other equipment in the data center. Without it, there are fewer options for distributing these resources. With data centers growing in unpredictable dimensions, why limit future options by not installing raised floor? It's fairly cheap and increases flexibility to respond to future needs.

KenB

chuck goolsbee said...

Sorry Ken, raised floor is NOT cheap. It creates another space to install fire suppression in (which more than doubles your costs). It limits density due to the simple physics of how much, or little, air you can move through it. It creates cable management problems.

Raised floor was fine back in the day when a rack = 1 computer... but nowadays, with ~40 servers per rack, with anywhere from 2 to 4 cat-5 cables per server, raised floor can't handle the air AND the cables... unless it is >4 feet deep.

In my mind raised floor does nothing BUT limit future options. It limits your rackspace, limits your airflow, limits your density, limits your fire supression, limits your cable management options, etc.

--chuck

John Rath said...

Ken,

I agree with Chuck. My main thing is that it is just not necessary anymore. When there are/were mainframes that had special cooling that needed floor vents I suppose I could see the need. Now it just adds cost, cables get lost and mangled under the floor and you also have to lock down floor tiles for the sake of security. With cooling efficiencies in the aisle or overhead and cable trays (over head) being very efficient/neat the need just doesn't exist any more.

I half way mention the rant because I feel like I'm missing something. New data centers that are being built continue to have raised floors. It's almost like these big companies that have endless pockets don't even think twice about it as an extra cost because their budgets are so large.