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Data Center Design Study Benefits

How a Data Center Design Study can benefit your next Mission Critical Facility Upgrade

When your database administrator calls for the umpteenth time asking when she can schedule installation of her new storage array, do you get that familiar queasy feeling in your stomach? No room at the inn… no space, no power, no cooling, ok, you fill in the blank. So your computing facility is near or at capacity, and it is past time to make some changes. But what changes should you propose to your superiors? Expand what you have? Build a new one? Lease colocation facility space? The options to increase computing capacity are numerous.

When this process starts, there is some amount of discovery that you have to do on your own. What ceiling did you hit (space/power/cooling)? How much more will you need? When do you need that additional capacity? What is the level of reliability that the facility must maintain with any modifications? What is the 5 year plan for your facility? Most of our clients can come up with a fairly detailed description of their facility needs utilizing their own resources and with some amount of research.

 Now what do you do with your initial facility modification description? If you are like the majority of us, you have to send more than a wish list to your planners/decision makers. You will need associated budgeting, ROI, and projected benefit analyses. Conceptual Design and Budgeting (CD&B) studies are a great process to embark upon prior to starting a Mission Critical facility design or build contract process. Depending on the project size, topology, location and quantity of options you want to consider, a CD&B Study typically runs from $5,000 to $30,000. For a project implementation cost that could range from $250,000 to JAK Blog Pic$30,000,000+, that is a very small percentage investment.

 In a CD&B Study, a firm experienced in the design of mission critical facilities can work with you to quickly conceptualize and assemble multiple options into a comparative document. The document can include:

  • Summary of project goals
  • Multiple options to achieve those goals, each with:
    • Plan Views
    • Electrical One Lines
    • Budgets
  • A Pros and Cons list
  • Final recommendations

During CD&B studies many options can be investigated, ranging from comparing costs of building or renovating your own facility to estimating costs of leasing in a local colocation facility. This is the process wherein you can consider new infrastructure technologies that could improve your energy efficiency or increase your reliability. The final Study documentation can be used to ‘sell’ an option to the planners/decision makers.

The next time you find yourself questioning your facility’s ability to meet current and future needs, consider investing in expert assistance at the front end. A data center engineering firm, hired by you, will be leveraging their talent and experience for your benefit. You will be more likely to end up with the facility modification you want at a lower total cost.

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