A data center floor plan, or data center layout, is the arrangement of the data center infrastructure and equipment that determines how facilities will operate. A data center floor plan is unique to the company it serves and is designed based on various factors, though common best practices create similarities among many floor plans.
Constructing an effective and efficient data center floor plan can determine how successful your facility can be. A functional and thought-out layout can minimize energy consumption, maximize resource utilization, and increase productivity. Once a data center floor plan goes into action, it can be expensive to make dramatic changes to it.
What to Consider When Designing a Data Center Floor Plan
A well-designed data center floor plan must take many factors into account to ensure it properly supports the IT requirements of your organization.
- Budget. Building a data center is expensive so you should stick to a budget when creating a floor plan. This will help you optimize your facility without exceeding financial means.
- Scalability. Technology and infrastructure are constantly evolving and your data center should be too. Planning for growth in this stage will ease expansion further down the road.
- Efficiency. The layout of your racks on your floor plan can have a large impact on your energy efficiency. Consider hot aisle/cold aisle containment to get the most out of your cooling capacity.
- Unique layout. There is no set way to design a data center and each company has its own specific IT needs. Floor plans should be created based on your specific requirements to ensure desired levels of uptime and efficiency.
- Redundancy. You will need to know how much backup power, cooling, network, hardware, software, storage, and other systems you need in your data center floor plan. This depends on factors such as your IT environment, business goals, and budget.
- Cooling requirements. Planning the airflow and cooling systems in a data center is extremely important, and high-density deployments that require more cooling are becoming more commonplace. Consider your power density and cooling requirements such as placement of computer room air conditioning (CRAC) units or liquid cooling infrastructure.
- Accessibility. Racks, floor tiles, ceiling tiles, and other infrastructure should be arranged in a manner that enables easy access for maintenance.
Challenges of Designing a Data Center Floor Plan
- Time and effort. The amount of time and planning that go into designing a data center can be tremendous. You must look at each component closely to avoid mistakes in the future.
- Cooling requirements. Creating an efficient airflow and cooling system in a data center can be a strenuous task. However, this must be factored into the floor plan to lower overall costs and energy needs.
- Density vs. capacity. Finding the balance between density and capacity allows for a functional floor plan. Having dense servers equals more power and cooling infrastructure used making the tradeoff important to determine beforehand.
- Future growth. Designing and building a data center can be tricky since needs and requirements change over time. Investing time and resources into future expansion plans can be critical for a successful data center floor plan.
Simplify and Automate Data Center Planning with DCIM Software
Don’t waste your time manually managing your floor plan with legacy management tools like Excel and Visio. These outdated tools are time-consuming, prone to human error, and difficult to maintain with poor version control.
Modern data center professionals leverage Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software to plan, manage, and optimize their data centers from any web browser.
DCIM software enables you to:
- Remote visualize your floor plan in 3D. Automatically create accurate 3D floor plans and rack diagrams to save time manually managing Excel spreadsheets and Visio diagrams.
- Understand capacity in real-time. Get accurate views of all server rack equipment and connections. See available space, power, copper/fiber ports, budgeted power, and much more.
- Get the most out of existing resources. Reduce stranded capacity and increase efficiency by intelligently finding and reserving the perfect cabinet space for deploying new equipment in seconds.
Want to see how Sunbird’s second-generation DCIM software makes it easy for you to visualize and manage your data center floor plan? Get your free test drive now!