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A guide to more sustainable, efficient, resilient, and adaptable facilities. Whether starting from scratch or upgrading and retrofitting, proper planning and design will safeguard speed, efficiency, flexibility and scale in your new data centre.

Some of the most popular shows on television these days are around home improvement. But before any attempt to build or rebuild takes place you need the right tools and a blueprint.

The same is true in data centres. Whether starting from scratch or upgrading and retrofitting, proper planning and design will safeguard speed, efficiency, flexibility and scale in your new data centre.

Our practical guide to Data Centre planning and design has everything you need-from methodologies to at-a-glance calculators. Now is the time to tap into our design guide and ensure your data centre is ready for what’s next.

It is becoming more critical all the time and trends such as the explosion of big data are only adding to the requirements that IT groups must meet. To keep up, companies often need to build out additional data centre space by either adding to an existing facility or building a new one – usually under a tight deadline. It probably should go without saying that the planning phase is crucial to any data centre project. But the specific planning process you use will go a long way toward how successful the data centre will ultimately be in delivering on the requirements it was intended to meet.

Schneider Electric has some sound advice on the topic, and lays it out in a new eBook, "A Practical Guide to Data Center Planning and Design." The process is intended to ensure the right decision makers get the right information at the most appropriate time. It involves just four tasks, as follows:

  1. Establish key project parameters to control the system architecture and budget
  2. Develop a system concept
  3. Incorporate user preferences and constraints
  4. Determine implementation requirements

Looking at the list, if you’re like me number 2 may jump out as one that could take considerable time. But, as the guide makes clear, it doesn’t have to at all, thanks to the availability of numerous reference designs from the likes of Schneider Electric.

The key step to fulfilling task 2 is merely selecting a reference design. A data centre reference design is a tested, validated, documented design package for the physical infrastructure systems.  It may be for an entire data centre or just some subset, such as an IT room, power or cooling plant.  At first blush that may seem like a difficult task, given that Schneider Electric alone offers over 40 designs in its data centre reference design library.

It’s not. The guide provides six project parameters – criticality, capacity, growth, efficiency, density and budget – to act as a guide in choosing a reference design (or, more accurately, in ruling out some designs).

Schneider Electric reference designs reflect the company’s decades of experience in building data centres – what worked and what didn’t.  What’s more, they’re not static, take it or leave it designs. Rather, you can adapt them to fit your specific requirements. One size does not fit all, so we realize that you’re looking for flexible solutions in everything that you do. When you buy a box of Legos, there may be instructions on how to build a race car, but really there’s nothing stopping you from building any other sort of car.  Reference Designs are customizable in the same way—the different inputs you put into the model will create different outputs.

If there’s a data centre project in your future, do yourself a favor and check out Schneider Electric eBook, "A Practical Guide to Data Center Planning and Design." In addition to more tips on the planning process, you’ll learn more about issues including cost analyses, site selection and best practices drawn from three actual customers.

Just like those who envision their dream kitchen, it is important for data centre professionals to properly plan and design their next investment. If executed properly, vague data centre design / build requirements, much like the “want” list for your new kitchen, will very quickly be converted into a complete design blueprints which will help save time and money.  

For more information, download Schneider Electric’s e-guide on planning and design.

Download here

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