When Belden launched the Data Center Blog earlier this year, the concept of Holistic Design was the first topic I blogged about. Since that time we have had the opportunity to address the topic in recent newsletters and in print for Cabling Installation & Maintenance magazine.

We have also been invited to speak on the topic at a couple of industry events in 2014. Because this is coming up more and more in design conversations we decided to make this available as a white paper, breaking it down into the 10 Steps to Holistic Data Center Design. Here’s an introduction to the content, see the link below and download your copy now.

Designing a data center can be a daunting and complicated process. There are many considerations and decisions that ultimately impact the cost to build, operate and scale the data center.

In the past, IT departments provided an estimate of the equipment and power needs required for their various systems. Many of these estimates were either inaccurate speculations based on current needs with no forethought given to the IT roadmap and business growth, or they were overinflated based on worse-case scenarios. Facilities then used these estimates to either build exactly what was requested or to once again overinflate the design in attempts to protect themselves. This outdated process resulted in large inefficient data centers that were costly to operate and virtually impossible to upgrade.

The rising cost to construct and operate a data center calls for a better approach to data center design. A holistic design approach provides significant benefit to data center managers, facilities, customers and the business as a whole. A central aspect of successful holistic design involves carefully considering all of the variables with an eye on operational expenditure (OPEX) over the life of the data center, not just on the capital expenditure (CAPEX) to build the data center in the first place. Holistic design must also account for business growth and evolving technology, incorporating systems and innovative technologies that ensure an agile, scalable and highly robust data center that supports both current and future needs.

Successful holistic data center design requires following key steps that essentially take into account all business requirements, technology innovations, and energy and operational savings, while identifying and eliminating any ineffective decisions and operational waste.

Download our 10 Steps to Holistic Data Center Design white paper

The 10 Steps to Holistic Data Center Design:

  1. Including All Players
  2. Setting Ground Rules
  3. Determining Availability & Redundancy
  4. Gathering Requirements
  5. Balancing CAPEX & OPEX
  6. Selecting the Right Equipment
  7. Designing Equipment Areas
  8. Designing the Overall Space
  9. Construting & Commissioning
  10. Ongoing Post-Construction Review

The costs of building and operating a data center can quickly skyrocket if proper analysis and refinement by various business units and outside expertise are not made part of the design process. Utilizing a holistic approach to data center design takes the guesswork out of trying to determine the requirements, provides construction and operational cost savings — and it offers a true sense of involvement to all players who directly or indirectly use the services of the data center.