Saving space in your data center has multiple benefits:

  • Reducing space saves money. When you reduce the amount of space used, you also reduce the amount of power, water, lighting and cooling needed – which cuts spending.
  • When you control space consumption, you also ensure that you have room to accommodate future growth and expansion.
  • The more space you save in your data center, the more room you have to comfortably move around and check on equipment.
Crowded Data Center

We’ve compiled a list of five actions to implement in your own data center to save space, which may also save money along the way.

  1. Fully Populate Racks

    Racks take up considerable floor space, so it’s important to make the most of them. You may be able to consolidate your racks to reduce floor space if you decommission comatose servers (which consume electricity without doing any work) and combine lightly used servers (which draw full power even when utilized at only 5% or 10%). Approximately 30% of physical servers are comatose, according to the Uptime Institute. This translates to $30 billion in idle IT equipment – not factoring in the operating costs associated with keeping these servers on. When racks are fully populated, you won’t have to worry about using blanking panels to cover empty U space.

  2. Use High-Density, Standard Solutions

    Achieve better space optimization and provide for additional bandwidth when high-density solutions are put into play. For example, high-density patch panels can achieve double the port density in 1U of rack space. This allows for density increases and technology changes without a complete tear-out and replacement of existing infrastructure. High-density solutions also require fewer cabinets and power distribution units (PDUs), call for smaller fire detection and suppression systems, and utilize shorter telecommunications runs and electrical power feeders. This not only saves space, but reduces operating costs.

    Product families that feature the same footprint save space as well; everything fits together nicely to reduce the required amount of overall U space.

  3. Build Up, Not Out

    Growing vertically instead of horizontally can help accommodate growth, increase capacity and increase density without taking up floor space. Typical rackmount solutions provide 45U of rack space; however, gaining 48U, 50U and 52U of rack space is also possible, which can add up to 14 more inches of space for vertical growth. Belden rackmount products can be used on ladder racks above cabinets to provide additional vertical rack space.

    Tall Cabinets

    Look for non-traditional connectivity solutions, such as Zero U solutions, which allow you to move high-density connectivity options completely out of the rack and place them along equipment mounting rails instead. That way you can use valuable rack space for additional active equipment.

  4. Install Smaller-Diameter Cable

    Space-saving cabling systems offer a smaller OD size, allowing rack space to be used for more equipment and less cable management. Their smaller size also means that the cables are easier to manage. Even if you’re not struggling with cable congestion now, smaller-diameter cable can prevent it from becoming a problem in the future.

  5. Implement Passive Cooling

    CRAC cooling systems are sometimes unable to handle high power densities and temperatures associated with virtualization and blade servers. As a result, some data centers are utilizing in-row liquid cooling systems – but these systems take up valuable floor space that could be used for other purposes. By implementing a hot- or cold-aisle containment strategy instead, you can fit more server racks into existing space while still maintaining appropriate temperatures.

    Passive cooling – available in several variations – uses a sealed rear door and chimney to capture hot exhaust air from servers. It then vents the air back into CRAC return air ducts, which chill and recirculate exhaust air. This allows more computing power to fit into the existing floor space.

Make the Most of Data Center Space without OversizingBelden offers several space-saving solutions to reduce operating costs, lower energy expenses and make the most of existing equipment. Learn more about how Belden can help you address the needs of your data center.