Welcome to the Data Center blog. Recently I gave a webinar on Data Center Trends and one of the topics I covered was the concept of holistic design. I thought I'd make that the feature of my first blog post.
Whether upgrading a Data Center or building one from scratch, Data Center managers typically have two main considerations on their mind—cost and reliability. However, there is a lot more to the puzzle, and it starts with the acceptance of an often overlooked fact: A Data Center built only for the requirements of today can be a Data Center destined to fail in the future.
A Data Center cannot just serve existing needs—it has to meet the projected demands for the future. Unfortunately, upgrades have often been completed with a short-sighted "fix it" mentality where Data Center managers strive to just fill in gaps without a true 360-degree perspective. Cost has often been measured by how much it will take to implement a solution, rather than how much it will take to operate and its total effect on the facility. For example, Data Center managers often narrowly focus on the long-term benefit of a solution (and probably some hype), rather than asking themselves what the new solution will cost to run on a daily basis, if it truly offers a return on investment (ROI), whether ramp-up time is required for employees and how exactly a solution fits within the long-term goals of the business.
The good news is that Data Center managers can move from a "fix it" to a "build it" mentality through holistic design principles. With a holistic approach, the two philosophies that anyone upgrading or building a Data Center should live by are: Think about the outcomes and Bridge the gap among actual business requirements, IT and facilities. In other words, a holistic approach looks at the outcomes of every aspect of the design with input from all stakeholders. Some of the key holistic design considerations include:
While the holistic approach to Data Center designs means literally questioning everything, Data Center managers that deploy holistic design principles will not only effectively reduce long-term costs and increase reliability, but they will also be better prepared for the future by "building it" rather than "fixing it."
Have questions or comments? Feel free to leave a comment below or you can schedule a call with one of our data center experts. I look forward to covering other Data Center trends in future posts.
Mike Salvador is a 28-year industry veteran, living the challenge of operating efficient data centers, optimizing the performance of network devices and delivering highly available, highly agile, low-risk data centers. Mike served as Belden’s technical solutions manager from 2012 to 2015.