The functional requirements of the Data Centre are:
- A place to locate computer, storage, and networking devices safely and securely
- To provide the power needed to maintain these devices
- To provide a temperature-controlled environment within the parameters needed to run these devices
- To provide connectivity to other devices both inside and outside the Data Centre
Keep the Design as Simple as Possible
A simple Data Centre design is easier to understand and manage. If you label everything—network ports, power outlets, cables, circuit breakers, their location on the floor—there is no guess work involved. When people setup a machine, they gain the advantage of knowing ahead of time where the machine goes and where everything on that machine should be plugged in. It is also simpler to verify that the work was done correctly. Since the locations of all of the connections to the machine are pre-labeled and documented, it is easy to record the information for later use, should the machine develop a problem.
Design for Flexibility
Nobody knows where technology will be in five years, but it is a good guess that there will be some major changes. Making sure that the design is flexible and easily upgradable is critical to a successful long-term design.
Part of flexibility is making the design cost-effective. Every design decision has an impact on the budget. Designing a cost effective Data Centre is greatly dependent on the actual requirements of the data centre. One company might be planning a data centre for mission critical applications, another for testing large-scale configurations that will go into a mission critical Data Centre. For the first company, full backup generators to drive the entire electrical load of the Data Centre might be a cost-effective solution. For the second company, a UPS with a 20-minute battery life might be sufficient.
Design for Scalability
The design should work equally well for a 2,000, 20,000, or 2,000,000 square foot Data Centre. Where a variety of equipment is concerned, the use of watts per square foot to design a Data Centre does not scale because the needs of individual machines are not taken into consideration.
Use a Modular Design
Data Centres are highly complex things, and complex things can quickly become unmanageable. Modular design allows you to create highly complex systems from smaller, more manageable building blocks. These smaller units are more easily defined and can be more easily replicated. They can also be defined by even smaller units, and you can take this to whatever level of granularity necessary to manage the design process. The use of this type of hierarchy has been present in design since antiquity.