Considerations for Data Center Planning
There is no such thing as a “One Size Fits All” data center. Depending on the size of the organization and its business needs, the details of the data center can vary dramatically from one company to the next. But when planning a data center, whether it’s a new one or an addition to an existing data center, there are certain important considerations that everyone should take into account.
Standards compliance is clearly a critical factor. While this seems like a simple concept, the reality is that there are many standards that relate to the operation of a data center. The designer must be careful not to follow one standard exclusively because it could cause problems with another standard. For example, TIA defines minimum standards for cabling infrastructure while IEEE defines minimum standards for Ethernet transmission. TIA defines the operating conditions of OM1 multimode optical fiber, but IEEE does not support the use of that fiber type beyond 10G data rates. Other pertinent standards bodies include, but are not limited to BICSI, ISO/IEC, INCITS, ASHRAE, and ICEA.
Most standards evolve over time to stay current with the technology needs of the market. As new products, technologies and practices are developed, the standards are amended to incorporate them with a goal of ensuring interoperability. Generally there is a strong desire to enable the continued use of prior technologies (commonly referred to as “grandfathering”). However, sometimes this is not possible because the prior technologies cannot handle the speed, bandwidth, or other requirements defined in the new standard. Because data centers tend to use higher data rates, this challenge becomes amplified in this environment.
That’s why it is critical – especially for those in charge of designing and maintaining data centers – to stay abreast of the latest and emerging technologies. For most organizations in the IT world, the data center is their biggest investment. If a company going to invest millions of dollars in something, they want to make sure it does what they need it to, for as long as they need it do to it. Whether that means 5 years or 20, the network infrastructure must be designed to accommodate not only today’s technologies, but also those that have not yet been implemented. The way to do this is to look at data rates that are two to three steps ahead of the current need.
At Berk-Tek, we understand that the network infrastructure decision our customers make today will have lasting effects for their business years from now. We are committed to keeping our customers up to date on the latest industry developments and advancements. As evidence to this commitment, we have made significant investments into our TEK Center.