Developing an effective data center floor plan
Despite a critical role in data center design, many floor plans are established through incremental deployment without a central plan, contends APC-Schneider Electric.
Authored by Neil Rasmussen and Wendy Torell, a new technical paper from APC-Schneider Electric contends that an effective floor plan strongly affects the power density capability and electrical efficiency of a data center. The document provides structured floor plan guidelines for defining data center room layouts and for establishing IT equipment layouts within existing rooms.
According to APC-Schneider Electric, the floor plan either determines or strongly affects the following characteristics of a data center: the number of rack locations that are possible in the room; the achievable power density; the complexity of the power and cooling distribution systems; the predictability of temperature distribution in the room; and the electrical power consumption of the data center. The purpose of the white paper is to explain how floor plans affect these characteristics, and to prescribe an effective method for developing a floor layout specification.
Many users do not appreciate these effects during data center planning, and do not establish the floor layout early enough, notes the technical brief. As a result, many data centers unnecessarily provide suboptimal performance. "A data center floor plan includes the layout of the boundaries of the room (or rooms) and the layout of IT equipment within the room. Despite this critical role in data center design, many floor plans are established through incremental deployment without a central plan," contends the paper's executive summary.
The summary continues, "Most users do not understand how critical the floor layout is to the performance of a data center, or they only understand its importance after a poor layout has compromised the deployment. Once a poor floor plan has been deployed, it is often difficult or impossible to recover the resulting loss of performance."